Recognizing Marijuana Paraphernalia
According to federal laws, it is illegal for teens to possess marijuana paraphernalia. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, a component of the US Department of Justice, “The term drug paraphernalia refers to any equipment that is used to produce, conceal, and consume illicit drugs.”
Moreover, marijuana paraphernalia is an indication that a teen is using marijuana. As a result, they are exposed to risks associated with this drug.
According to the most recent Monitoring the Future Survey from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 39 percent of college students use marijuana. As a result, these are the highest levels of use among college students in the past three decades. In addition, 36 percent of high school seniors use marijuana. Furthermore, this is similar to past years, and 6 percent report daily use.
Different Kinds of Marijuana Paraphernalia
The lists below indicate how many varieties of paraphernalia that are available. The national wave of legalization has increased the availability of these items.
Smoking Pipes, Bongs, Bubbler, and Hookah
All of these types of paraphernalia are used to smoke the drug.
- Pipes can be made of wood, glass, porcelain, metal, and other materials. Pipes tend to require metallic screens to keep the user from inhaling ash.
- A bong is a long tubular water pipe, usually made of plastic with a bowl attached. A bong uses water or other liquids like wine to filter the smoke.
- A bubbler is a combination of a pipe and a bong, allowing for the filtration system provided by a bong to be portable.
- A hookah is a traditional smoking device from the Middle East and Turkey. It usually is quite ornate, made of brass or a cheaper imitator, with a rope-like tube attached for smoking. Hookahs are often disguised as decorative pieces.
Rolling Papers, Tobacco Blunts, Grinders, and Roach Clips
These kinds of cannabis paraphernalia are used to process and smoke the drug.
- Rolling papers like Zig Zag or Raw are used to roll the drug into a joint.
- Blunts like Swisher Sweets and Phillies Blunt are inexpensive, store-bought cigars that marijuana smokers hollow out and fill with cannabis.
- Grinders are small metal tins, sometimes designed to look like the Death Star from Star Wars or even a Rubik’s Cube. They grind up the drug for use.
- Roach clips are metal clasps that hold a joint to prevent burning the fingers.
Vaporizers, Vape Pens, and Dabs
Used for tobacco as well, here are kinds of drug paraphernalia that are popular because they hide smells.
- Vaporizers, in many forms, can be used for weed, hash, liquids, and hash oil.
- Vape pens are smaller than larger vaporizers, often with pre-filled cartridges.
- Dabbing is the bong of vaping, and similar to freebasing in other drugs. These elaborate contraptions tend to be made of glass and almost medical-looking.
What Parents Need to Do About Marijuana Paraphernalia
If parents or adults see paraphernalia for Marijuana in the home, they need to take steps to ensure a teen’s health and safety.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is a gateway drug for teenagers. As a result, it opens the door to drugs like cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and heroin. Moreover, THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, primes the brain. Hence, this enhances responses to other drug stimuli.
Modern Types of Cannabis Paraphernalia
The spread of marijuana legalization across the country has led to an explosion in cannabis use and different types of paraphernalia. Therefore, today there are more kinds of paraphernalia available for purchase than ever before.
More importantly, this paraphernalia is no longer restricted to “head shops,” or stores that sell drug-related paraphernalia. Indeed, with the rise of dispensaries and the popularization of marijuana, cannabis paraphernalia is now found in mainstream locations. Furthermore, it can be found in smoke shops, vaping shops, dispensaries, and even convenience stores or gas stations.
In addition, many paraphernalia products are marketed and designed as though they were intended for other purposes. Thus, marijuana pipes and bongs often are labeled with a misleading disclaimer. These labels claim that the products are intended for use only with tobacco products.
Deceptive Paraphernalia vs. Glamorized Paraphernalia
Many drug paraphernalia sellers focus on deception. Hence, they sell devices that do not appear to be marijuana paraphernalia. Therefore, such paraphernalia may look like items related to teen hobbies, such as skateboarding or music. And teens are drawn to such because they want to hide use from their parents.
Side-by-side with the deceptive paraphernalia, glamorized paraphernalia has become increasingly popular. In bright and bold colors, these devices reflect the interests of young people from popular movies and rock bands to video gaming and teen trends.
Therefore, if teens are into a new trend like Pokémon GO, the latest paraphernalia will reflect the game. In addition, paraphernalia inspired by popular shows, such as The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, can be found on eBay and all over the Internet.
Marijuana Paraphernalia = A Red Flag for Teen Drug Use
Finding marijuana paraphernalia in a teenager’s possession almost always means that they are using the drug. Signs of teen marijuana dependence include irritability, moodiness, difficulty sleeping, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness, and various forms of physical discomfort.
Recent research suggests that 30 percent of those who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder. Moreover, scientists have found that people who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than adults.
When a teen is abusing marijuana, parents need to speak with a psychologist or a counselor as soon as possible. Receiving help from a clinical professional will provide insight as to whether further treatment is necessary.
