You never know when there might come a time where all you have is your bud and nothing to smoke out of. These are hard times for every stoner. It’s always handy to know what other options you might find around the house.

Let’s first make it clear that the following methods should only be used as last resorts. If you can go out and buy yourself a glass piece, do that. These aren’t materials traditionally used to smoke weed. A proper bong or pipe will always do your bud more justice. The flavour, the burn, and the smoothness will all be better from an object specially made with these factors in mind.

Nonetheless, the factors mentioned don’t include “high.” That’s because, technically, you’ll be consuming the same amount of THC if you're using the same quantity of the same marijuana flower. Even if not the most pleasant, these stoner MacGyver techniques will surely be effective. Just use them wisely.

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES

We had to start with a method that has been, and still is, super popular. Now making a comeback on social media is smoking out of foodstuffs - the same method your grandpa used during his stoner days.

The easiest fruit to morph into a pipe is the apple. This sturdy yet soft treat will allow you to carve out a pipe system without much effort. Use an empty pen tube or a small knife to carve out the central stem, but not all the way down. Try not to go over three-quarters of the way through. With this hollowed out, do the same thing but perpendicular to your first carve. These two empty tubes should meet at the end.

This is how most people smoke out of fruit. You can always change things up to make them more pleasant to smoke. If you have a bowl, place it on the top of the apple. Or, you could use the tip of a pen or any other material (that doesn’t melt or release harmful fumes) as a bowl.

You can customise things further by changing the type and quantity of fruit. Essentially, anything will work as long as you can build an airflow system like with the apple. You can even stack vegetables and fruit together to build a larger and tastier bong. You might even be able to add water if you use a pineapple, for example. Or, try doing it with a coconut and use its natural water! For this, you would stick a hollow tube through the side, carve out the top and pull from there. Surely sounds delicious.

The options are endless, try out some and choose your favourites.

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES

DON’T FORGET YOUR PIPE SCREEN

Whether you make your pipe from a soda can or piece of fruit, you'll want a pipe screen to use with it. If you smoke your weed without a screen, it could be quite an unpleasant experience. A screen keeps the loose bits in your pipe instead of in your mouth, so you can enjoy hitting your bong much more!

So, what pipe screen should you use with your homemade bong? And further, what do you do if there are no screens around?

DIFFERENT TYPES OF PIPE SCREENS

Brass screens

Brass screens are perhaps the most common, featuring in tobacco pipes and many glass and ceramic bongs. You can get them at just about any tobacco store or headshop for little money. These circle-shaped cut-outs are made from brass mesh, with each screen about the size of a small coin. Brass has the advantage that you can bend it easily; this way, you can fit these screens easily into various bowl sizes. If you happen to have brass screens that are a tiny bit too large for your bowl, you can easily cut them to size.

What is their disadvantage? Well, brass screens are not as sturdy as screens made from steel, for example. Although brass screens won’t melt, if you hit your pipe often, they will get weaker over time and break at some point.

Stainless steel screens

Steel screens are often used in silicone bongs and acrylic bongs, although the latter can easily be scratched with these screens. They work just like brass screens, and there is no difference in taste. In fact, aside from their colour, the main difference between these two materials is that steel is more durable.

Because steel screens are not as malleable as brass, fitting them into odd-shaped bowls can be a little more finicky.

Glass or quartz screens

Glass pipe screens are normally made from a special, heavy-duty type of glass called borosilicate. This heat-resistant type of glass won’t crack from changes in temperature, and won’t shatter as easily as regular glassware. Obviously, screens made from glass are not flexible, so you can’t cut them to size. As such, you need to make sure you get the right size for your bowl. As glass doesn’t wear out, these screens can, in principle, last forever; that is, if you don’t break or lose them.

You can also get pipe screens made from quartz, which are even more heat-resistant than glass. Replaceable glass or quartz screens aren’t as common as the aforementioned options, with most high-quality glass bongs incorporating borosilicate or quartz screens right into their design. These often feature decoratively placed holes instead of the ultra-fine mesh of brass or steel.

WHICH PIPE SCREEN IS BEST?

There is really no “best” type of screen—what’s most important is that it fits snugly into your bowl. You know your screen fits if it doesn't pop out after pressing it down into your bowl. The rest, whether you prefer steel, brass, or glass screens, is up to you.

Making Your Own Homemade Bongs

WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE A SCREEN?

Since this article is about making a homemade bong, chances are you don’t have any actual pipe screens around. In this case, you can make some DIY pipe screens for single-time use. Here are your options:

A tried and true method is to take a piece of aluminium foil and poke some holes into it with a toothpick. Form the foil into a suitable-sized screen, and place it into the bowl just like you would an ordinary screen. No worries, the aluminium foil won’t melt when you’re smoking. That said, such a DIY screen may only last one or two sessions before losing its integrity.

You can also make a screen from a paperclip or a similar piece of stiff wire. Bend the wire into a spiral and position it snugly in the bowl. This can work as a halfway-decent screen that keeps larger chunks of ash and weed in your pipe.

If you’re really in a pinch, you can pack your bowl so you don’t need a screen at all. Pack your bowl with the larger weed bits at the bottom—large enough to cover the hole and not immediately get sucked in. Layer the finer particles of weed on top to increase surface area for an ideal smoke. No guarantees with this method, but when all else fails, you might as well optimise the experience as best you can.

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