How to use a one-hitter pipe

When it comes to consuming cannabis, so many methods exist that it can be bewildering to pick the best one for each situation. Pipes, bongs, vapes, joints, and bubblers are all ways to enjoy fresh flower, but not every device fits every situation. When all you want is a quick, tiny hit of cannabis, a one-hitter may be the perfect addition to your consumption collection.

What is a one-hitter pipe?

A one-hitter is any small-sized pipe that — true to its name — can be packed with cannabis and finished in one hit.

They come in many materials, such as ceramic and glass, and are often designed with a mouthpiece on one end and a small bowl on the other. They range in appearance from cylindrical and cone-shaped to elaborate and more discreet designs. In fact, many one-hitters are decorated to disguise them as tobacco cigarettes.

Most one-hitters don't include a carb, the small hole found on the side of a typical cannabis pipe. It's often rendered unnecessary by the small amount of flower that fits inside the chamber. Often one-hitters come as part of a "dugout" set: a box with one compartment for storing cannabis and one for the pipe itself.

A one-hitter pipe, sometimes called a chillum, taster bat, or taster, is a personal object, perfect for those who opt not to smoke with other people. One-hitters can also be used as a discreet way to smoke cannabis in public settings.

Why use a one-hitter pipe?

There are many reasons to keep a one-hitter pipe in your consumption toolkit.

One-hitters are great for new consumers.

Those who want to ease their way into the cannabis world can take baby steps using a one-hitter. The tiny pipes carry only a single hit and are excellent for preventing new users from consuming too much weed on their first try. 

Over time, a cannabis consumer may wish to graduate to a larger pipe or vaporizer for portable use. Conversely, smokers seeking a substantial amount of THC will likely dislike the repeated process of packing a small bowl. 

They're convenient for on-the-go cannabis consumers.

Chillums are also an excellent consumption tool for on-the-go cannabis users. They — along with their matching dugouts — are small and portable enough to fit both pipe and flower in a pocket or bag, all without adding extra weight. Compared to larger vaporizers or even a bong, a one-hitter pipe is a favorable alternative.

One-hitters are discreet.

Thanks to their small size and cylindrical shape, most people don't think twice when they see someone using a one-hitter pipe in public. They produce less smoke than a pipe or joint and can be easily stowed away after inhaling.

One-hitters conserve cannabis.

When you're running low on weed, a one-hitter pipe makes it easy to enjoy smoking while conserving supplies. Because you're burning and inhaling the whole chamber at once, your consumption is more efficient. This saves more flower than a pipe or bong because consumers often over-pack the bowl with those devices. The whole bowl gets charred by the fire but only half of it actually gets consumed. By using less weed, chillums help a stash last much longer.

How do you use a one-hitter pipe?

Time needed: 10 minutes.

The process of smoking cannabis with a one-hitter is simple.

  1. Gather the supplies

    Gather a one-hitter, a grinder, a lighter, and your favorite strain of cannabis.

  2. Grind the weed

    Use the grinder to grind the cannabis into small pieces. Don't grind your bud too fine or it will turn to ash quickly without delivering much in the way of smoke.

  3. Pack the bowl

    Pack the bowl of your one-hitter with ground cannabis. Some opt to skip a step by smoking whole, smaller buds if they fit in the chamber. Make sure the marijuana is packed relatively tightly to prevent it from falling out of the pipe.

  4. Light the bowl

    Hold the mouthpiece against your mouth and inhale gently while lighting the end containing the bud. 

  5. Inhale

    Inhale the smoke from the burning cannabis, hold for as long as you'd like, and release the smoke.

  6. Remove used weed and prepare to repack

    The pipe should hold enough cannabis for one quick hit, so remember to dump out the used bud if you want to repeat the process. Either tap the pipe against your palm or blow through the mouthpiece to clear out the used weed. Or purchase a self-ashing model with a spring mechanism to eject the ash. Even if you use a self-asher, be sure to clean your pipe regularly, too, to keep it in the best shape.

How to choose a one-hitter pipe

Before you head to your favorite dispensary or head shop to confront a dizzying array of taster bat options, think about what you're looking for in a one-hitter to help narrow the field. Consider the following and decide which features are most important to you. 


  • Glass generally delivers the best, or cleanest, taste but it also breaks easily. 
  • Acrylic is nearly indestructible but some think it lends a weird taste to weed. 
  • Metal is another good choice for durability and the possibility of added features but it, too, can affect the taste of your hit. 
  • Wood is a classic choice for durability, and any taste it adds is pleasant, but cleaning can be nearly impossible. 


  • Glass pieces can be intricate and beautiful but may not travel well without a dugout or other case. 
  • Slim metal pieces are highly portable but may affect the taste or bend if they aren't made well. 
  • Combo pieces that include another material over glass deliver better durability but wind up being bulkier than other options. 


  • Self-ashing mechanisms quickly and easily dislodge ash and prolong the time between needed cleanings.
  • Metal or acrylic armor wrapped around glass pieces delivers the taste of glass and the longevity of other materials.
  • Bubble or wedge on glass pieces keeps them from rolling off tables and breaking. 
  • Inner chambers or other designs channel and cool the smoke before it's inhaled.

Bottom line

One of the great things about one-hitters — beyond being easy to use — is that the price tag is normally small compared to other gear like bongs, vaporizers, and elaborate dab rigs. That makes it easier to try a few different materials and styles while deciding on your perfect one-hitter. 

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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on May 27, 2022.