Smoking Weed Resin: How to Get it Out of a Pipe

Every smoker, at one point or the other, has smoked cannabis residue, even though many don’t like admitting it. It’s most common when a smoker runs out of bud and can’t get more almost immediately, but the boredom or craving for marijuana is irresistible. So what happens next? You just decide to smoke the leftovers in your pipe, at least until you restock your shelf with fresh cannabis products. But should you smoke resins at all? Let’s find out!

What is Marijuana Resin?

Marijuana resins are basically the byproducts/leftovers of your herbs and cannabis products that remain in your smoking tool. The leftovers build up to form tar and black gunk over time in the chamber of your vaporizer or at the bottom of your water pipe as you continue to use the unit.

If you let the resins continue to build up, then it will clog the air path of your pipe. So it’s best to clean your unit now and then. Some smokers do regular maintenance on their pipes while others prefer to clean theirs once in two weeks or monthly. The bottom line is, if you use your pipe for a long time without washing, it becomes hard to clean.

Does it Contain THC

It is quite difficult to determine the exact ratio of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in resin. However, I do know that since resins are byproducts, they contain a lesser amount of THC than the real stuff. 

Can you Get High from Smoking Resin?

Although resin still contains some THC, it won’t get you as high as the actual herbs – or you will have to smoke a lot of resins to get high. And of course, that is not advisable because it is a very awful and unhealthy way to get high. 

Dangers of Smoking Weed Residue

Aside from being gross, there are problems associated with smoking cannabis leftovers which include:

Harmful to your health

Generally, while smoking is not good for the respiratory system, inhaling resin is far worse and can do more harm to your health. Resins are made up of not just tar alone but also a mixture of ash and carbons. So there’s no argument on how bad smoking resins can be for your health. However, note that this doesn’t mean that those who occasionally smoke weed residue will suffer major health issues. The point is that you will face severe problems when you smoke resins compared to smoking actual herbs over the same period of time. 


Smoking irritates the throat and lungs, and that’s one of the reasons why most people opt-in for vaporizers – to get cool, pure vapors from their buds. However, if you smoke resins, you’d be burning tar and ash, so expect a much harsher and darker smoke, which can cause severe irritation to your throat.

Short High

Since resins still contain some percentage of THC, there is a chance that some people can get high from smoking resin, especially since they are experiencing carbon monoxide intake. But they don’t usually remain high for long which obviously isn’t worth the risks. 


Headaches usually accompany the short highs from smoking residues. Once the highness starts fading, you begin to experience pains around the back and middle of your head.

Different Ways to Smoke it? 

Despite being bad for our bodies, some people still find pleasure in smoking resin. If you are one of them and probably wondering the best way to do so, here are some recommendations. 


This method is quite harsh. The slow-burning rate of resin coupled with the stiffness will reduce the airflow of your joint. This means you will hardly get good smoke when you light up the joint. You may have to light up the joint several times while taking hits. 


You can use your vaporizer to vape leftovers, but it could ruin your device as you may need to vape at extremely high temperatures before the resin can produce thick vapors. 


This is the best way to smoke resin. Scrape the leftovers and roll them into a small resin ball, put in the pipe, and smoke. However, there’s no need for scraping if the bowl already has a lot of resin. I recommend using a water filtration system like a bong or bubbler to help cool the smoke. 

There is no one definitive answer to the question of how best to smoke resin. There are, however, a few key steps that can help increase your chances of a successful and smooth smoke session. First, it is essential to use the best weed pipes available on the market as they will help to deliver a smoother hit and minimize any residual residue in the pipe itself. Another important factor is temperature; you should try to avoid burning any resin that is already in the bowl by starting off with a low flame and slowly increasing it until you achieve a light smolder. Finally, make sure you clear out the bowl completely after each hit, so as not to hold on to burnt or clumped-up leftover residue. With these best practices in mind, smoking resin can be both safe and enjoyable.

How to Scrape Resin

How you scrape resins from your smoking tool depends on the type of pipe you have, and since they differ, you have to apply some creativity while scraping off the resin.  But keep in mind that it is a messy process so try as much as possible to avoid the resin from touching your clothes or skin. If it does, removing the stain comes with a lot of stress. Here are a few tools you can use to scrape out the resin. 

Bobby Pin or hairpin: This is a type of metal or plastic hairpin that women use to hold their hair in place. This pin allows you to bend it to form different shapes. Bobby pins are great for scraping resin as they let you remove the build-up around curve areas with ease. 

Lighter: Another great way to scrape the resin is to dry hit the pipe a couple of times. This heats the leftovers and makes them sticky and easier for you to remove, although the smell will be nasty.

Parchment Paper:  Since scraping resin can mess with your surface, you need non-stick disposable paper to collect the leftovers from your pipe. 

Smoker multi-tool: Although it is not necessary to have this around, it’s cool for scraping-out resins from bowls. 

Note: Only scrape your metal and glass pipes. Avoid scraping plastic pipes as you could ruin them.

How to Clean Your Pipe

As mentioned earlier, it is necessary to clean and maintain your pipe from time to time. Cleaning your pipe regularly will reduce the amount of resin buildup. So what is the best way to clean your pipe? There are two major ways – the cleaning formula method and the homemade method. 

With Formula

These are already made pipe cleaning products that help to remove resin from your smoking tools. Each cleaning formula is designed for a specific material type such as glass, metal, silicone, and acrylic. Ensure that you get the right product for your pipe, but all the formulas are pretty easy to use.

The first thing is to pour the formula inside your pipe, then clog all openings and shake very well for about three minutes. Empty the pipe and rinse with warm water. Allow the pipe to dry completely before using it again. 

Without Formula (salt and isopropyl)

If you prefer homemade cleansers for your pipe, then combining salt and isopropyl alcohol of 99% (for best results. 90% will do the job too) will give you a sparkling new pipe. If you have bulk resins in your pipe, you would want to scrape them out first using any of the tools mentioned earlier. Once you have done that, you will need a plastic ziplock bag. 

Put the pipe in the bag and pour in the iso. Add a tablespoon of sea salt, shake and let it soak for 2 hours.  The salt acts as an abrasive, and it helps to loosen up the resin. Although I have seen some people who used rice in place of salt, it doesn’t really do a great job. Salt generally works best with iso than rice.

After soaking for two hours, shake the bag for about 5 minutes to remove any stubborn resin that’s still hanging in the pipe. Empty the bag and remove the pipe for inspection. It should be clean by now, but if it’s not, you may want to repeat the process or just remove the remaining resin with a cotton swab. 

Once you are satisfied with the outcome, give your pipe a final wash with warm, soapy water. Rinse with clean, warm water and allow to dry before you start using it again. 

I recommend you clean your pipe every week to avoid bulky build-up. It doesn’t really take much time to clean.  You just need to soak your pipe in iso for about five minutes once a week to keep it sparkling clean. But do not use this weekly method for wooden pipes; instead, you can scrub your pipe with a toothbrush soaked in iso to remove the leftovers. 

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