Hemp Wick 101 – A Healthier Way to Get High?
If you have more than one stoner friend, or a cannabis-heavy Instagram feed, you’ve likely heard about all the health benefits of hemp wick. Although they’ve only been around for a few years, hemp wicks are (literally) lighting up the global weed industry.
As it turns out, your hippie friend who carries a strange piece of rope around wherever he goes was right all along. Once you learn all of the benefits associated with hemp wick, you’ll probably join the growing number of hemp wick converts.
So, what exactly is hemp wick?
Simply enough, hemp wick is a rope that looks like a candlewick but is made of hemp. As you probably already know, hemp is a variant of the Cannabis sativa L plant that is defined as containing only insignificant amounts of THC.
Throughout most of recorded history, humans cultivated hemp for its industrial uses. Believe it or not, swashbuckling seafarers have successfully used hemp’s fibrous nature to make ropes, rigging, and sails. It’s this tough texture that makes hemp such an ideal choice for use as a wick.
Advertisers often target hemp wicks at dabbers and bong users, but they are also great for lighting joints, spliffs, or blunts. Pretty much anytime you need to light anything you’ll inhale, hemp wick is your trusty friend.
Why is there beeswax on my hemp wick?
No need to worry — a coating of beeswax is standard practice in hemp wick production. In many ways, beeswax is the key to a hemp wick’s tremendous success.
Thanks to the wax coating, the flame on your hemp wick will burn at a steady, cool temperature. Beeswax also smells amazing but only has minimal impact on the wick’s flavor, so don’t worry about your weed tasting like honeycombs. (Would that be a bad thing?)
The easiest way (for non-mutants) to use hemp wick
Sorry, hemp wicks can’t magically ignite whenever you’re ready to smoke — unless, of course, you have the requisite X-Men superpowers. For the rest of us mortals, you’ll need a lighter or match to spark your wick into action.
After you’ve successfully conducted a mini-Olympic flame ceremony, it’s time to light up your bowl, joint, or blunt. When you’re done smoking, simply blow out the hemp wick’s flame or give it a quick shake.
Since hemp wicks are quite flexible, some cannabis enthusiasts wrap these strings around their lighter or pipe for convenience.
Either way, give whatever brand you’ve purchased a few trial runs before going through the trouble of wrapping it around your favorite pipe. While all hemp wicks should burn slower than matches, some brands could burn faster than others. Some cheaper ones, especially some from China, can also have a pretty nasty smell.
Why are hemp wicks so much better than lighters?
We could probably come up with a dozen reasons why hemp wicks are superior to lighters, but let’s be honest, who’s got time to read all that? Here are the top three reasons why hemp wicks rock.
1. Say bye-bye to butane and blisters
Butane is one of the worst things you could put in your lungs, but it’s also the primary fuel in commercially available lighters. So, if you use a lighter when smoking cannabis, there’s no way to avoid getting traces of this potentially toxic substance in your system.
Dabbers should take a few moments to read the well-publicized case study from Ross University in which an 18-year-old suffered severe lung injury after using butane hash oil. There’s another study from Turkey suggesting butane inhalation could have adverse effects on the heart.
Besides avoiding concentrates made with butane extraction, the easiest way to prevent getting butane in your lungs is to toss out your butane torch and invest in hemp wick. Even if you ignite these wicks with a lighter, the butane that transfers to the wick is negligible.
While butane is the biggie in the safety department, it’s worth noting that users tend to feel safer handling hemp wicks compared to matches. Remember that hemp wicks burn slower than both matches and lighters. This means it’s easier to use hemp wicks without burning your tender fingertips.
2. Lower temperatures mean enhanced flavor sensations
While lighters reach temperatures of around 3500° Fahrenheit (~1900° Celcius), hemp wick burns at around 1500-1800° Fahrenheit (815-980° Celcius). Because hemp wicks also burn at such a steady rate, they help users extract the maximum flavor from their flower. The lower burn temperature reduces the chance of losing nuanced terpenes during combustion. People who use hemp wicks also say they experience smoother hits with less cough-back.
In addition to these benefits, hemp wicks won’t add any adverse flavors like harsh chemicals, melted plastic, or wood pulp to your smoke. True cannasseurs will have an easier time picking up novel notes in their favorite strains when using a hemp wick.
3. Hemp wicks help you save serious cash
Considering all of the benefits hemp wicks offer cannabis smokers, you might expect them to cost a fortune. Luckily for your wallet, hemp wicks are one of the cheapest products you’ll find at your local dispensary or head shop.
You could easily pick up hundreds of feet of hemp wick for between $7 and $15. Even if you’re a frequent smoker, it will take at least a few months to reach the end of this terrific twine.
Where can you get your hands on hemp wicks?
Since hemp wicks are gaining traction in the cannabis community, you shouldn’t have an issue finding high-quality products at your local dispensary or smoke shop. Many health food stores are also stocking these in-demand wicks on their shelves.
And, of course, there’s always the Internet. A quick search on Amazon will reveal dozens of reputable hemp wicks you could order while in your comfy cannabis-themed pajamas.