Vapes are decidedly 21st-century weed paraphernalia; they are sleek and stylish, portable, come in attractive colors with flashing lights and seem to provide a mellow, lingering buzz. Vaporizers have become so popular that many aficionados have dumped all their other devices – their bongs, their rolling papers, their pipes – to use vapes exclusively.
This is a mistake. Vapes are great – sometimes. Other times, you might benefit greatly from a bong rip or a rolled joint. If you blindly believe that there aren’t pros and cons to every smoking device, including vapes, you need to read this guide stat.
Why Vapes Aren’t All That
Vapes work great – until they don’t. Most vape users experience some form of downtime with their devices, especially at the beginning when they are first working out how to use this high-tech smoking tool. This can lead to over-combustion and wasted product, especially if you are using dry herbs. Even more experienced vapers often find their device unusable in some way – perhaps it isn’t charged properly, has gotten clogged or overheated or just isn’t producing the high you need or want.
Worse, vapes are expensive. Not only can the tool itself run several hundreds of dollars, but the best quality oil and wax cartridges also tend to have high price tags. You could scrimp by investing in more affordable concentrates, but since the vape industry is so new and unregulated, you could end up with a meek high and lungs full of toxic chemicals, like formaldehyde.
Vapes are excellent travel-friendly options for smokers on the go, but for a reliable, full-body high that lasts, you probably want to partake in older practices when you are at home.
Bongs are a favorite of novice smokers who are just dipping their toes into weed culture. That’s because bongs produce smooth, thick smoke that makes for an enjoyable high. Plus, bongs can be creative in color and shape, and they are easily shared amongst a group.
Admittedly, there are downsides to bongs. For example, they require frequent maintenance in the form of diligent cleaning and proper storage. Bongs can crack and break when handled improperly, and that does throw money down the drain. Additionally, bongs aren’t exactly portable; they are best kept in one space, like your home, and used there. However, the best heady glass bongs still provide a more consistent high than vapes, and that’s why so many smokers always keep a bong around just in case.
Good Ol’ Pipes
The OG vape, pipes are handheld, portable, cool-looking and convenient. More importantly, pipes produce perhaps the strongest hits across all devices, with no loss of THC due to water filtration, as can occur in bongs. You can buy pipes online and in head shops without a hassle, and they come in a variety of shapes, colors and materials, so you are sure to find one that fits your style.
Yet, the strength of a pipe hit can quickly become too harsh, sticking in the throat and causing coughing fits. Though pipes are easily concealed, their small nature makes burns on the skin and hair more likely. Pipes’ greatest strengths contribute to their weaknesses, but like bongs, they are a good tool to keep in your weed arsenal.
Keep Your Rolling Papers
Rolling papers bring back memories of the old days of marijuana usage, and they remain a fun and functional way to partake. Joints and blunts are good for smokers on the go because they can be rolled and smoked without leaving much evidence of your binge behind. While you can break an individual joint, you can repair or reuse it in an instant unlike other broken weed paraphernalia. Even better, a fat blunt gets tastier and stronger as it burns; the resin inside gets stickier, making the experience all the more pleasant.
Though rolling papers do seem like an ideal method, they do have two significant disadvantages: time and skill. To get an even burn, you need to have nimble fingers for rolling, and you need to take the time to place everything properly. However, it is possible to buy joints pre-rolled or roll them in advance and carry them for later use.
The wide world of weed is much bigger than the vape. Though vaporizers are hot and new, they might not have the staying power of other paraphernalia. You should keep a cadre of tools at hand, in case your vape doesn’t work or you want to try something different for your next high.