Glass accessories 101
Welcome to our Glass Class! Here you can find out more about how to choose, use, and clean glass cannabis accessories. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions if you have any questions about the use and care of your specific accessory. As with all types of cannabis consumption, start low and go slow when trying new products and new types of accessories. Visit our responsible use blog for more information.
Glass accessories are generally used for the inhalation of smoke from dried flower. Our range of products includes pipes, bongs, and bubblers. Most feature a mouthpiece, chamber, and a bowl to place the cannabis to be combusted or vaporized. Dried flower is combusted and the smoke is inhaled. Consult your healthcare provider if you are concerned about the health effects of smoking.
Most accessories are made of borosilicate glass, which is commonly found in glass cookware as it can withstand high temperatures without breaking. Some accessory attachments are made from quartz or quartz glass, which is a strong material that can also withstand increased temperatures.
Glass accessories 101: Pipes & water pipes
Pipes are smaller cannabis smoking accessories made of glass, metal, silicone, or wood. 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. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions if you have any questions about the use and care of your specific accessory.
While the design of a pipe is generally for aesthetic purposes, some features of the design may affect the cooling and/or filtering of the smoke. Pipes come in different sizes, including the smaller and narrower types that are designed to hold enough dried flower for one inhalation; these pipes are sometimes referred to as ‘one-hitter’ pipes.
Smaller, glass handheld water pipes (referred to as ‘bubblers’) are somewhere between a pipe and a bong, given their size and the fact they use water for cooling the smoke.
AT A GLANCE: PIPES
- Small, simple, and portable.
- Only requires dried flower and a lighter.
- Cannabis is consumed via smoke inhalation.
AT A GLANCE: BUBBLERS
- Smaller and more portable than a bong.
- Only requires dried flower and a lighter.
- Cannabis is consumed via smoke inhalation and water filtration.
Glass accessories 101: Bongs
Some cannabis accessories, such as bongs, use water as a filtration method. This method, referred to as ‘percolation’ reduces the heat of the smoke before inhalation. Percolation is also thought to filter out some particles such as ash and tar. It’s important to clean your bong regularly to avoid the buildup of resin and dirty bong water. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions if you have any questions about the use and care of your specific accessory.
Types of bongs
Bongs are often manufactured with features and attachments that are intended to provide extra smoke filtration and cooling by using water as a filtering mechanism. Most bongs are made of glass, however some are made of silicone. Generally, glass bongs are either available in a straight tube or beaker bottom format.
Beaker bottom bongs tend to be larger and more stable due to their wider base. Straight tube bongs tend to be smaller in size (to reduce the likelihood of tipping) and may have more filtration features, like a percolator (also known as a ‘perc’), which diffuses and filters smoke through an internal cooling feature before inhalation.
Parts of a bong
Ice pinches, a common feature on both straight tube and beaker bottom bongs, are designed to further filter and cool smoke; ice is placed in the ice pinch, and smoke is cooled while it travels past the ice on its way to the mouthpiece.
Most bongs feature a bowl, also referred to as a cone pull-out, where the dried cannabis flower is placed before it is lit.
Attached to the cone 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. Some downstems have slits in them to percolate, or diffuse, the smoke as it travels through the water, which is intended to create a smoother inhale. Other bongs feature a fixed stem that is not removable.
Here at BC Cannabis Stores, we sell replacement parts and attachments for bongs, such as cone pull-outs and downstems.
AT A GLANCE: BONGS
- Range of styles and sizes, most designed for tabletop use.
- Simple to use, but need to be cautious of the potential for tipping and breaking.
- Cannabis is consumed via inhalation of smoke that has been filtered , and may be cooled, through water.
No matter which type of accessory you choose, be sure to use your glassware responsibly.