SilverStick: The One-Hitter Pipe, All Grown Up

There’s still utility in a low-fi, indestructible metal one-hitter. With the Silver Stick, there’s also refinement — and a smoother smoke.


We were all young, once — maybe you still are, in which case you were once younger. We all loved something with the blind, wild recklessness that fades, with wisdom, into bitterness and world-weary cynicism. Maybe you loved a book or a TV show. Perhaps you bestowed this emotion on a puppy, or a best friend.

Me? I loved my one-hitter.

You know the ones — all metal and painted to look like a cigarette, as if everyone within aroma’s distance wouldn’t notice their sinuses being tickled by terpenes and believe, as I hoped they would, that this is indeed a Camel filter, despite it never seeming to shrink or need ashing, no matter how many times I held flame to tip… in between shoving bits of rolled-up something down the end.

Oh, the times we had. We were inseparable: Me, the one-hitter and the endless supply of ground-up homegrown I had to feed it, like an adolescent cat with no self-control.

But then I grew up — we all did. Sleeker pipes and high-tech vapes bumped one-hitters off the smoke shop shelves. I stopped caring and ended the charade. I also lost the faux cigarette one-hitter somewhere; if you found it (kicked to the side on the concert-hall floor or underneath some brush and pine needles at the campground) please mail it in for a reward.

We’ve changed, but so have one-hitters. Unlike me, one-hitters have changed for the better. Enter, then, the simple yet sophisticated SilverStick — the perfect one-hitter for the recreational cannabis legalization era.

Upon visual contact, we’re immediately calmed and welcomed by the beckon of the familiar. SilverStick bears some resemblance to the one-hitters of yore. It is roughly cigarette-shaped and sized, can be stashed away in the palm and operates on the same cutting-edge technology: Hold a lighter to the pea-sized ball of cannabis deposited in the end that’s not between your lips and breathe.

But! There is more. There are filters.

Where the old one-hitters’ cheap metal was painted cigarette-filter brown (or filter speckly if you had a top-end model), SilverStick has a removable chamber to hold a simple filter. For anyone who’s had a mighty heroic breath rewarded by a nugget of hot flaming ash hurtling down the throat or merely paused to savor the flavors of heated metal and butane, the utility — nay, necessity — of a filter needs no justification.

As important as function is form, and for $55, SilverStick comes tucked away in a neat leather case. Held together with metal studs, it evokes visions of airship captains, puffing away on sparklingly shiny tubes of their own, red-rimmed eyes hidden behind their goggles’ tinted lenses.

For a few dollars more, yours can be packaged in the old-school wooden dugouts for easy loading. In either case, in a package smaller than a pack of cigarettes, you have: a SilverStick; a lighter; a plastic stash tube big enough to store a few grams; a metal shepherds crook for cleaning out the memories of hits past and a compartment to hide a few spare filters.

Everything you need, and nothing you don’t. This is what being grown up was supposed to be.

Silver Stick’s appeal is universal. On a recent trip south of the border, I found myself lacking the level of comfort necessary to start breaking up buds and rolling joints on the Tecate-stained barroom table, so instead I showed off the SilverStick’s value, which was a perfect icebreaker, and well worth it — even if it took all the negotiation skills I’ve learned to lure the now-coveted stick back into my own palm.

TELL US, do you have a one-hitter pipe?

Chris Roberts has written about medical cannabis, drug policy, and legalization ever since spending a few months in Humboldt County in 2009, with bylines for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, and SF Weekly. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @cbloggy.

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