Wandering through the colorful glass-filled aisles of your local smoke shop can be overwhelming. Between learning the appropriate lingo, deciding what type of piece you want, and figuring out how much you want to spend, there are some things you should know before making an investment. Luckily, we have the answers you need right here.
Where should I go?
Depending on where you live, there are tons of options for purchasing glass. In many states, there are a number smoke shops packed with pieces of all shapes and sizes within driving distance of your home. Now, here’s where the lingo comes into play. In states where cannabis is not recreationally legal, it is not okay to discuss cannabis in smoke shops. That means you can’t tell your cashier that you want to buy a bong to smoke weed without possibly getting kicked out of the store. The b-word (bong) is a no-no, and instead you should tell the cashier you’re looking for a water pipe.
If you aren’t sure if you want a water pipe, ask to see a few different options for smoking dry herb. If you don’t have a smoke shop nearby, you can also buy smoking pieces online. When shopping from the comfort of your couch, be sure to choose a reputable seller to avoid receiving flimsy knockoff glass. Cheap glass is typically thinner than good glass, and is much more likely to shatter when dropped or when exposed to heat. If you want a glass piece to last a long time, it’s a good idea to search for a piece made of borosilicate glass.
What kind of piece should I get?
When choosing a water pipe, bowl, bubbler or one-hitter, it’s important to consider your own smoking habits. If you’re someone who usually smokes alone and want something handheld and portable, a bowl or one-hitter could be a good option. These can be made of glass, silicone, wood, or ceramic, and can vary in size. If you’re clumsy or concerned about spending your money on something you might break, a non-glass option might appeal to you.
Water pipes and bubblers have the advantage of adding water into the mix, which cools down the smoke before you inhale it. This makes your hit a lot less harsh, and some water pipes even include ice pinches and percs to make your hit even smoother. For someone who often smokes in groups or simply wants a customizable smoking experience, a water pipe is the way to go. Bubblers, on the other hand, are a good in-between piece for people who want something smoother than a bowl but less intense than a water pipe. They usually come in a sherlock shape that includes a carb like a bowl, but they allow you to fill a bit of water at the bottom.
How much do I spend?
So you’re probably wondering how much this is going to cost you. Depending on what you choose, a bowl or one-hitter can cost you less than $5 or over $50. This depends on the size and material—if you want a unique heady piece it will likely cost a bit more.
Water pipes can have a huge price range accommodating every budget. At the smoke shop I work at, I’ve sold ones for $15 and some for nearly $1,000. In my experience, the majority of new water pipe buyers spend between $50 and $200. Brand name pieces will usually cost more and ensure higher quality, but there are also plenty of great pieces out there that won’t break the bank.
When it comes to cost, let your smoke shop cashier know how much you’re looking to spend so he or she knows what kinds of pieces to show you (they want to help!) Lastly, be prepared to get what you pay for. If you want the cheapest possible option, it probably won’t last forever or provide the best smoking quality. If you invest in a good piece it can last you for years and years to come.