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I often get the feeling that people are intimidated by bongs because they don’t really understand what they are all about so I felt as though I should touch on the subject because the advancements in design and functionality have gone through the roof in the past few years and  I feel there is no greater sign of a sophisticated smoker than a beautifully kept bong. Any chronic will agree that a good clean bong hit is one of the best ways to enjoy cannabis.

So for those stumbling upon this sight by accident, I’ll explain what a bong is. A bong is a water pipe consisting of a neck or smoke chamber, a vase or base that contains water through which smoke is filtered and a down stem and or bowl through which cannabis is burned and then pulled through the water in the base. The resulting effect is a much cleaner, smoother smoke, allowing you to inhale more of what you want and less of what you don’t.

CityBong 450 Circa 1984

Lets start with the basics of choosing a bong. First of all there is no excuse for an acrylic bong. They smoke terrible, they are hard to/don’t clean and they are just plain tacky . If you happen to own one, no disrespect but given the options thats like choosing a CityMan 450 instead of an Iphone 4.

Glass is great and if you buy from a reputable brand such as Roor, Illadelph or Gear here in Vancouver they generally have some thicker 7mm glass options which are nice and solid. My bong has survived more than a couple bumps and knock overs in its time.

Next thing to consider is specific design features. The standard used to be a strict vase or beaker design with a down stem and slide/bowl. The thing is any kid with a bottle and a drill (and a whole lot of patience) can make this themselves. This design is structurally weak because of all the separate parts such a the down stem which will get broken by ice cubes should you choose to enjoy a cooler smoke. Take it from me, I’ve been there.

So, “What is a better design?” you might ask. Well if you’re heading down to your local headshop ask to see what

Code Name : Black Bonga

options they have for glass on glass designs. Glass on glass means that there are no rubber gaskets of any kind. the down stem will be crafted as part of the bong or custom ground to fit smoothly into the vase and the bowl will be custom fitted to the bong, creating a glass on

glass seal. A great example of this is my bong, Code Name : The Black Bonga. Now once you have found that some-bong special out there, there are some accessories and additional features you should consider. The fist being an ice pinch. This is where the neck of the bong is pinched in to hold ice cubes out of the the water where they can bounce around causing damage, or melt quickly and over fill your bong water. This allows the smoke to pass over the ice and cool just before it hits your lips creating a much more enjoyable experience. Next feature is a percolator which acts as an additional chamber through which to filter smoke. The more the smoke and water gets mixed up together the better filtered the end product will be, simple as that. Finally for the Bong aficionado an ash catcher is the icing on the cake. This extra chamber in between your bowl and down stem catches ash and resin before it ever reaches your water, keeping your bong water fresh and clean.

So now that you know what to look for in a bong, its time to go shopping. And for those who have already made the worthwhile investment in a quality bong, lets talk about usage and maintenance.

Ital Hemp Wick

Again just as played out as the acrylic bong, is the burning of your herb with butane lighters. Not only is butane unhealthy to inhale, but it burns at such a high temperature that it is destroying the not just the flavour, but some of the potency of your herb. A much better alternative would be to invest in a spool of hemp wick. Ital hemp wick is made with organic hemp twine and bee’s wax making a perfect low burning, controllable flame to use with your bong.  So grind your weed, pack your bowl and limit the burn to a corner of the bowl in order to conserve your herb. Just like smoking a tobacco pipe there is a technique to efficiently lighting and smoking a bong or pipe of any kind. Start the burn off to an edge and after the initial light allow the cherry to spread across the bowl burning clean and evenly. This technique alone will increase the flavour and reduce the harshness of the smoke and paired with a clean bong and some fresh ice and you can enjoy some of the best smoke of your life.

A clean, cold bong is so worth the limited effort it takes to keep it up. A good little secret that I want to share with you guys is the magic of lemon juice. The addition of lemon juice to your bong water keeps is smelling and tasting fresh longer. In addition the citric acid in the juice helps keep resin from collecting on your glass to fast.

