The art and romance of the smoking pipe is alive and well.
There are many ways to medicate with cannabis. You can roll it, eat it, dab it, rub it, vape it, and even drink it. But one popular method, that has never waned, is the good old fashioned smoking pipe. Available in a variety of types, these are appearing in ever more elaborate designs to meet the needs of modern consumers.
Why Smoke a Pipe?
Well for starters, pipes are portable and easy to clean. The residue that often leads to a foul taste can be easily removed from glass or metal pipes. If you’re spending your money on high-quality medicine that’s rich in those all-important terpenes, then you’ll want to ensure that you don’t taint the flavor of the flower with bitter residue.
Most pipes are made from metal or glass, so you can easily avoid any questionable materials such as plastic or toxic metals, which can leach chemicals into your bud when smoking. Pipes are incredibly simple to use, and perhaps out of all the methods of administration, none come easier than simply loading a bowl with fresh flower and lighting it.
As for the cons, well, they’re a little more expensive than rolling papers, and in the case of glass smoking pipes, they’re easily broken — as many of us have found out first hand!
What Makes for a Good Smoking Pipe?
Smoking pipes are often a harsh method of administration. One way to reduce harshness is by choosing a smoking pipe with an increased distance from the bowl to the mouth. But while this may improve taste, it will make the pipe slightly harder to clean.
Discrete portability is another attractive option for many. And with this in mind, many new metal smoking pipes have come on the market that are designed to be collapsible for discrete storage.
If you’re spending a considerable sum of money on a pipe, you’ll want to ensure that you pick a smoking pipe made of the right material. Stone is often better than glass. It’s still portable, but not as easily broken. If you do end up going with a glass option, then check our our piece on the differences between American and Chinese glass to help your decision.
One final feature that people commonly look for in a pipe is a big bowl. With a bigger bowl, you won’t have to reload quite as often. You’ll also get a bigger dose with each smoke.
Types of Smoking Pipes
There are several types of pipes on the market. Even with the rise in concentrates, there’s still no shortage of artists coming up with ever more inventive designs. Here are the main types available.
Small, discrete, and very easily carried and concealed, chillums are great for on-the-go use. These generally take the form of a short and narrow glass pipe where a small amount of cannabis is loaded in at one end. The disadvantage with these pipes is that you generally end up inhaling burned plant matter as you inhale.
Shaped like a spoon with a simple flat design, spoon pipes are great for home use. These contain a carb — a small hole next to the bowl — that helps with airflow. The carb serves an important purpose in the smoking process. When you light the cannabis you should cover the carb with your finger. Upon releasing your finger from the carb, you are able to inhale all the smoke from the bowl.
With spoon smoking pipes, it’s always best to corner the bowl. This is where rather than applying the flame directly over the bowl, you apply it to the rim. This ensures minimal waste for those who choose to smoke their medicine sparingly!
Named after the great detective himself due to its unique shape, the Sherlock pipe features an extended tube that doubles back on itself for a less harsh smoking experience.
Larger and much more delicate than typical spoon pipes, these are certainly not a portable option. Sherlock pipes are best reserved for home use and those who prefer to medicate with sophistication!
Small and compact, and with the added benefits of water filtration, these have become extremely popular. These are similar to bongs but much smaller and more portable. Rather than having a removable bowl, there’s one built into the pipe for an all round easy to use solution. A bubbler pipe might be for you if you want a compact solution with the benefits of water filtration.
Other Types of Pipes: 2 Notable Mentions
Several unique designs for smoking pipes have appeared in recent times. The first is an ultra portable, ultra discrete pipe named the Journey 3. In a die-cast zinc body, smoke is cooled as it navigates the chamber, thus leading to a smoother smoking experience. It’s incredibly portable, shatterproof, and can be disassembled and cleaned in mere seconds.
The freeze pipe is a glass bowl with a Glycerin coil. Before medicating, this pipe needs to be placed in the freezer for an hour. Once you light the bowl, the smoke passes through the frozen chamber and is instantly cooled for a clean, refreshing toke. Anyone who finds their throat easily irritated by smoking a standard pipe may well enjoy the benefits the freeze pipe provides. Of course, it’s not as convenient as you need to freeze for an hour before medicating but it’s definitely worth it!
Cannabis legalization has to led to personalized medicine. Pipes may be a great alternative for you if you’re looking to get away from vaporizers and joints, but still want to smoke your medicine.