Your Buds' Best Friends: Cannabis accessories you can display on your coffee table
Rebranding Pot is a series about the changing aesthetics of the cannabis industry
Aesthetics play a significant role in how cannabis products are received by first-time users as the pace of legalization picks up speed in North America. Sophisticated, unexpected and elegant designs will allow companies to disassociate themselves from the stigma traditionally attached to cannabis consumption, securing new consumers among both habitual users and the canna-curious.
Until recently, the design of cannabis accessories was of questionable quality. Objects were often embellished with images of green cannabis leaves, Bob Marley, the Jamaican flag, dancing bears, and symbols from the late 1960s and early 1970s cultural zeitgeist. As a result, many consumers who wished to keep their consumption secret or disliked the appearance of their bongs, pipes, rolling paper, and grinders hid them inside stash boxes and in the sock drawer.
Thankfully, this is no longer the case. Say goodbye to clunky bongs, grinders painted red, yellow and green, or tie-died pouches — the recent crop of sophisticated accessories are meant to be left out on your coffee table, atop a thick contemporary art book.
The recent shift in the design of cannabis-related objects signifies that, as legalization spreads and the stigma associated with the plant dissipates, consumers will become increasingly open about their consumption and will want accessories that reflect their design sensibilities.
Like fine wine or whiskey, cannabis is best when aged in a cool, dark place. For many consumers, the first dilemma that arises is where to store their purchases. Your buds have to go somewhere before you light them, right? Whether you are a design curator who demands museum-worthy options, or a mother of three who wants her buds stored on her stylish open kitchen shelf, this new crop of stash boxes will meet your needs.
This Brutalist cast concrete box created by the Brooklyn-based design studio Light + Ladder features a solid maple wood lid. Studio founder Farrah Sit strives for “perfection in form and function” and creates accessories “inspired by the vivid simplicity of the natural world and the geometric lines of the modern city.”
The Canadian company Tokyo Smoke sells a discreet storage jar that is made of upcycled old fire extinguishers. Oh, the irony!
The De Stijl Storage Tower may not have been designed specifically to store flower, but for those of us who admire MoMA Design Store’s curatorial approach to gift-giving and consumption, it is the way to go. De Stijl means “The Style” in Dutch and is the term used to describe an artistic movement founded in 1917 in the Netherlands that advocated in favor or pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form and color. De Stijl artists, designers and architects simplified visual compositions to vertical and horizontal lines, using only black, white and primary colors. MoMA’s store produced this Storage Tower in 2017 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the De Stijl movement.
A grinder is the tool used to break up your cannabis into small bits that can then be smoked in a bowl or wrapped in rolling papers. You no longer have to settle for a standard round grinder that resembles an oversized pillbox.
Lo and behold, Star Wars fans: the Death Star grinder exists and is available for sale on Amazon.
Want a grinder that doesn't look like a grinder? You got it. Check out Tokyo Smoke’s discreet, minimalist grinder that “brings the Stone Age into the Cannabis Age with a Neolithic grinding method to ensure a consistent grind.” Travel often? The Dot Infinity Card is made to fit into your wallet. This option is proof that convenience and design can (and should) align.
You could argue that a dedicated cannabis tray is not indispensable. But if you will leaving your accessories on view, why not display them all in style? For some cannabis consumers a random dish, magazine, or old CD case just won’t suffice. Here are a few examples of beautifully designed trays that can be left out on your coffee table.
The Rib Tray and Brush is a hand-made, maplewood design by Pat Kim and available for sale at Tetra Shop. This design is bound to satisfy even the most demanding clean freak: the brush is used to clean up any debris left behind after you grind, roll and smoke.
Another option available via Tetra Shop is the Magma Tray made of hand-poured resin protected with a food-safe sealer. This monochrome and solid design weigh over 2 pounds and “makes them sophisticated enough for your grown-up decor.”
The online retailer Sweetflag offers “inspiring and restorative home goods, accessories, and smoking accoutrements with a distinctly feminine ethos.” Their goat or cow horn dish in the shape of a pineapple (a traditional symbol of home and hospitality) is handmade by Haitian artisans in Fait la Force’s workshops, which strive to provide jobs, skills and access to markets by pairing modern design with indigenous craft.
A pipe is an accessory that allows smokers to inhale smoke or vapor derived from the burning or vaporization of cannabis. Pipes can be manufactured using a number of materials such as glass, porcelain, metal, clay, plastic, and even apples. You might look at a few of these and think ceci n’est pas une pipe! because these well-designed pieces are meant to assist you, in style, on your hazy endeavors and be left out on your shelves.
