Heady Glass vs. Scientific Glass: Which is Right for You?

Close-up of blue mouthpiece and transparent chamber of heady glass bong

In your parent’s day (or your grandparent’s day as the case may be) cannabis was a controversial subject. People who enjoyed a good buzz had to buy their weed on the streets of Denver from some very shady types and roll joints that could be easily concealed and smoked once they got to a safe place, like their friend’s attic. Bongs were rare because they were difficult to hide from parents and po-lice alike and difficult to transport in a safe, discreet fashion.

Fast forward more than 50 years. Weed is now legal or has been decriminalized in a majority of states and it’s estimated that somewhere between 500,000 and a million bongs are sold in the US every year. But while the bong has finally emerged triumphant after decades in the shadows a new debate has emerged that has nothing to do with weed itself. Instead, people today are debating which type of bong is better: the heady glass bong or the scientific glass bong.

Pros and Cons of Heady Glass and Scientific Glass

If you want to touch off a lively discussion amongst herb lovers ask whether heady or scientific glass is the best vehicle for enjoying quality cannabis. Chances are opinions will be more or less evenly divided. But if you’re a cannabis newbie you may not know much about either type of bong. So let’s take a look at their pros and cons now.

Heady Pros

Heady glass gets its name from the idea that the astonishing designs that typify by this kind of bong appeal to the imagination. As such, the main reason people choose heady bongs over scientific is: aesthetics.

Stoners who prefer this type of bong enjoy copping a good buzz and then contemplating the bong’s intricate interplay between shapes and colors. Most of these bongs are one-of-a-kind items, manifestations of the creative genius behind their creation. In many ways, they are as much works of art as they are practical devices.

The makers of heady bongs embrace vibrant colors. Contrast that to scientific glass which tends to be uniformly clear, because… science. Freed of cold scientific calculation the makers of heady pieces have license to indulge their love of color and form, and boy do they ever.

So plain and simple, there is little doubt that the heady bong has it all over its scientific cousin when it comes to aesthetic considerations.

Heady Cons

The negative aspects of heady bongs are few and tend to revolve around issues not everyone cares much about, such as the size of the hit you’ll get and whether heady is harder to clean than scientific glass. (For the record, the answers to those concerns are “a little smaller” and “yes it is”.)

Another negative, which is not really related to bong function, is that heady bongs have a nasty habit of growing legs and disappearing, especially during parties where they are passed around among strangers.

Scientific Glass Pros

Science has opened up the universe and delivered us technological wonders that would have been unimaginable just 50 years ago. Still, science is a fairly cold pursuit that requires you to leave your imagination at the door and follow the evidence wherever it may lead. Scientific glass bongs express this matter-of-fact approach in their emphasis on function over creative expression.

As such, scientific glass pros tend to be things like slightly larger hits produced by the rational design, cooler hits that are also a function of the well-considered design, and durability that stems from the fact that these bongs are almost all fashioned from tough borosilicate glass. You won’t have much to zone out on when looking at a scientific glass bong. But that zone out will be extra intense because the bong is so efficient and effective.

Because scientific glass tends to be very logically designed and built, they are also easier to create accessories for than eccentrically designed heady bongs.

Scientific Cons

The biggest con related to scientific glass is that it’s boring to look at. There, we said it. Scientific glass is boring. Don’t believe it? Well, just Google “heady glass” and look at the images that come up, then Google “scientific glass bongs” and see what comes up. It’s like they come from two different universes. Because in a way they do.

The two types of bongs are embodiments of the two categories of expression that almost all art can be divided into: classical and romantic. Ingres was classical, Gericault was romantic. Mozart was classical, Wagner was romantic. Scientific glass is classical, heady is romantic.

Which Type of Glass Is Better?

Asking which is better, heady or scientific glass is like asking if glass pipes are better than wooden pipes. They’re both good although they are good for different reasons. Some people love the cool, intellectual overtones of the scientific bong, while others love to spend hours contemplating the aesthetic marvels of the heady bong.

Many of our customers at the 710 Pipes head shop in Denver have both kinds in their house and rotate their use depending on the circumstances. If they’re alone they might use the scientific glass because it’s simple and easier to clean. On the other hand, when guests arrive they’ll whip out the heady bong to collect breathless accolades from the assembled masses.

At the end of the day both types of glass have their upside and downside and which one you choose is up to you. You really can’t lose either way.

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