Hemp wick image

The marketing got to me somewhere along the way, and I picked up a ball of hemp wick, a spool of waxed hemp string that some swear by as a natural and healthy alternative to smoking with a lighter. At between $5 and $15 for anywhere from several yards to several hundred feet, it seemed like it's worth a shot.

After that first shot or two, I've had a 199.5-foot ball of hemp wick sitting in the back of my gadget box where it's been collecting dust for... at least five or six years. Then, I couldn't really tell you whether or not it meets the promise of a healthy, natural, clean smoke, but what I could tell you that it was unwieldy and inconvenient. And that sealed the deal.

At least until losing my last lighter sent me back to the gadget box to scrounge something up. I didn’t find any lighters, but I did find that ball of hemp wick and a butane torch I had used for dabbing. You definitely don’t want to be using a butane torch for lighting a bowl, but I thought I’d give it shot with the hemp wick.

Anyways, it turns out that that little torch and a pair of scissors made all the difference.

Instead of trying to light a tip poking out of a big ball of twine — which in retrospect was probably about 90% of my problem — the smaller pre-cut pieces are convenient, and the wax makes the wick strong enough to feel like a long match (I've seen others wrap it around a regular lighter). Even more importantly, the butane torch makes lighting the wicks a breeze. I always found getting the wick lit with your run-of-the-mill lighter takes just long enough to be inconvenient enough to skip it in favor of the flick of a lighter.

Now that I’ve got the hang of things, I’ve really enjoying having the hemp wick around. It produces a nice flame akin a match or a candle (which I suppose it kind of is) that makes lighting joints or evenly heating a bowel a satisfying and easy process. And there’s something nice about making the process of hanging out and smoking a little more methodical and thoughtful. Perhaps I’m slowing down a bit, but I do find some joy in the ritual of lighting up nowadays and the hemp wick is the perfect addition.

Is it ultra clean? I really couldn’t say and, after all, you’re still inhaling combusted cannabis material. Does it get you higher? I’ll have to keep trying to find out. Is it a little bit extra and a little unnecessary? Sure, but then again just about everything that comes through the Gadget Corner is. And, hey, if you don’t like it, you can always use it to stake your plants in the garden.

Grade: B+

Contact Alaska Pulse editor and writer Dorothy Resch Chomicz at 459-7532 or at editor@AlaskaPulse.com

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