How Do You Smoke a Pipe with a Carb?

Firstly, what is a Carb?

The carb, also known as a carb hole or carburetor, is an essential component to practically all smoking pipes and bubblers. What is it exactly? A carb is precisely what it sounds like — a small hole located near the bowl of your pipe that is used to regulate airflow. Unless you are using a bong or other water-based system, chancers are your pipe has a carbregardless of pipe type. It is also important to note that not all carbs will be the same size as well. Regardless, it is essential that beginners learn how to utilize their carb properly. We have provided a cohesive list of steps in the section below.

Types of Pipes

As we have alluded to above, there are multiple types of pipes that utilize a carb. Outside of a standard spoon pipe (the most common), there is Sherlock pipes, Gandalf pipes, bubblers, and steamrollers. Also, there are bongs that utilize carbs but this is more of a rarity.

How to use a Carb while Smoking

  1. With your bowl freshly packed let’s go ahead and locate the carb itself. You should be able find the carb in close proximity to the bowl itself — usually on the side.
  2. Once you have located the carb go ahead and place your thumb over it. You will keep your thumb on the carb for the duration of the lighting and pulling process.
  3. As you light your bowl begin pulling smoothly at a consistent rate. Refrain from pulling too hard to reduce the risk of accidentally inhaling your herb/tobacco products — as you pull smoke will begin to build up in the bottom of the bowl.
  4. With your smoke built up in the pipe, take your thumb off the carb and inhale in a smooth fashion. The goal here is to clear the pipe of any smoke you produce earlier during the lighting process. After taking your first hit there is a good chance that your herb will still be lit. To take another hit place your thumb back on the carb and pull again to begin building up smoke and then release your thumb immediately after. This allows you to take repetitive hits.
  5. Rinse and repeat steps 1-4.

Carb Pipe Smoking Tips

Admittedly, there is an art to working with a carb. Proper usage of a carb will guarantee a great experience for every one of your smoke sessions. That being said, it is easy to make mistakes when using a carb so here are some additional tips.

  • Make sure your thumb is completely over the carb when lighting your bowl. If not, you will have issues with airflow leading to a lackluster smoke. 
  • As with all smoking paraphernalia, it is recommended to keep your equipment clean and free from resin buildups. Sometimes herbs can become caked on the inside of the bowl and the carb causing further airflow issues. This can be remedied by cleaning your setup with 420 cleaner or ISO alcohol. If you don’t have ISO you can also use a combination of hot water and salt.
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