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Marijuana Pipes 101: The Basics of Style and Material

As marijuana becomes legalized across the United States, we want to help you understand the options, styles, durability and materials available in marijuana pipes.

Marijuana Pipes 101: The Basics of Style and Material

There are so many types and styles of cannabis pipes on the market today. One thing is for certain, some pipes are simple in structure and others are complex, ornate and beautiful. They all have the same purpose yet produce different experiences. Today we will focus on some of the most common marijuana pipes.

One Hitters – Light Flavor, All Users, Very Small in Size

These pipes are great if you are looking for just one hit – pretty simple. However, they are also great for being discrete … if that is what you are going for.

Unfortunately, due to the simplicity of this style, it’s challenging for the smoke to clear the pipe/tube, which results in a faster build-up of residue. Frequent cleaning is required.

Grinder/Dugout/Batter

These One-Hitters look and feel like a cigarette.

Chillums

A simple basic tube.

Spoons Pipe – Medium Flavor, Beginners, Range in Sizes

Considered to be one of the most common pipes – the spoon pipe is one piece of material. Lighting and inhaling are done in tandem. Spoons can be basic to very ornate in style. They are also easy to clean and easy to transport.

Water Pipes

There are two main types of water pipes – the Bong (also recognized as Hookah) and the Bubbler. Water pipes can be very beautiful in design – ornate, simplistic or complex. The premise behind the water pipe is that the water is used to ‘cool’ the smoke, thus creating a better and smoother (buttery) experience.

Bong – Intense Flavor, Advance Users, Large in Size

Bongs work to cool the smoke with up to two water chambers, which reduces resins and nicotine. The percolator (second water source) helps to further cool the smoke and support a creamy and delish flavor. Bongs have increased flexibility due to their removable parts – and bonus this makes them easier to clean! Removable parts also open up opportunities to modify your bong to your specifications.

Bubbler – Light/Medium Flavor, Average User, Small in Size

While smaller in size, a Bubbler is similar in that it works to cool the smoke with the use of water, but most only have one water chamber. One of the leading benefits of the bubbler is its portability – it is only one piece! Smaller does mean more of a challenge to clean though, so that’s something to take into consideration.

Vaporizer — Light/Medium Flavor, All Users, Small/Medium in Size

Vaporizers use electricity to heat up your product and produce a significantly less amount of smoke. The tool itself heats up and cools down quickly, which makes it easy to store and transport. A vaporizer is convenient as it contains all the material, so there is no risk of spillage or damage during transportation.

Vaporizers have become very popular. The tool is very easy to use, can be discreet, and appears to have a more ‘professional’ appearance.

One drawback is that vaporizers can be expensive, however you can consider it an investment and shop around for the right product to fit your needs.

Cannabis Pipe Materials

Once you have determined your style of cannabis pipe, next you will need to determine the material you want. The choice of material can impact the flavor, durability, cost and its cleanability. Whether you enjoy marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, the pipe you choose should be based on what works for you and your needs.

Glass

Even though glass may be the most delicate or breakable of all the materials, the benefits of glass outweigh the extra bubble wrap you may need.

Glass is non-porous, which means that all of the smoke will stay inside the pipe, ensuring you are not compromising the flavor. Glass also reduces build up within the pipe so you won’t have to worry as much about bacteria.

The color options for glass pot pipes are endless. Some glass pipes are so beautiful that they can be considered an art piece. Just keep in mind: the more ornate the pipe – the higher the cost.

Cleaning your glass pipe is fairly simple. One option is to boil your pipe in water for up to 10 minutes. We suggest using a colander or a smaller vessel to reduce movement. Another option is alcohol – we recommend a minimum of 91% concentration. Soak your pipe in the alcohol for up to 10 minutes. Rinse and let dry.

Please remember that glass is very fragile and with extreme changes in temp lower quality glass may crack. Wash and transport with care.

Metal

If you are going for durability there is no argument that a metal pipe is the way to go. Unfortunately, the downside to metal is the risk of adding metallic undertones to the flavor of your cannabis.

