Stoners were easy to shop for during pot’s prohibition. Put a bow on an eighth of good weed and you were suddenly a masterful gift giver.
But nowadays anyone of age with an ID and some cash can buy pot in Washington State. A gram of weed has become the gift-giving equivalent of a Wal-Mart gift card. Don’t be that person.
Luckily for you, legalization has also brought about a new wave of fun pot technology and products. I’ve collected my favorite pot smoking accessories and gear, from expensive $300 machines to $10 accessories that will revolutionize your next joint.
MJ Arsenal Joint Bubblers
These joint bubblers turn joints into bongs. It’s the type of thing that looks very stupid until you take your first hit and you become a religious convert to the #MJArsenal lifestyle and start wearing these thumb-sized glass pieces on a chain around your neck. I wish I could say every joint I smoke is out of one of these joint bubblers, but I can’t because I gave mine away when I was interviewing the rock band Thunderpussy this summer.
I showed up to the interview with two top-shelf joints and a diamond-shaped joint bubbler. The band’s first reaction while I was filling up these little glass balls with water was a somewhat dismissive “oh, that’s so cute.” But their derision turned to appreciation after I passed around the joint and they all experienced the wonder of a joint functioning as a bong. By the end of the interview, they were asking if they could keep the bubblers, so I relented and gave them up.
If you have a friend that likes joints then they will love these bubblers ($10-$30).
The Puffco Peak is an electronic dab rig that’s about the size of pint glass that makes vaporizing concentrates accessible to everyone. You no longer have to deal with the open flame of a blow torch in order to enjoy the sublime pleasure of rosin, wax, and cannabis oil.
I am very skeptical of anything expensive, so I was very dubious when I saw the Puffco’s $380 price tag. But then I used it and I was convinced that every rich person in the country should buy one of these rigs. The whole thing is incredibly easy to use, just load your preferred concentrate into the ceramic bowl, click the button to heat it up to your desired heat setting, and then inhale through the water-percolating chamber. It's comfortable to hold and use and it delivers everything from light and wispy low-temp dabs to heavy-hitting high-temp dabs.
If you know someone that is interested in exploring dabs but doesn’t want to deal with a blow torch (and let’s be honest everyone should be exploring dabs) then the Puffco is a great gift. Or just buy it for yourself, this thing is dope.
A Good Weed Book
Pot is a complicated plant with a long and weird history so there's a lot to learn from a good book about weed. If you have a policy wonk friend, grab them a copy of Craft Weed. Put out by MIT Press this year, Craft Weed examines how pot policy can create a sustainable craft weed industry. You should also grab some local literature from Pacific Northwest journalists like former Stranger writer David Schmader, with his Weed: The Users Guide, Bruce Barcott’s Weed The People, or Amanda Siebert’s The Little Book of Cannabis. Take a deep dive on cannabis extractions with cannabis expert Ed Rosenthal and his book Beyond Buds.
I recommended this little gadget in last year’s holiday gift guide but it is still one of the best pot products out there. To understand the value of the Nova ($210) you must first understand “decarboxylation.” This is the process that turns a compound called THCA into the THC that everyone knows and loves. Most people decarboxylate, or decarb for short, their pot when they take a lighter and smoke it. But for making edibles you need to decarb your weed by heating it on the stove or in an oven. The Nova takes the guesswork out of this decarbing process, making sure you get the most value for your money.
You just put your pot in this little purple machine, press the button, and let it slowly decarb that weed. Once it’s done decarbing your pot will be 100 percent activated, meaning you could literally eat those nugs and get high. You can then put that flower in your favorite edible recipe, or you could even roll up a joint and smoke it. It will get you higher because all of the THCA has been turned into THC. The more you know!
Holidays aren’t really about the gifts, they’re about bringing your family and friends together over a shared cannagar. Nothing says 'tis the season like a fat blunt that takes an hour to finish and will get everyone in your life high.
Since we first wrote about cannagars, these blunts—which consist of pot wrapped in a pot leaf, instead of the traditional blunt’s tobacco leaf—have become only more common on retail shelves. You can go with the original Leira Cannagar, which comes in $4,200, $420, and $100 versions. Or there’s the Artisan brand “Thai Stick” cannagars with their wood tips, $35 at The Bakeréé in Georgetown. Or you can go for the Saints wood tipped version, which is filled with the premium Seattle Green Buds flower grown in Georgetown, $30 at Hashtag in Fremont.
Magical Butter Machine
The Magical Butter Machine is an appliance about the size of a drip coffee machine that takes the guesswork out of making pot-infused butter at home. The machine includes an immersion blender and a heating element, so infusing pot into butter is as easy as throwing weed and butter into the machine and clicking a button.
Despite its name, this machine works on more than just butter and can make all sorts of vegan infusions with coconut oil or vegetable oil. It can even make concentrated tinctures. The advantage these types of machines have—compared to just heating butter in a pan with weed on your stove top—is that you are getting complete control over the extraction process. You don’t have to worry about either underextracting your THC or getting too hot and burning off the THC, this unit does it perfectly. And unlike the stovetop method of pot infusion, the Magical Butter Machine won’t make your kitchen smell like weed. That’s probably why a firefighter in Florida was caught using the machine in his fire station.
This machine isn't cheap, with a $200 price tag, but it will quickly pay for itself in convenience, let alone the extra THC you’ll get out of all of your weed.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a stoner happy. You can walk out of a head shop spending anywhere between $5 and $20 and make the stoner in your life happy. Get them a little spool of hemp wick so they can try smoking bowls without the burn of butane. Or how about a functioning grinder? It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just something that’s at least an inch in diameter and doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall apart. Bonus points if the grinder has a kief catcher.
Just Get Good Weed
Buying mediocre pot is no longer a good holiday gift like it was in years past, but you can still make someone happy by buying them some cannabis flowers. You just need to put a little effort into it.
Go to a good shop that carries great farms. I recommend Ruckus, Dockside, and The Bakeréé, but there's plenty more great pot stores. Look for stores that carry a smaller selection of farms and have a staff that know about all of the products they sell. If you go to the right store you can find exciting and interesting weed that is totally gift worthy. Look for strains and colors you've never seen before, try to purchase in larger quantities (like at least a quarter) so you can get better quality nugs, and follow my "Beginner's Guide to Not Buying Shitty Weed." Get some pot that's unique and has a story behind it.