About glass attachments
Aside from the standard glass devices found in the collection of cannabis lovers across the world, such as spoon pipes, bongs, and dab rigs, there is also a huge range of other glass attachments that can help you enhance and tailor your cannabis consumption experience. This guide will give you a comprehensive overview of the most commonly used glass attachments, setting you on a journey through the expansive world of glass smoking equipment and enhancements.
Factors to consider when buying glass attachments
There are three main factors to consider when shopping for glass attachments:
Frequency of consumption
Consumers who smoke cannabis frequently will generally require more durable, robust equipment than those who smoke less frequently, for the simple reason that their glass pieces will see much heavier use than glass belonging to an infrequent smoker's collection. Look for thicker, heavy-duty glass that has been heat-tempered if you want a piece with added durability.
In the world of glass cannabis gear, you can spend virtually as much or as little as your budget allows. On the affordable end are simple, straightforward, functional pieces, often pieces made in China, while the high-end segment of the market includes handmade, artisan, and custom pieces designed for both function and form. Not surprisingly, cheaper pieces tend to be of a lower quality, so be prepared to replace them more frequently.
Form or function?
If you're focused exclusively on performance, then you should focus on scientific glass pieces, which are straightforward, precise, performance-oriented glass tools that deliver e results without very much stylistic flair. On the other hand, if you're going for that “wow factor” with a visually stimulating glass piece, explore hand-made artisan glass pieces and attachments.
Glass attachments for bongs
At its most basic, a bong consists of a bowl for igniting herb, a water chamber to cool and filter smoke, and a mouthpiece through which you inhale the refined smoke. For a more custom experience, however, you can also utilize various glass attachments, such:
For starters, you can choose from a number of glass bowl designs. Bowls include a male joint that slides in and out of the downstem's female joint.
Features you can choose from when selecting a bowl include:
- Bubble-shaped bowls: Bubble-shaped bowls encase the main bowl where cannabis flower is packed and ignited within a slightly larger glass bubble. This keeps the entire thing cool so you don't burn your fingers when sliding the bowl in and out of the downstem.
- Handles: Some bowls include handles of varying lengths, making it easier to slide the bowl in and out of the downstem.
- Screens: If you want to keep your flower securely in the bowl, opt for one that has a built-in screen at the bottom.
Downstems and attachments
Once you've selected your bowl, it's time to focus on the downstem. This is the component that connects your bowl to the water chamber.
The following downstem styles and other attachments allow you to build a customized bong.
- Double bowl adapter: A double bowl adapter has a single male joint on one end, which slides into the downstem, and then at the other end, it forks off into at least two open female joints into which you slide your bowls. These adapters are ideal for social smoke sessions, as they allow you to pack multiple bowls at once.
- Ash catcher: Ash catchers typically have a male joint on one end that slides into the downstem, and a female joint on the other end, into which you slide your bowl. The main body comprises an open chamber — usually a water chamber — that catches ash and other buildups so that your bong stays clean.
Some ash catchers also include percolators for further water filtration. This can make your bong much more robust and high performing. And while an ash catcher will help keep your bong cleaner, it is also an extra component that requires a heavy-duty cleaning now and again.
- Diffuser downstem: Using a downstem with a simple diffuser at the end of it is a simple, effective way to boost the filtration power of your bong. These types of downstems feature a series of slits or holes that rest inside the water chamber. These openings diffuse smoke, creating tons of tiny bubbles and improving the overall performance of your bong.
- Ice Pinches: If you want to elevate the filtering and cooling effects of your bong, find a glass piece that has an ice pinch.
Ice pinches are fitted inside the main tube of your bong, above the water chamber, allowing you to drop ice cubes directly onto it. When your smoke bubbles up through the water chamber, it passes through one round of cooling and filtering, and then when it gets drawn around the ice, it receives a second, very powerful round of cooling before entering the lungs.
Glass attachments for dabbing
As dabbing cannabis concentrates continues to grow in popularity, consumers, manufacturers, and glass blowers are creating a wide range of glass attachments specifically for dabbing. These include:
Nails are a critical component to dabbing. They are essentially a shallow dish that you heat to temperatures high enough to vaporize cannabis concentrates.
