Vape pens have exploded onto the smoking (or shall we say non-smoking?) scene since legalization has started to spread its wings. The business of vape pens is burgeoning, already taking a strong hold in the marketplace and offering endless product options.
But from the unknown health risks to the funky taste that comes along with using an electronic device often made in China, vaping is just not for me. I’m a good old-fashioned joint smoker with a few pieces of glass I keep in rotation.
So when Timberado’s Jeff Hood reached out about his new, modern, luxury line of peace pipes, I was immediately intrigued. Hood’s inspiration dates back to 16th century New England with family roots in the Algonquin Indian tribe. Growing up in a third generation colonial home in New Hampshire, a 12-year Hood discovered a Native American wood pipe in the attic’s insulation in 1966. He carried it with him over the years, bringing it out on special occasions to share a smoke among friends, which he still does to this day. Until now, he was never able to find anything like it.
The idea of Timberado as an actual business was born in 2011, when Hood set out to create handmade, custom peace pipes using the original as his first prototype. Measuring 23 inches long, I had never smoked out of a piece this size horizontally. Its length lends to a natural cooling of the smoke from the bowl location to the mouthpiece. The sleek, lightweight design is comparable to a baton but in Timberado’s case — a smokeable one — made from natural wood and rare gemstones adorned with a metal bowl holder.
When I visited the Aspen, Colo., showroom, the rainbow of colors in Timberado’s inventory blew me away. The wood: bocote, rosewood, zebrawood, maple, cocobolo, snake; the stones: turquoise, obsidian, jade, onyx, jasper, opal, carnelian; the metal: solid and stainless silver, natural and polished pewter, 14- and 24-karat gold. Pre-made pipes are available in a variety of options, but I love the customization option in choosing any combination of wood, stones and metal. And once you have a pipe, you can change up the look by ordering different end pieces that easily screw on and off.
Impressive aesthetics aside, it’s extremely well constructed and effective — a result of the three years Hood put into design research, sourcing materials and testing prototypes. Traditional peace pipes were made solely of wood, which in today’s standards is a health concern. The interior is lined with a glass tube with a small hole, allowing the glass bowl’s custom drip tip to rest atop it perfectly. The end piece is plugged with a rubber stopper — just remove it if you prefer a carb. It hits smooth, is easy to clean and makes smoking feel sexier.
My only complaint is that it doesn’t rest upright between hits, so the glass bowl has a chance of breaking if it rolls over on a hard surface.
Officially launching at the Cannabis Cup in April with a patent application approved just days before, Timberado pipes are now available locally in Aspen at Silverpeak Apothecary and online. For a bespoke order, Hood welcomes a phone call to walk you through the spiritual meanings of each gemstone and merits of the types of wood he uses. Peace pipes were, after all, created for medicinal healing and traditional ceremonies.
Each piece also comes with a padded and lined carrying case (available in green or black) with a Velcro side compartment to keep the glass bowl safe. But you’ll only want to use it for transport, because a Timberado is just too beautiful not to keep on display. Some might balk at the price (starting at $390), but smokers now are spending more than ever on gear like the new Herbalizer getting bought without question.
The highest priced Timberado pipe is $3,300 made with snake wood, woolly mammoth ivory end pieces and an oversized opal inlay. With a Timberado, it’s just as much a piece of art as it is a smoking accessory — plus, it has already proven to be the star of my sessions.