Cannabis 101: Smoking Devices & Accessories
Every seasoned toker has a preferred accessory. Some devices are granted a special name sometimes by the maker, and sometimes by the ones who use it. The Steely Dan or the Bazooka, Big Bubba or Princess – the list goes on and on but the memories remain long after these (usually glass) friends take one last tumble off the coffee table. Regardless of shape or size, these devices have a special place in our hearts.
We’ve compiled an accessory guide so the next time you stop by Agate Dreams you can quickly pick up the one that suit your needs – whether that’s finally picking up your first accessory, or adding to a collection. Whatever the case, let’s dive into some of the common devices we use to smoke cannabis flower.
Common categories include:
– Steam Roller
– Classics like glass, wood, and metal pipes
We’ll kick this review off with dry pipes. Dry pipes can range in size from lighter-sized to Gandalf-sized, but the common factor is there is no water used. The most common dry pipes are the small handheld pipes you’ll see in every glass shop (and of course, at Agate Dreams). These pipes are plentiful and come in any color or shape you can imagine.
Of course, there are sub-categories within the dry pipe design. For example, the chillum is a small basic handheld pipe without a carb or bowl. This tube-like pipe design originates from India and has roots throughout Africa as well. Chillums often hold a small amount of cannabis and can usually fit in the palm of your hand, and although it’s rare, sizes as large as a didgeridoo are out there.
Next comes the dugout. Similar in build to the chillum, the dugout is a small piece often manufactured to look like a cigarette. Dugouts come as part of a set. It’s partner, a small box, holds already-ground cannabis (and the device when not in use). The box is used to load the device by jamming the tip into ground cannabis and is good for just 1 or 2 tokes before needing to re-fill.
Another cousin of the dry pipe is the Steamroller. What makes them unique to other dry pipes is the placement of the bowl piece. It’s located on the side of a large cylinder – like a horizontal bong without the water. The open-ness of the pipe means bigger airflow and bigger hits. These are a good go-between for someone looking to transition from pipe to bong.
Common categories include:
– Gravity Bong
Next in our lineup of smoking accessories is the water pipe. Water pipes, or bongs and bubblers, use water filtration to cool the smoke. A typical bong looks very simple, although complex shapes and sizes are common. Most smokers are familiar with the idea of a bong. The basic concept consists of a long tube with a mouthpiece, a base that holds water, and a stem & bowl piece. The bowl and stem hold the bud – and when someone burns it while inhaling through the top of the bong, the smoke travels into the water at the base and bubbles through it – cooling it as it goes. Removing the bowl creates airflow and delivers the cooled-down hit to the smoker, all while making a very satisfying bubbling sound.
As bongs developed over the years, new technologies were introduced to the design. The ice catch was introduced to cool the smoke even more as it passes over the ice and enters the chamber. “Glass on glass” refers to textured glass at the base of the bowl piece that creates a tight seal allowing less air to escape during use, i.e better working bong. Double or triple percolators have been added – this creates additional water cooling sections to a bong. Each bong is unique and finding one that works best for you might involve some research.
If you like the water feature of a bong but want it in a smaller package, a bubbler might be for you. The bubbler, like a bong, uses water to cool the smoke before it reaches the consumer but unlike a bong, they are often much smaller and without a removable bowl piece.
If you’re looking for novelty, gravity bongs harness the power of gravity and water to create a vacuum of sorts. This vacuum draws the smoke out of a bowl piece. The gravity bong didn’t hit the mainstream until this Seth Rogen video came out (do not try this at home unless you consider yourself an experienced smoker). DIY versions of these devices are often constructed at home as they’re easy to make and are great social smoking devices.
Moral of the story, if smoke just comes at you a little too hot, water pipes might be the way to go.
Common categories include:
One of the classic ways to consume cannabis is by smoking a joint. Joints have been around for years and in the U.S., were popularized by hippies during the counterculture movement of the 1960s. Joints have a much longer history though and have had their start attributed to a University of Guadalajara pharmacist in the 1850’s. From there, their popularity spread until prohibition when they fell out of fashion.
Rolling a substance in paper to smoke is not a new idea by any means – but over the years it has developed into an art form for some. As rolling paper quality has increased, so has the ability to be creative with rolling.
You don’t have to know how to roll a joint to smoke one these days. Pre-rolls are one of the top-sellers in retail. The perfect rolled joint is waiting for you at Agate Dreams.
If we’re talking about rolled options, we can’t forget the blunt. A bunt is different from a joint because it uses cigar wraps made of tobacco leaf instead of rolling paper. This creates a unique flavor that some people prefer over a typical joint. Nowadays, you can buy specialty blunt wraps, but before wraps were readily available, people would often remove tobacco from a cigar to create their own wrap. Now we’ve got what you need in-store without the waste or hassle.
Common categories include:
– Dry Flower
Vape devices have become increasingly popular in the i502 market since the first year in Washington. As producers and processors began to see a demand for cannabis oil, the vaporizer came into play and it became a race to create the best vape experience.
There are a few types of vaporizers on the market. The most popular are concentrate or oil vapes, dry flower vaporizers, and some that utilize both technologies. These can be portable, powerful, and stationary. The most common you see at Agate Dreams is the vape pen style. These come as an oil cartridge that connects to a pen-like battery and offers a great alternative to smoke.
Dry flower vapes are less common but still used. These often require ground flower to be added to a ceramic chamber that has a heating element inside. This element usually has a controllable range of temperatures to slowly vaporize your cannabis flower. Dry flower vapes, like the PAX 3, are often high-end accessories and come with the price tag to match.
Stationary vapes are another high-end option, and as the name suggests, are meant to live on a table or surface vs. being handheld. A popular stationary vaporizer is the Volcano. The Volcano was one of the first stationary flower vaporizers on the market. The Volcano was once considered a luxury item because of its price-point but these days the stationary flower vaporizer market has been flooded with competition.
An honorable mention
Last but not least, our honorable mention – The hookah. Usually used for tobacco, the hookah often requires a lot of flower and is designed for use in a group setting. The low heat can help make for a long session as the flower never touches with flame but uses slow low heat similar to a flower vaporizer.
We hope this guide helps set you on the path to finding your next favorite accessory. These are broad categories, each has options within them as unique as the users. Our best advice – take your time when exploring what device is best for you. Good luck out there, Dreamers.