Maybe one of the most “smoker-friendly” trends to hit the market lately is the emergence of silicone smoking devices. With the recent announcement of expansion, Mile High Glass Pipes is now starting to offer a wide array of silicone pipes, bongs, rigs, nectar collectors and accessories.
Besides simply being colorful, these versatile devices are practically indestructible unlike their glass counterparts. Let’s review the pros and cons of this increasingly popular material.
What is Silicone?
Silicone is a synthetic polymer material which can be described of a hybrid between rubber and plastic which is used to make many different items such as cookware and utensils, baking pans, food containers, and even ice cube molds.
Essentially, silicone starts out as sand. Quartz and ordinary beach sand are practically pure silica. By heating silica with carbon at extreme temperatures, silicon is formed. This silicon is then reacted with fossil fuels and purified. Quality of the silicone resins depends largely on the level of purification.
This entire process makes a very stable polymer which is highly heat and chemical resistant.
Benefits of Silicone
Although glass has been the preferred material for many years, silicone offers several benefits which glass devices can’t:
- Flexibility – silicone is a flexible, heat-resistant material, therefore, they can be bent, folded, and stuffed into backpack or bag without breaking. Silicone bongs are perfect for camping trips, music festivals, and more.
- Durability – clearly, the biggest drawback to glass is - it breaks. Whether it happens at the whim of a clumsy friend during a smoke sesh, or by getting a little over-zealous while cleaning, the fact of the matter is glass breaks and silicone won’t.
- Light-Weight – Silicone is much lighter than glass.
- Cost – Because silicone pipes and bongs are mass produced, the price is much less than custom glass rigs and bongs. You can find silicone bongs and pipes on Mile High Glass Pipes for less than $40!
- Easy Cleaning – because silicone is flexible, these devices are super easy to clean.
Is Silicone Safe?
Depending on the manufacturer, absolutely. Most products on the market today are made with high-grade, FDA-approved silicone which is non-toxic and free of BPA’s. Much of the silicone cookware available today is made from the same material. The Canadian equivalent of the US FDA, Health Canada, stated: "There are no known health hazards associated with use of silicone cookware. Silicone rubber does not react with food or beverages, or produce any hazardous fumes."
That being said, always use a glass or titanium bowl, banger, or tip. Although silicone is designed to withstand temperatures of up to 600°F, never apply flame or a torch directly to the silicone.
But What About the Taste?
A high-quality silicone should not provide much in terms of taste to your bowl, however, some consumers do report a slight odor or flavor in some new devices. This will likely fade with use and regular cleaning.