Glass blowers and designers are so creative these days. Sometimes, too creative. There are a few elements to choosing the right smoking accessory (pipe, bowl, whatever you want to call it), that you should take into consideration. Going by look alone might leave you disappointed.
How heavy is the piece? If you have hand issues, a heavy piece might not be the best idea. Then again, if you’re prone to dropping things, it might work to your advantage. A double-walled or thick glass piece is ideal in most situations.
Thicker glass is able to distribute heat better – meaning you won’t burn your fingers off trying to get a couple of hits. It’s also more resistant to cracking if it is dropped a small distance.
Glass pipes can break while you’re cleaning them. Some are made too thin and shatter during the boiling process. Try to find a pipe where the weight is evenly distributed. If you happen to take a few too many hits, you might forget that you have something in your hand and could drop it. It’s happened, believe me.
Make sure you’re holding the piece in your hand before making a purchase. Knowing how it feels and if it’s comfortable is important. It’s just like buying a pair of new shoes – the fit has to be right.
If the pipe doesn’t fit your hand in a way that’s comfortable, set it aside and keep looking. It doesn’t hurt to try a few on for size and then try them again – take your time in finding the piece that fits your hand and grip the best.
Ease of Cleaning
Will this pipe be easy to clean? That is a question you should answer before leaving the dispensary, smoke shop or head shop. Try to look through the holes to see if there is enough space to get a pipe cleaner through it. Can you clean all of the corners easily without leaving resin residue behind?
The way that I clean my pipes may be a little different than your method. I don’t use cleaners. If you don’t rinse all of those cleaners away, you’re inhaling that residue. I just use salt, lemon juice, vinegar and water. I boil the pipe for 30 minutes and then use hot water to run through the piece. If there is still residue inside, I use a pipe cleaner or shave down a chopstick (yes, a chopstick… if you can get it to the right thickness and soak it, it becomes pliable and gets those corners pretty well). Then I let them boil another 15 minutes and repeat. It might take a few cycles, but I prefer to use a non-chemical method).
How much cannabis do you smoke at a time? Will the bowl fit the amount you need to be satisfied? A good test is using a knuckle. I prefer to use the knuckle on my ring finger since a bowl that size will last me all evening (sometimes two evenings depending on the strain). Make sure that you won’t have to repack after a couple of hits because that just gets annoying.
Some cannabis lovers in Arizona have their favorite glass artists and will pay higher prices for their pieces. That’s okay if you have the budget for it, but if you don’t – ask the store attendant or dispensary agent where pieces are that are in a specific price range. This will help prevent you from looking at pieces that are out of your price range.
Is the piece well-made and does the price fit the overall craftsmanship and design? Examine every inch of the piece and make sure it meets your standards.
Did you know that picking out the right smoking accessory was such a process? For some, it might not be. Some cannabis users are in a hurry and don’t pay much attention, they see something they like and buy it without really looking at the piece. That’s fine and dandy, but what happens when you get home and go to use the piece and end up finding out it’s not what you want, expected or prefer? Take those few extra minutes and choose the piece that really fits you well, is comfortable and is affordable.