Inevitably though your bong will eventually succumb to resin and grime at which point you should, and will, clean it thoroughly. Depending on your smoking consistency this should be done every 2-4 weeks. The best way to go about doing this is P.S. Culture’s own Home Bong Cleaning Solution! Easily made out of common household products, This mixture will de-resinate your bong and leave it clean, smooth and smelling fresh. No need to buy some expensive bong-specific cleaner, just do it yourself! The best thing about a clean bong is that it is really a work of art. Most bongs are hand crafted by skilled craftsmen and should be displayed as the work of art that they are, so keep them in the best condition to make the best impression on anyone and everyone who comes over to share some fine smoke.

Think about it this way, would you serve scotch in a dirty glass?

P.S. Culture’s Magic Home Bong Cleaning solution!

1 Tbl spoon salt

1 Tbl spoon baking soda

3 ounces  99%Isopropanol Alcohol   (Can be found in the first aid isle of most major drugstores)

Hot Water (For Final Rinse)

Add the 3 main ingredients and shake around in the bong, make sure it washes over all dirty areas. For those hard to reach places such as the inside of your bowl, soak the piece in the leftover solution after the bong is clean, then wipe clean with a q-tip. When the the glass looks clear and any resinous build up is washed clean, add some hot water from the tap and rinse the piece out.

**Be sure to rinse your bong multiple times, including any smaller pieces such as the bowl. If you intend to use the piece immediately after the clean be sure to smell each piece to make sure you have rinsed out any remaining alcohol as inhaling such can be dangerous. If not, let your bong air dry and in doing so any remaining alcohol should evaporate completely.

So I hope you learned something, feel free to post any question or concerns while I leave you with these final words:

“If you’re going to smoke herb do so with sophistication. And when you exhale, always blow your smoke proud.”

~The Culturalist

Lets begin by taking a look at my form of cannabis use. I generally smoke about 1-2 grams a day depending on what I happen to be doing. My daily routine consists of packing a bowl in my lovely Gear bong here known as Black Mamba, generally around a .7 nuglette. After its finely ground  and packed down in the bowl with my  I will burn just around the edges to light the bowl and let it cherry. Using a hemp wick burns the weed at a lower temperature and as so saves a lot of flavour. Lighting the bowl this way will allow it to cherry and continue to burn. No need to re light! In addition to the ease of controlling the burn this method also saves your body from the harmful chemicals being spewed into your lungs by the butane lighter.

Now when done right the smallest burn can get you a massive hit and for most people just one is enough. When you’re alone this leaves you with the option to come back to it later when you are ready for another toke.

Cannabis has many side effects and though some may be bad the majority can be wonderful and life changing when used properly. Light but consistent use can keep your mind, body and spirit on track to living a balanced life.

One of the key points to living a healthy happy life is water. Our bodies are 97% water so you had better be doing everything you can to make sure you are only putting the very best water into your body. The consistent use of cannabis never really changes the way I act as I am pretty much conditioned I am basically at about the same level all the time. But the one thing it does do to me is give me the healthy reminder to drink more water. When I consistently smoke throughout the day I consume water just as frequent if not more. Why? Because it’s delicious and it sure cures cottonmouth like no other. I don’t drink much other than water during the day so I usually go through 3 large water bottles a day. Doing so has helped me look and feel healthier than I ever have.

Now while we’re on the subject lets talk about nutrition and the importance of being well fed. I have heard arguments from the more health conscious against smoking herb because “When they smoke they end up eating all kinds of junk food”. Well thats not the herb, thats your lack of will power. I only keep healthy snacks in the house with the occasional bag of chips or cookies tucked away for special occasions so when I smoke I go and eat grapes  or celery or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I suggest just revising your grocery list and learn how to snack healthy for your bodies sake. Not to mention the decrease in carbon footprint not buying all those packaged junk and fast foods Woohoo!!

The next step is to really balance your chi. Using cannabis for personal thought, development and meditation can help you gain a better understanding of yourself and in doing so a better understanding of those around you. Historically peaceful and understanding figures have always been big users of cannabis and by no coincidence I’m sure. Balancing your life with the use of cannabis can bring you a great love and understanding for your fellow man.

Rest and recuperation is important when living an active and productive life. Using cannabis to relieve muscle and joint pain can be a wonderful way to further your physical conditioning. Smoking and stretching allows your muscles to relax and ease into your positions. In addition to the benefits to your muscles it can bring about a calm and focused state of mind allowing you to direct your energy efficiently when partaking in physically taxing activities.