If you or someone you love is struggling, contact us. We are here for you, any time.
Photos by Ezra Jeffrey, Ian Dooley, Alex Chambon, and Daniele Pelusi from Unsplash.
JAMA Psychiatry. 2015 Dec; 72(12): 1235–1242.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2008 Jan 1; 92(1-3): 239–247.
The possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia is illegal in the US, finding it on your teen is a sign of marijuana use, which can lead to addiction.
Types of Paraphernalia
Paraphernalia was once a scary word, used largely by police officers and lawyers to describe crime scenes and condemn thousands of innocent stoners to criminal lives.
In today’s age of marijuana legal reform, however, paraphernalia describes all of the fun gadgets and toys you can acquire to make getting stoned easier, healthier, more effective, and more exciting.
Below is a list of all paraphernalia-related terms in our open-source cannabis dictionary.
A bong is a vertical water filtration device used for smoking cannabis. Bongs are usually made of glass, and they’re comprised of a bowl and stem which lead into the water-filled pipe. When lit, the water in the bong acts as a filter for any undesirable burnt particles and allows only smoke to enter the user’s lungs. Not surprisingly, bongs have historically been the method of choice for smoking among the Thai, Hmong, and Chinese peoples. Some of these excavated gold water pipes date back 2400 years.
“Ana dropped her brand-new bong, but it somehow didn’t break at all.”
The water that goes into a bong or water pipe that makes it function. After extended use the water usually becomes murky. Some mischievous stoners will claim it contains THC because of this and will try to trick newbies into drinking it, but don’t bother–it’s just gross water that needs to be dumped.
“This bongwater is looking a little dingy. Should we replace it?”
A term used both for an amount of ground cannabis ready to smoke and the section of a pipe, bong, or bubbler that one loads ground cannabis into. Bowls are traditionally shared among a group of friends, though it isn’t uncommon to enjoy one alone.
“Let’s load up another bowl.”
Bubblers are glass pipes that use water to reduce irritation from inhaling smoke. After lighting the cannabis, smoke is pulled through a stem into a small supply of water, and into the user’s lungs. This makes for a much smoother and more pleasant experience than directly inhaling and adds a fun bubbling noise to the sesh.
“My favorite piece is the bubbler with sparkly gold swirls.”
A dabbing tool, usually made of glass or nonferrous metal, allowing more controlled heat distribution and airflow. Cannabis concentrate is sealed inside the carb cap, after which heat is applied by a torch. They’re useful for dabbing at lower temperatures, allowing users to taste those flavorful terpenes.
“I lost my carb cap, so I can’t dab properly with my banger until I get a replacement.”
Also called a chilam, a chillum is a conical pipe design originating in 18th century India. They can be used for smoking any sort of ground, dried product, such as tobacco or chamomile, but are more commonly used for cannabis. In the 1960s, chillums became popular with smokers in the United States. They also have spiritual significance to followers of the Rastafari movement. Users put a filter inside and pack the wide end with ground flower before lighting the flower and inhaling from the smaller end of the glass, wooden, or metal pipe.
“Smoking with a chillum is more work than using any other pipe, but the ritual of it all makes me feel more grounded.”
The long often pointed tool used for picking up a small amount of cannabis concentrate for the purpose of applying it to a heated dab rig. A good dabber is long enough to keep your hands away from the extreme temperatures of the device while also allowing the user to control how much or how little product they inhale. They can be made from glass or metal and many glass dabbers coming in whimsical shapes and colors.
“I bought a new dabber that looks like a carrot!”
An extra piece to a bong that enhances airflow and provides a smoother, cleaner experience. They force the smoke to pass through the water in the bong to clear it of any burnt plant matter before reaching your lungs. Diffusers can be as simple as a straight tube, or they can be extremely complex with multiple additions, shapes, and holes to provide extra filtering. Unfortunately, the more complex the diffuser, the more difficult it is to clean.
“I love the smooth hits I get with a complex diffuser, but I didn’t realize how much it would suck to clean.”
Typically made of glass, a dome fits over the nail of a dab or oil rig to capture all of the vapor created when the concentrate hits the nail. They’re essential if you want to get the most out of each dab. Domes can be simple, but it’s common to see domes made with ornate and unique designs. You’re sure to find one that fits both your piece and your aesthetic.
“In my opinion, domes are essential if you want to get the most out of your dabs.”
Domeless nails have become quite popular among concentrate enthusiasts. Often much larger than regular nails, the domeless variety allows for more concentrate to be used at one time while also providing ease of use. However, the lack of dome means any concentrate used on it will lose heat more quickly, so it’s debatable as to whether they’re actually more convenient.
“Should I invest in something with a domeless nail, or should I just get a dome?”
