Going from a 20 dollar glass pipe or homemade rig to a high-end bong can be a big decision for a weed enthusiast on a budget. But it’s tough to just look at a piece and see if it’s high quality. Roor, one of the best bong brands around, has actually started suing retailers for selling knockoff products. There are, however, a few tricks to help protect you and your wallet.
Check the price
Like anything else in the world, when it comes to glass, quality costs money. If you’re out looking for a high-end piece and find it for a fraction of what it should cost, you probably weren’t just lucky to find a good deal. Even if the guy behind the counter can vouch for the authenticity, an excellent piece of glass blown by someone who knows what they’re doing is almost always going to cost more than a no-name bong.
Look for a signature
This isn’t true for every glass company out there, but, in the case of Roor, every product has the glass blower’s signature on it. It’s possible to fake signatures, but it is still a good idea to look for one.
Call the company
If you’re looking to buy a nice bong from your local head shop, call the actual manufacturer to see if the store you shop at is an approved retailer. For example, if a shop has a new bong from Illadelphia Glass, it doesn’t take much time to give them a call and see if they actually sold merchandise to that store. If they didn’t, the store either got swindled themselves or they are trying to swindle you.
Look for brand consistency
Brand consistency is your best bet when figuring out if a bong is authentic. This might take a little research, but it could also save you from spending 500 dollars or more on something that’s horrible quality.
Roor bongs, for example, always have a logo that’s a backward ‘R’. Check to make sure the logo actually has a trademark stamp and that it’s not a sticker that can just scratch right off. Roor logos will also never cover a percolator. Additionally, their products with an ice catch will always have three nubs, not four. While all these rules are specific to Roor, most high-end glass bongs share consistency from piece to piece.
Go with your gut
This step is much less scientific than the others, but it might be the most important. Most people don’t know exactly what 5-millimeter thick glass should look like, but if a piece feels too thin, it probably is. The feel of a bong in the store, even if it is mimicking a brand, is ultimately what’s most important to you as a smoker. If you think a bong feels too fragile to cost several hundred dollars, don’t buy it. If it feels way different from other bongs you’ve really liked, don’t buy it either.
Eventually, the cannabis industry will level out and fraud will be much harder to commit. But so long as prohibition makes cannabis companies and head shops tough to regulate, it’s up to weed consumers to be smart about how they spend their money.