BY ALLISON STEIN
With 120-degree temperatures right around the corner, the lure of an ice-cold bong hit on a hot Arizona summer day sounds appealing. Luckily science has an answer, glycerine!
Many of us have bongs with ice catchers or oddly shaped ice cube trays that fit your bong, but like the iconic “Arizona snowman,” ice doesn’t last very long here. Glycerin coils and chillers are becoming a popular alternative to messy ice bongs.
These coils and chillers are glass filled with liquid glycerin. This idea is not new to the market, but it is flowing in the right direction. Resembling the lava lamps of the 70s, but with a 90s flare, glycerin handheld pipes and spoons have been around since the late 1990s, filled with bright colors and glitter that would glow under the black lights of the time. It’s unclear the first company to premier theses smoothing pipes, but as of now, the two top makers are Hempstar and Dream Pipes.
Glycerin is a non-toxic, water-soluble, clear, odorless gel-like liquid. Made from fatty acids and commonly used as a moisturizer in soaps. It’s more efficient at cooling than water because of the higher boiling point. The fact that does not solidify when frozen means it doesn’t expand like water. Glycerin also remains frozen longer and doesn’t take as much time to freeze. This makes it ideal for this purpose. With interchangeable parts you can trade out components and keep one in the freezer. You’ll never have to take a hot hit again.
Glycerin chiller/condenser coils are similar to the glittered hand pipes of the ’90s but lack the sparkle. These coils are normally removable sections that can be added to or stacked with a bong base and then secured with a keck clip (little plastic clamps). Another use is to turn the coil into a roadrunner/ nectar collector with add on parts for an ice-cold dab. An experienced smoke shop should be able to help you. Some brands like Grav (formerly Grav Labs) have 2 coils on the market. One is catered more towards bongs with their Stax line. The second is more of an add on piece that allows for some creativity. Krave and Nucleus also manufacture glycerin coils as well.
–A Scottsdale native, Allison Stein writes for Arizona Cannabis Monthly