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Why Glass is Better?

Why Glass is Better

Why Glass is Better?

Glass tobacco pipes stormed into smoke shops worldwide starting in the mid 90’s. Lately though, consumer taste has drifted towards electrics for convenience, we are now finding that these ‘pens’ and ‘vapes’ are not all they’re cracked up to be. First, they may be called vape, but they are anything but vaporizing. When your Cannabis is in contact with the heating element, that’s combustion. Period. Recent testing during the vape crisis found dramatic toxicity levels from the lead and cadmium solder used to assemble the heating elements in the majority of pen vapes.

Now at a time when we are social distancing for fears of a pandemic, maybe a review of why glass has been the go to material for pipes for the last 30 years will be helpful.

▪ Health: Since smoking is at its heart, a communal or social experience, we often pass the dutchie at the sesh. Your lips are now going to be touching whatever the person next to you has on their lips. Not so good these days. The godfather of Glass Pipes; Bob Snodgrass, observed that Glass would be a great alternative to rolling papers, metal, stone or wood pipes and plastic vape pen mouthpieces because Pyrex had almost zero surface porosity. The surface of most materials is porous (little holes) and provides places for bacteria and viruses to hide to escape disinfection. Think acne in the pores of your face; scrub and squeeze all you want, skin still has high porosity and so does paper, metal, wood, stone and plastic/silicone. Pyrex does not. Without the little holes for the bad stuff to hide in, all you have to do is pass your glass pipe mouthpiece over the lighter you are already holding. Voila, sterility. No Corona Virus here thank you very much!

Much has been made (incorrectly) of the inherent health benefits of vaping. I agree that Vape Pens are both convenient and clandestine, but I disagree whole heartedly that there are ‘health benefits’. Solvents are used to make the cannabis extract (not concentrate) in the first place, and then thinners and aerosolizers (vitamin E acetate or poly ethylene glycol) are added to make the pen work. Since solvents strip out all the beneficial parts of cannabis in an effort to contain the smell, Pens only deliver THC. The euphoric effect of THC is downgraded substantially because that euphoria requires ALL of the plant to get CBD, CBN, CBG and the natural flavor profile of organic terpenes. Vapes get you sort of high. Sure, your cart says Strawberry Cough but that doesn’t mean the strain anymore, it’s describing the flavoring chemicals that have been added to make it taste and smell like Strawberry. Ok, so, you can smoke a bowl of flower from a glass pipe, or, you can add solvents, aerosolizers and flavorant chemicals to increase your convenience. Maybe you should read about the transition from rolling papers to cigarettes and how convenience in the form of a pre-packaged cigarette masked the chemicals that harmed so very many people. There is NO health benefit to vaping, it’s just a convenient way to sort of get high.

▪ Flavor Enhancer: Glass tobacco pipes were developed to provide a pure smoking experience by eliminating the competing tastes of metal, wood, plastic/silicone and other porous or burnable materials, in effect isolating the natural flavor of the leaf. Whether enjoying a beautiful handpipe, bubbler or a pure glass hookah you can be assured that glass will not impart any undesirable flavors or tastes.

▪ Color Changing Artwork: In the early 1990’s, glass artists began experimenting with silver and gold fuming processes in an effort to change the characteristics of glass handmade pipes. What was discovered was that a thin layer of pure gold and/or silver applied to the inside or the surface of the pipe created a unique phenomenon once leaf resin was introduced to the product. The tobacco particulate, combined with the precious metals refracted the light much like a prism (think Dark Side of the Moon), causing the pipe to change colors. Additionally, different tobaccos produced different hues ensuring completely unique hand pipes based on individual usage.

▪ Renewable: One key characteristic of glass is its ability to not only be cleaned repeatedly but also sterilized, killing harmful bacteria (See Above). Wood, metal, stone and plastic pipes cannot be thoroughly cleaned due to their inherent porosity, allowing various bacteria to lurk in your pipe. A thorough cleaning of your glass pipe via commercially available cleaners, or a common dishwasher will return your handpipe to its near original state. This provides the user with a clean palette for a completely new and different color changing experience.

▪ Uniqueness: Unlike metal, wood, or other glass machine manufactured pipes, each handmade handpipe is blown by glass artists in our state of the art glass studio. While we strive to ensure consistency and keep our products true to their cataloged likeness, no two pieces are exactly alike. Each Chameleon Glass pipe is truly a one of a kind original.

Chameleon Glass…..Accept no substitutes!!

