Smoke screen science: Is brass or silver better?

Let’s get down to brass tacks about brass screens.

And silver ones.

What the heck is the difference?

What once may have seemed like a trivial dilemma suddenly matters a whole lot. Medical cannabis patients want answers about such mysteries.

And this truly remains a mystery, it appears.

At my dispensary the other day, the ab fab NTI of Milan (Illinois, not Italy!), the budtender commented about this when I ordered screens. I order them a lot. I want a fresh one for almost every new bowl.

Read more: The joy of buying medical cannabis legally

“I’m not even sure what the difference is between the silver and the brass,” he commented. “Do you?”

I acknowledged that I didn’t, and commented that it seems no one does.

For years, all head shops have just thrown the screens into the bag when you buy them. You don’t even know if you’re getting brass or silver. For the longest time, I didn’t know silver existed.

‘Silver’ screens conduct heat better

I prefer silver most of the time, but not always.

The science is pretty simple – the “silver” better conducts heat. For the record, I’m quite certain they are not really silver (in fact mine say on the package they are stainless steel, but not all do), nor are the brass screens really brass. We’re talking colors, not metallurgy.

While the discussion online regarding silver and brass screens seems to sidestep seriousness, I suspect that’s changing every day.

Why we must be honest about the benefits of medical cannabis

First, let me say that I know many people hate screens, and pipes period. Or, they prefer a glass pipe. Or concentrates. Or edibles.

I’m still an old-fashioned pipe guy, even after trying all the other methods. It’s old school, but it also keeps my tolerance lower as opposed to jumping into concentrates. That means more money in my pocket.

Let’s face it. Illinois medical cannabis is not cheap! Not yet, anyway.

Why I prefer silver screens

I prefer silver screens because I tend to smoke sticky Indica strains for my PTSD.

Read more: What is EMDR and why am I having this unusual mental health treatment?

The indica strains also seem to have denser leaves. So, when you hit a bowl lined with a silver screen, it hearts up quickly and you get a much better hit.

At least that’s my opinion.

The downside is burning up your bowl or “jumping the bowl,” where you think your weed has another hit and you inhale ash and metal. It’s yucky.

This happens less often with brass screens, but they turn gross really fast. At my dispensary at least, they are the same price as the silver ones.

But now and then I’ll use brass, too

I will use brass now and then, and I keep both on hand.

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For me, I prefer to use brass if I am smoking some sativa with thinner, less-dense leaves. I use the brass because I don’t want to “jump the bowl.”

But I don’t smoke sativa very often.

It all comes down to a matter of choice when it comes to screens, but I hope this helps. Feel free to share your thoughts on silver v. brass in the comments.

Finally, a word to the wise: Don’t throw away your dispensary bags without first taking your screens out.

I suspect it is easy to do.

Check out my portfolio of paid reportage about infectious diseases (HIV, Hepatitis C, etc.)

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