The Difference Between Shisha Drops, Shisha Gels, and Shisha Stones

The Difference Between Shisha Drops, Shisha Gels, and Shisha Stones

The Difference Between Shisha Drops, Shisha Gels, and Shisha Stones

Are you ready to live a clean, tobacco-free life but you’re not quite ready to give up your hookah? Well, you’re in luck! In the past decade, there has been a virtual explosion in popularity for alternative, tobacco-free products for your hookah. Whatever smoke store you frequent, wherever you buy hookah online, you’ve probably seen the products. Shisha drops, shisha gels, and shisha stones have replaced traditional shisha tobacco for many hookah enthusiasts who love the clouds and the flavor but don’t particularly care for the tobacco.

So, if you want to start smoking an alternative, which one is best? Is there that big a difference in the quality of the smoke between gels, stones, and drops? As with most things, there are pluses and minuses to all, and there are also subtle differences between the three. But before talking about the differences, let’s take a quick look at what they have in common.

Same Flavor, Same Glycerin: No Tobacco!

All the alternatives use basically the same stuff that’s in traditional shisha. The Shisha glycerin and flavoring remains the mainstay; however the tobacco is removed and a liquid mixture is absorbed into non-tobacco-based products (stones, gels, drops.) The smoking process is generally the same as smoking shisha, however, these alternative products require different smoking apparatuses. The typical shisha bowl is replaced with a funnel bowl or vortex bowl. Funnels and vortexes have raised spires and elevated holes. These adjustments help keep the natural juices from dripping down the hookah stem.

Finesse Time

So, okay, it’s not EXACTLY like smoking shisha tobacco. In fact, each shisha alternatives requires extra care and precision to deliver the best smoking session possible. Remember, these substances don’t have the same moisture-holding properties as tobacco. In order to absorb that “shisha” flavor, they require a specific amount of “soak” time. Trial and error are always the best teachers, however a good rule of thumb has always been to Be Gentle. You’ll find that overpacking a bowl can lead to clogging and a bad session.

Stones: The Good and the Bad

Shisha stones (or steam stones) are stones with millions of pores that are then marinated in flavors similar to tobacco. They’re essentially a blank canvas on which you can create a flavorful, nicotine-free masterpiece using any variety of glycerin-based flavorings. You can draw inspiration from some of the whacky flavor combinations available at your local vape shop. Some examples may include fruity cereal, strawberry donut, lemon cake, etc. A fan favorite however is to completely wing it. Frequent users enjoy flavoring these volcanic rocks according to their own whims.
 Once the shisha stones have been adequately heated by coals, they give off a pleasant steam that you inhale, perfect for anyone looking to mitigate some of the harmful effects harsh smoke can have on their lungs. The glycerin used to provide flavor is almost always nicotine-free, which means that in addition to saving yourself from the toxins that are typically present in conventional shisha, you’re also safeguarding yourself against addiction.

Another huge plus shisha stones provide in comparison to traditional shisha is the fact that they are reusable, allowing you to re-flavor them multiple times prior to having to discard them. While they are not intended to be used indefinitely, this feature makes them one of the most cost-effective smoking/vaporizing options on the hookah market. Plus, they usually come from volcanos, and volcanos are cool.

With all of this good obviously comes some bad. One of the chief complaints made against shisha stones is that it can sometimes take a bit of work to keep them burning hot enough to vaporize the glycerin they are soaked in. Some users have also mentioned that it often takes double the number of coals to keep the stones going.

Shisha Drops (or Ice Drops)

Shisha drops are pieces of gel that have been injected with glycerin and other flavor fluids. While they are very similar to shisha stones in that they produce a fine vapor (instead of smoke) that produces a very enjoyable smoking session that’s devoid of many of the harmful byproducts found in conventional shisha.

The only problem is, for many users, the shisha drops don’t smoke for very long – which can be a deal-breaker for anyone who prioritizes smoking convenience over all else. You’ll want to experiment with a few different brands before placing a massive order of shisha drops from your go-to online smoke store. There is wide variance in the quality of ice drops in the marketplace as well, and it’s worth your while to contact your online tobacco store or local smoke shop and find out what’s the most popular choice among clients.

Shisha Gels

Smoking shisha gels can be a bit tricky—it usually takes a couple of times to get the timing and the burning to go just right. When you master it, though, you’re in for a long, pleasant smoke session. Some gels can last more than 2 hours, and once you get started, the gels are awfully hard to burn. And many of the gels on the marketplace are more intensely flavored than the stones or the ice drops, which is a good/bad thing: you get the variety, but you also get some bizarre flavor combinations that probably shouldn’t have been invented. (Cranberry Mojito, anyone?)

So, Your Final Answer:

At the end of the day, of course, choosing the best tobacco-laden hookah alternative comes down to a matter of personal preference. In general, all of the alternatives mentioned provide a very similar experience, with maybe tiny shadings of differences: the gels last longer, the drops are milder, the stones are trickier to light. But hey, if you’re going tobacco-free, there’s really no wrong option here, right? Whatever choice you make is going to be healthier for you, so y  ou can’t lose. Why not take a look at all three? Do a little experimenting. Have some friends over for some taste tests. I’d avoid the cranberry mojito, but there are plenty of other options available for the intrepid non-tobacco enthusiast.

Until Next Time..

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