All smoking sessions start with a flame, but how do you make yours?
Matches, lighters, hemp wicks and even gas hobs all get the job done, but you might notice that some ignition sources offer a better smoke than others.
No, your not imagine things – smoking cigarettes, cigars, spliffs, and roll-ups is different when you light with a match,wick, lighter, or your kitchen hob.
Sometimes, it is the initial contamination of the combusted substance that taints the taste of your product. For example, a match produces smoke from burning wood, which changes how your herbs taste.
Other times, the intensity of the flame affects the taste, with a lighter producing a harsher smoke than the soft flame of a hemp wick.
Let’s take a look at the most common ways that spark sessions and list the pros and cons to decide which is best for you.
Lighters produce a small flame from gas - typically butane - reaching a maximum temperature of around 1,977 degrees Celsius. This is extremely hot, which makes sparking up easy but also creates a harsh smoke that can taint your herbs.
- Easily Sourced
- Harsher smoke
Electric lighters – also known as plasma lighters - produce a high-voltage electrical current arc, reaching a temperature of around 1,100 degrees Celsius. This preserves the taste of the herbs but results in a milder smoke.
- Milder smoke
Matches burn at a lower temperature than lighters, typically around 600-800 Celsius. However, rather than produce a mild smoke like electric lighters, matches bring out the taste of herbs with their own smoke.
- Harder to use
- Burning wood can taint taste
Hemp wicks burn at 1500-1,600 Celsius, more than double that of a match, but not as high as a lighter. The burn is clean and smoke-free, with the flame burning slowly. It means a clean, smooth smoke without any tainting.
- Preserves taste
- It needs lighting with something else
Everyone lights a cigarette or a roll-up on a hob at least once in their lifetime. Just be careful - the flame temperature reaches as high as 3,000 Celsius, enough to ignite your product and render it completely non-smokable.
- Does the job
- Way too hot
- Produces a harsh smoke
- Risk of injury
Overall, which is best?
Hemp wicks are what most people ‘in the know’ use because wicks do not contaminate the herbs with any residual smoke. Also, the temperature range is considered medium - not hot enough to burn herbs, but hot enough to have character.
Matches are a good option providing you light within seconds; do not light when the flame reaches the wood. Otherwise, your herbs will be tainted.
Butane lighters are a quick, easy solution to ignition, but the hot flame can burn your product and leave a harsh taste. Electric lighters are a better option, but these produce a mild smoke that you might not enjoy.
Please light responsibly, so don't stick your rollup in the toaster and we also highly advise against using gas hobs.