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Silicone bongs are giving their glass counterparts a run for their money when it comes to user preference. With the rise in popularity of silicone materials for smoking devices, many are wondering: “Is silicone safe to smoke out of?”
There is reasonable concern among users that rubber and high heat don’t go great together and can pose health hazards. However, the debate has been satisfactorily settled—with a few caveats to consider, of course.
In this article, we discuss whether silicone bongs are in fact safe to use for smoking, along with tips to help you purchase safe silicone products.
In one word: Yes. However, as mentioned previously, there are a few things to keep in mind. Foremost is to make sure that the product has been FDA-approved. That’s the best way to keep your worries at bay.
And while you’re at it, make sure to check the silicone grade (look for terms like "food-grade") and the bong’s quality. The best way to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth is to buy from a reputable seller.
So we've answered the question, "Are silicone bongs safe?" Now, let's move on to the factors you need to consider when evaluating the safety of any silicone smoking device. While there are safe silicone bongs, there are also those that could pose a serious health risk.
When buying a silicone rig, always consider these three factors to help you determine whether they are safe to use:
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical that manufacturers of certain plastics and resins have used for over 50 years. It’s been found to have adverse health effects on humans when they leach into foods, drinks, or anything that you ingest when they are subjected to high temperatures.
Up to what temperature can your silicone bong take? Usually, bongs have a temperature rating, so make sure to check that to see if it will be safe for how you intend to use it—and that it won’t literally melt in your hands.
It is generally suggested, however, not to smoke at extremely high temperatures. It supposedly can cause damage not only to your mouth, nose, tongue, and throat—but also to your lungs.
This is not a knock on other country’s safety and quality standards. However, there have been cases where imported products were proven to be substandard and, in some cases, actual health hazards.
You might be attracted to their relatively cheap prices, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for. And would a few dollars saved be worth risking your health?
When in doubt, go for products made in the USA. Not only are they generally of higher quality, but they're easily returned or replaced should they turn out to be defective.
Here’s a piece of trivia: Next to oxygen, silicon is the most abundant natural element on the planet. This is why it’s been used to manufacture a lot of products, including bongs, at a much cheaper cost. Silicone is basically silicon mixed with oxygen.
There are many different types of bong materials available. But why has silicone become such a popular material for smoking accessories? Perhaps the greatest advantage silicone bongs have over glassware is that they are practically indestructible. You can take them anywhere and not have to worry about ruining your investment.
This is especially helpful at social gatherings where there’s always the possibility of accidental drops and other mishaps.
While glass bongs are made of the same strong stuff as Pyrex, they can still break when dropped from a certain height. Silicone bongs, on the other hand, will most likely survive a fall from the top of the Empire State Building and still be ready for your next toke afterward.
Another reason why silicone bongs have made inroads when it comes to popularity among stoners is that they are cheaper than glass bongs. However, do remember that suspiciously cheap prices could mean subpar quality, which could prove hazardous to your health.
As mentioned, the greatest advantage of silicone is that it’s durable and can withstand the usual wear-and-tear of regular use. What’s more, it’s also highly bendable, so it can fit into spaces where you won’t be able to place your glass bong.
If you're already convinced of the safety of silicone bongs, check out these additional tips to help ensure that you're getting the safest product.
This goes for both online and physical store purchases. The best way to make sure you are getting your money’s worth is to look for reviews on the internet—preferably from experts and ordinary users. This way, you can get an idea of the pros and cons of the product you are thinking of buying and there won’t be any nasty surprises.
If you're willing to spend a little more, the PieceMaker Kahuna Silicone Beaker Bong will cost you over $150 (a little less if you can get it on sale)—and it's quality all the way.
Again, you usually get what you pay for. Although there are inexpensive products out there that turn out to be gold, those are oftentimes the exceptions to the rule.
As mentioned, while silicone bongs from other countries may be cheaper than US-made ones, you really can’t be sure of their quality because you can’t really be certain that the companies that made them adhered to the required safety standards.
This couldn’t be reiterated more. Always check the label to be sure that the product doesn’t have that nasty chemical that can wreak havoc on your health.
The issue with rubber- or plastic-based products is that they attract and keep a lot of bacteria during normal use. When shopping for silicone bongs, don’t forget to note if the product does have an anti-microbial feature.
Yes, the market is actually saturated with all types and all sizes of bongs, each one designed to fit your needs. If you travel often and would want to get a toke from time to time while on the move, a smaller bong should suffice. Check out the Original NoGoo Mini Pendant Rig (pictured above) if you want something completely pocket-friendly for hits on-the-go.
But, if you generally stay at home, especially now with the pandemic going on, a bigger bong would be your best bet.
There are also medium-sized bongs that are perfect for everyday use.
Now that you know how to select a safe silicone bong, check out Slyng to find the best bong (or any other high-quality smoking device) for your needs.