Nails are made out of titanium, quartz, and glass. When it comes to glass nails, remember that they are usually the most affordable option available and they do a relatively good job of retaining and distributing heat.
However, they are also the least durable. Of course, there's always the risk of dropping and shattering a glass nail. Additionally, glass nails are more prone to cracking at high temperatures after repeated use. As a result, if you opt for a glass nail, be prepared to replace it at some point when it breaks.
Although domed nails are becoming less popular among dabbers, some dab rigs still require the use of a dome. These components are designed to slide over the top of a hot nail to help retain and distribute heat, ensuring that vapor doesn't escape before you pull it through your rig and inhale.
Despite their waning popularity, glass domes are a solid option for some dabbers because they are relatively affordable and effective. However, as with glass nails, there's a higher chance that a glass dome will break compared with domes made out of other materials.
An oil reclaimer is a glass attachment that fits between the nail and the water chamber, where it collects runoff concentrate as well as any concentrate that condenses out of the vapor. After enough reclaim builds up, you can either scrape it out or apply gentle heat until it melts and drips out of the reclaimer.
Interestingly, lab tests have found that reclaimed oil retains much of its original potency, typically between 40% to 50% THC. Additionally, because reclaimed oil has already been heated, it's fully decarboxylated, making it ideal for cooking and baking applications.
Drop down adapters
Glass attachments called drop down adapters are seen as an excellent way to preserve your dab rig, keeping intense heat away from the main body of your rig. These attachments typically angle downward and away from your rig, utilizing a female joint into which you slide your nail.
By angling the nail away from your rig, flames are pointed away from the glass body, helping to protect and preserve its useful life. Of course, as with any glass attachment, adding a dropdown adapter into the mix means you have another fragile glass component to keep clean and handle with care.
Glass carb caps
As domed nails have fallen out of favor, they have been replaced by larger-dished nails and the use of a carb cap. After heating the nail and dropping a dab of concentrate, simply rest your carb cap over the top of the nail. This creates an enclosed chamber of hot air to retain and distribute heat for a more even dab, which is especially useful at lower temperatures. Carb caps are made out of a few different materials, including glass and titanium.
For added functionality and cost-effectiveness, choose a carb cap/dabber combination tool. These include a carb cap at one end with a long handle and a scoop-shaped dabber at the other end, allowing you to scrape up concentrates, drop dabs onto the nail, and then cover it with your carb cap all with a single tool.
Other glass attachments
To round out the expansive world of glass attachments, there are a variety of other components that let you further customize your bong or dab rig, or even let you consume cannabis in entirely new ways.
If you're interested in customizing your bong or dab rig with any sort of attachment or modular add-on, you may need some sort of adapter to link one component with another. Glass adapters are an excellent choice as they are relatively affordable, clean, functional, and reliable. Of course, the only major downside is that glass is prone to breakage.
Glass adapters come in virtually any configuration, including:
- Mixed diameters to connect components and joints of different sizes.
- A variety of angles to create different positions and configurations among your other components.
- Male-to-male joints, male-to-female joints, female-to-male joints, and female-to-female joints so you can link up virtually any two components regardless of the configuration of their connections and joints.
Bubbler chamber attachments
Depending on your smoking device of choice, you may be able to add a water chamber to bolster the smoke filtration process. These glass attachments fit somewhere between the bowl where you ignite your herb and the mouthpiece, causing the smoke to filter through the water before reaching your lungs.
Also called “dab straws” or “honey collectors,” nectar collectors provide concentrate lovers with a simple way to consume without an entire dab rig.
These tools are relatively straightforward, consisting of a tip made of quartz or titanium; a body made out of glass or silicone that may also include a water chamber, percolator, or oil reclaimer; and a straw-shaped mouthpiece through which you inhale the vapor. To use a nectar collector, you simply heat the tip and drag it across a dab of concentrate while inhaling.
While tips are usually made out of quartz or titanium, the other components of a nectar collector are widely available in glass. These tend to be relatively affordable and provide consistent performance, but are more prone to cracking, breaking, or shattering, especially if they are exposed to extremely high temperatures.