What's the Craziest Homemade Method For Smoking Weed You've Ever Seen?

Illustration for article titled What's the Craziest Homemade Method For Smoking Weed You've Ever Seen?

Despite an outdated rep in popular culture as slackers, most weed connoisseurs that I know are crafty engineering sorts. A whole DIY culture of creating ways to ingest that sweet, sweet herb exists, especially prevalent in pre-vaporizer days. What’s the most bizarre build you’ve seen?


If you go searching on the internets for ways to smoke without a vape, bong, pipe or papers, you’ll probably come up with results often seen in movies or shows like High Maintenance: using a tin can, an apple or tin foil to DIY a throwaway pipe. These methods are fun and handy in a pinch, but they’re not hugely inventive.

In college on spring break, I was shown a device I can never forget. I do NOT recommend trying this at home, because your poor lungs, but it’s pretty effective as far as maximizing a tiny amount of weed. The dudes who put it together in front of me called it a “shotty,” for reasons unclear, though I imagine it’s because the nasty burst of smoke you derive is akin to taking a “shot” of marijuana. (They did not invent this device. I once had a bus driver who smoked regular cigarettes out of a shotty — a sight I can never unsee.)

It’s pretty simple to construct. You need an empty 12 oz. soda bottle and a standard tire pressure gauge. The hardest part is getting all the actual tire pressure gauge mechanisms out, because what you want to work with is just the empty casing tube. Once you have the tube, you burn a hole in the side of the bottle with a cigarette, then jam the tube halfway in. I recall that some tape was used to seal up the plastic.

Then you use a small ball of tobacco — commonly about a quarter of an inch of a cigarette — as a sort of screen on the top of the tube. You wad up a little bit of dank and put that over the tobacco. The bottle is filled halfway with water and smoked pretty much like an unwieldy water pipe. Light the contents of the tube, tilt the bottle towards you, pull on the mouth of the bottle. The tobacco burns for just long enough to fill the bottle with a thick cloud of smoke, and when it burns up and fresh air is pulled in through the tube, an incredibly powerful punch of smoke is delivered straight into your lungs and brain. Here it is in action:

I repeat that I do not recommend trying the shotty. Even the most experienced smokers I knew were left with horrible racking coughs from the concentrated mix of tobacco and weed; to an amateur I think the experience would be enough to put them off of smoking anything, forever. But I was fascinated by how quick and ingenious the method was to build, and back in my college years, before weed was legalized anywhere in America, it seemed smart to be able to construct a way to partake out of seemingly innocuous objects. It’s hard to get in trouble for carrying a soda bottle and a tire pressure gauge around.


The shotty is pretty gross, however, and many others have come up with cleaner and healthier means of intake. The weed industry has gone high-tech (sorry) as of late, but we know you saw some crazy shit back in the day — and maybe even came up with a consumption method yourself. Uh, for a friend. Tell us in the comments!


Annalee Newitz

Last time I was at Gawker HQ, I taught everybody how to make a pipe out of a Coors can using only a knife and my Elite Skillz. Definitely crazy and homemade, but not exactly an unknown art.