How to Create Your Own Tin Foil Pipe
Because of the long and convoluted history of the legality surrounding weed, employing unorthodox methods for smoking has become both a rite of passage and a “do it yourself” work around due to the unavailability of smoking paraphernalia. This has resulted in some of the most unique and creative methods for smoking cannabis without the use of traditional rolling papers, bongs, or bowls.
While some have resorted to smoking out of apples, a soda can, or even a water bottle, one of the most effective and simplistic DIY methods comes with the homemade aluminum foil pipe.
We’ll break down how to make your own tin foil pipe, and the potential risks associated with this version of a homemade smoking device.
Why Use A Tin Foil Pipe?
As mentioned above, sometimes finding the correct tools to smoke can be a struggle, regardless of whether you are in a legalized cannabis state or not. The unavailability of smoke shops, difficulty with online orders and shipping, or generally just the stigma around smoking weed can prove to be a struggle when sourcing your own pipes or bongs.
Although there are plenty of resources to learn more about cannabis growth, which you can read here, it is still quite a taboo topic in everyday life. The long standing tradition of creating your own methods for smoking have yet to fall out of style, with tin foil pipes being a staple method for easily smoking weed with everyday household items.
Additionally, it can be easily thrown away without the risk of awkwardly hiding or explaining traditional smoking paraphernalia.
What Is A Tin Foil Pipe And How Do I Make One?
Generally, tin or aluminum foil pipes are styled after a traditional pipe or bowl you would use with cannabis, with a bowl or chamber on one end and a stem extending to the lip of the pipe on the other. For this do it yourself method, you will need a few materials:
- Roll of aluminum foil
- Toothpick or needle tipped object
- Pen or pencil
The first step is to cut a foot long square of aluminum foil (12 inches by 12 inches), doing your best to prevent excessive wrinkles or folds before you begin the process. This will allow you to easily roll the aluminum foil and create the cylindrical stem for the pipe.
Next, you will fold this square both horizontally and vertically until you have a 6×6 inch square of aluminum foil. Once you have your square of aluminum foil with its multiple layers, place the pen or pencil across one corner and begin to roll the foil around the pen until you reach the opposite corner.
If you aren’t within reach of a pen, you can also wrap the foil with your finger for a similar width for your stem. While you roll it from corner to corner, attempt to flare out one end giving it a wider opening on one side and tight wrap on the other.
This will give you a wider base for the chamber and a small opening for the lip. Next, take the wider end meant for the chamber and create a crease about one inch from the end of the foil.
Place a business or credit card at this one-inch crease and fold it over until it has a 90-degree bend. Next, you can open up this folded and wider end, creating a chamber to hold your weed.
While optional, the next step involves adding another small piece of aluminum to act as a filter for the chamber. Take a square of aluminum, small enough to for the width to fit within the bowl of the pipe, and add holes with your toothpick for airflow.
Place this filter into the base of the chamber before adding in weed. Next, you will smoke as you would with a normal pipe, lighting the bowl end, and smoking from the smaller lip end.
If you find the aluminum pipe getting too hot while you smoke, you can add in an extra wrap of tin foil around the lip to dissipate the heat.
You can watch here the entire process:
The Risks Of Reusing A Tin Foil Pipe
While using a tin foil pipe may sound like an easy and cheap way of smoking weed, there are risks involved when you consistently smoke from aluminum. Although you may crave THC in your system, smoking through this method also introduces a host of potential toxins to your body.
Because aluminum will break down when exposed to heat, smoking with it regularly will result in the inhalation of these broken down pieces of metal. This can result in a number of serious health issues, most notably respiratory issues or complications with the nervous system.
While not fully studied or proven, aluminum inhalation via smoking has also been linked to increased risks of Alzheimer’s disease, although this point is widely debated. In addition to regular tin foil, aluminum cans are another popular method for smoking weed which also carries its own risks to be made aware of.
Soda cans can oftentimes be lined with polymer plastics that, when burned, can carry the risk of exposure to toxic chemicals which increase the risk of cancer.
Additional risks include:
- Severe cough
- Burns from excessive heat while smoking
- Exposure to toxic food-grade oils when inhaled
- Special coatings or aluminum additives, which can be toxic when inhaled
Frequently Asked Questions
Why can’t I use an aluminum pipe more than once?
Because of the aforementioned exposure to potentially toxic chemicals and particles, the more frequently you use an aluminum pipe, the higher the chance that metal will be broken down and become harmful. While it may be fine for a one time use, regular use of the same (or even potentially different) aluminum pipes will increase your chance of health risks.
Is it dangerous to use aluminum for the bowl piece?
For the most part, as a quick fix you will be fine if you use aluminum as a bowl to smoke weed. As mentioned above, the risks of prolonged and continued exposure to heated and broken down aluminum will carry the most risk.
Using a traditional glass pipe or bong will be the safest option when smoking cannabis.