Hemp Wick 101: What it is, Benefits & How to Use it
31 Mar 2021
From rolling flavoured rolling papers to artisanal weed pipes, tokers have always been customizing their weed kit to make it right for them. Hemp wicks and hemp papers have long been enjoyed by the cannabis community for their clean taste and smooth burn, but are they really worth the extra cost up?
Many of you will have already experimented with hemp rolling papers in the past. While they’re said to provide a healthier, more natural experience than bleached rolling papers, much of this evidence remains anecdotal.
A hemp wick, however, actually provides a tangible benefit that you use right away. Instead of burning your thumb or singing your finger, a hemp wick lets you enjoy all of that fire without any of that burn!
What is a Hemp Wick?
Hemp wicks aren’t exclusive to the cannabis world. Found in luxury candles, camping kits, and retro necklaces, hemp wicks are long, twisted twines of hemp fibres that can range from a few feet to meters in length. Hemp wicks are made of hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant that legally contains 0.3% or less THC by dry weight.
Amongst other things, hemp is also used to make textiles, clothing, paper, plastics and even food such as hemp milk for example.
Once the hemp is harvested and left to dry, it’s stretched out and coated in beeswax to preserve its structure. Since they’re made of natural fibre and coated in a thin layer of wax, a hemp wick will burn brighter and last longer than regular wicks.
What are the Benefits of Using a Wick Made of Hemp?
As we’ve touched on before, a hemp wick provides many benefits over a traditional lighter. While some may be anecdotal, others are grounded in science and can make your smoking experience better!
For many bong and pipe users, lighting a bowl can be difficult with a regular butane lighter. Keeping the flame lit for long periods of time can cause the metal to heat up and damage your hands. Once the torch is lit, angling the lighter downwards into the bowl can cause the flame to flare up and sear your thumb.
These are all real concerns. Speaking from our personal experience, we’ve definitely singed our fingers a couple of times trying to light a bowl!
To remedy this, hemp wicks allow you to light a bowl from a distance. Since hemp wicks are made of hemp fibre and coated in beeswax, they’re malleable and can be twisted in any direction to allow for easy lighting.
Some tokers opt to use a hemp wick instead of a butane lighter for the taste. Lighters have to burn butane to stay lit continuously. If you’re using a lighter to light a bowl, then you’re going to breathe in some hydrocarbons from the released butane inevitably.
While this might only result in lousy flavour at first, continuously inhaling these hydrocarbons can result in health problems later on. On the other hand, hemp wicks don’t release any hydrocarbons, and many users (including us) report improved draw, better flavour, and a smoking experience that’s smoother on the lungs.
Finally, another reason to make the switch over to hemp wicks is that they’re more environmentally friendly than traditional lighters. Instead of placing butane in a plastic housing, hemp wicks utilize a naturally renewable resource that’s biodegradable.
How to Use Hemp Wick?
Using a hemp wick is easy, and it’ll come intuitively to most. The first thing to do when you purchase a fresh roll of hemp wick is to unravel it until it’s at a comfortable length.
Depending on where you source your hemp from, the length can vary from a few inches to a couple of feet! For convenience, many tokers opt to wrap a cord of hemp around their lighter so it’s easily accessible.
To use your hemp wick, unravel a finger’s length at a time from your lighter or from your roll and light the tip using a lighter or a match. Although we talked extensively about the downsides of using a lighter, you don’t have to worry about any hydrocarbons or foul taste joining your hemp wick. We’ll just use the lighter/match to get the fire started, and the rest will be taken care of by the wick!
Once the wick is lit, let it burn for a couple of seconds to allow the size of the flame to increase and for any chemicals to burn away. Once it’s burning evenly, you can twist the hemp twine into any shape you want and use it like you would a lighter to spark your bowl or joint.
To light a joint, just treat the lit wick like any other lighter. Since there’s beeswax included, the wick will retain its shape, so you don’t have to worry about it bending down and burning your hand.
For pipes and bongs, all you have to do is place the lit end of the wick into your bowl and inhale. If you want, you can even leave it in your bowl for longer to finish it in one go without having to worry about hurting your hand!
Once your weed is lit, all you have to do to extinguish it is to either blow on it or wave it vigorously in the air. You can also wet your fingers and press down firmly on the lit wick to put the fire out.
Before spooling it back into your supply or wrapping it around your lighter again, make sure the wick has stopped smoking and has no more embers. Wrapping it while it’s still lit runs the risk of burning up your entire spool!
A Worthwhile Investment for a Better Smoking Experience
The natural and versatile nature of hemp wicks offers many advantages to tokers. Beyond smoking, a hemp wick can also be used on camping excursions, lighting candles at home, and even for arts and crafts!
Hemp lasts long and is naturally renewable. While you’ll still need a lighter or a match to get the ball rolling, using a hemp wick ensures that your experience is as smooth, natural, and as authentic as possible!
Coming in at around a dollar or 2 for a few inches, you owe it yourself to try it out. You never know; you might make the switch over yourself!