Glass or Silicone?
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If you’ve ever been into a head shop, or a friend’s university apartment, you’re probably familiar with the classic bong—the somewhat intimidating, psychedelic glass beast tucked beside the couch. But, just like our horizons have expanded in cannabis, accessories have come along way. Glass is still a great option for smoking, but with silicone, smokers now have options. We carry and recommend both options. Read on for some details to help you make your decision next time you’re shopping for a new piece.
Glass is the classic; and a standard for most seasoned smokers. The general opinion (held not just by old hippies), is that glass is the best material to smoke from.
Glass is non-porous, which means it doesn’t hold smells and can’t absorb liquid or gases. And, it’s easy and most durable to clean. So, any resin that does build up, can be scrubbed or treated with specialized cleaner like Purple Power or Orange Chronic. If you don’t want to buy cannabis specific cleaner, alcohol works too. Just make sure it’s the good stuff- 90% or higher isopropyl alcohol and a little salt will do the trick. The design of glass pipes and bongs is often preferred because it’s often one or two glass pieces, meaning there is less to keep track of and less to clean and the most effective way to get a smooth hit with little hiccups like seams along the way.
And – speaking of those psychedelic beasts mentioned earlier, there is an artistic craft to hand blown glass pipes.
One negative of glass is that it’s breakable. Everyone remembers their first heartbreak…of knocking over or dropping their bong or pipe. And, larger glass bongs aren’t quite as portable as small silicone ones.
4″ Classic Spoon by GravThe above 4″ Classic Spoon by Grav is a well made versatile pipe. Grav is known to be one of the best in the business, they look and feel like quality products and they perform just as well. We carry them in a bunch of different colours and they sell for $25.
Silicone is man-made substance made from silicon and oxygen.
One concern people have is if silicone is safe to smoke from. Food safe silicone – the good stuff that quality brands use – is stable and won’t leach any chemicals or produce gas or emissions. Silicone can withstand extreme heat – up to 600°F without warping, melting or breaking down. But don’t go holding a lighter to it, just trust us it’s sturdy. In terms of performance, many avid smokers believe the bubbling system of high quality silicone bongs to be as effective as glass. They do the same job, just in a squishier package. And, it’s highly (heh) portable. Some silicone products (like the ones we sell) even have caps so you can take your bowl to go.
One thing to watch is silicone won’t always show wear and dirtiness as easily as glass. The colours and opaque finish make it harder to see the grime, so try to stay on top of cleaning your pieces. And, if your silicone bong or pipe has a metal or glass part (bowl, screen, rig, etc.) you’ll want to pay extra attention to keeping that clean and/or replaced so you get the best from your accessory.
Silicone won’t last quite as long as a glass piece (so, likely no hand-me-down bongs from your cool uncle’s garage), but it’s super durable.
Here’s a peak at the silicone pipe we love:
We sell this little guy for $10 and it comes in assorted colours. Piecemaker has been known to have knock offs but you know you’re getting the real thing at our shop. We typically also like to have at least one Silicon bong option in stock like the Adventurer by Strong or similar.
Choosing glass or silicone might be as personal to you as what strains or papers you prefer. Both glass and silicone are great options that offer a satisfying and safe session. You do you.
If you have any questions feel free to drop us a line any time. Or if you want to check out our accessories in person come by! We are open 7 days a week.