Tips for Using Your Glass Water Pipe
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Cannabis is becoming big business. If you’re new to the industry, you might be wondering about using glass water pipes, which are often called bongs. Water pipes have filtering effects, which makes them a little healthier than smoking cannabis or tobacco. The smoke is smoother, which means that it doesn’t irritate your throat like cigarettes or joints can. Glass water pipes filter out a lot of the carcinogens associated with smoking, but it’s important to note that using a water pipe drives the smoke deeper into your lungs.
Choosing Your Water Pipe
If you’re investing in your first water pipe, you’ll find dozens of options. A smaller pipe is more discreet and portable, while larger glass water pipes are often centerpieces. Look at the base of the pipe versus the size of the top and the neck. Water pipes that have a strong base and center of balance are generally more durable. Larger pipes generally cost more, but you’ll have more diversity in long-term use. Glass water pipes can be used with dry herbs and concentrates, but if you’re using dry herbs, you’ll want a flower bowl joint. A concentrate uses an attachment called a nail.
It makes sense to look at the quality of the glass. Glass water pipes made in the U.S.A. are made of high quality borosilicate glass, which is the same material used in making scientific lab equipment. Water pipes made in other countries may be a lower quality and not as durable. Glass thickness is another consideration. Thicker glass is obviously more durable than a thinner glass. Most commonly, glass will range in 3 mm to 9 mm thick. However, if given a choice of thicker, lower quality glass or thinner, high-quality glass, go with the quality. You should also look at the joint welds of the piece you’re buying. Cleaner welds indicate a more skilled glass blower.
Always Start Clean
Like with most kitchen equipment, it’s a good idea to clean your glass water pipe with hot water and soap before use. You’ll need to clean it before using it every time, because you want the most effective filtration properties. Your water pipe will come with instructions on cleaning it after use. The smoke buildup on the pipe may be difficult to clean with soap and water. There are formal cleaning products, but many people have success with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and salt. Let the parts of the pipe sit in the mixture for about half an hour, then rinse off the mixture. You might need to repeat, depending on how much resin is actually on the pipe.
Although many people use lighters, hemp wick is recommended to light the bowl. If you’re using a glass water pipe and a lighter, you’re exposed to the butane when inhaling. Hemp wick is simply hemp string covered in wax, usually beeswax, which is all natural and less harmful than butane. The beeswax helps to control the burn and tastes much better than a lighter.