Cannabis bubbler sitting on a tray next to a magazine

What is a Bubbler Pipe & How Does It Work?

When it comes to cannabis, a pipe is not always a pipe. We have hand pipes, spoon pipes, water pipes, Sherlock pipes, and so many more options—including the bubbler pipe. This innovative tool changed the water pipe game and became a convenient option for cannabis enthusiasts interested in portability. In this guide, we’ll dive into the details of bubbler pipes, answering questions that include:

  • What is a Bubbler Pipe?
  • Bubbler vs Water Pipe: What’s the Difference?
  • Bubbler vs Hand Pipe: What’s the Difference?
  • How Do You Use a Bubbler?
  • How Do You Clean a Bubbler?
  • FAQs About Bubblers

What is a Bubbler Pipe?

A bubbler pipe is a small pipe that uses water to filter the smoke before inhalation. While they come in different shapes, sizes, colors, materials, and designs, bubblers all have one thing in common: they make a soft bubbling sound when you inhale. The main advantage bubblers have over other water pipes is that they’re designed to fit in your hand.

Bubbler vs Water Pipe: What’s the Difference?

While a bubbler is a type of water pipe, not all water pipes are bubblers. There are two distinct differences between bubblers and other water pipes: size and design. Bubblers are typically smaller than water pipes or “bongs.”

Many water pipes and bubblers also have a different design to their bowls. While most water pipes have a conical bowl with a stem designed to slip in and out of the pipe, bubblers commonly have a fixed bowl and don’t require a stem because of their size.

Bubbler vs Hand Pipe: What’s the Difference?

There is one significant difference between a cannabis bubbler and a hand pipe—bubblers use water and hand pipes don’t. In general, when someone is talking about a hand pipe, they’re referring to a traditional spoon pipe or chillum. These pipes don’t use water for filtration. Bubblers, a type of water pipe, require water to operate.

How to Use a Bubbler

Using a bubbler is as easy as using any other water pipe. The hardest part of using a bubbler is getting the right amount of water into it. In general, you want enough water so that the water bubbles when you take a drag but does not splash up into the mouthpiece. Once you’ve filled your bubbler a couple of times, you’ll be able to get the right amount every time.

Once you’ve got the water in your bubbler and you’ve packed your bowl with ground flower, ignite the flower with your thumb over the carb (the little hole on the side of your bubbler), and inhale for a couple of seconds. Once the bubbler is filled with smoke, release the carb and inhale. Depending on how long you keep the carb covered, you can take larger doses in a single session, but we always recommend starting slow and with quick hits until you’re used to both the device and the effects of the cannabis.

How to Clean a Bubbler

If you know how to clean your water pipe, cleaning your bubbler is just a tiny bit trickier because of its size. Because you can’t take a bubbler apart, the best way to clean it is by filling it with isopropyl alcohol at the highest concentration you can find (99% is the best). Then, put a small amount of coarse salt into the bubbler. Finally, give it a shake and then leave it alone for an hour.

The alcohol will seep into any resin or grime and help it dissolve. If there’s anything left, when you shake the bubbler, the coarse salt should knock debris loose so you can just pour it out. Repeat this process as many times as needed to get your bubbler clean and then rinse your bubbler with hot water and let it dry.

Answering FAQs About Bubblers

When it comes to pipes, bubblers get some of the most questions from our customers. Here are a few answers to keep you informed:

How much water do you put in a bubbler?
Most bubblers only require a small amount of water to be added to them. To know if you have enough, add water to your bubbler and then take a drag. If it doesn’t bubble, you haven’t added enough. If you get bubbles, you’re good. If you get water in your mouth, you’ve added too much.

Is a bubbler the same as a water pipe?
While not the same, a bubbler is a type of small water pipe.

How often should I change the water in my bubbler?
If you smoke regularly, you should change your water once a day. This will limit resin buildup in your bubbler. If you’re not a regular consumer, you should change the water in your bubbler every couple of days. Not only will this make your cannabis taste better, but it will also keep your bubbler from growing mold or bacteria that could make you sick.

Using a Bubbler

Our goal is to ensure you get the product you want or the tools you need to make a product. Whether you’re purchasing your high quality rosin directly from our dispensary, or looking for premium flower so you can make your rosin at home, our budtenders can help you find exactly what you need.

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.