Pipes vs. Papers, What’s Your Preference?

Pipes vs. Papers, What’s Your Preference?

Pipes vs. Papers, What's Your Preference?

Pipes vs. Papers, What’s Your Preference? It’s the eternal “either/or” question, like “paper/plastic,” “boxers/briefs,” “Red Sox/Yankees,” or “Fleet Foxes/Father John Misty”—where do you stand in the great “Pipes vs. Papers” debate? Are you a minimalist who prefers going to your local smoke shop, loading up on papers, and crafting perfect joints, or do you prefer hitting up your on-line smoke emporium for some quality glass bubblers and fancy color-changing pipes?

In a pinch, I’m betting it’s unlikely you’ll turn down whatever’s offered in whatever form, but what’s your go-to method for enjoying your favorite ? Let’s break down the various philosophies and pros and cons of these two viable forms of smoking pleasure.

The Dummy Factor

There’s just no getting around it: rolling joints is an art form.  It takes patience, skill, and just the right amount of finesse to roll a quality joint.  If you’ve been rolling joints for three years and they still look like misshapen pieces of wrapped candy, I’m going to quietly recommend that you buy a spoon bowl or a mini-bubbler.  While I appreciate your commitment to the craftsmanship of creating the perfect joint, life is simply too short to have to re-light a poor burning stick a dozen times.

By contrast, pipes and bowls are relatively “dummy free”—while they require regular cleaning and maintenance, they’re still the easiest way to get an efficient buzz.  Can you light a lighter? If the answer is “yes,” then you can smoke a bong with little trouble.

Cheese It, The Cops

Pipes vs. Papers, What's Your Preference?

On the other hand, you’re probably not going to try to sneak that elegant hand-blown glass bowl in your T-shirt or your shorts as you walk into a concert hall to catch your favorite artist.  When it comes to portability, papers beat your favorite cool pipe, hands down.  All you need is a pocket or a pack of cigarettes or an artfully cut hole in your shirt lining to adequately conceal your night’s entertainment.  And if you’re suddenly confronted by some John Law types, remember: paper can be eaten.  That three-tiered bong with the flashing lights might be a tad cumbersome when you need to do some quick thinking on your feet.

Marketplace Decisions

So, let’s just be brutal capitalists here for a second and reduce this question to its most elemental, dollars-and-cents form: what gives you the biggest bang for your buck, papers or pipes? If you’re the type who has to factor “smoking entertainment” into your monthly budget, what’s the best choice?

While the cost of quality rolling papers is relatively negligible, most users would probably agree that bongs/pipes deliver the goods in the most efficient and economical way possible.  The concentrated hit from a bong or a pipe is just stronger than the cigarette form, which means using a bong will cut down on your flower expense.  Now, again, remember the rather large qualifier that “Individual Results May Vary” and that a perfectly rolled joint can be an efficient method as well.  But in general, a bubbler, bong, or pipe is the most efficient means of smoking available.

Did Someone Just Spill Bongwater, or Is That a Landfill?

But oh, the cleaning and the maintenance . . . if you’re not the kind of person who likes to keep things neat and tidy, you might want to think twice about becoming a pipe/bong person.  Pipes and bongs require regular cleaning and proper maintenance for maximum efficiency.  It’s way too easy to just forget about cleaning them for a time or two and when that happens, your smoking piece is prone to becoming clogged, damaged, or dirty.  Plus, there is the mild hassle of trying to find the proper place for storage/concealment purposes.  Though the laws are becoming more cannabis-friendly, we’re still not quite ready to leave the bong out for display next to your keys or the remote on the side table.

And if you’ve even been in a small room when the bong gets knocked over and the ancient bongwater seeps into the carpet . . . let’s just say, it may remind you of that scene in “Alien” when the monster’s blood drips like acid and eats metal.  It’s not “that” bad—not quite—but it’s definitely, ahem, aromatic.  You should remember to change the water in your bong as often as possible.

That’s Harsh, Man

If you’re really sensitive to harsh smoking experiences, you might prefer a bong or a pipe to papers.  Now, of course, the quality of your flower is the primary determining factor as to harshness quotient, but in general, bongs offer a smoother, less invasive smoking experience.  Even the best-rolled joints might need an occasional re-light, and the papers will burn a little hot to the taste.

Interestingly, some papers/ devotees don’t seem to mind the constant re-lighting of the stick.  They tend to like that they can moderate their high by taking mini-tokes over a long period of time, as opposed to the one big blast from a bong.

So, What’s Your Type?

This is like one of those personality tests—“If you’re a Type-X personality, you’re probably gonna like Type-X things,” etc.  So, let’s break it down: if you’re a spontaneous type who likes to get up and go, you’re more likely a roll-your-own type.  If you’re a “results-based” type who prefers a strong high from your stash and doesn’t mind a little paraphernalia maintenance, then you’re probably a bong/pipe devotee.

Of course, these are massive generalizations being made here, but the truth is, there are no wrong answers.  Most flower enthusiasts will experiment with both methods of smoking pleasure and many won’t feel it’s necessary to make an “either/or” choice.  And preferences are often dependent on circumstance; a bong smoker who goes mountain biking isn’t going to turn down a toke from a -carrying friend, and a papers smoker will certainly appreciate the offered mini-bubbler before going out for drinks.  Remember, there are always plenty of ways to enjoy your favorite flower.

Until Next Time..

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