Smoking Safety: What materials are safe to smoke out of? | Wandering Bud
What materials are safe to smoke out of?
Are wondering if that crystal pipe has healing properties for your lungs? Spoiler alert, it doesn’t. Or are you generally curious about what type of materials are safe to smoke from?
Watch this short video and read on to find out!
After owning and running a ceramic smoking accessories brand (Wandering Bud) for over 5 years, we’ve come to learn what materials are good and bad for you to inhale from. The major culprits of unsafe smoking materials are:
- Air-dry clay
- Unglazed clay interiors and bowls
The reason why these materials are unsafe to smoke from are because they contain chemicals and/or materials that are dangerous to inhale either on their own or once heat is applied.
Unsafe materials to smoke out of
Crystals: Crystal pipes are made by drilling a hole from mouthpiece to bowl. This leaves an unsealed crystal channel exposed to smoke and heat, which you are directly inhaling. Dust from this channel sheds when exposed to heat and can contain particles of fine silica, asbestos, and other hazardous materials. Crystal pipes look beautiful, but indeed are very bad for your health. Keep those crystals as display pieces only!
Concrete: Similarly to crystal pipes, concrete pipes are typically not sealed which leave you susceptible to inhaling silica and other hazardous materials.
Air-dry & unglazed clay interiors/bowls: Both air-dry clay & unglazed clay are porous and will harbor bacteria. Since they aren't glazed (glaze = glass) then particles from the clay will shed, which can lead to silicosis (similarly to using crystal and concrete pipes). So keep those art projects away from your lungs and safely on a shelf.
Wood: Woods naturally secrete their own oils, which will burn while lighting and inhaling. Lots of these oils can be poisonous! For example, cedar has turpentine in it and many rosewoods can be poisonous as well. Therefore it’s a big gamble with wood, not to say that you absolutely can’t find a safe one, but I’d just save them for looks.
Resin: Epoxy resin is basically plastic, and as we’ve learned from multiple studies: heating plastic releases chemicals and microplastics, which in turn is not good for your health. A full epoxy resin pipe will never be safe to use due to those chemicals and particles being released when heat is applied, even if the resin is food-safe and heat resistant. Instead, if you’re intrigued by resin pipes, make sure that the interior is glass and is only coated on the outside with resin—still stay diligent in making sure that no resin is touching the inside, holes, or mouthpiece of the pipe. That being said, this is a very tricky material to get right—be careful out there!
Safe materials to smoke out of
All in all, do use glazed ceramic pipes or glass pipes. These materials are always safe bets to smoke out of due to the integrity of the structure, i.e. the molecules that form glass and glazes on ceramic pieces are tight-knit therefore it is not porous and won't harbor bacteria—as long as your staying on top of those regular scheduled cleanings that we talked about in our last post. ;)
When purchasing a ceramic pipe, be sure that the artist glazes the interior of the pipe (glaze = glass). Some ceramicists are jumping into the ceramic pipe world without thoroughly researching and testing safety protocols. If you are unsure whether or not an artist glazes their interiors or uses a food safe/non-toxic glaze, just ask!
And if you ever drop a glass or ceramic pipe and it breaks (womp womp), do not glue it back together for continued use. Inhaling glue = bad. Remember that salvaging a broken pipe is not worth the risk. Unlike a pipe, your health is irreplaceable!
Thanks for reading. Share our tips and tricks with your Buds!
Written by Gabby Smith | Available for freelance, email at firstname.lastname@example.org