All About Hemp Wick
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You may have heard about it; you probably have seen it before; you might even be familiar with it. Hemp wick is a slow burning, wax coated rope made of hemp that is used as a multi-functional lighting device. For herbalists, hemp wick is the holy grail of clean smoking. As compared to butane, hemp wick is healthier to inhale, requires no fuel and gives off no taste to affect your flowers. Easily compacted and able to travel with, hemp wick is something every herbalist should try.
We previously wrote about BHO and how harmful it can be if you don’t use it properly. Butane burns at a temperature that’s much higher than necessary to light your cannabis. It destroys terpenes, and according to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to the fuel-cum-solvent can cause symptoms such as drowsiness, asphyxia (suffocation), and even narcosis. With a typical butane lighter, in order to keep the flame burning, it is necessary to have a continual flow of fuel, which poses even more of a health risk. That means, while your finger is holding the button to keep the flame going, you are inhaling butane.
Hemp wick has been around for a long time, but is not as widely used as it should be. Contrary to what you may initially think it’s used for, hemp wick is not the material used to make DIY necklaces. In fact, it’s actually the perfect additive to use in along with a lighter when smoking cannabis. Hence the name, hemp wick is made of hemp twine, then coated in wax (usually beeswax). The wax coating makes the hemp twine virtually waterproof and have a light, sticky touch. You can either keep it bundled together loosely however, a bundle is usually wrapped around a lighter and unraveled as needed. Instead of putting your BIC directly to your joint, bowl or bong, the hemp wick is used to be lit and burns slow like a candle.
For many herbalists, hemp wick has become ideal because it is made of hemp, the same stuff you’re smoking. Hemp wick does not give off any harmful fumes and it does not combust because it does not reach a high temperature like a butane lighter. Since there is no gas given off of the hemp wick, the chances of the terpenes being destroyed and the taste/quality of your flowers being affected are slimmer.
Another positive about hemp wick is it’s ability to be adjusted to light any and everything. It’s easy to light joints and glass with hemp wick because of it’s capability to be moved however you prefer. You can light anything, whether it’s in front of you, in your lap or hard to reach.
A cannabis connoisseur could not only differentiate strains by taste, but they can also smell and taste butane on their flowers if it was lit with a standard lighter. Cannabis tastes good on it’s own; it’s not necessary to add the taste of butane or anything else that hasn’t derived from the cannabis plant. Hemp wick adds very little taste (if any) and allows your lighters to last longer because it requires no fuel, just flame, to burn.
There are different varieties of hemp wick, but all types are generally inexpensive. However, when looking to purchase hemp wick, you want to be aware of a few things. Hemp wick comes in different lengths and widths; it can either be thick or thin twine and you can purchase a long bundle or a short one. The more inexpensive hemp wick is not recommended, still effective, but the wax coating has a tendency to be clumpy, causing it to drip wax when lit. Avoid hemp wick that has been bleached or dyed because, after all, we’re trying to go the all natural route, right? Hemp wick is naturally dark/golden brown twine. Bleached or dyed hemp wick can contain other harmful chemicals due to the process it goes through when being altered from its natural state. You also want to buy a roll of hemp wick that has been tightly twisted; with the least amount of loose hemp strands. Tightly twisted hemp wick will produce a smooth, even burn.
Due to it’s multi-functionality, hemp wick is not hard to find. You can find a variety of brands in your local smoke shop, craft store or even Walmart.