Now I keep mentioning the balance between your life and cannabis  and heres what I mean: Everyone will agree that there is a point at which being really lifted can interfere with the performance level of certain tasks. Such as a meeting with your boss at work, flying a plain or maybe chasing criminals. So I think we can agree it would be less than beneficial to burn a blunt to yourself right prior. So fly under that bar, but treat it like the goal at the end of a level in Mario World and fly as high as you can but stay under that bar. Thats how you get the most points.

~ The Culturalist.

The PS Culture

With the new year comes a new name for the blog. “Proud Smoke Culture” Which in a sense is what I would like to share with the rest of the world through this blog. I have integrated these ideas into my life over the last four or five years and have since enjoyed a peaceful and balanced life through the use of cannabis as a medicinal and meditative herb.

The Current Issue

Throughout our world today people are pre programmed with stereotypes about all subgroups of human beings. Assuming that someone who smokes marijuana is a lazy, unambitious, slob is in my books as close to bigotry as assuming every homosexual flicks their wrist and speaks with a lisp. Cannabis has been an integral part of our culture as a human race for as long as 3000 years and with good reason. Through the responsible use of cannabis many can find  an understanding  and balance within themselves that they have never experienced before. However some of the side effects of cannabis can be demotivating at times when consumed in excess. This can be true in any drug however rather than anal bleeding, lung failure and death; the only side effects are exceptional thought, over eating, dehydration and sleep.

The Future

Now as we’ve seen with all of the previously discussed negative side effects, the use of cannabis can put a hinder on productivity at times. This is where I come in; I would like to teach the world how to live a balanced life through the intelligent and moderate use of cannabis. In future posts I will discuss topics such as how to choose a bong, and the difference between rolling papers and why some are better. I want to teach as many people as I can that there is an actual sophisticated and educated class of people who enjoy cannabis as an integral part of their lives. Its time to do away with the stereotypes and understand that there are many positive ways in which cannabis can enrich one’s life.

The First Step

The first step into our culture is to really understand why you use cannabis. Find the underlying reasons and not just the obvious ones such as “It helps me sleep” or “It makes me more creative”. Everyone enjoys cannabis for different reasons but I’ve also found that there are many different aspects of our lives that it can have an effect on. For me personally It serves many purposes such as a sleep aide, a pain killer, muscle relaxant during muscle recovery and anti-depressant. It helps me with anxiety and stage fright and even boosts my appetite in the morning enough to eat a full breakfast which they have always told me is the most important meal of the day.

Once you understand why you use this particular herbal remedy you can start to measure out your limits and boundaries. If you don’t know why you are smoking herb in the first place it can be difficult to know when to stop. This is prominent in all settings. If you happen to be enjoying cannabis in a social setting understand that you are doing so to promote conversation and a common bond. So once you have reached the optimum point of brain/mouthpiece activity respectfully excuse yourself from the rotation. I am here to promote a pride in the use of cannabis in any capacity and to it’s full capacity.

There is no peer pressure, there is no judgement, there is no taboo. There is only our culture and we’re proud of it.

~ The Culturalist

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years! With the new year comes a whole new ballgame when it comes to the PS lifestyle. As of January 1st people in California no longer have fear the legal damages associated with the personal use of cannabis! Woohoo! Legislation has gone into place officially decriminalizing the possession of less than an ounce of cannabis by legal adults. This means no courts, no trials, no jail. This is huge for the state of California as they can hope to save tens of thousands of dollars waisted on simple possession trials and imprisonment of responsible adults. The charges have been changed to a mere civil infraction resulting in a $100 fine (and the cost of your herb), similar to a traffic ticket. This is a huge step for the country and regardless of the loss of prop 9 it opens up a world of freedom to those who are proud of their culture and just want to smoke their fine herbs!

Now in other news there are some big things brewing up here in Vancouver and I have got a front of the line pass to share with you guys! Expect some new postings coming up in the next month or two so keep an eye out and you will not be disappointed! I am dedicating this year to sharing my lifestyle with all of you and hopefully introducing you to a whole new way of thinking and living. I call this the Proud Smoke Culture. Because you know what? Cannabis is a huge part of our pacific northwest culture and has been a big part of my life since I was old enough to understand and enjoy the benefits of our wonderful herbal friend. I am proud of my knowledge and understanding of this plant which we are blessed to have grow naturally and abundantly where we live, and so should you! So on that note, be responsible, be genuine, be peaceful and smoke proud. I feel big things coming up for 2011.

