Is It Safe to Smoke Out of a Silicone Pipe?
When you think of a pipe or bong, what comes to mind?
Typically, you're thinking of something made of glass, maybe in unique shapes and swirled with psychedelic colors. It's been the staple in the smoke shop industry for...well...forever.
But now that cannabis is becoming more mainstream, new products and styles are hitting the market. The latest? Silicone.
We've watched silicone make its way into tons of markets. From wedding rings to female hygiene.
Silicone is easy to clean, hypoallergenic, and usually safe for most users.
But is a silicone pipe safe? After all, we're talking about high heat, not to mention the general grime that comes post-smoking. So is silicone a good replacement for glass in the pipe market?
Let's take a look at silicone, the pipes made of it, and whether or not they are a good option for you.
Let's Talk About Silicone
Time for some science! Silicone is a polymer or a substance made of several elements bonded together.
In the case of silicone, the bonded elements are silicon, oxygen, and usually carbon and hydrogen.
Silicon is, after oxygen, the most plentiful element on earth. It's found naturally in sand, which makes it a great material. There's just so dang much of it.
Silicone comes in two forms. The liquid form is often used as a binding agent. The solid form, however, can be made into all kinds of things, pipes included.
Silicone comes in two basic forms when manufactured: Food-grade and medical grade. You've probably seen food grade silicone at the store. It's used to make collapsible measuring cups, mixing bowls, and spoons.
Medical grade silicone is used in (surprise!) the medical industry in the making of prosthetics and other medical devices. It's non-reactive and doesn't usually trigger allergic reactions, making it a good choice for health care.
But now let's look at its applications in smoking.
Is It Safe for Smoking?
In a word? YES.
Silicone is highly heat resistant. It doesn't start losing it's shape until a stunning 600 degrees, higher than any vapor is going to get in your pipe. That said, your lighter IS going to get hotter than 600 degrees, so don't put your pipe in direct contact with flame.
It also produces zero harmful fumes or emissions, meaning your smokables stay pure.
Now, here's the caveat. Like we talked about before, silicone comes in food grade and medical grade. But it can also come in Super Cheap grade. Obviously not a technical term, but you get the idea.
You get what you pay for in silicone. If you look for the cheapest silicone pipe you can find, you'll undoubtedly have no trouble locating one, but chances are that it is not the best quality silicone, and may warp or deform under pressure.
Silicone Pipe Benefits
So you know that it's safe, but is it worth the buy? We think so, and here's why.
First, silicone is crazy easy to clean and doesn't hold on to odors or tastes. Your smoke will be clean every time, without any lingering aftertastes from previous sessions.
But glass is easy to clean too and doesn't hold on to odors or taste. So what's silicones major benefit over the glass?
Here's the thing. We all covet those gorgeous glass pipes in smokeshop windows. Or we have that one perfect glass bong that we bring out at Thanksgiving and other special occasions.
But we've all also had that soul-crushing moment of handing a pipe off to a friend...the friend we KNOW we shouldn't trust with anything more fragile than a brick...and watching the pipe crash to the floor and shatter.
This is not a problem with a silicone pipe. Silicone obviously doesn't shatter the way glass does. Because it's so lightweight and durable, silicone pipes are about as close to indestructible as you can get.
Storing Your Stash in Silicone
Another benefit of silicone? It makes some of the best stash storage available. There are tons of great silicone options for storing your wax and dabs.
Silicone helps block odors, and because it's so easy to clean, you'll never have to worry about cross-contamination or mixing strains. Everything stays clean, hygienic, and pure.
Plus, because silicone is so versatile in terms of design, you end up with some pretty great styles.
Silicone Pipe Care
A great thing about silicone? How easy it is to clean.
There are two ways to get your silicone pipe clean.
The first is standard. Run it through with a mild soap and hot water. Because of silicones bendable nature, getting into every nook and cranny shouldn't be too hard.
The second way, just as effective and arguably more fun, involves no cleaning supplies at all.
Instead, simply stick your pipe in the freezer. Give it about twelve hours, then take it out and twist. Any residue should crack right off, leaving your pipe clean, albeit a little chilly.
What should you never use to clean your pipe? Alcohol. Of any kind. Rubbing, drinking. Just don't do it.
Alcohol is basically the nemesis of silicone, and one of the few things that can actually break down the polymer. So while alcohol is great at cleaning in general, and is safe for your glass pipes, you should never, and we mean NEVER, use it on silicone.
Trading Your Glass for Silicone
Whether you are looking for a more durable option, or just for a good everyday pipe so you can save your fancy glass for elegant dinner parties., you are sure to find a great option in a silicone pipe.
It's durable, easy to clean and comes in an array of awesome colors and styles. It can't be beaten in quality and safety, and it's a great option for those looking for a safer alternative to glass.
For all your vaping and pipe needs, take a look at our inventory!