The Hudson Pipe is one of the three styles of pipes offered by Laundry Day, a line of design-forward smokeware. The company’s founder, Victoria Ashley, was “on a mission to provide more approachable, design-forward products that dispel stigmas, redefine outdated expectations, cater to modern voices and elevate and expand the industry’s status quo.”
These ceramic pipes are handmade by Yew Yew, a US manufacturer that “believes all smoking objects should be beautiful, well designed, and fit effortlessly into your lifestyle.” These pipes come in a variety of colors (blush, ultramarine, succulent, and carnation) and are part of special collections made in collaboration with designers. The one pictured above is made with UK-based artists Liv & Dom.
Based in the Pacific Northwest, The Pursuit of Happiness was founded by ceramicists April & Pavel who draw their inspiration from the “oddities of nature, midcentury design, and nostalgic memories.” Their Voltaire pipes are slim and elegant; the mouthpiece is finished with either silver-toned or 22-karat gold overglaze. This is the perfect option for high-maintenance (pun intended) smokers.
Water pipes (a.k.a. bongs) are perhaps the most recognizable cannabis accessory. But instead of improvising with plastic water bottles, consider these alternatives.
Jane West was described by Inc. Magazine as the most widely recognized female personality in cannabis. Her company is dedicated to “creating thoughtful products for an existing community of enthusiasts and a growing community of first-timers.” The Bubbler is a streamlined take on the classic upright, handheld water pipe that allows users to enjoy the smooth filtration of bongs without the size and heaviness of traditional designs.
The holidays can now be celebrated with dedicated cannabis accessories. This Hannukah, enthusiasts can light up GRAV’s Menorah water pipe when celebrating the festival of lights. With eight loaded bowls, it packs an enormous hit. You can hit one a day (as the Torah intends?) or all at once: it is up to you how to celebrate.
Castor’s Voong is a stylish bong that resembles a soy sauce dispenser or a minimal flower vase and is made of powder-coated brass with a glazed interior for easy cleaning.
Rolling papers could be an overlooked cannabis accessory. If you grew up rolling joints, chances are you had to improvise: cheap napkins, receipts, wrapping paper — you name it, someone probably smoked it. Today’s rolling papers come in different shapes, forms and prints.
Tetra is the online mecca of impeccably-designed cannabis accessories. Their rolling paper is equally classy: fine 13-gram paper made of unbleached, pure hemp pulp and packaged in a multi-colored case featuring the company’s logo.
Founded in 2015 by artist and designer Shailah Maynard, Working Girls started as an art experiment and evolved into a brand featuring tongue-in-cheek accessories and clothing inspired by 1980s and 1990s music, film and pop culture. Dubbed as 'Lady Fair Papers — for the girl on the go', their line of rolling papers (note the vulva case) is a must for the stoner feminists around the world.
Shine’s rolling papers are the go to option for those who wish to get high in style. The inventors of the worlds' first 24 karat gold rolling paper teamed up with rapper Tyga to become the “go to” brand for “those who celebrate all of life’s highs.” Their rolling papers are handcrafted with edible gold and made with a hemp blend base. Can we add another high-maintenance joke, please?
Too lazy (or too hazy) to roll your own joints? Worry not, Van der Pop has your back. Each Pop Stick is shaped as a cone and is made with ultra-thin, slow-burning palm pulp paper and edible soy-based ink.
You roll it, you burn it, and where do the ashes go? In a well-designed, eye-catching ashtray, of course. Forget about empty beer bottles, or killing all of your friends' plants. These beauties will make you want to gently dispose of your ashes.
This ashtray is a trip. Made of heavy crystal, Fundamental Berlin's Regenbogen Bowl is treated with a special chromatic film on the underside that exaggerates and distorts crystal’s natural ability to break light into seven rainbow colors.
Architect Made, a Copenhagen brand established in 2004 by Morten Jensen, specializes in objects designed by Denmark’s most recognized architects such as Finn Juhl, Poul Kjærholm, Peter Karpf, and Jørn Utzon. Their PK Bowl is an homage to Poul Kjærholm's marble bowl for the town hall of Fredericia. The granite form has a series number and the architect's signature on the bottom.
So if you were wondering what to get as a gift this holiday season, look no further. Turn this article into a shopping list and help your friends rethink how they store and smoke their flower.
Adriana Kertzer is a NY-based design entrepreneur, lawyer, and author. A leading expert on the use of references to the Brazilian slums in the branding of luxury items, Adriana is the author of Favelization: The Imaginary Brazil in Contemporary Film, Fashion, and Design, a book originally published by the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum (Smithsonian Institution). She is currently working on a new book, Rebranding Pot, about the changing aesthetics of the cannabis industry. www.adrianakertzer.com