Essential for bong operation, a downstem is a small, removable piece of glass that houses ground cannabis. Once lit, the user inhales from the mouthpiece, filling the chamber with smoke. Removing the downstem at this point then allows the user to inhale the produced smoke inside the chamber. They also tend to be the most delicate part of the bong, but thankfully, many head shops and dispensaries sell spares.
“Be careful with the downstem! If it breaks, we can’t use this bong.”
Commonly used term for a bong or pipe used for smoking. Glass is an excellent medium for cannabis consumption, as it is easily cleaned and retains its integrity even at extreme temperatures. Also, a skilled glass artist can make some really rad looking designs. Pipes and bongs can be minimalistic, but many consumers think of their glass as a vessel for artistic expression. It’s quite common to see gorgeous glasswork of differing colors, textures, and patterns for sale in a head shop or dispensary.
“Ever since I bought that heady glass, I haven’t rolled a single joint.”
A device used to shred cannabis flowers and buds. Grinders are usually metal, and they have sharp teeth to easily tear cannabis buds into loose-leaf material that is suitable for packing into a joint or glass. Some grinders feature a “kief catcher” compartment, allowing for the harvesting of kief.
“I just used up everything in my grinder, but now we can try out the Green Crack we bought.”
Impressive and artistic functional glass art used for cannabis consumption. Glass artists are capable of making usable art in a wide range of styles, creating a valuable and desirable niche of cannabis culture. Plenty of users also delight in purchasing and using glass that reflects their interests or personality, so these pieces can be both functional and elegant.
“Even if I didn’t smoke, I’d probably collect all sorts of interesting heady glass, like bongs or bubblers.”
A device used for slow, gentle smoking of flavored tobacco and cannabis. The hookah has a lot of history and cultural significance to the peoples of South Asia and the Middle East, and in the 1970s, hookah bars and lounges began popping up in the United States as a place for people to gather and smoke together. Some hookahs can be multistemmed, allowing for more than one person to draw smoke from it at once, but it’s also common for people to simply pass the pipe around.
“Hookah hits are a great way to honor ancient smoking tradition with your friends.”
Isopropyl alcohol, also known as iso, is used for many cannabis-related applications. It is uniquely suited for cleaning resin and ash from glass, as well as being a useful solvent in concentrate creation. Many stoners who take a DIY approach for making extracts have their own special methods of production involving iso although using Iso for home extracts can be dangerous.
“The best way to clean glass is by letting it soak in iso overnight.”
A chamber built into glass for the additional filtration of smoke. This allows for smoother inhalation and less irritation in the mouth, throat, and lungs. Percolators come in various styles and methods of filtration, but always help smooth the experience. Generally speaking, the more complex the percolator, the more filtered your smoking experience. However, intricately designed percolators can be tougher to clean.
“My bong’s percolator is always a little tough to clean, but it cools the smoke so well.”
Mass-produced cannabis consumption glass. Whereas a more extravagant bong might feature flourishes for visual effect and artistry, production glass is focused more on functionality. Production glass is oftentimes a newbie’s first purchase since the affordable pricing and simpler designs are less daunting than those of artisan glass. However, it’s sometimes perceived to be lower in quality compared to more artistic pieces.
“Production glass tends to be cheaper than artisan-made pieces, but it gets the job done just fine.”
Many stoners prefer to affix a screen inside of their bowl to prevent flower from sinking through before it is lit up and inhaled. A screen will fit snugly into a bowl piece of a bong or pipe, they can be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol when they get clogged. There are three types of screens available: stainless steel, brass, and glass; they are generally sold in packs of 5 or more.
“If you keep getting doobie snacks when you hit your pipe try putting a screen in the bowl piece.”
This type of smoking device is most popularly made out of glass but can also be found made of acrylic, metal, and wood. The steam roller gets its name from the round shape that resembles the front wheel of a steam roller. Generally, the bud is packed on top of the cylindrical smoking device while the smoker holds their finger over a carb on one end while lighting the herb and drawing through a hole on the other to collect smoke inside of the pipe. When ready the smoker lets go of the carb and inhales the collected weed smoke.
“Hitting a steam roller is fun because you can watch the smoke collect inside the piece.”
Until the big vape scare of 2019 vape carts were one of the most sought after products at retail dispensaries. Vaping is more discreet than smoking a joint and creates a less intense high than edibles which is why it is a popular method with older cannabis-users and those looking to toke on-the-go.
“Let’s pick up some vape carts at the dispensary before we go to this family dinner.”
Often called a “vape” for short, it’s an oven-like device that vaporizes cannabis flower, instead of combusting it. The vapor can be inhaled, and the leftover decarbed plant matter is excellent for homemade edibles. Vaporizers are easier on the lungs than smoking, making them especially useful for medical cannabis patients.
“Since I invested in a high-quality vaporizer, I don’t see any need to smoke traditionally anymore.”
Types of Paraphernalia Paraphernalia was once a scary word, used largely by police officers and lawyers to describe crime scenes and condemn thousands of innocent stoners to criminal lives. In