The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: A Timeline of Smoking Devices Through the Decades

A single marijuana leaf on parchment paper

The history of smoking weed spans countless centuries, and it’s still being written today. From the classic pipe to our revolutionary THC inhaler, people love experimenting with new ways to get high. Of course, smoking devices haven’t always been readily available (or even legal), but that’s never stopped people from indulging.

Here’s a history of how stoners have smoked bud over the years.

Ancient Potheads

For as long as there has been fire, people have been crafting smoking tools for ceremonies and rituals, as well as relaxation and fellowship. When it comes to the history of smoking weed, humans have probably been toking for much longer than we even realize.

A wooden spoon sits on top of countless hemp seeds

So far, the oldest remnants of archaic smoking sessions date back to around 5,000 years ago.   Archaeologists found a “smoking cup” filled with burnt hemp seeds in an ancient burial ground in Romania. Now, if they were smoking hemp seeds, it was probably a pretty weak buzz, to say the least, but that does mean they were on the right track!

Cannabis was grown and cultivated in many ancient cultures, but for many years there wasn’t really any concrete proof that the plants were part of the history of smoking weed. Of course, one could reasonably assume that they were up to some funny business, but it wasn’t until 2019 that proof was discovered.

In 2019, archaeologists found ten wooden bowls in a 2,500-year-old burial ground in Central Asia. These bowls weren’t for eating soup or cereal. They were filled with small stones that had been heated to extremely high temperatures for the purpose of burning plants and incense. Lo and behold, one of the bowls contained burnt cannabis plant matter—not just hemp seeds! In other words, they found the first (known) cashed bowl.

The next few centuries in the history of smoking weed involve mostly what you’d expect—simple pipes, incense bowls, and other crude smoking devices. However, ancient versions of water pipes have also been discovered over the years, mainly in Russia and China. Rolling papers were first sold on a large scale in Spain in 1703, although reports of them being used date back to the early 1500s.

Back to Modern Times

After centuries of people enjoying weed, it was only in the early 1900s when marijuana became villainized, especially in the U.S. The introduction of the Marihuana Tax of 1937 was the first step. When the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 was passed, weed became a Schedule 1 drug—the darkest point in the history of smoking weed.

Fortunately, society is finally catching up to the ancient people in regards to how marijuana is viewed and treated. We’re not there yet, but we’re finally on the right track. That said, many smokers can still remember a time when smoking paraphernalia was illegal, and in many places, they still have to be sold “for tobacco use only.”

Psychedelic hippie VW van driving at sunset

Until the 1960s, marijuana accessories weren’t readily available. Those who were brave enough to indulge in the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s likely used cigarette/cigar rolling papers, tobacco pipes, or homemade devices. In the ‘60s, the hippie movement spurred the creation of handmade glass pipes that are still iconic when it comes to the history of smoking weed both then and now.

Besides glass bowls, the emerging marijuana culture of the ‘60s led to the production of all sorts of pipes, bongs, bubblers, and more throughout the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. Additionally, companies started manufacturing rolling papers and blunt wraps specifically for smoking marijuana.

In the mid-2000s, the first modern e-cigarette was invented, and that technology naturally led to the production of THC-based vape pens and tabletop devices, as well as vaporizers for dry flower. While traditional devices remained popular, many potheads were thrilled to get their THC fix in new ways.

Now, as more and more people are looking for ways to get high without smoking or vaping, the THC inhaler has become one of the new go-to smoking devices among today’s stoners. Ex-smokers/vapers and newbies alike appreciate having a discreet, convenient device that delivers instantaneous THC in premeasured doses.

Try a Modern Alternative to Smoking and Vaping

The history of smoking weed isn’t over—it’s just changing. Now that we know about the health risks associated with smoking and vaping, it makes sense to switch to a better alternative. Finding new, better ways to get high is what humankind has been doing for thousands of years!

Interested? Find out where to buy our THC inhalers, and get one for yourself. Even if you don’t stop smoking entirely, it’s always nice to have a portable option for incognito sessions on the go. Contact us or check our FAQ section if you have any questions. Try one today, and njoy a clean, pleasant high anywhere.