The art of smoking weed with a steam chalice
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Many Rastafari smoke spliffs, but others feel that the lingering smoke undermines the clarity and purity of temples and religious spaces. These Rastafari often turn to the steam chalice—a device which may have been the world’s first weed vape.
Weed smoking is popular around the world, but there are not many places where the culture of cannabis is more deeply ingrained than in Jamaica. Jamaica is home to the Rastafari, a 20th century movement that treats weed as a holy herb. They believe that smoking weed cultivates peace, love, and levels of introspection that can act as a bridge to the divine.
Modern non-Rastafaris may turn to the steam chalice for different reasons. Weed can be consumed in various ways, but combusting any plant material by smoking it, is hard on the lungs. Many cannabis users are turning to other methods of ingestion like edibles, teas, and increasingly, vaporizers. And if you’re going to smoke a vape, why not opt for the one with the most character and history—the Jamaican steam chalice?
WHAT IS A STEAM CHALICE?
The steam chalice is a non-electric vape with three main components. The first is the bowl, made from a hollowed out coconut with two holes drilled into it. This connects to the Kutchie, or herb bowl, made of ceramic with a small circular grate which fits on top. The grate is also made of ceramic and has holes drilled in it.
The Kutchie and the bowl are connected by a short length of bamboo. The final component is the stem, made of a longer length of bamboo, which comes out the second hole of the coconut.
HOW TO USE THE STEAM CHALICE
First, the coconut bowl is half-filled with water. Then, cannabis is placed in the Kutchie, which can fit about three grams. Many Jamaicans add peppermint, eucalyptus, or rosemary to the weed to make the vapor more fragrant. Once you’re done filling the Kutchie, a lid is placed to cover the weed, and it’s showtime.
The user places hot coals on the Kutchie lid, which heats the cannabis without burning it. This produces a vapor that fills the bowl, which the user inhales and the highly potent vapor rushes up the stem and into waiting lungs.
The steam chalice is a great way to ingest your weed in an old-school way without inhaling harmful smoke. Be warned: it packs quite a punch. If you’re not used to it, you may even find yourself having a religious experience!