Congratulation California and Best wishes for everyone in the New Year!

~ The PS Culturalist

Unfortunately the high hopes we all had going for Prop 19 wasn’t quite enough to beat the capitalist nature of California.  I think the two major pitfalls on the voters side were those who just couldn’t get over the cannabis taboo and those who feel that it is more profitable to them now than if it were to be legalized.

Now I’m going to take a wild guess that the majority of those who voted no on 19 fell into the cannabis taboo side. As history shows the only way to destroy a taboo is to bring it to the mainstream, or normalize it within our society.

So this is why I say smoke proud people! Don’t try to hide what is an important part of our culture. Our friends and families have grown cannabis and harvested it for fibers and medicine for generations, as have the entire human race for as far back as history can show us. If the public and those opposed political figures become accustomed to the safe and responsible use of cannabis they will eventually see the stupidity and utter irresponsibility that is the prohibition of cannabis.

On that note, check out Zach Galifianakis on Bill Maher. This is what I’m talking about. Dude smokes a joint during the discussion, no big deal. He’ll be going home after to his family or whatever, probably pick up pizza on the way and some desert.. maybe a pie or some peaches and ice cream..

Apparently Bill Maher told Wolf Blitzer that “If it was a real joint, Wolf, I would have smoked it, I think it was cloves or something,”

Anyways my point is that the more of this that goes on, the more people will have to accept it or be left behind.

Check out the video, I’m guessing the dragons are the scaley looking politicians on the other side of the table?

Vote Yes on 19!

Hey Everybody!

As I’m sure a good number of you are already aware of, the legalization of marijuana is on the ballot for november in California and it is imperative that everyone gets out and votes YES!

I know there are a lot of skeptics out there who are afraid of “Prices going up due to taxes” Well let me break it to you guys, with the amount of growers that will be popping up supply will go through the roof and prices will likely stay exactly the same.

Secondly for those of you who are worried about the government coming in and “cutting your grass” so to speak, get over yourselves. If you really enjoy growing cannabis continue to do so in a legal respect. An unregulated free market is no reason for the hundreds of thousands of people who are currently in jail for the illegality of the industry.

Alas better than I can ever put it, here are the key points as written on the Yes on 19 Campaign website. Check it out Here, join the cause and tell your friends everybody. This is a huge first step for marijuana policy not only for California, but for the whole world.

About Proposition 19

Vote Yes on 19! 

The Problem

Today, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are wasted enforcing the failed prohibition of cannabis (also known as marijuana). Currently, cannabis is easier for kids to get than alcohol. Prohibition has created a violent criminal market run by international drug cartels. Police waste valuable resources targeting non-violent cannabis consumers, while thousands of violent crimes go unsolved. And there is $14 billion in marijuana sales every year in California, but our debt-ridden state sees none of the revenue that would come from controlling and taxing it. Cannabis prohibition has failed.

The Solution

We need a common sense approach to control and tax cannabis like alcohol.

Proposition 19 was carefully written, in order to:

  • Control cannabis like alcohol, allowing adults 21 and over in California to possess up to one ounce of cannabis, to be consumed at home or licensed establishments
  • Give state and local governments the ability to tax the sale of cannabis for adult consumption
  • Put our police priorities where they belong, by ending the arrests of non-violent cannabis consumers, saving hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars a year and enabling police to focus on violent crime
  • Generate billions in annual revenue to fund what matters most in California: jobs, healthcare, public safety, parks, roads, transportation, and more
  • Cut off funding to violent drug cartels across our border who currently generate 60 percent of their revenue from the illegal U.S. marijuana market
  • Protect our kids, our roads, and our workplaces, by increasing the penalty for selling marijuana to minors, banning the smoking of marijuana in public, on school grounds, and while minors are present, maintaining strict criminal penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana, and preserving employers’ rights to maintain drug-free workplaces
  • Protect medical cannabis patients’ rights

Good Luck California and Keep Blowing the Smoke Proud!

