What Do You Smoke Out of a Glass Pipe?

“What kind of drugs get smoked out of glass pipe?” I hear this question asked by parents a lot – especially early on, when they are first beginning to suspect that their child’s using is more than just casual experimentation.

Often, when confronted with such paraphernalia, a child will respond with statements like “I just tried weed once,” or “I’m holding it for a friend, it’s not a big deal.” Unfortunately, the truth can oftentimes be a lot more grim – glass pipes, while used for smoking cannabis, are also commonly used to smoke crystal methamphetamine, crack cocaine, pcp, opium and other drugs like DMT, a powerful psychedelic that puts the user into a psychotic out of body state.

How to Recognize Meth Use

If the glass pipe has a bulb on one end, it was most likely used to smoke meth out of.

One of the first big warning signs that something other than recreational marijuana smoking is going on is the smell. Crystal meth, sometimes referred to as “ice” or “shards”, puts out a much thicker cloud of smoke than marijuana. While the smell doesn’t linger as powerfully as burnt cannabis, it has a distinct chemical odor that can smell stale. Regardless of whether or not there is a distinct smell left behind, if the glass pipe has a bulb on one end, it was most likely used to smoke meth out of. A meth pipe or any other glass pipe used to smoke it with will often have yellow or burnt streaks around the glass. Crack cocaine has a very distinct smell, like a mix between burning plastic and urine! Crack pipes are also distinct in their shape – they are long, straight glass tubes that are sold as “oil burners” (a common explanation for meth pipes as well). The other types of drugs that can be smoked out of glass pipes are often used in standard cannabis pipes and bongs.

Drug Smoking Paraphernalia

Another big sign of harder drugs than marijuana being used is the discovery of certain things in the trash or around the house. Finding bits of brillo pad or scouring mesh in the trash, with or without ash or burn marks, is a good indicator that someone is smoking crack. Baking soda turning up unexpectedly in someone’s room, as well as big spoons, ladles or pyrex dishes also point to crack use and home production. Mesh screens are also suspect.

Drug Use Excuses

Often, an addict will offer up the excuse that they were “just smoking hash”, out of many of these devices. When I was using, my parents unexpectedly showed up at my apartment one day and found spoons, foil, glass pipes and many of the other things talked about here lying around. I explained all of it away by saying I was “smoking hash oil”, (which in and of itself is extremely powerful and potentially dangerous), and convinced my family it was not a big deal. No parent is excited about the realization that their child is using hard drugs, so it is not uncommon for lies like this to go on for quite a while.

Ultimately there are lots of dangerous drugs that can be smoked out of glass pipes. Be on the lookout for any strange smells, spoons, foil and other potential paraphernalia. All of these things can be indicative of a much larger problem than recreational marijuana use.

  • Robyn M.
    Posted at 19:47h, 27 February Reply

    Howard, I want to thank you for your note to the parents about reaching out to our new members and really embracing our new way of life!!!Your timing was perfect I really needed to hear your insight. Great job!
    thank you ,
    Robyn M. Miracle House mom

  • Smokey Mcpot
    Posted at 14:26h, 15 May Reply

    “smoking hash oil, which in and of itself is extremely powerful and potentially dangerous”

    Oh god this shit is hilarious! Hash oil is not even slightly dangerous. This is the kind of bullshit that make people not take any drugs seriously.

    • Howard Barker
      Posted at 20:05h, 15 May Reply

      Unfortunately, hash oil is more than slightly dangerous. For the potential adverse psychological consequences, see here


      For the potential physical harm that can result from the substance’s production, see here


      While not everyone that tries hash oil will have a psychological break, claiming that it is not even slightly dangerous contributes to users making ignorant decisions when it comes to the drug, and sets individuals up for failure. It is important to educate yourself before making such generalized claims, in order to prevent the spread of misinformation.

      • dave nine
        Posted at 05:22h, 26 July Reply

        Howard the psychotic episodes are not from the hash oil, rather people prone to psychotic episodes are the most likely to self-medicate and bottle everything up inside so when they have these episodes they are magnified in intensity, compared to say a soccer mom who just looses it because her child got an F at school.

        Nobody asked about potential harm coming from production, but if you want to talk about generalized manufacturing incidents, I once knew a man who lost a thumb on a metal die making machine, so do we avoid all things metal because that happened? No.

        It is in fact slightly dangerous, but mostly because it puts the user’s head in the clouds where attention and judgement are sacrificed, sometimes at critical times like driving a car or crossing a busy intersection, straying into a dangerous neighborhood to buy it, and the general company one keeps when living in the drug underworld where just because you aren’t doing meth or heroin, doesn’t necessarily mean that other guy isn’t looking to jack you up for the money in your pocket, the clothes on your back, your car, phone, and then some just to trade it for $20 worth of drugs.

