The Ultimate Cannabis Toolkit: Everything You Need to Smoke Flower Like a Pro

There may be more ways to enjoy cannabis than ever, but that's even more reason to stock up on the right tools.

Emily Carpenter/Thrillist
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Smoking weed has become a complicated affair. 

Forget learning how to roll a joint -- now you need an encyclopedia and an 18-year-old neighbor to navigate the mess of acronyms and rigs and appendages presented to today’s cannabis consumer. Although, with more options comes more customization, which means more people are experiencing the kind of high they’re looking for. Not to mention, weed has never been better. And thanks to technological and legislative progress, neither has the paraphernalia. 

Here are the 7 ultimate tools every cannabis lover needs for optimal medication and recreation.

Aero Pipe | The Odell Shop/Emily Carpenter

A Classic Pipe

Aero Pipe 
Price: $70
Everyone needs a pipe. I’d rather smoke from a bong any day, but if I accidentally shatter my bowl piece? Or worse? I’ll be happy to have something to smoke out of before I’m able to get out to a glass shop. If you aren’t a pro joint roller who can do it while walking against a light breeze, a pipe is infinitely more practical for outdoor adventures of most kinds. This straight shooter from Pursuits of Happiness is pricier, but its quality handmade ceramic construction ensures it can take a few knocks in stride and, if you don’t lose it, it’ll last a lifetime.

For those seeking a more discreet way to enjoy small amounts of flower at a time, seek out a “chillum.” Yes, this is a real word used to refer to slim one-hitter pipes. I don’t make the rules.

The Session Bong | Session/Emily Carpenter

A Simple Bong

Session Bong
Price: $120
As you may have gathered, I find bongs to be the ideal method of combustion. Over half the carcinogens you’d consume via joint are removed as they filter through the water, letting you taste more of the flower’s flavors. I prefer glass, not just because it feels clean and science-y, but because it forces me to clean my pieces regularly. The Session bong is a chic version of the perfect, basic glass bong. The shape and base look good but also make sense — it’s almost impossible to tip over. Any smaller, and the water must be changed at an inconvenient pace. Before you balk at the price, know that in any smokeshop in any college town right now, every bong of decent quality glass at that size is at least $100. But unlike the last $125 piece I bought, this one won’t shatter when you knock the base into the edge of your coffee table.

High Hemp Organic Rolling Papers | Amazon/Emily Carpenter

Hemp Rolling Papers

High Hemp Organic Rolling Papers
Price: $17 per 10-pack
Despite everything I just said, smoking joints will never get old for me. There’s too much nostalgia and heritage and history there, and there’s nothing that can substitute an evening stroll with a joint. But there are plenty of ways to do so. Hemp papers are more sustainable than conventional rolling papers, contain minimal fibrous flavor, and provide just enough grip for rookies to easily roll one up. People really love this High Hemp brand, and if you’re looking for alternative blunt wraps, their hemp fan leaf wraps are what people first fell for. 

The Pax 3 | Namaste Vaporizers/Emily Carpenter

Flower & Oil Portable Vaporizer

Price: $200

If you love vaporizing weed, then you might look into a more established Volcano at home. But if you’re the average weed enjoyer who dabbles in all methods, a portable vaporizer that can be used to smoke real flower or straight-up concentrate is going to check all necessary boxes. Yes, this is super expensive. But it’s the only quality vaporizer that actually does all it says it does, heats the chamber in 20 seconds flat, and lasts years with proper cleaning and charging. 

This may be a hot take but...I don’t recommend  the $10 vape pens you buy with your CO2 cartridge at the dispensary. Besides the Vitamin E acetate debacle of 2019, you just have no idea of the quality of a pen unless you know where they sourced the raw parts of the pens themselves. It’s safer, and in most cases, tastier, to just buy your desired oil by the gram (or half gram, or even third of a gram in some shops) and invest in a vaporizer you’ll use for many sessions.

4-piece Santa Cruz Shredder | Bloomgroove/Emily Carpenter

A Sturdy Grinder

4-Piece Santa Cruz Shredder
Price: $ 74.50

A grinder isn’t absolutely necessary for all flower consumption, but you simply can’t roll a decent joint or blunt without a good grinder. And boy, does quality matter when it comes to a grinder. Poorly-designed grinders get stuck after two turns and don’t come unstuck easily. If it isn’t the right coating or material, more of your weed gets stuck in the teeth than falls down into the chamber. I have owned the same medium-sized, 4-piece Shredder for 6+ years, and I’ve never had to clean it once. Sticky flower slides off the teeth, perfectly chopped every time, and it’s never gotten stuck, despite sitting in my cold basement and hot car trunk for months at a time.

Twisted Bee Hemp Wick | Amazon/Emily Carpenter

Hemp Wick

Twisted Bee 100% organic hemp wick 
Price: $17.99

Lighters are so passe. Look inside a millennial tokers’ smoke kit and you’ll see a roll of hemp string coated in beeswax, which you can light once (ok so you still need to own a lighter, but now it will last a year instead of a month) and use throughout your session. Even when smoking solo, it eliminates the risk of inhaling butane fumes. There are a lot of options of hemp wicks and plenty work great, but Twisted Bee costs a little more and the difference in quality is noticeable. It burns even, the wax doesn’t get messy, and there are options for a thicker gauge if you want a slower burn. 

Midnight Pacific Studios Pokers | Stonedware/Emily Carpenter

A Metal Poker Thing

Pokers by Midnight Pacific Studios
Price: $28
This is the secret weapon in any cannabis kit worth its weight. Doesn’t matter how you smoke or what you smoke — you’ll need something shaped like this at some point. From packing a joint or clearing a clogged pipe, to pulling out gunk from your bong’s downstem and grabbing a smudge of concentrate for your dab/PAX 3, this brass tool will come in handy. And when you’re done, cleaning it with a Clorox wipe or some rubbing alcohol and it’s brand new again. 

Happy toking.

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Lauren Yoshiko is a Portland-based writer and co-host of Broccoli Magazine's podcast, Broccoli Talk. She was among the first journalists to cover the commerce and culture of cannabis starting in 2014 and her work has since appeared in Willamette Week, Forbes, Rolling Stone, and Broccoli Magazine, among others. Follow her on Instagram at @laurenyoshiko for Portland breakfast sandwich recs, stoned nail art, and moderate cat content.