~The Hempen Journeyman

I know people have said a lot on this subject but I feel that it needs to be repeated if people are going to understand and follow it.

Being that spliffs are my preferred method of cannabis consumption, It frustrates me to no end when I smoke with new company or outside of my circle of friends and people just don’t understand how to smoke. Now I know it sounds stupid to say that they don’t know how to smoke a joint, “Just smoke it” is not a sufficient instruction. People with this mentality are generally the ones chiefing on it as I watch in horror from across the cypher as my jay runs down the side and wastes what could have been another 10 minutes of herbal enjoyment for everyone.

Lets start with the basics:

Whoever supplies the herb gets the green hit.

Whether you roll it or not, always offer it to them to approve of the roll and spark up. If they ask you to light it then start the burn get it started nice and clean for them and pass it their way whether it be to the left or right always send it to them first and let it continue that direction. Don’t get caught up in the pass it to the left or right, just send it to whoever deserves it. If they provide the herb don’t let them get the tail end just cause they’re sitting to your right. Thats not cool.

Watch the burn!

When you first light the jay it sets it up to burn for the rest of the session, so start it so it burns evenly on all sides and keep it that way through the session. When you smoke a jay regardless of how well it is rolled it may begin to run due to air pockets or dry cannabis or for whatever reason. If the spliff begins to run please stop smoking, Wet the end of your finger and dab it around the run. If one side isn’t burning touch it up real quick with a lighter and even out the burn. If you do this once or twice the jay will almost always even out and burn smooth for the rest of the session. Don’t be lazy! It will provide a much more enjoyable smoke for you and your partners.

Its a Joint, Not a Microphone.

Now this one is something that we’re all guilty of at one point or another its inevitable. Please try to pay attention to yourself and don’t get stuck on a rant while letting the joint burn in your hand. If you feel yourself getting into it a bit take a hit, collect your thoughts, pass it on and continue with your train of thought. let other smoke and take it in while you share your thoughts.

Don’t be a snob.

Even if you can roll the perfect joint or blunt or cross jay, pirate ship, tulip, or 6 round machine gun jay don’t take the opportunity away from someone who wants to try for themselves. If your session partners ask you to roll it up, or if it is your herb then by all means have at it but if someone else asks to roll it up let them, everyone needs practice once in a while and if you have to well versed jay-crafts in your group it can be an equally beneficial relationship. Unless of course the outcome is terrible and you feel the resulting spliff could waste the herb then let them know politely and offer to re-roll it and give them some tips. However please be constructive and never negative.

The Four P’s – Puff Puff Pass and Please.

I don’t always follow this rule to the thumb, but within my group of friends I feel that we are all fairly reasonable when it comes to smoking appropriately. However if you do notice someone taking advantage and overdoing it a bit, a simple “Puff puff pass please” as a friendly reminder for them to share the love is usually sufficient. Don’t be greedy is all we ask.

Never exclude anyone.

Whether you think they smoke or not, or if you know them or what not always offer. In certain larger group situations it is alright to steal away for a bit with some of your close friends to smoke but never be shady about it. If you’re smoking in front of people don’t exclude them. Offer up a toke at least, if there is limited herb you don’t have to invite them in to the full rotation but look around and at least offer an individual hit. If you knew there was going to be a lot of people, then just like in grade school “If you bring something in, make sure you bring enough for the whole class.” Its just polite.

Don’t Peer Pressure.

If someone says they don’t wish to smoke, or if they opt out of a rotation, don’t push them to smoke further. Everyone has their limits and their preferred heights to be reached. If anything thank them for letting you have their share. This sort of thing was common when we were younger, but as matured, sophisticated herbal connoisseurs understand that everyone has their right to enjoy it the way they want to. Or not at all for that matter.

Now If everyone follows these guidelines when smoking with their friends it could prove to be a much more enjoyable experience for all. I understand that within certain circles there are different rules and maybe within your group you follow musical youth’s pass the dutchie to the left hand side, thats cool too but make sure to always be polite and respectful to everyone involved.

If you think there’s anything crucial that I left out of here then feel free to leave a comment and share your views on the subject.

“If you’re going to smoke herb do so with sophistication. And when you exhale, always blow your smoke proud.”

~The Culturalist