        However it has to be put in perspective. Alcohol is legal and generally puts people in harms way from driving and passing out, at a much greater rate than hash oil alone. Mixing drugs, well that’s a whole other can of worms because you can get in trouble just mixing beer and sinus medication, being legal to drive even from a blood alcohol level standpoint, but blacking out and end up killing people in an accident.

        Howard it is important for you too, to educate yourself. Pointing to one study or report that backs up your claim, does not erase other contradictory reports, studies, and information out there. I do feel it is safe to say that not ingesting hash oil in any way is safer than doing so, all else equal, but when is all else ever equal? To some extent if someone wants to do drugs, it’s a little bit of a relief that they turned to hash or pot, except for that part about being a potential gateway drug and putting the user into a lifestyle where they’re exposed to more dangerous people in general. Some may say potheads aren’t dangerous, but that dealer who sells it may have other clients doing other drugs, the friends doing it might do other drugs, and the overall decline in quality of life makes a persons choices different than if they had more to lose.

        I suppose overall the main thing I take exception to is the idea that it is “extremely powerful”. In the general context of life, let alone drugs, it’s not very powerful at all. Further someone who has graduated to hash oil over the starter pot products such as a joint or edibles, usually already knows the experience and how to manage it.

  • Linzi
    Posted at 04:27h, 23 June Reply

    Thank you for the above information. Today I found a used pipe made out of clear glass with a short straight tube and a funnel shape at one end. What is it? The residue is black.

    • Howard Barker
      Posted at 17:02h, 23 June Reply

      Linzi, their are a couple possibilities but that sounds like a pipe made for smoking methamphetamine or crack cocaine. If there is a bulb on one end, chances are it is for methamphetamine. If there is no bulb and it is shorter, it was probably used for crack cocaine.

      • Julianne Mossak
        Posted at 22:18h, 07 April Reply

        Howard, I’ve seen your posts and was hoping I could find an answer to what is Dukas (?sp)

      • Howie the duck
        Posted at 02:46h, 10 June Reply

        Or more likely if it has a funnel on the end, it’s a stem/bowl for a bong and mostly used for weed expecially with the black. Maybe see what it smells like

  • Nancy Stoddard
    Posted at 13:22h, 01 July Reply

    We are concerned about our son returning to old habits. I found more than one table knife that looked like it had been heated up with a flame and burnt, and had black residue on it. Your response will be greatly appreciated.

    • Howard Barker
      Posted at 21:13h, 01 July Reply

      Hi Nancy, a table knife can be used to smoke either hash or heroin. If you are concerned, feel free to give us a call.

  • Angie Elliott
    Posted at 04:31h, 06 August Reply

    Hi, I am VERY new to all of this, but what exactly is a table knife? Or what does it look like? What color is heroin? Powdery at all? Similar to Meth at all? Also where are you located Howard? Thanks so much!

    • Howard Barker
      Posted at 19:44h, 07 August Reply

      Hi Angie! A table knife is anything like a regular metal butter or dinner knife that has a flat surface and can be heated by flame. If they have been used for this purpose they will often be charred and marked from being heated. Heroin comes in a variety of colors. On the west coast of the US, it is typically found as a black, tarry substance (black tar heroin). It can easily be mistaken for something else and often has a distinct vinegary or coffee like odor. On the east coast and midwest it is often found as a powdery white or grey substance. We are located in Los Angeles, California! Hope this was helpful, feel free to shoot us an email if you have more questions!

  • Marie Darwin
    Posted at 14:48h, 02 March Reply

    Recently I witnessed our tenant light something up in the kitchen of our rental.. There was an intense flame that was emitted after I saw her hands lift something up to her face but which was inches away from her mouth.. I was surprised because the flame looked more like the flame from a torch of some variety as it was very intense. She then opened the back door & stuck her head out quickly then came back into the kitchen & did it again. I stood there watching very surprised and angry as I thought she was smoking pot (my only reference point as I don’t know much about things that are smoked apart from pot and cigarettes).. We’ve a no illegal drug policy on our property & absolutely no smoking cigarettes in the house so I immediately texted em about it after which very stressful telephone confrontations ensued whereby anything of the sort which I’d witnessed, was vehemently denied.. Ultimately she stated she’d been sneaking her sisters cigarettes but wouldn’t admit to having smoked in the house (which is what I’d witnessed). After giving it some thought & doing a little research I now know that there are more drugs which can be smoked.. This gal is a ‘recovering’ addict.. but perhaps there’s been a relapse?! I’m really unsure what to think at this point with all of the additional reading that I’ve done. How do I broach this very personal & deeply troubling topic with her/them..? We’ve a (0) tolerance policy but I care very much about our tenants & would like her to talk to me openly about it if she needs help again..! Stressed Out!

