Today’s marijuana smokers have a myriad of options for burning their favorite strains. One thing remains consistent, whether you’re using bubblers, bowls, bongs, one-hitters, joints, or blunts: you need fire.
Lighters: a Love Story
Note: not all lighters are created equal
There are quite a few different types of lighters available on the market that can be used to smerk a berl. Let us know if we missed any!
The “Crack Lighter”
These lighters are so-named because they are popular with crack cocaine addicts. This is due to the adjustable gas output, which allows the user to make a 5-6″ flame. These lighters usually have poor action when striking, are prone to falling apart inside your pocket, and will probably explode if you drop them on a hard surface. Stay away from these lighters unless you are in a serious pinch. They are almost never worth the money.
- Almost always the cheapest option
- Adjustable gas output
- Minimal hand strength required to light
- Available at any gas station, especially ones with a bathroom key
- Extremely fragile
- Some models are refillable
Bic lighters are my personal favorite. They come in just about every color you can imagine, can be purchased in bulk, and singles are available at most gas stations. The Bic is not only extremely consistent, but it is surprisingly durable and lasts a long time. If you’re like me, you’re about 10 times more likely to lose a Bic then to use one up!
- Available at most gas stations
- Survives the wash (let it dry a day or two)
The Zippo is pretty popular with tobacco smokers, but has some features that cannabis enthusiasts might find useful as well. Zippo lighters are almost always made of a durable, metallic material. They are able to light in moderately windy conditions, and will certainly not extinguish if you have your ceiling fan on, unlike the trusty Bic lighter. In my experience, friends are less likely to pocket a Zippo after borrowing it, and you are less likely to lose it.
- Durable metallic casing
- Can be personalized (engraving)
- Makes a great gift
- Lights in windy conditions
- +50 Style points
- Requires wick maintenance
The Clipper lighter is gaining popularity again because of its utility, durability, and consistency. These lighters pack a built-in joint-stuffing tool, their round bases are great for tamping out a bowl, and they are designed to be extremely drop-resistant. To top it all off, the striking area is specially designed to allow you to hold the flame longer without burning your fingertips.
- Built in joint-stuffing tool
- Round base is great for tamping down a bowl
- More durable than a Bic
- Designed to keep fingers safe from lighter heat
Hemp wicks allow smokers to light a bowl, bong, joint, or blunt without using a butane lighter. While butane is a colorless, odorless gas, that does not mean that it can’t be harmful to human health. When butane gas burns, it releases small amounts of a toxic gas called nitrogen dioxide. The amount released when using a standard Bic lighter isn’t enough to kill you, but it’s certainly not good for you. The butane itself is probably more likely to cause undesirable effects (in large quantities), so be careful refilling your lighters.
- Not self-lighting; you still need a lighter/matches
- Distinct aroma
- Eliminates possibility of ingesting butane
- Can be cut in to smaller lengths
- You won’t run out any time soon
If lighters weren’t so convenient, I’d probably use matches exclusively. They have a nice woody aroma when you light them, and they are usually very cheap. Small matchboxes like those from Diamond are nice and small so they can be taken anywhere. If you buy matches in the larger 5″x7″ box, you can take a few matchsticks and put them in your wallet or purse in a button bag along with a piece of the strike pad from the side of the box, and have a light whenever you need one!
- Pleasant odor
- Good to have around
- Can be found at any grocery store
Butane Torches & Torch Lighters
Torches produce a very hot steady flame. They are well suited for use with has oil rigs that utilize nails. Personally, I see no value in using them for dry herb because of the high temperature at which they burn.
- High temperature
- Steady flame
- Great for use with hash oil rigs
Lighting your dry herb or oil a different way? Let us know in the comments!