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Comments (5)

  • Salvador Monroy

    Congratulations Chameleon Glass!.
    Very interesting article. As a everyday smoker is important to know the real implications of consumption in order to reduce damage. Nature is always the best way to go, is like food. There is no comparison between processed food VS real food cooked prepared the same day.
    Glass offers different smoking experiences going from a one-hitter, steam rollers, sherlock, bubblers, water pipes, bongs, and more! I was surprised that changing between different glass pipes delivered different sensations and effects. As asthma user the water filtration pipes gives my lungs and throat the best care, rather than vape pens that nowadays is more difficult one to find a decent one rather that cheap low quality / high residue of butane, alcohol, and fake synthetic terps.
    Also, having a hand made unique design with art is something I really appreciate, the cost reflexes not only the handwork but also the quality ; with today’s economy buying cheap disposable pipes VS investing in a good one reusable for the whole life , makes every $ worth it, it just like everything you invest in: you have to take care of it.

    January 19, 2023 at 7:02 pm
  • BruceOfWaynes

    This article is ridiculously disingenuous. No one ever meant that vape carts are healthier. That’s not a position anyone holds, nor is it an argument anyone’s ever tried to make. Especially of the commercially available ones. I’m fairly certain you know this.

    The argument is that dry herb vaping is healthier, and therefore the way of the future. These statements are both very true. It’s also a cleaner buzz, and winds up far less sleepy towards the end. And glass still plays a large role in that process, so you all can chill with the propaganda articles advocating for inhaling carcinogens at 600° and burning the hell out your lungs, rather than pointing people in the *much* healthier direction of inhaling vapors at 300-400° and not ruining the only body we’ve got.

    People are still gonna buy glass regardless of whether they smoke or vape. Being purposefully manipulative and obtuse isn’t a good look fellas.

    September 29, 2023 at 6:34 pm
  • BruceOfWaynes

    Combustion also *ONLY* occurs over certain temperatures. Period. It has nothing to do with what the material is contacting. Whatsoever. Flower will not combust unless it’s heated to over 451°. Concentrates will not combust unless heated to upwards of 600°. Period.

    September 29, 2023 at 6:39 pm
  • Ken Kulow

    Hi Bruce, The only purposefully manipulations out there are claims that vaping is healthier than smoking, wether it is an outright statement or clever inclusions of health related concerns.
    I completely and 100% concur that true, air over vaporizing is the best, however, numbers show that more than 95% of products sold as vaporizers are NOT air over style and are therefore, not vaping. Whether it is conduction (extract in heating chamber) or the addition of thinners, solvents and aerosolizers, human beings are being sold a load of BS about what they are inhaling, and because it’s convenient, just like Philip Morris sold convenience about cigarettes, people buy it. And who is PM behind now? JUUL. How’s that cigarette / Strawberry Nicotene Pack doing these days?,Juul%20Lawsuits%20%26%20Settlements,fuelling%20an%20underage%20vaping%20epidemic.

    Gives (cough) new meaning (Cough) to Strawberry Cough (cough) flavor to (cough) cover that yummy Vitamin E (Cough) Acetate and tasty Poly (cough) Ethylene Glycol additives that make the ‘vape’ work.

    October 2, 2023 at 9:21 am
  • Ken Kulow

    We’ll agree to disagree, but not on the fact that the cannabis is in contact with a material. You are correct that no matter what you choose to put into any ‘vape’ pen has little to do with the lead and/or cadmium based solder used to make the pen work in the first place. When those elements are heated, they off gas. You could have nothing in the pen vape, turn it on and heat it with nothing in the chamber at all and still be sucking toxicity. Of course that ignores the solvents, thinners and aerosolizers in the cannabis oil all together (we chatted about those in your last post).

    Every vape pen user I have spoken with has no idea how they work. They believe that since it is for sale in the US, it is inherantly safe. That is an incorrect assumption. When more consumers ask questions about these issues, then and only then will the people making these available for sale be held to account, which will change (read: remove harmful toxins) how Vape Pens are 1) Manufactured and 2) How Cannabis is processed to work in the Vape Pens.

    I think the current case in Oklahoma involving a cultivator being falsely accused of providing tainted medicine (you guessed it, turns out the cart from china was the origin of the toxicity) will be a watershed for cannabis users who like to vape. There are already better made/safer pens that are focussed on clean concentrates, which as demand grows, supply will follow, prices will come down and clean concentrates not solvent extracts will dominate for the future.

    Bruce, feel free to lambaste those that call for change or those that publically point out uncomfortable truths about completely unregulated industries and providers of hardware from countries that have time and again not shown interest in the health of their customers.

    October 2, 2023 at 9:42 am

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