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Method 1 - Making a Traditional Pipe

You’ll need a pull-tab aluminum can (a 12-ounce soda can or a larger tallboy style works best) for this process. You’ll want to ensure the liquid inside is emptied and the can is rinsed with clean water. Once dry, you can follow these steps:

1.) Make an Indention on the Side of the Can

To begin the process, we’ll need a point where we plan to place the marijuana. Your best bet is on the opposite side of the hole you normally drink out of. At this point, use your thumb to make an indent that resembles a shallow groove.

2.) Poke Holes into Indentation

You’ll need to create the surface your bud needs to be placed in. For this, you can use a needle, pin, or other thin sharp object. You want these holes to be big enough to pass through air, but small enough to prevent the cannabis from burning through.

The best option is to create a grate-like pattern (similar to a pasta strainer). Make sure you’re doing so in the indentation – this will help keep your marijuana within the “bowl” of your pipe.

3.) Make a Larger Hole on the Side

Similar to traditional pipes, you’ll want a hole on the side of the can that allows you to control airflow. You can puncture this with a sharp pencil, pen, or screwdriver.

4.) Finishing Touches

To optimize your pipe can, there are a few minor steps you’ll want to take. The first is to remove the tab of the can. We recommend being careful with this process as uncautious removal can leave a sharp metal prick at the mouthpiece.

From there, you’ll want to condition the can by heating the smoking areas. In other words, you’ll want to coat the indented area of the can with a heat source (i.e. a lighter). While there’s no scientific evidence for this, it’s believed to remove any chemicals that might be harmful to your smoking experience.

Method 2 - Making a Water Pipe

If you want something that’ll provide a bit of a harder hit, we recommend making a water pipe. For this, you’ll need:

  • Two 12-ounce cans
  • Tape
  • Can opener
  • Scissors
  • A mouthpiece (can be from a bong or made from aluminum)
  • Water

1.) Remove Can Ends and Bend Sharp Edges

With the can opener, remove both ends of one can and the top end of the other. These will serve as the mouthpiece and base of your mini bong. If you don’t have a can opener, you can use scissors for this process, but this method is less effective.

Once you’ve completed this, you’ll be left with sharp edges of the can where you’ve cut. You’ll want to bend them inwards and cover them with tape. This is to ensure you don’t cut your mouth when you eventually use the can.

2.) Poke a Hole into the Base Can

On the side of the base can, you’ll want a large hole to fit the stem of the mouthpiece into. For this, you can use a sharp pencil, pen, or screwdriver. We recommend rounding the edges of this hole or covering it with tape.

3.) Attach the Mouthpiece

In the hole you’ve just created, you want to attach the mouthpiece. Again, you can use an old bong head or make one yourself out of aluminum. Just ensure your mouthpiece fits snuggly into the hole, with pockets of air being covered by tape.

4.) Attach the Cans and Fill with Water

Now that your mouthpiece is secured, you want to attach the top can to the base can using tape. Double-check to ensure air isn’t able to pass through this.

From there, you’ll want to fill the contraption up with just enough water so the stem of the mouthpiece is submerged. With that, you’re good to smoke!

Potential Health Risks for Pipe Cans

It’s important to understand that heating and inhaling aluminum can cause neurological diseases. Admittedly, lighting a can with a lighter is unlikely to cause high enough heat for vaporization. Still, this isn’t the healthiest option for smoking cannabis.

While research is inconclusiveit’s believed that aluminum can cause Alzheimer’s Disease, other brain disorders, and cancer. This is because the plastics in the paint and inner lining of a can contain BPA.

If you just need a temporary pipe while you look for a replacement, using an aluminum can once or twice is unlikely to cause these conditions. However, long-term use can be dangerous and we do not recommend it.