Here’s three simple, cheap (mostly free!), and sensible ways to enhance your weed experience.
1. HEMP WICK
Consider this: when you spark up, you’re inhaling everything in the immediate vicinity, including the gas from the lighter. I notice the taste right away, and it can cause a stomachache or a headache if you inhale too much. A Zippo lighter may help cut down on fumes, but if you want to be burning only what’s in the bowl, pick up a bundle of hemp wick. RAW ™ hemp wick seems to be popular and well-reputed.
Immediately, you should taste the difference, and how purely you can experience the unique flavors and aromas of your bud. To use the wick, ignite one end with a flame, then use the burning wick to light your joint/blunt/bowl (like a matchstick, but with no sulphur). Hemp wick is usually made with 100% cotton hemp and a coating of beeswax. The burn is slow, so the rope goes a long way. It’s a very worthwhile and cheap (around $2 a bundle) investment if you want to bring new dimensions to your cannabis experience.
2. HOT WATER
You may think you’re doing your lungs a better favor by using a water pipe over a spoon, but not necessarily. The idea is, the water filters and cools the smoke to be less harsh in the lungs and throat. Partly true! The smoke is cooled to some degree, and I certainly enjoy putting ice cubes in a water pipe to cool it further. However, I recently learned that using hot water pulls out more tar and gunk from your weed than cold water. The effects are a bit like a steam shower–though the smoke is hot, it’s moist, soothing, and better-tasting (if it tastes really rank, clean your bong, dude). Maybe even hot water and a squeeze of lemon juice would be delightful.
One thing I notice with using hot water, less coughing. It’s so much easier to breathe deeply, really feel the parts of my lungs expanding and where I’m not pushing to sit straight enough. The hit ends up being bigger, and the exhale is so much smoother. Speaking of breathing…
3. BREATHE DEEPER
Increase the amount of breaths you take before and after you toke. Cannabis, used properly, opens your lungs, airways, and strengthens the bronchi. Your cough should be deep, with intent, and they’ll pull up anything that shouldn’t be there. Don’t force yourself to cough, though. Your whole experience should be fluid.
Empty and fill your lungs a few times before a hit, trying to take in even more oxygen than the breath before it. Expand your chest, alternate breathing through the nose and mouth. Find a good rhythm for yourself, then at the bottom of an exhale, light your cannabis and inhale (at the same time, if you can manage). Breathe slowly, allowing your lungs to fill with smoke. You’ll be surprised to hear–holding the hit doesn’t actually get you higher. You might, from oxygen deprivation, feel more light-headed. The truth is, the first few seconds are the best, and all you need. After that, the smoke cools, changes flavor, loses the magic.
After you inhale, “hold” for a few seconds (better yet, keep inhaling oxygen after you pull), then breathe out every last bit as evenly as you can. If done with patience and awareness, you should feel high with no adverse affects; no coughing, spluttering, accidental throat burn. With this method, you allow your lungs to be better filters, and you’ll get some deep cleaning done while you chill out.