Glass Pipes 101

Far and away, glass is considered the preferred option for smoking cannabis. It is durable, can withstand high temperatures without degrading, and is easy to clean. Despite its popularity, in many states, it is still illegal to call a bong a bong. Instead, countless shelves across the land proudly display “water pipes” that are strictly “for tobacco use only,” leading to confusion among new and experienced smokers alike.

Well, just what is a “water pipe?” Is it different from a bong? Or a bubbler? Do I need a license to drive a steamroller? What else is out there? After so long in the shadows, many are unfamiliar with some of the most common glass smoking devices. Though there is an endless array of novel glass formations, we’ve collected the most popular and recognizable to everyday smokers.

Buying Glass Pipes for Cannabis Consumption

A quick note about acquiring some of these wonders of engineering: We hate to be the one to spill the beans, but the majority of glass on the market comes from the same select sources. A Roor is a Roor, whether you buy it at the head shop down the street or from a website. More than likely, most of what’s in your local shop came from the same websites you would buy from. Unless you’re a connoisseur seeking local art glass pieces, what you’re actually seeking out is a trusted glass dealer.

Glass Pipes 101

Do your research before dropping some serious coin on a glass piece. If you can, look for reviews and find out where pieces are being sourced from. Though it’s good to support local businesses, buying from a brick-and-mortar shop isn’t always ideal, or even possible, depending on the area. Some shops like to haggle prices, and selection is limited to what’s on the shelves. It’s tough to know whether or not you’re getting a good deal.

If you’re looking for something that your local shop doesn’t stock, just want to browse a wider array of offerings, or hunt out better pricing, modern consumers shouldn’t fear shopping online so long as the retailer is reputable. Sites like Vaporizer Chief provide a central location for many brands and products to sell their goods. Choosing from an online head shop like Vaporizer Chief allows consumers to see a wide variety of marijuana bongs, bubblers, chillums, dab rigs and other glass products all in one central location. Plus, you can find all these products at affordable prices, with all the quality assurances and purchase protection you’d find at any major online retailer.


Glass pipes, like all other pipes, are built for inhaling purposes. Some people use them to smoke standard tobacco. Others enjoy cannabis or hemp flower. It’s all about personal preference. But the great thing about glass pipes, as opposed to wood or clay ones, is that there are no competing flavors to deal with. Wood and clay influence the flavor of your smoke; something that was previously appreciated in the smoking world, but which is fast becoming unpopular.

The modern consumer is looking for a clean smoking experience; one that doesn’t alter or affect the original product in any way, which is why glass pipes are growing in popularity, particularly within the cannabis community. The purer the experience, the better. Consumers want to taste the strain they buy in their cannabis glass pipes and not the pipe they smoke it in.

Glass Pipes 101


Most marijuana glass pipes are crafted by hand using a process that involves blowing the glass into a large bubble, applying regular hexagonal patterns of clear glass to the bubble, and then collapsing it back down into a compact, pipe-like form.

While wood and clay pipes tend to be mass-produced, the glass pipe is a work of art; a unique artisanal composition that ensures that no two cannabis smoking pipes are ever the same. It’s for this reason that the glass pipe is the kind of accessory that cannabis fanatics go wild for.


The range of colors found on a glass pot pipe are created by blowing bubbles into larger melds of clear glass. Some glass blowers choose to weave heated blades of glass together, as though weaving a tapestry. Sometimes cold, colored glass is crushed to make a powder and then rolled into hot, melted glass, layer upon layer to build up some incredible psychedlic effects.

Sandblasters are sometimes used to etch intricate patterns into a semi-finished cannabis glass pipe. A popular technique, known as fritting, is used to leave tiny flecks of crushed, colored glass within the finished piece. The fuming process is another method used to produce color-changing glass.

Gold, silver, cobalt, and a variety of other metal vapors are blown directly through the glass as the pipe is being created. The result here is a very faint metallic tint, but with age and use the trapped metal begins to show more vividly. While silver fuming tends to produce a slightly yellow tint that turns blue with age and use, cobalt fuming produces a deep blue, and gold fuming starts off pink in tone before then assuming a golden hue over time.

Can I Dab with a Bong?

You most certainly can so long as the bong has either a 10mm, 14mm or 18mm joint that will fit a dab nail. It’s best to first talk to the store that you will buying your dab nail from if you are uncertain about whether it will be compatible with you have or intend to buy. Any decent head shop or store should be able to easily establish the right nail for your bong.

Cleaning your bong

Some people consider the grime in their bong to be a badge of honour, I am not one of those people. Your bong water should be changed daily in order to prevent mold and other nasty stuff from forming. I suggest warm soapy water for silicone, plastic, wood or ceramic bongs. You can use strong alcohol or acetone to clean the stubborn bits in all glass bongs and then follow up with a soapy rinse.

There you have it, a thorough lesson in Bongology that will hopefully help you chose the best bong for you. Please comment below with your top bong tips, tricks and hacks.

You can find out Why do people call weed the “Devil’s Lettuce” here!

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