Rather than roaching the entire top of your bowl, pick one point to start at. Light one small section of your bowl and take your hit. Your next hit should be from the same exact spot. Your third and perhaps fourth hits should also be from that same exact spot.
Continue with the first section until it is cashed. This is typically 3 to 5 hits depending on how large your pulls are. When one section is complete, use the bottom of your lighter or your poker to push the cashed portion down. This will also help you determine if you have more hits left in this section or not.
Finish one section and sit for a few minutes. Let the marijuana you’ve ingested take effect before you decide if you need more. Remember, you can only get so high, so your brain is going to stop reacting to the marijuana once you’ve reached the maximum effects your body will allow.
Take a break and be active. When you no longer feel the effects, start a new section of your pipe.
When you have finished about half of your packed pipe or bong, stir it. This will show you if you’ve missed anything. It’ll also help you burn the rest of the bowl evenly and reduce wasteful burning. Use your poker or stirring device (I prefer using toothpicks since they are cheap and disposable) and fold the remains from the bottom upward.
If your marijuana flower is a little dry, you’re going to want to snuff out the bowl after each hit to prevent excessive burning. Your lighter fits perfectly into the pipe to stop the “fire” inside it. You can also cover the top of your pipe with your hand, but you risk being burned by lit portions.
Tip: Keep the carb (hole in the side of the bowl portion) closed. Hold your thumb over the hole to stop the smoke from exiting the pipe, which also helps keep the “fire” in the bowl going.
Just as if you were making a cake, don’t forget to scrape the sides. It’s harder to burn the sides of the packed bowl, so they’ll need a little help. Try to put the unburned portion toward the middle.
Using this method, I’m able to get at least a dozen hits from a single bowl. Given the strength of medical marijuana, it only takes a few hits (most of the time) to reach my desired comfort level. If you share with friends often, make sure they’re not roaching the entire top of the freshly packed bowl, explain the method and spread the word.