The Official Smoke Shop/Head Shop Dictionary

The Official Smoke Shop/Head Shop Dictionary

States with rigid cannabis laws probably still have in place smoke shop rules (or an outdated culture) that dictate what not to say in a head shop, how to talk in a smoke shop, what to call “grinders” in a head shop/smoke shop, etc.

In Massachusetts, where we sell smoke shop and head shop accessories at our Kush Groove shop in Boston, we have a culture here where anyone can walk into a smoke shop and ask for anything by name, whatever that name may be, without the fear of the law barking down your back.

Even though folks can walk into a smoke shop or head shop without any rules and request what they’re looking for by name, most people don’t know the true names and/or descriptions of the products they’re looking for.

For example, ever walk into a smoke shop or head shop and ask for a bowl? Only to be handed a top for your bong when you were looking for a basic piece?

That’s how easy it is to get terms mixed up in a smoke shop or head shop.

That’s why we put together this list of key smoke shop and head shop terms (jargon) so you can familiarize yourself with all the lingo tossed around in your favorite headshop.

Please take note!


Headshop Smokeshop Terms & Jargon


Adapter: adapters are meant for changing the size, angle, and sex of the joint on your piece or to protect your piece from damage caused by heat. There are also adapters for reclaim buckets.

Ash Catcher/Pre-cooler: attachments made to catch ash before it falls into your pipe and also may cool/diffuse smoke before it makes it to water pipe.

Atomizer: the heating element on a vaporizer which converts liquids to vapors that can be inhaled.

Bubbler: a hand pipe that uses a small amount of water and has a downstem to lead the smoke into water for it to be cooled before inhaling.

Bowl: The area on a pipe where you will place dry herbs to be combusted.

Bowl Slide: The attachment for a water pipe that you will place dry herbs to be combusted, this will also function as a carb as when you remove from the water pipe it allows air to flow freely into the chamber so you may clear it of smoke.

Borosilicate: Borosilicate glass is a type of glass that includes at least 5% boric oxide. The boric oxide makes the glass resistant to extreme temperatures, and also improves its resistance to chemical corrosion. Commonly used for making glass pipes.

Beaker Base: a water pipe with a beaker shaped bottom, these are typically wider and more stable than the straight tube, they hold much more water in comparison to straight tube.

Bat: these are one hitters that resemble a baseball bat or some even look like fake cigarettes.

Carb Cap: this a cap which you place on top of a vapor dome or domeless nail to regulate airflow into your pipe and is also meant to aid the nail in retaining its temperature so you will burn your concentrates evenly.

Carb: this is typically a hole on the side of a hand pipe that regulates airflow, you will close the hole by placing finger up to it to fill the chamber with smoke and then release finger to allow airflow so you can clear the chamber of smoke.

Chillum: A straight glass pipe that does not have a carb and closely mocks the the experience of smoking something rolled but without the added flavors of a paper or tobacco leaf.

Collab: A pipe designed and created by multiple artists.

Concentrate/Dab Rig: These are water pipes that are typically set up with male joints and come with a nail and vapor dome. They are designed to smoke concentrates from.

(Raw) Cone: These are pre-rolled papers that are in the shape of a cone. You simply grind up your dry herbs and fill these with the ground matter. No rolling necessary!

Dabber: The tool which you will scoop up concentrates with. You also use this tool to place the concentrates onto your nail.

Diffused Downstem: a downstem with a set of slits on the bottom which acts like a percolator to filter the smoke.

Downstem: a long skinny tube that your bowl slide will go into, this downstem directs the smoke down into your water pipe to the water where it gets filtered.

Domeless Nail: a nail that does not require the use of a vapor dome, it has a hole in the center which directs airflow down into the water pipe. You place concentrates around the center hole on a dish, instead of in the center of the nail like you would on a standard vapor dome and nail setup.

Dry Piece: Any smoking device that does not use any kind of water filtration. Can come in numerous designs shapes and sizes (chillum, steamroller, spoon, hammer, sherlock, sidecar, etc.)

Dugout: an all in one device that contains a small chamber to store ground dry herbs and a small chamber to store a bat. These come made of wood or metal typically and are fairly compact, great for party bus in Phoenix AZ travel.

Drop Down: an accessory meant for dropping the slide or dome down away from the pipe, these accessories help heat from transferring to the pipe and they also remove the accessory from in front of face to a lower position.

Enail: an electronic nail that heats up via a metal or ceramic heating element. You can control the temperature either with a digital control or analog dial. This eliminates the need for a torch.

Fumed: With fumed glass, real silver and gold are heated to release fumes that give transparent glass a semi-opaque backing. Silver fuming creates hues ranging from blue to purple, while gold fumes produce pink, green, and orange patterns.

Filter/Screen: this are either glass or metal inserts for a bowl which helps keep ashed or fresh matter from falling through into the pipe.

Ground Joint: these are the joints that appear to be frosted, and are slightly tapered for easy insertion and removal.

Glass Blunt: a straight glass pipe that is hollow and has another hollow straw like tube inserted into that tube for a mouth piece. You pull back the inner tube(mouth piece) and pack to the desired length of straw. As you smoke you push forward the mouthpiece tube and that pushes the ashed matter forward and out of the pipe. It resembles the act of smoking something rolled.

