Glass Pipes. Any stoner worth their salt has got one of these basic, but popular tools. Simple to use, and effective at getting you high, a glass pipe combines form, with function. Many pipes are unusual, beautiful and most of all, useful, particularly for the pothead on the go. Made from tempered borosilicate glass, which is the best type of glass to use in smoking equipment because it’s very resistant to thermal shock and doesn’t break at the slightest hint of clumsiness, these little beauties are little more than glass tubes. But they come in countless styles and colors, some even change color, amazing we know, and all give smokers a really nice high.
What are the benefits of using a glass pipe instead of, say, a bong?
Well, first and foremost, there’s no water involved, which is great news if you’re out and about and it’s too windy to roll a spliff, or you’ve forgotten to bring a bottle of water with you to fill your portable H20 pipe with. A small glass pipe can be easily loaded with bud and because the herb is cradled in a bowl, as long as you have a Zippo, you can light the cherry with ease, no matter how windswept your location is. No faffing with water, no removable parts that can get lost or broken, and no fluffing up tobacco to pad out a reefer. All you need are two hands and a healthy set of lungs.
Secondly, a glass pipe is far more portable than even the most portable of bongs. They fit neatly into your pocket and compared to a water pipe, and they’re a doddle to clean too. Other benefits include stronger taste from the weed’s terpenes (the glorious oils which give cannabis its smell and flavor), the buzz they produce is more potent than you would get from a doobie, all glass pipes are made by craftsmen, so no two are exactly alike, and they’re healthier to smoke than joints.
What are the different style of glass pipes are there to buy?
There are five, count ’em, five, different styles of glass pipe being sold in Head Shops, and each one has something to fulfil every stoner’s tastes and expectations.
1. The Chillum
Chillums are the most basic of all glass pipes. They’re small, simple tubes that are essentially glass spliffs. Users pack marijuana into one end, light it up, and inhale from the other. Basic, but effective. Suitable for small amounts of herb.
Spoons, fancier than chillums because these are the type of pipes which come in an array of colors, they’re also more sophisticated than their brethren. That’s because each spoon glass pipe comes with a carburetor. Yep, those things from early automobiles have been shrunk down and help users draw additional air into the pipe. Apologies for applying Jane Austen’s great works into a post about glass pipes, but it’s a truth universally acknowledged that a man, in posession of dank bud, is in need of a spoon to smoke it with. Smokers generally agree that glass pipes with carburetors produce cleaner smoke, and a smoother hit.
They sound scary. But they’re not. Steamrollers are glass pipes which have bowls or fittings on one of its sides. Both ends are open, and the end near the bowl functions as a carburetor. Stoner’s will find chambers between the bowl and the mouthpiece which allow the smoke, and pay attention as this is where the name comes from, to be “rolled” to enhance the cooling process. Not great for the novice stoner, steamrollers are for those who are looking for an intense rip, and with practice, the hits aren’t as hard or hot as other users make them out to be.
4. Sherlock or Gandalf Pipes
It doesn’t matter if you don’t own a deer stalker, or have an epic white beard, you can still look like the world famous detective, Mr. Holmes, or the wise old wizard, Gandalf, with one of these glass pipes. The classic Sherlock pipe has a large bowl and arching stem, whereas the Gandalf pipes are more delicate, with an elongated stem. Even though these look as cool as hell, and you can always smoke tobacco from them if you’re trying to allay suspicion in the park, or at an open air gig, they can be quite harsh on your lungs because not all come with, yep, you’ve guessed it, a carburetor.
The last of the styles, Bubblers are perfect at filtering out the nasties from our weed and/or tobacco, but this is because, unlike the other glass pipes, they require water to work effectively. Yes, we know we mentioned earlier how the other pipes are better because there’s no water involved, but we had to make an exception to the rule. Bubblers combine the portability of a standard hand pipe, but packs the punch and functionality of a bong, so we’ll compromise and call this a mini bong. The increased filtration results in a much cooler and smoother hit. Bubblers really do have some immense percolation power.
So there you have it, plenty of reasons why glass pipes are so brilliant. They’re quirky, easy as pie to use, simple to clean, they’re colorful and most have some sort of filtration device to improve your smoking experience. You can take these anywhere, yes, even bubblers, and they’re discreet, stylish and give tokers a buzz they won’t soon forget. No wonder why they’re a favorite of the dapper green aficionado.