If you have followed The Weed Blog for awhile, then you know that I love a good gravity bong hit. In Oregon, my friends and I take ‘liters’ as we call them. It’s not the same as the traditional water-in-a-bucket style where you cut the soda bottle in half. We merely poke a hole in the bottom, which is much easier to operate, and the hits are massive. A lot of people refer to them as ‘aqua lungs’ or ‘waterfalls.’
If you are like me, you have made caps for these smoking devices many, many times. They are a common gift for my friends when they have housewarming parties. They are also my favorite thing to bring on the road, because the caps are small and all I need is a 2-liter bottle and a knife and I’m riding the higher high. It doesn’t seem like they are that common, so it’s always exciting to introduce the device to someone new.
Metal gravity bong cap
The caps are not that easy to make. Punching a perfect hole into a cap so that it fits the metal bowl snuggly is not an easy task. Most of the ones that my friends make are not air tight, which affects the quality of the hit quite a bit. When the bowl gets hot, it can affect the seal too as it melts the plastic. I’m not a doctor, but I’d imagine inhaling melting plastic is not a good thing. Another issue is burning your hand on accident when you untwist the cap.
There are drawbacks to the gravity/waterfall bong, but I’m excited to say that with a new product on the market, you don’t have to experience those problems anymore. A company called AC Greebs created a product called the ‘Smoking Steel’. It’s a simple, yet genius invention. To be clear, I am not being paid for this endorsement, although I did get my hands on one of these for free. I am giving this product my full endorsement because I love waterfalls, and specifically, I love this product. It has improved my smoking experience significantly, which is a rare thing these days. Just when I thought I have seen it all, something like this blows my mind.
If you are a fan of gravity/waterfall bongs, you will love this product. Plus, if your friends are big fans of gravity/waterfall bongs too, you will knock their socks off and they will consider you a legend. I certainly know that was the case for me.
The Smoking Steel is portable, practically indestructible, and easy to clean. The design allows for an airtight fit in most plastic bottles of two liters or less without any threading or melting. The jetted airways provide efficient, milky pulls. It is made from the same material surgeons tools are. Carrying a Smoking Steel turns every corner store into a headshop. In short, it works really, really well, lasts forever, and is travel friendly.
The first prototype of our Smoking Steel gravity bowl was created in 2001. More than a decade later, those first prototypes are still used daily. That’s a pretty rare thing.
Where did the name AC Greebs come from?
Like a lot of things in smoking culture, the gravity technique goes by many different names depending on where you are in the world. In Oregon, they are called ‘Aqua Lungs’ or ‘Liters.’ In our hometown of Richmond, VA the root form ‘Gravity’ eventually morphed into ‘Geeb’ which later became ‘Greeber’ or simply, ‘Greeb.’ Around that time in the late ’90s our neighborhood friend and Machinist-at-Large Andrew Crowder, affectionately known as AC, decided that a socket piece and a melted cap was not the full evolution of gravity smoking technology. So on a lathe in his father’s machine shop, just like in a fairy tale, he made the first AC Greeb piece. It was made from brass, fit any bottle without threading, and it was a revolution.
As evidenced by the amount of steel bolted to his bones, AC is not the type to go easy on anything. Like our ancestors, the piece has evolved from its rustic brass beginnings into the sleek, powerful workhorse that it is today; made from surgical-grade stainless steel, ready for anything, and always down.
How do I use it?
If you are not familiar with Gravities, Waterfalls, AquaLungs or Liters, you are in for a treat. The general premise is based on upcycling a resource almost anyone can easily find: a PET plastic bottle. From there, the idea is to use pressure from water escaping at the bottom of the bottle to pull smoke from a bowl that is lit at the mouth of the bottle. In this sense the water does the work for the lungs. From there you only need to remove the bowl and inhale. However, the Smoking Steel bowl is made to be versatile and modular, and as such your imagination is really the only limitation. The two most common approaches are the Gravity method and the Waterfall method. A Gravity is more for the stay-at-home type, the Waterfall supports a little more mobility.
What sized bottles does it fit?
The Smoking Steel bowl fits almost any standard water-bottle sized plastic container you might find at any convenience store anywhere in the world.
Is smoking out of a bottle unhealthy?
PET is very stable at the temperatures the Smoking Steel is meant to operate at. The thermal mass of the bowl keeps heat from the direct flame and cherry from reaching temperatures high enough to cause PET to give off gas or melt. Any smoke that’s cool enough to put in your lungs is not going to be anywhere close to the temperatures that would affect PET. There is no difference between inhaling air or smoke (at room temp) out of a bottle and inhaling water or some other beverage out of a PET bottle.
Some people have probably had experiences with PET where it smelled like chemicals – this is because they got the PET hot enough to melt or burn. The Greeb is engineered to keep the heat away from the PET as opposed to old school methods that make it easy to melt the bottle with your lighter.
That said, smoking anything isn’t exactly healthy. If you have concerns about some trace amount of nanites or some other chemical goblins getting into your smoke you may want to think about another form of consumption.
We use the same high quality food-grade stainless steel used every day by food and pharmaceutical makers. Stainless steel was developed not to leach any chemicals or corrode in even the harshest environments. It’s what hypodermic needles and most surgical tools are made of. Best of all, it is suited for high temperatures well beyond what a lighter flame can reach. The other main reasons we chose steel are these:
- Steel will not shatter. Throw it in your backpack, drop it on the ground. Back over it with your car. Besides being food-safe and sanitary, you will not need to replace it.
- The weight of the Steel creates an airtight seal when dropped into a standard sized bottle without needing to thread anything. Thread sizes can vary widely. The Smoking Steel skips that inconvenience with an exacted shape, diameter, and weight.
Does the piece get hot during use?
In our experience and through feedback from over 10 years of testing, you need to take at least 6 or 7 Gravities back to back (and we mean rapid-fire back to back) in order to get the piece even warm enough to notice. If that is something you are repeatedly doing, we should hang out sometime.
Where are your products made?
The AC Greebs Smoking Steel is an American product manufactured in our hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Many of today’s “high tech” smoking devices like vaporizers and e-cigarettes are often marketed as being somehow healthier or higher quality because of big price tags and the promises of new technology, but are often made from questionable parts and materials overseas and usually require burning synthetic materials or concentrates. Our design is as simple as it can get, extremely effective, requires no batteries or charging, lasts a lifetime, and our factory floor is about five minutes away from our front door.