Everything You Need to Know about Glass Blunts
Cannabis is an interesting plant. Not only has hemp been used for thousands of years to make everything from paper to clothing, rope, and more, but the historical record shows the use of cannabis for ritual and recreation purposes dating back at least 2,500 years -- all the way back to the time of Greek historian Herodotus.
Burning the plant or the seeds to create aromatic smoke is among the most traditional ways to enjoy the plant’s psychoactive properties. It’s no surprise that the practice of smoking flower has persisted, despite more convenient and potent modern forms of consumption, like edibles and concentrates. There’s no denying a level of nostalgia attached to lighting up a carefully hand-rolled joint or blunt to puff and pass.
Of course, people are always looking for ways to improve on perfection, and once in a while, they actually succeed. Glass blunts are a great example of human ingenuity at its finest.
In essence, this handy invention takes the best aspects of a blunt and pairs them with the best aspects of a pipe to create what is essentially a glass blunt pipe.
What is it, exactly? How does it work? What benefits do you stand to gain when you choose a glass blunt over more traditional means of flower consumption? In short, what makes a glass blunt so great?
Here’s everything you need to know about this revolutionary product.
What is a Glass Blunt?
In order to understand the leap in engineering that went into making a glass blunt, it’s best to first know exactly what a blunt is. Most people know that a joint is about the size of a regular cigarette, but instead of tobacco, the paper is filled with cannabis flower.
A blunt is more or less the same, but it uses cigar wraps, which are not only larger than typical rolling paper, but they are also made of tobacco, adding a buzzy aura to the smoking experience.
Blunts can contain several times the amount of cannabis found in a regular joint. This is important to know because when you first see a glass blunt, you might otherwise be a little alarmed by the size, which is closer to a large cigar than a glass joint (hence the blunt moniker).
Glass Blunt Components
A twisty blunt consists of three parts: A cylindrical chamber, a screw-like metal “twist,” and a cap. The chamber, as the name implies, is made of premium, heat-resistant glass, generally 2mm thick. It is designed to prevent fractures due to thermal shock and save your fingers from getting burned.
The screw, or twist, that nests inside the chamber is often made of brass. The screw slides snugly into the chamber, leaving the mouthpiece exposed at the top. The cap that goes on the other end is likely to be rubber -- but don’t worry, you’ll remove it when smoking.
Some glass blunts skip the twist in favor of a smaller glass cylinder that slides inside the chamber (for the purposes of packing herb and later, pushing ash out of the far end to expose unsmoked flower). It’s not a bad idea to try both to see which mechanism you prefer.
Watch Out for Fakes
You might notice a significant price disparity among glass blunts when you start shopping, and it’s important that you don’t skimp. A suspiciously low price usually indicates a knockoff.
Substandard products may be made with low quality glass, cheap lead brass, or both. This will not only affect the performance and durability of the product, but it can also impact your safety. You probably don’t want to go inhaling lead, unless fiddling in the streets like Nero while Rome burned sounds like a grand time.
Benefits of Choosing Glass Blunts
Now that you have an idea what you’re working with, you might wonder why so many people are giving up rolling papers in favor of a glass facsimile. You’ll be happy to hear there are several benefits to choosing glass blunts.
For starters, you can save a ton of dough over rolling your own. You might only pay a couple bucks for a handful of blunt wraps, but it adds up over time. When you spring for a $50 glass blunt, it’s a bigger upfront cost, but it’s designed for reuse, which means you’ll see significant savings down the line, especially if you’re an avid smoker. You can also smoke every last ounce without losing any to the unsmokable roach.
It’s a healthier and safer option, as well, considering that blunt paper contains both tobacco and nicotine. Plus, you won’t burn your fingers when you get down to the nubbins of the blunt, since you push out the ash as you go.
Because of the size and shape, a glass blunt looks a lot like a vaping product, which means it allows you to enjoy relative discretion. Even better, it essentially features a built-in grinder (aka the screw), adding convenience to the whole affair.
Safe, durable, and easy to use, glass blunts are a great alternative for anyone sick of wasting time, money, and product when rolling their own.
