The first time I smoked weed I was 16 years old, on my way to high school at 7:30 in the morning – in a gas station bathroom. It was a small, hand-rolled joint – the first of many I’d enjoy. Other modes of creative smoking implements would follow – toilet paper rolls […]
The first time I smoked weed I was 16 years old, on my way to high school at 7:30 in the morning – in a gas station bathroom. It was a small, hand-rolled joint – the first of many I’d enjoy.
Other modes of creative smoking implements would follow – toilet paper rolls with aluminum foil, hollowed-out apples, bananas, and even a watermelon sufficed in a pinch.
Cannabis events never disappoint, with the most memorable found at the Seattle Hempfest, via a young man wearing an air mask bong. You just can’t make this stuff up.
This photo found online of a man partaking form a huge snow bong stands out.
My first pipe was carved out of wood, charred from use; then a small metal pipe that looked like hardware – and, no doubt, was really bad for my lungs.
Things have changed a bit since then.
Today, the smoking device options and what to smoke in them is mind-boggling. No longer needing to roll a joint yourself, pre-rolls and cones to fill are abundant, coming in all shapes, sizes and designs. Hand crafted high-end cigar-style joints last many days and come with a hefty price tag – but there’s no denying their beauty and quality.
Ophelia Chong of Stock Pot Images collects vintage cigarettes cases, re-purposing them for joints, inspiring me to find such a case in a collectible shop. The first time I saw this done was at an event in Humboldt County, with hemp expert Paul Von Hartman, flashing a re-purposed case with both joints and his business cards – a double-duty accessory.
High-end accessories are common now in the industry. For years we women have repurposed make-up bags for stash cases with great success – but the odor was always an issue. Today, we have a plethora of options in odor-free containers and pouches.
AnnaBis is a high-end handbag manufacturer, referred to as the Coco Channel of the cannabis stash, with a bevy of odor-free compartments and nooks custom designed to hold all your smoking implements in style.
Lilly Tomlin once said, “… marijuana makes us more creative than we really are,” and nothing is more evident than the repurposing of items into smoking tools. The most impressive was found at an event in California, where an innovative man turned a guitar into a vaporizer unit for those on-stage urges when you just can’t wait to medicate.
The first time bongs came into my radar was when Tommy Chong infamously had his image on one, landing the beloved comic in prison. Ancient history now, but oh the irony. Kudos to Tommy for hanging in there and being one of the most outspoken celebrities in the space.
Admitting here, the first time I ever took a hit off a bong wasn’t until I was in my late 40s, after arriving in Humboldt County to work in media. The bong was huge and difficult to hit from – though my male friends had no troubles.
The male-dominated cannabis industry included man-sized smoking implements, and it would take the females in the industry to step up and demand lady-sized tools.
I remember seeing the first bejeweled bong for women at a cannabis event in San Francisco and it was lovely and inspiring. The ladies had made it to the table and we had our own bling to partake from.
My first lady-sized bong came to me from Jane West of Jane West, Inc. The first from her lifestyle line, it’s a cobalt blue piece that fits perfectly into my feminine hand.
The second bong received with a female touch was from My Bud Vase, fashioned from an actual flower bud vase. It too fits in your hand perfectly, and comes with a forever flower, allowing you to keep it on the table as you would a vase – with no need to hide it away.
While covering the Seattle Hemp Fest, a carburetor pipe fashioned from bamboo caught my eye and is also a favorite hitting machine. It’s also nostalgic, as I remember bamboo bongs being brought over to the mainland in the 70s from Hawaii – with a friend telling me of his own stories of smuggling them to the mainland in a suitcase – long before airport security and bag checks.
Concentrates in all shapes and forms now line dispensary shelves. If someone would have told me I’d be sipping a pen with liquid weed in public, I might have thought they were reading from a Sci-fi novel, but here we are.
My first vaporizer came from the Vapor Brothers in Los Angeles, in the form of a wooden box that I decorated with collage from weed magazines. The young men who developed the box did so for economics, as they were poor surfers from Venice Beach and vaping flower uses a fraction of plant material for greater effect – drawing out the terpenes only, where the beneficial compounds are found.
The first vape pen I every used came from W Vapes, also of Los Angeles, whose owners developed to relieve their own asthma – as vaporizing actually helps heal the lungs and stops the inflammation caused by burning flower, irritated by carbon. The most innovative tool I’ve seen is a re-purposed steroid inhaler for this purpose.
Though I’ve never owned a dab rig, the first time I partook was during a cannabis event – and it was nothing short of divine. Initially, I judged dabbers – comparing them to crack heads – until I met a concentrates maker in Washington State who enlightened me, sharing a patient’s story who came back from extreme stroke just by smoking dabs. It’s all remedy.
Many smoking units have come my way since – pens with interchangeable parts, allowing you to smoke flower or concentrates; pens with high THC; pens with CBD only; and concentrates mixing cannabis with other beneficial herbs in the mix.
Of all the products I’ve tried none come close to the newly innovative Ghost, by Ghost Vapes of Los Angeles. Looking like it came straight from the bar scene in Star Wars, it’s a stunning piece of art, drawing out flavor from terpenes like I’ve never tasted prior.
Its use is likened to a Keurig coffee maker, as it comes with refillable cartridges for flower or concentrates in a handy carrying case. And, unlike other portable vaporizers, its battery pack is something to envy – lasting for many hours in-between charges.
Yes, this stoner from the 70s has seen it all since working in the cannabis space, covering events with the privilege of being able to test numerous products.
With all the innovations and gadgetry out there, I can still honestly say, there is nothing I enjoy more than a hand-rolled joint passed back and forth between friends.
No matter how you choose to partake, there’s no denying it’s tribal, it’s community-building, and it’s a part of our history of the 420 culture that will never get old.