These days we're always trying to find new and innovative ways to consume the world’s most magical plant. With the perceived negative affects associated with smoking cannabis permeating throughout the media, the demand for more natural and non-toxic ways of getting high off the cannabis plant come as no surprise. Though I must admit that there’s nothing more gratifying than puffing in that stuffy smoke from a spliff or nicely pearled blunt, the thick smoke can definitely act as an irritant to your throat and lungs.
One of the lesser known ways of consuming cannabis comes in the form of the steam chalice. Finding its origins in the sunny, stoner island of Jamaica, this chalice happens to be a bong that is made of all natural products - as opposed to glass crafted smoking paraphernalia. Rastafarians - members of the Rastafarian religious movement who have their own set of distinctive codes of behavior and dress, like the wearing of dreadlocks, the smoking of cannabis, and adherence to a diet that excludes pork, shellfish, and milk - created it out of a preference to inhale clean, pure, and vaporized herb. This is all in tandem with their religion and the view that the body is a temple. So, to the Rastafarians the thick, milky smoke from spliffs and blunts would make a pristine temple murky.
The chalice itself has three parts. The first part or the bowl, as it is called, is made either out of dried coconut or dried calabash - bottle gourd, or white-flowered gourd. The second part of the chalice, called the Kutchie, or herb bowl is made out of kiln fired clay. This clay has a small thin circular shaped screen with holes that separates the charcoal from the herbs. This is how you get to steam up the good stuff. This separation allows the vaporization to happen instead of the traditional burning of the herb. The third piece of the puzzle is called the stem, and this connects the Kutchie to the bowl, and is made of bamboo.
The culture of the chalice hasn’t really caught on in the US much, but you can always check out some online resources if you want to get into using this method yourself. A word of warning though, the steam chalice is not for the faint of heart. It is considerably more powerful than any spliff, blunt, and/or vaporizer used to consume cannabis - much more like a novice taking on the daunting task of hitting a bong for the first time - but the experience will be one for the history books, and one that is in favor of your lungs too.
Check out reggae artist, and Joey Bada$$ collaborator, Chronixx’s new mixtape dedicated to the chalice here
And order your Steam Chalice here.