How Does a Glass Blunt Work?
A glass blunt works on the same basic principle as your average pipe, joint, or blunt, insomuch as you spark it, puff, and pass it on for the next person to fire up. However, there are a couple of key differences, as you’ll surely discover when you’ve burned off the herb closest to the lit end of the blunt.
How do you light the flower farther up the chamber?
This is where the screw comes in handy. Once you’ve packed the chamber with flower, you’re going to insert the screw in the top, twisting it down through the pack until the mouthpiece fits inside the chamber. Then you remove the cap from the bottom and light up.
As you smoke the blunt, ash will start to form at the bottom of the chamber, inhibiting your ability to re-light the blunt. What now? Now, you twist the screw the other way (keeping the mouthpiece firmly inserted in the chamber), and the ash will start to push out the bottom until you see green.
From there, you can either continue smoking or put the cap back on to save the rest of your pre-packed blunt for later.
How to Pack a Glass Blunt
If you’ve ever had the singular joy (read: nightmare) of filling manicotti tubes, you may be understandably dubious about packing your glass blunt pipe, but it’s a lot easier than you might imagine. For one thing, you’re packing the chamber with nugs and ground flower, instead of a goopy blend of soft cheese, beaten eggs, and spices.
You’ll start by making sure the cap is on the bottom of the chamber and then remove the screw. Now, you can drop small nugs inside with your fingers or pour looser, ground flower material onto a piece of paper with a crease down the center.
Lift the sides of the paper so the herb collects in a line along the crease, then lay it flat and run your chamber along the crease, pushing flower into the open end with your finger. Or simply pick up the paper, fold it, and pour the flower from the crease into the open top of your chamber.
When the chamber is full, or you’ve added as much flower as you want, insert the screw and twist it counterclockwise, grinding and packing the flower until the mouthpiece is snugly in the chamber.
How to Use a Glass Blunt
Most people find packing a glass blunt quicker and easier than rolling one. Using it is equally easy. You’ll want to fill the chamber at least a quarter of the way, but ideally, to almost the top for the best pack and performance.
You can reasonably expect to fit 1 to 1.5 grams, depending on how tightly you pack. Just for reference, a tight pack will generate smaller hits, while a loose pack leaves more breathing room for bigger hits.
The twist goes in like a corkscrew, but counterclockwise. Why is this important? When you twist the screw in this way, even though it seems counterintuitive, it’s going to make ashing as you smoke a lot easier. When you remove the cap and spark your blunt, ash will start to build up at the tip of the chamber, making it impossible to re-light flower farther in.
This is when you simply twist the mouthpiece clockwise, leaving it inserted in the chamber. The spiraling motion will force the ash out the end and push down fresh herb (like the coil of a vending machine pushing out a bag of Doritos). Then you can keep puffing or re-light as needed.
If you’ve chosen a slide-style glass blunt you’ll pull out the slide insert to pack the chamber, then push it down a little at a time as you smoke to eject ash from the far end.
How to Clean a Glass Blunt
The specialized glass and brass components found in reusable blunts are designed to deliver clean hits, devoid of chemical or metallic flavors. However, you will need to clean them regularly for optimal performance and taste.
Luckily, cleaning your twisty glass blunt is pretty easy. Oftentimes, the products you buy will come with a cleaning brush. If not, you can use a pipe cleaner or purchase disposable mascara wands from a beauty supply store (or online) for the task – look for the conical brush tip.
Ideally, you’ll want to use a specialized, non-toxic cleaning solution, such as Formula 420, along with the brush to clean excess ash and smoke residue from your chamber, screw, and mouthpiece.
However, in a pinch, you can also use a combination of two common household items: isopropyl alcohol and salt. Soak the chamber in the solution, cap the ends, and shake well to cleanse with the abrasive. Alternatively, you can simply use your brush to scrub out the chamber after soaking.
Glass blunts might seem a little intimidating at first, but once you’ve grown accustomed to using yours, you’ll wonder how you ever spent so much time and money rolling your own blunts and burning your fingers.