Hand Pipe: a glass pipe that is small enough to fit in your hand and does not use any type of water filtration.

Heady Glass: the term used for custom, one of a kind glass. These pieces are all typically very high end and made by artists who do not make but either one or two of the piece. The styles and techniques used are typically unique to each individual artist. Many of these pieces are collaborations between multiple artists.

Handspun: glass made without the use of a lathe, made all by the spinning of an artist’s hands.

Healthstone: a slide with a lava rock insert which you use for concentrates, this is an alternative to using a domeless nail or a vapor dome and nail. You place the concentrates on the stone and heat the stone until it absorbs the concentrates and then proceed to heat once absorbed to smoke the stored concentrates.

Hammer: this typically refers the shape of the pipe or the type of percolator inside the water pipe, but for the most part it is relative to the exterior design of the piece resembles a hammer.

Ice Pinch: the small inward points on a tube that act like a catch to keep ice inside the tube of a water pipe. Ice pinches allow extra cooling of smoke as it travels up the tube.

Incycler: The same concept as a recycler except the chamber for funneling water back into the first chamber is suspended inside of the first chamber.

Inline: Refers to a “sideways stem” in the piece found in ashcatchers and waterpipes, the stem normally has d-cuts or piercings throughout

Implosion: a glass blowing design pattern created by pushing the color inside the clear glass.

Keck Clip: a clip meant for holding the downstem and bowl slide in place so it does not fall out or break.

Lathe Made: the process of making glass by blowing through a “lathe” or tube to create the desired shapes.

Milli / Millefiori: The Italian term, “thousand flowers,” used to describe mosaic glass objects. These are made in long strips like taffy and have an image imprinted in them, then they are cut into slabs and applied to a pipe for a button.

Nail: this is the platform in which you will heat up to place your concentrates on. It can be made from ceramic, glass, quartz, or titanium.

Nectar Collector: this is a hand pipe for concentrates that can either be a dry or water piece depending on the model you purchase. They are a basic tube like pipe that has a tip you heat up and drag across your concentrates to vaporize and inhale the concentrates.

Nano Rig: this is a very tiny concentrate/dab rig. Hence the word “nano” in title.

Percolator: these are the filtration devices you see inside of water pipes. They cool and filter smoke for more enjoyable hits. There are tons of different styles, all having their own pros and cons.

Polished Joint: a joint that is polished like the entirety of the water pipe, instead of ground. These polished joints seem to work better than ground joints when using for concentrates, because the polished joints do not stick so much.

Pollen Catch: the screen in the bottom of a grinder that catches plant matter but allows the pollen to fall through, these can also be pollen boxes

Pollen Press: a press used to turn your pollen into a puck.

Piece: slang term used for water pipe or hand pipe, or just a piece of glass in general.

Punch: The hole in the bottom of a bowl/slide.

Recycler: Recyclers are a specific type of glass water pipe that “recycles” the water throughout its chambers. Water and smoke travels from one chamber to the next, then back down and through the first chamber, providing a continuous loop of filtration.

Reclaimer/Reclaim Bucket: A reclaimer is an attachment for your vapor or concentrate rig. These remarkable devices “reclaim” the legal essential oils or waxes that you would have otherwise lost by capturing them on the bottom part of the reclaimer. Often times the bottom cap is removable for easy access to your saved oils and concentrates.

Roller: a device used to roll dry herbs into a paper. This is a handy tool for those who are not the best at hand rolling.

Scientific Glass: any borosilicate piece that uses water and has multiple holes in the percolator.

Splash Guard: Referring to a tubes extra chamber usually on top of a percolator, created so the water does NOT go up the tube and get on your lips when you’re taking a hit.

Straight Tube: a water pipe that is completely straight.

Stemless: Refers to a tube that has no removable down stem, instead it has an attached glass stem that goes down into the water chamber, usually making an “L” shape outside of the tube.

Sherlock: a hand pipe that is shaped like an S, these are typically thinner and longer pipes.

Steamroller: a straight tube and pipe that has a hole on each end, and one in the middle of the tube for packing dry herbs into. The end holes are for a mouthpiece and carb. These resemble that of a roller hence the term steamroller.

Sandblasting: High-pressure air mixed with sand applied to the surface of glass to carve texture into the surface area.

Tips: a glass or paper insert for rolling that is used to keep the mouthpiece from collapsing and keeps dry matter from escaping the roll.

Tube: Slang term for a water pipe.

Vapor Dome: the slip you place over your nail before placing the dab in the center of the nail. The dome directs the airflow down into the water pipe as you begin to draw on the pipe.

Vaporizer/Vape: a device used to vaporize dry matter or concentrates instead of smoking by combustion. they are a healthy alternative to smoking.

Whip: the hose or mouth piece that may lead from a water pipe or vaporizer and feed the smoke out to be inhaled.

Worked: slang term used to refer to pieces of glass that have unique designs and colors applied to them by an artist.

Wig Wag: a pattern of reversed images along a pipe

10mm/14mm/18mm: the typical diameters of most joints for water pipes and accessories. The sizes of the accessories for that pipe will match the size of the joint.

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