One-hitters and dugouts have been around for a long, long time. Yet, they are still one of the most underrated ways of smoking Cannabis. So, what are one-hitters, and what are dugouts? Why are they so popular with the people who use them, and why should you consider getting one as well?
This article will teach you exactly what hitters and dugouts are and how to properly use them. Full disclosure: our store sells a wide range of dugouts and one-hitters. You can find them here.
What are one-hitters?
A one-hitter -also known as a oney, bat, tay, or taster- is a small, straight hand pipe that can be used to smoke small amounts of Cannabis at a time. The main difference between a one-hitter and a hand pipe is the size and placement of the bowl. Hand pipes usually feature a larger bowl placed at a 90° angle from the stem. One-hitters also have a bowl, but their bowl is smaller, cone-shaped, and integrated into one end of the pipe, with a tube running straight from the bowl to the mouthpiece. This is why they are often referred to as ‘front loaders.’
Also, a regular hand pipe can usually pack enough herb for at least 4-6 hits. The amount you can load in a one-hitter is much smaller, usually just enough for one single hit, hence the name.
One-hitters can vary in length but are usually 3 to 4 inches long. They pack just enough herb for a single long hit. Modern one-hitters often closely resemble cigarettes in both size and colour. They are often painted white with an orange filter. This brings us to one of their main advantages: they are a super discreet way of smoking your favourite herb. Unless you run into a fellow cannaseur, most people will assume you’re just lighting a particularly stubborn cigarette.
Examples of glass and metal one-hitter pipes.
Why are one-hitters so popular?
One-hitters have several advantages over standard hand pipes and even chillums.
Size and shape: the size and shape of a one hitter and a dugout make them perfect daily travel companions (in places where it is legal, of course). They are compact, non-intrusive, and light. A dugout easily fits into your pocket or bag.
Easy and quick to use: Once you know how to use it, a one-hitter is a super easy and quick way to get a very nice hit.
Super discreet: as mentioned before, they are a super discreet way to enjoy your favourite herbs.
Less smelly: since there are no burning herbs in between hits, there is also less of that distinct odour that gives away our position.
Pure-tasting herbs: You never inhale half-burned weed or ashes because you burn all the herbs in one single go. Every hit is pure and fresh with only the full flavour of your herbs.
Economical: smoking weed with a one-hitter is about as economical as it gets. You only use a little bit of herb at a time, and nothing gets wasted. Every hit is pure herb, and every bit of herb gets fully used.
The history of one-hitters and Chillums
Nowadays, if someone says one-hitter, they usually mean a relatively short and slender straight pipe made of glass or metal. But one-hitters have been around for a long, long time. Let’s jump into a little bit of history here.
The origins of the one-hitter trace back many millennia. Archaeologists have found one-hitter style pipes that date back to the pre-Columbian era. Tibetan monks were also known to use what we now call Chillums to smoke tobacco and herbs as part of their religious rituals. The Chillums they used were often made of stone or hardwood. Like one-hitters, Chillums are straight pipes, usually conical in shape, that are loaded from the front.
Today’s Chillums still maintain the same conical shape. They are most often made of glass, stone, or ceramics but can also be constructed out of hardwood or even bamboo. The main difference between Chillums and one-hitters is their size. Chillums are usually larger than one-hitters, with a wider front end, allowing you to pack more Cannabis in the front-loading bowl.
What are dugouts?
Dugouts are small containers that are about three to four inches tall with two or three compartments inside. One compartment holds the one-hitter, while the second compartment holds a small amount of finely ground herbs. Sometimes there is a third compartment to store a small lighter or a pipe cleaner. The top of the dugout swivels open and close; to allow easy access and safe storage when not used.
As you can see in this picture of an acrylic dugout, the right compartment holds the one-hitter, and the left compartment holds the herbs.
The compartment containing the one-hitter usually features a spring at the bottom. This way, the one-hitter will automatically pop out when you open the top of the dugout, making it much easier to take your one-hitter out of the dugout.
How to use a one-hitter
Mastering a one-hitter to get a perfect hit every time takes a bit of practice. But if you follow these five easy steps, you will quickly get the hang of it.
Prepare your herbs
Finding the optimal consistency and texture for your herbs is the trickiest part of smoking a one-hitter. You don’t want the herbs to be too finely ground since that would lead to you sucking herbs and ashes through the one-hitter into your mouth. (Trust me, you don’t want to do that, even though you most likely will at the early stages).
You also don’t want too coarse of a texture since that may block the pipe or not burn consistently in one single hit. You want the consistency to be just right.
Cannaseur’s tip: If your herbs are very dry, go for a coarser grind since finely ground dry herbs tend to turn to ashes very quickly and can easily travel up the tube to your mouth. On the other hand, if your herbs are a bit moist, go for a finer grind to avoid big chunks that will block the airflow and have trouble igniting.
Since every grinder grinds differently, we can’t really give you any advice on how long to grind.
