All about smoking accessories and how to use them
Inhalation is the method most commonly associated with using cannabis.
Accessories like bongs and pipes allow you to use cannabis without the need for rolling papers, while vaporizers heat your cannabis without burning the plant material. Read on to learn about the differences between these tools, and why certain features may be preferred over others.
Before your cannabis is ready to be used, it should be ground to an even consistency to ensure a smoother, consistent burn. This can be done using a grinder, which is a tool with sharp teeth that are rotated back and forth to shred your dried flower.
Grinders come as two, three and four-piece varieties. Two-piece grinders grind cannabis but do not provide a space for the ground flowers to be caught, whereas three-piece grinders include an extra compartment for finely ground cannabis to fall into. A four-piece grinder includes a second compartment to catch extra-fine ground flower, or trichomes.
Pipes are generally smaller tools made of glass, metal or wood.
Glass pipes can be molded into different shapes, allowing manufacturers to be creative in their designs. To use a pipe, dried flower is placed in the pipe’s bowl and then lit.
Bongs are often manufactured with features and attachments meant for extra smoke filtration and cooling, and introduce water as a filtering mechanism. Most bongs are made of glass, however some in BC Cannabis Stores’ selection are made of silicone. Generally, glass bongs are either available in a straight tube or beaker bottom format.
Straight tube bongs tend to be smaller in size to reduce the likelihood of tipping and may have more filtration features, like a percolator, which filters smoke through an internal cooling feature before inhalation. Beaker bottoms with their wider base tend to be larger and more stable.
Most bongs feature a bowl, also referred to as a cone pull-out, where the cannabis is placed before it is lit. Attached to the pull-out is a small cylindrical piece of glass called a downstem, which draws smoke from the pull-out and through the large glass cylinder before inhalation.
Vaporizers are manufactured with a variety of different features, including the ability to customize the exact temperature used to heat cannabis.
Cannabinoids start to turn to vapour around 140°C and combust at 230°C, so vaporizers work within this temperature range, with some vaporizers allowing users to set the temperature to control the release of cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
When it comes to choosing a vaporizer: tabletop vaporizers are a high-tech option for home use, as they plug into a power source and are not easily portable. Smaller and more portable handheld vaporizers are battery-operated or rechargeable. Pen vaporizers are, as the name suggests, roughly the size of a pen, and designed for personal use in appropriate areas.
Some vaporizers are to be used with dried flower only, while others allow dual functionality and can also be used with concentrated cannabis products.
As with any cannabis product, it is important to start low, go slow. Start with just enough dried flower for a single inhalation and wait at least 15 minutes before trying again.
Speak to a BC Cannabis Stores cannabis consultant to find out which accessories might best suit your needs, or visit our product pages to browse our selection.