The Essential Nature of Smoking with Glass


By Jessica M. Hancock

There is something truly special about smoking the perfect bud with the right glass. Glass pipes are an essential and classic way to smoke and there are as many different types of glass as there are varieties of weed. From bubblers to steamrollers, Sherlocks to chillums and spoons, glass hand pipes are exactly what you need when it’s time to chill.

The type of glass you choose is typically based on its characteristics and how you prefer to smoke. Since glass is inert, meaning there is no risk of anything leaching from the pipe to the cannabis flower, glass pipes help ensure that the top-shelf strains you purchase will retain all of their qualities including aroma and flavor. 

Depending on your age, the terms associated with smoking with glass change. The classic nature of hand pipes means that there are generations of smokers out there who were each brought up calling the art of smoking with glass something unique to them. Most notably, “smoking a bowl” is the term used more often than not to describe a type of pipe called borosilicate and is suitable for tokers of all kinds. Bubbler pipes employ the use of a small amount of water to temper the heat of the smoke for a cool, smooth feeling.  Most folks are comfortable with the “dry smoke” that most glass hand pipes offer – load it, heat it, take it in. Relax.

Glass hand pipes are easily collectible as they can be found anywhere and come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Some people see them as functional works of art with collections and displays carefully curated like works of art in a gallery. Others are more practical and see glass pipes as a semi-permanent accessory like a good pair of sunglasses – use ‘em and lose ‘em, but life goes on. There are even glass pipes that double as keychain bobbles. Loving the memory of the sun and sands of Hawaii? There’s a pineapple-shaped glass pipe for that. Wishing you could relive that moment in Alien when that thing came out of that guy’s chest? There’s a glass pipe in the shape of a monster for that! 

Smokers like glass pipes for more than just the novelty of it too! Glass is easy to clean from stem to bowl. Sure, there are special cleaners you can pick up at your local head shop that purport to get your glass squeaky clean (and this is especially true if you’ve gone a long time and let the resin really build up) but in general, you can just wash your glass pipe with a bit of soap and water, a soft towel, and some gentle elbow grease. 

The first glass pipes have been around for literally decades (much longer if you consider hooka and similar-type pipes used by people in the Arab world for millennia) but the quirky and more fanciful glass pipes seen today are a relatively new thing to enjoy. Unfortunately, until recently the artists making glass pipes such as Bob Snodgrass and Jason Harris were forced to produce their products underground because the US Federal Government was actively arresting and prosecuting anyone producing cannabis paraphernalia. However, now that the cannabis industry is benefiting from the relaxation of laws geared toward its products, you can find glass pipes and much more for sale in shops and online all over the country. 

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