We suggest you take a batch and grind it up to a consistency you think will work. Load it into your one-hitter and try it. You will quickly realize if you need finer or more coarse ground herbs. Experiment with different consistencies until you find the perfect blend.
Load your herbs
The next step is to load your one-hitter. This is where a dugout really comes in handy. The herb compartment makes it really easy to pack your one-hitter. Just dip the one-hitter into the herb-filled chamber, gently twisting it in a single direction, filling up the one-hitter’s bowl with your herbs.
The next best thing to a dugout would be a small metal or glass container. A smell-proof thumb-sized container would be perfect, but the bottom compartment of your grinder will also work nicely. (That is unless your grinder contains a metal mesh to filter the kief at the bottom. Don’t push your one-hitter down on your mesh).
Again, just dip the front of your pipe into the herbs, gently twisting it as you push down.
Cannaseur’s tip: you want to load your one hitter tightly but without cramming too much weed into the front-loading bowl. A tightly packed yet slightly ‘fluffier’ load often burns better than a bowl that’s packed way too tight. Plus, there are no laws that state you have to smoke as much weed as possible in a single hit. You can always take two (or three or four) separate hits, refilling your one-hitter each time. There is no reason to hurry through our stash.
Light your herbs
Lighting your one-hitter takes a bit of a different approach than lighting a bong, pipe, or joint. Rather than holding the flame right at the bowl’s opening, start by holding the flame a little way away and lower. You want to kind of suck the flame towards you as you take a long, gentle inhale. Once your herbs start glowing, stop the flame and gently increase the amount of air you inhale to light the rest of the herbs.
Inhale (the smoke, not your herbs)
Don’t inhale too strongly at the beginning. Start slow and build it up gently. You don’t want to inhale so forcefully that you inhale parts of the herbs (if that happens all the time, you may want to try a bit coarser grind) or ashes. What you’re looking for is a steady gentle inhale that only pulls in the smoke and leaves the herbs and ashes where they are. Again, when you start out with a one-hitter, take your time to try different methods. You will get better at it as you get more experience over time.
Clean your one-hitter
After each hit, you will want to clean the ashes out of your one-hitter. Some one-hitters let you push the ashes out of the bowl with a sprinloaded tab. For other one-hitters, you will need to gently tap the ashes out and/or clean the bowl with a piece of cloth, pipe cleaner, or paper towel. When the bowl is clean, you’re ready for your next hit.
Cannaseur’s tip 1:
Depending on the frequency of use, you will want to clean the entire inside of your one-hitter regularly. You can use dish soap (for minimal amounts of build-up), alcohol (for medium build-up), or bong cleaners (for large build-up) to clean the inside of your one-hitter. Although we find that a daily rinse with hot water (and a drop of soap) goes a long way toward keeping your one-hitter clean and fresh.
Cannaseur’s tip 2:
For complete cleaning of your one-hitter:
- Fill a resealable plastic bag with pipe cleaner solution (or alcohol and salt), and drop your one-hitter into the solution.
- Reseal the bag and shake it to let the solution penetrate the entire pipe.
- Let it sit for several minutes, and then shake the bag again. The alcohol/salt mixture will dissolve any goo and resin that has built up inside the pipe.
- Once the pipe is clean, rinse it thoroughly under lukewarm water.
We blow through the pipe to dry the inside and then let the pipe dry up in the open air.
How to use a one-hitter in company
You would think that a one-hitter is a very personal item. And it very well can be. But that doesn’t mean you can not enjoy your one-hitter in the company of others. In fact, you can share it just like you would share a joint. Load your one-hitter, take a good hit, ash it out and pass it on. Load-puff-pass rather than puff-puff-pas.
One of the major advantages of smoking a one-hitter over a joint is that every hit is pure and fresh. No ashes, half-burnt rosin, or flowers. Just fresh green (or purple, or brown,) herbs.
when smoking with others, prepare a small bowl with perfectly ground herbs to pass around with the one-hitter. Each person loads the one-hitter by dipping it into the weed, takes a good hit, cleans it, and passes it on.
Why you should try out a one-hitter/dugout
One-hitters are one of the most underrated ways of smoking your favourite herbs. Yet, they offer quite a few advantages over hand pipes, bongs, and joints/blunts. One-hitters allow you to discreetly get a quick hit or to take your time and smoke several bowls with a perfectly fresh, fully flavoured hit each time. They also allow you to micro-dose, giving you complete control over your herbal intake. Plus, if you are on a budget, one-hitters and dugouts are relatively cheap and let you use every last little crumb of your weed without wasting any of it in-between drags.
As stated before, we offer a wide variety of wooden and metal dugouts as well as several one-hitters and Chillums. They make the perfect gift for a friend or for yourself. You can find them here.
(Note, all our prices include shipping, so you know exactly how much it will cost to have the perfect dugout or one-hitter delivered to your door.)