The cost of metal pipes range significantly based on the type of pipe you choose. One-hitters will be less costly compared to Vaporizers that have more complex parts.

Much like a glass pipe, you can boil your metal pipe in water or soak it in alcohol. It’s important to recognize that metal needs more time to soak, so aim for a minimum of 15 minutes. We do not recommend putting metal pipes in the dishwasher. Dishwasher soaps may tarnish your pipe. For Vaporizers, it is wise to refer to cleaning requirements in your user guide.

Wood pipes have a completely different feel and look than more modern glass and metal pipes. As one of the original materials used for smoking, it still remains a durable and popular pipe today. Additionally, a wood pipe will add its own signature to the flavor of your cannabis.

Reminder: Before using a wooden pipe for the first time you will need to evenly burn the inside of the bowl to create a layer of charcoal.

The best way to clean a wood pipe is to take it apart and use a ‘pipe cleaner’ tool to remove any debris. Run water through the pipe until it is clear.

Learn more at a CannaCon Expo near you!

Whether you are new to the cannabis scene or working to grow your business, CannaCon is the place to meet and network with industry leaders, and learn about new and upcoming products. Register now for CannaCon South, Sept. 27-28, 2019.

The options might seem endless when it comes to choosing marijuana pipes, but use these tips to make the best choice for you and your needs.

Demystifying the Bong, One Myth at a Time

Bongs, which you may also know by slang terms like bubbler, binger, or billy, are water pipes used to smoke cannabis.

They’ve been around for centuries. The word bong is said to have come from the Thai word “baung” for a bamboo tube used for smoking weed.

Today’s bongs look a lot more complicated than a simple bamboo tube, but they all come down to the same basic process.

Read on to learn more about how bongs work and why, contrary to lore, they aren’t actually any better for your lungs than other smoking methods.

Bongs come in all shapes and sizes. Some are very basic with just a bowl and chamber. Others are colorful, mouth-blown works of art.

At the end of the day, they all do basically the same thing: filter and cool the smoke that comes from the burning marijuana.

Bongs generally feature a small bowl that holds dried weed. When you light the weed it combusts. Meanwhile, as you inhale, the water in the bottom of the bong bubbles (or percolates, if you want to get technical). The smoke rises up through the water and then the chamber before entering your mouth and lungs.

If you’re looking for a smoother toke, a bong will give you just that compared to smoking weed rolled in paper.

As expected, the water in a bong eliminates the dry heat you get from a joint. The effect is often described as being cooler, creamy, and smooth rather than harsh.

This effect can be deceiving, though.

While the smoother smoke might feel better on your lungs, you’re still smoking. And that smoke is still filling up your lungs (we’ll spare the lecture on why this is all-around bad news for your health).

Sure, a small amount of the bad stuff might get filtered out. But it’s not enough to make much of a difference.

Yes, this means all those stories about bongs being the “safer” way to smoke are largely based on junk science.

So far, bong safety has been pretty low on the list of priorities when it comes to medical research. But as cannabis becomes legal in more areas, this could change.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health organizations, smoke is harmful to lung health regardless of what you’re smoking because of the carcinogens released from the combustion of materials.

Smoking marijuana, whether via doobie or bong, can harm lung tissues and cause scarring and damage to your small blood vessels.

The tendency to inhale deeply and hold your breath when smoking pot means you’re often exposed to more tar per breath. Plus, bongs are basically a way to get more smoke into your lungs while also making that smoke more pleasant to inhale.

All of these aspects make it easy to overdo it when using a bong.

One other risk to keep in mind is related to the use of plastic bongs. Plastics that contain chemicals like BPA and phthalates have been linked to adverse health effects, including cancer.

Bong health risks aside, depending on where you live and local laws, having a bong with marijuana in it or even just some residue could get you in legal hot water.

Research also shows that marijuana-only smokers have more healthcare visits related to respiratory conditions than nonsmokers, regardless of the method used to inhale the smoke.

How do those fancy bongs, with all their bells and whistles, actually work? Plus, find out whether they're actually easier on your lungs than a joint. ]]>