Getting To Know Glass Pipes

  • 5 min read


Getting To Know Glass Pipes: A Guide To Glass Art 


Why are glass pipes the best option to smoke a bowl? 

           Firstly: There are many means of smoking cannabis. From old school wood pipes to metal pipes, even the “poke a hole in an apple” trick; then there are glass pipes. Though those other means do technically work, cannabis is known for its flavor profiles and purity, and no one likes a bad tasting bowl during a chill 420 sesh. Metal pipes can release toxic chemicals under combustion and wood pipes can produce an unsavory flavor due to the wood burning, don’t even get me started on fruit-based pipes... This is where glass pipes come in!

            Glass is a highly versatile medium to craft amazing works of functional art with, it can be heated to high heat safely, and emits no toxic fumes or bad taste (and is also not a fruit). There is a reason it has become the cannabis community standard and by far the most used way to smoke flower and concentrates. In fact, an entire community of glass artists have formed a permanent cornerstone in cannabis culture and industry, which is why you are reading this today!


Types of Glass Pipes

            There are as many pipes and pipe styles as there are artists making them, but here are a few of the main heavy hitting genres:

Spoon Pipes

            Let’s kick this list off with spoon pipes, or hand pipes, as they are a classic favorite. You can see why they are called “spoon pipes” when you look at the shape of the piece. One end has the mouthpiece, and the other end has a bowl punched into it. From here, you can tell if it is a “lefty” or a “righty” based on the position of the carburetor, or carb, for short. The carb allows the smoker to clear the pipe after a pull through the mouthpiece by removing the finger covering the carb. It can be used by both left and right-handed people by the way, it's just a matter of preference (do you like to cover the carb with your thumb or index finger?).

            Spoon pipes are commonly a next step for glass artists and pipe makers after chillums (more on that next). In fact, you could say making one's first spoon pipe is a rite of passage for most functional glass artists and pipe makers. Although simple in shape and design, countless styles, shape variants and techniques can be used to craft these culturally iconic pieces that are made by seasoned artists and beginners alike.


Chillums and One Hitters

            Often one of the first pieces to come off a new lampworkers torch, these convenient little guys can fit in a palm or pocket for a quick discreet toke. They come in a variety of styles and sizes from the traditional style to the more modern “one hitter” straight tube variety. They are simple to use as you just need to stuff, light, and pull.

 Just as an important side note: buying a new glassblower’s one hitter means more to them then when you buy their 100th bong. This is a pipe maker's first glass work and supporting them means the world to them, and the future of the glass community.


Sherlock Pipes

            The glass variant of the pipe used by Sherlock Holmes that has become a widely used and whimsical favorite of many stoners and smokers. Similar in function to a regular spoon pipe, but the stem (or neck) of the pipe is bent in a “U” shape or stretched to create the iconic (and our shop fav) Gandalf pipe. Just as functional as a spoon pipe, but just extra fantastical, because obviously why not!


Bongs & Water Pipes

            Another iconic way to toke, bongs are a classic method of blazing it up. By using water, bongs are able to cool off the smoke as it is filtered through the water and eliminates some of the harsher aspects of some herbs. Coming in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, bongs, or water pipes, can provide a small easy going hit from a mini tube or a “I forgot today was today” rip off of a 6-foot party bong. Bongs feature a lot of different filtration methods on top of just holding water in a beaker base or straight tube. Both types can also have a variety of percolators or “percs” for short. Honestly, this could be its own article, but a few main types you will find in glass bongs are: showerhead percs, disc percs, ice catchers, frit percs, and that’s just a few.



            Bubblers are that happy medium between a bong and a regular hand pipe. The user gets the portability of a spoon pipe but the functionality of a bong. Bubblers come in a bunch of different styles like hammer bubblers or even some concentrate rigs that like to sneak into this category.


Dab Rigs

            Then there are dab rigs. Smoking concentrates is quickly becoming one of the main ways of smoking as it provides more medicinal value with less dry herb smoking, and can often be more convenient, as well as significantly stronger. Instead of using a dry herb, or flower, bowl, where fire is used to light a bowl, a nail, or banger is used. These can be glass, ceramic, quartz, or titanium. The nail or banger is heated with a torch and the radiant heat vaporizes the concentrate that you then inhale. Concentrate rigs come in a lot of different styles and preferences. From slush cups, to recycler rigs and SO much more.



Choosing a pipe


What to Look For

            You have probably heard the term “heady”. Heady originally meant “thick”, it now refers to a glass piece that is super dank and very well worked. Although the meaning is different, thickness is still what you want to look for in pipes. You don’t want something falling and breaking (as easily). Any old glass won’t do. The industry standard is borosilicate glass, it has proven to be the best and strongest glass to create pipes and bongs from. Bottom line – avoid cheap or knock off glass. It will break sooner than later, and buying from the glass community promotes the cannabis culture and glass art scene.


How Do You Want To Smoke?

            Like most of us, probably a few different ways, so you will likely end up with a collection as you enjoy glass pieces more. Are you going on a hike? Take the spoon pipe. Need a coffee table piece? Maybe the bong or bubbler is best. Are you going there and back again on an epic quest to stop Sauron and destroy the ring? Better be equipped with a Gandalf pipe.


It Takes Passion

            In the end, you will probably enjoy having at least a few types of pipes, or maybe you will become a high-end collector who enjoys an awesome functional glass art gallery. Who knows, but you never know till you try! There is an absolutely incredible glass and cannabis community out there that is highly passionate about what they do because maybe you did buy their first one hitters, and now you are looking at their latest and greatest work of art in that jaw dropping glass gallery. This community only grows as people support it, which is what brought us here, just as it likely brought you here.