Pot aficionados and connoisseurs typically have several pipes and various other smoking implements made out of different materials. Glass is a popular choice of material, but pipes may be made of metal or wood as well. Some pipes even combine wood and metal in a single design, making use of the best qualities of each.
But which of the two – metal or wood – is actually better for smoking. As it turns out, each of these materials has its set of advantages and drawbacks. Here’s a rundown of the qualities of each and their implications for marijuana smokers.
Metal is a popular choice of material for pipes, bongs, and smoking implements of various kinds. It is cheap and durable, and it will stand up to daily use for many years. Here are some of the qualities of metal as it relates to smoking equipment:
- Rugged and durable
- Can withstand high temperatures
- Can be shaped to intricate designs
- May rust or oxidize
- May leach toxins into the smoke
- Can become hot to the touch
Wood has long been used in smoking implements, and they are still popular options today. Equally useful in tobacco and marijuana pipes, wood has a number of qualities that makes it ideally suited to smokers.
- Fairly durable
- Can be fashioned into attractive designs
- Stays cool to the touch
- Some woods impart a unique flavor to the smoke (may be a disadvantage for some)
- May crack with long-term use
- May burn and produce soot
- Can become messy and difficult to clean
- Some woods impart a unique flavor to the smoke (may be an advantage for some)
As you can see, both materials have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Of the two, metal is by far the most durable option. It can withstand high temperatures for years at a time, even with daily use. However, a significant disadvantage of metal is that it may produce toxins when heated. These toxins can make its way into the smoke when you inhale, resulting in a significant health risk. There are some metals that are better for smoking and some people attempt to mitigate the risk by heating the metal components of their pipe thoroughly in order to let the toxins evaporate. Nevertheless, there remains some risk to using metal that are not present with glass or wood.
Wood can be a good choice of material for smoking implements, with a few caveats. It is important to choose a hardwood that is intended specifically for smoking, as any other wood can burn too easily causing you to breathe in its fumes. There are also certain types of wood that impart their own unique flavor into the smoke, which may or may not be an advantage to you depending on how you like your smoke to taste.
Both types of material aren’t necessarily the best options for bongs and water pipes where liquids may have an adverse affect on the material. For such smoking implements, glass is by far the best option.