Shy Stoners’ Alternative: New Online Head Shop

Surely you’ve noticed that smoke shops and head shops are everywhere. However, these stores are frequently ill-stocked, high-priced and many tenders are not knowledgeable about their products. “Fifty years ago, head shops began dotting the country and, through the decades, became a common part of the American landscape,” says Ryan Ward, a former employee of eBay and founder of (, an online store offering various smoke products.

“Times are still changing, and that includes technology, attitudes toward what people should be allowed to smoke and even laws. Online consumers know what top retail sites offer at Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart, Apple, Etsy, etc, so why don’t they know where they can buy the best bong for their smoking style?

“But the millions of Americans seeking smoke shop products – water pipes, vaporizers, rolling papers and grinders – don’t have that one reliable source to at least begin their shopping. I think that ought to change.”

Why do consumers need an online store for such products? Ward explains.

  • Many people suffering from medical problems would benefit.Twenty-three states and Washington, D.C., have legalized cannabis for medical use, and seven states are pending legislation. The reality is that cannabis provides palpable relief for a number of medical issues, but many who are prescribed the herb have no experience with it. Many simply don’t know where to go to find products that could maximize relief. A one-stop source online offers immediate perspective.
  • There’s a need for a trusted source.Sources for smoke products are out there, but not necessarily easy to find. If you’ve been prescribed medical marijuana, a search will yield easy access to related products such as t-shirts, cups and cheap jewelry, but products to help with medicine are not as easy to locate. Brick-and-mortar smoke shops really are everywhere now; why not have an easily recognized one-stop online site for consumers?
  • Most brick-and-mortar smoke shops are limited.Whether it is tobacco buyers or citizens of a marijuana-legal state who are new to related products, it’s nice to know what’s out there. Smoke shops tend to be small, limited and pricey. A site offering a wider variety of products and price points benefits consumers. And, many consumers simply do not feel comfortable shopping at storefront locations.
  • New products offer healthier options.While many smoke shoppers like the old-school tradition of rolling papers and pipes, vaporizers are now very popular. There are important differences between vapor and smoke. The density of vapor is much less than smoke, meaning consumers will not get that giant smoker’s hit that one would normally get with a glass pipe or Newport 100s. The intensity of smoke instantaneously shreds the inside of your lung passageway to pieces and makes you feel like you just inhaled 1,000 toxic chemicals. Vapor is a far gentler option.

What about you? Do you think there’s a need for an online smoke shop a la EBay style where smokers can source their products?

Photo: jay greinsky

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