Monday, April 30, 2012

Buying a Piece Part One: What kind of piece do you need?

If you're anything like the stoners that I know, you can't get enough stoner gadgets. Visions of grinders and ice catchers and colorful bongs dance through your dreams. Or maybe you don't own any yet, but your friend's bong makes your mouth water. You're interested in finding a smoking device that you love just as much. This is the post in a series about finding the right piece for you, whether you're a beginner or a veteran.

Though it is an oft-overlooked point, you should first think about who you usually smoke with. The size of the group that you toke with really affects what piece is best to use. (I will be leaving out joints & blunts, because they're not exactly gadgets that you keep around.)

If you usually smoke alone or with a small group, you should look into buying:
  • Basic pipe, small bowl. This is usually people's first piece, because it is the simplest and most versatile. Most are made of glass, and small enough to be very portable. You can find varying bowl sizes, so if you smoke alone you can avoid packing a huge bowl and having it go stale when you can't finish it.
  • Bubbler. Bubblers are pipes (again, usually glass) that force the smoke through water. It's healthier than some other methods but it is much less portable and stealthy.
  • Vaporgenie. I reviewed this piece earlier, and it's definitely my new favorite way of smoking. It's stealthy, healthy, and doesn't create any smell. However, it's not good for large groups because the bowl is relatively small, the weed will burn if it gets too hot after multiple uses, and there is a learning curve for actually using it.
  • MFLB. There's no really good reason that this CAN'T be smoked in large groups, but it's so convenient for stealthy outdoor toking that I decided to put it in this category. If used for a long period of time (like being passed along in a large group) it can sometimes get too hot for your lips.
If, however, you're popular enough to regularly smoke with a large group of friends (five or more people), some of these options might be better choices for you:
  • Bong. Bongs are good for groups because you can customize them. Get a bowl that's deep so you don't have to keep re-packing it.
  • Pipe with a deep bowl. Contrary to what I said about pipes above, some are constructed with deeper bowls and are better for groups.
  • Volcano Vaporizer. That is, if you're super rich. They're definitely worth it, but only if you have a large income and a lot of people who would use it often. If you live in an apartment or house with multiple people, this may be a good investment to share.
  • Hookah is marketed towards tobacco users, but you can certainly mix some pot in with your shisha.
Stay tuned for the rest of the series!