    • New Life House
      Posted at 23:13h, 02 March Reply

      Marie thank you for your comment. You have a kind heart to have that kind of care for someone you do not know very well, and it can be difficult to balance that kind of sympathy with the type of job you have so we admire your courage. Opening the lines of communication with someone who has a drug problem can be very hard for both sides, but it is also the first step in helping them. Someone who is in active addiction can react in a variety of different ways, depending on whether they want to stop or not. You will more than likely be able to get a feel for their disposition after a short conversation with them. Should the conversation learn towards her not wanting to get help, you may wish to stay more in your role as a manager and take the necessary steps to remove them from your building. But if they do indeed want to seek help, point them in the right direction! Provided information or a phone number for professional help or simply lend your ear for awhile. You’d be surprised how much they might open up, and you’ll feel good about yourself as well.

    • Bill Smith
      Posted at 15:42h, 09 April Reply

      Marie Darwin, out of curiosity, how did you witness this? We’re you visiting and they still denied it? If so, that’s some serious denial going on with your tenant, and they have a serious problem.

    • Aaron Someone
      Posted at 02:40h, 23 July Reply

      Hi there Marie, you may want to check the laws in your state about tenant surveillance. Most states have laws against watching your tenants and they can sue you for doing so.

    • dave nine
      Posted at 05:31h, 26 July Reply

      Any action is premature at this point. Maybe it was a cigarette or maybe something else but no tenant is going to react well to over-supervision from a landlord, and any active drug addict is going to lie, lie, lie, about anything that it benefits them to lie about. It is also reasonable to assume that a recovering addict is (usually) a cigarette smoker so it would not be surprising at all if it were merely a cigarette and yet, if the weather outside was fair, still a little strange that she wouldn’t just smoke outside unless this is also barred.

      Ultimately I would wait for other signs of being a bad tenant. If the rent isn’t paid, police showing up, other disturbances, etc. In other words things that directly effect your housing and community.

  • Concerned Bypasser
    Posted at 04:11h, 19 March Reply

    You realize Hash is just a THC concentrate right? Where there are no reported deaths in history on, and don’t just assume that everyone makes the stuff if they smoke it, most people buy it.

  • Concerned husband and father
    Posted at 20:28h, 18 July Reply

    I appreciate you sharing your experiences and knowledge. I have found a glass pipe with a bulb end such as you describe for smoking meth. He is a cigarette smoker but has switched from a regular Bic type lighter to butane or jet torch lighters. I have also found spoons with burned/scorched markings, a surgical tubing tourniquet, small plastic containers with white crystalline rocks, and mini plastic baggies with white powder. Is there any realistic, innocent explanation for these items? I walked in on him smoking from the pipe and he was trying to act as if it was something akin to vaping. The smell was not unpleasant at all but I cannot think of any reason to have these items – separately, let alone together – that wouldn’t involve use of at least meth. We are in the Midwest (where you describe heroin more commonly in white powdery form). It appears there is meth use and heroin, too, yes?

    • New Life House
      Posted at 22:08h, 18 July Reply

      Concerned Husband & Father –

      Thank you for your comment and reaching out for help. All of this paraphernalia you have come across point to both the use of methampetamine as well has heroin use. You have every right to be concerned, and unfortunately there are no realistic or innocent explanations for any of the items you have found. You may wish to learn a bit more about drug paraphernalia and use from our other articles; educate yourself and be a bit more direct with your son about his use. Should have have need of any further help or questions, do not hesitate to call us at (888)357-7577.

  • Darrick Ronson
    Posted at 22:32h, 19 July Reply

    I found My black son on my office laptop at 3am this morning, It was like out of a horror film….he was just sitting like a ashy lips zombie in some strange trance… masturbating himself while googling japanese “hentai” cartoons (i had never heard of them until he told me what they were) … upon further investigation a bag full of glass-like shards were found near his nightstand and also a glass bulb pipe.. He told me he swears he was just smoking a new type of “wax” (which is a type of weed apparently) but I think he is smoking meth?

    • Na
      Posted at 06:54h, 05 August Reply

      Yes That Is DEFINITELY METH!!!

  • Narutoko
    Posted at 20:38h, 14 January Reply

    The glass pipe with an open funnel sounds like a chillum (used for smoking marijuana or use with a bong) with a bit of marijuana resin or a glass part with a stem for a bong (marijuana). Going off of smell would be best. If there is brown with the black, it more than likely is marijuana. I can’t tell what years these were posted but marijuana is becoming legalized in states. For the person owning the apartment, if it was a marijuana based product, you are living in a medical marijuana state and the person has their card, they do have some protection with it, deeming it being a medically prescribed medication. Posting this in 2019.

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