When you use a pipe with marijuana, there are many factors that impact the experience. The strain of cannabis, of course. But another huge factor is the type of pipe you use.
Savvy cannabis users long ago picked the pipe that works best for them. But for the cannabis curious who are trying marijuana for the first time, it can be a bewildering set of choices. There are many different directions to go. They include wood, ceramic, acrylic, and metal.
But glass is considered by most as the highest quality choice. Some companies have emerged to become leaders in this area. One of them is GRAV, an Austin-based company that specializes in high-end, creative and beautifully designed pipes.
GRAV and Scientific Glass
GRAV specializes in scientific glass. They use high-quality borosilicate glass to make their pipes, which is a type of glass that does not expand with heat, making it perfect for cannabis pipes.
According to the company, they put “fun, functionality and the optimal smoking experience” into the design of every pipe. GRAV offers a wide range of products that include hand pipes, bubblers, water pipes and an extensive line of cannabis lifestyle products. That includes products such a pouch, joint clips, dropper bottles, travel cases, and rolling trays, to name just a few.
But the difference between GRAV and other companies is the focus on making pipes that are functional but also stylish and sophisticated in design.
The company also brings a sense of humor to the cannabis business. For example, here’s the description of the pipe called Gandalf: “Complicated times call for deep thoughts in smoky silence. Consider every path and weigh every option with your trusted Gandalf.”
Why Glass Pipes?
Glass is the best material for pipes for a number of reasons. While everyone has their own opinions, there are certain advantages that glass clearly offers.
Strength and Easy to Mold
Glass is easy to mold, which is why pipe makers typically prefer to work with glass. It also goes through a process known as annealing, which makes it much harder and durable than normal glass objects.
It’s Easy to Clean
With its smooth surface, glass pipes are by far the easiest to clean. Glass also stands up to cleaning methods repeated over many years, something other materials do not do as well. Glass is also highly resistant to staining.
Because glass is easier to manipulate than other materials, designers have been able to create many highly creative pipes that enhance the smoking experience.
Glass produces a “clean smoke,” one that is not impacted by the materials in the pipe itself. The taste of a glass pipe is typically superior to what comes from other pipes. Glass also is not porous, meaning there are no little nooks and crannies where bacteria can grow. Also, the borosilicate glass is chemically inert, so there’s no concern of a reaction between the resin and the pipe. There also is no concern that the chemicals used to treat metals and woods will end up in your smoke.
In the case of GRAV pipes, you also get great customer service when you buy a glass pipe. GRAV has built a well-deserved reputation as providing great customer service for those who experience any issues with their pipe or need help navigating the buying process. Customers are willing to pay a little more for a pipe backed by a responsive and reputable brand than get something cheaper that will break right away with no support option.
A Focus on Design
The company has grown as fast as the legal cannabis market itself. GRAV has been around since the start, with 15 years in the cannabis business.
Micah Evans, head of product design for GRAV, is an accomplished glasswork artist and designer who first created a glass pipe when a friend asked him to make one that looked like the planet Saturn.
While it was beautiful, Evans had to make design changes to make the pipe functional. He ended up stacking a series of small globes in a vertical array, creating a new type of pipe mechanics. This eventually led to the creation of the Upline. Evans joined GRAV on a full-time basis in 2016.
The time spent on each design is painstaking because the GRAV design team focuses on creating the most beautiful – and yet functional – pipes possible. For example, creation of the Orbis mouthpiece alone “actually went through about 30 different designs” to get it just right, Evans said.
He said the mouthpiece was created “with the theory that it could be used like a ball and socket over a bunch of different devices.” The result is an impressive glass pipe.
Evans said that GRAV allows him a great deal of creative freedom. The Orbis was the first of his creations and he said “the real challenge for me was knowing when to stop, when it was done.”
“They’re very patient with me,” Evans said. That patience pays off for customers in a lineup of pipes that look like nothing offered by any other company.
GRAV is another example of how quickly the cannabis industry is growing, and how that has led to many different choices for consumers. In the case of GRAV, that means the option of finding a pipe for a smoother smoking experience that also looks like no other pipe out there.