Higher Standards was created to provide true connoisseurs with the tools they need for the most elevated smoking experience, from premium care and maintenance products that ensure the best flavour from your material to heavy-duty premium glass. By combing the highest quality materials with a strong eye for product design, Higher Standards products stay true to their name. From the basics like rigs and pipes to accessories like glass filters and ashtrays, rest assured every Higher Standards piece will become a much-loved piece of your collection.
Higher Standards embody what it means to produce high quality bongs and waterpipes. Their equipment is among the best of the best, and is made for true connoisseurs, who want to get the most out of every experience.
Their hand-blown glass pieces are not the only things they offer. They also offer Higher Standards accessories and cleaning supplies which are made with the same meticulous designing and creation skills as their main pieces.
Inside the store, there’s no cannabis (it is not a dispensary), just corporatization, empty vessels, coded language (on its website, Higher Standards calls cannabis “material”) and the suggestion that style destigmatizes. The shop design is, frankly, boring, and it’s meant to be.
You can buy cannabis accessories in a room with exposed brick and industrial-inspired shelving, just like at a place where you can buy all of your other class signifiers. (There are Blackwing pencils and Forestry Wool blankets, a $246 paddle ball set for the beach and books about California architecture displayed with the bongs.) If high is highbrow, then cannabis can be consumed tastefully and stylishly, like cupcakes or wine.
Higher Standards is nestled in the tunnel-ish market (I always get an ant farm vibe) next to a bakery and across from a wine shop. Sugar is addictive and alcoholism is a progressive disease, and so these shops represent an errand for some, a life-threatening lure for others.
Cannabis sativa is good and less good. It can be a medical necessity, a culinary experiment, a sleep routine or an unrelenting habit. For many it has been a jailable offense, and I cannot go on to describe a yellow glass “banana gun” with a bucking glass monkey riding it that sells for $33,333 at Higher Standards without noting that thousands remain imprisoned for marijuana possession.
But beyond just products, the in-store experience at Higher Standards is also important. An elevated product needs an elevated environment, which is often everything that your standard smoke shop is not. To up the luxe factor, Higher Standards added lifestyle goods from brands like Jonathan Adler and MALIN+GOETZ and a staff that is equal parts retailer and cannabis educator. That staffing is essential given what could be the two biggest hurdles of all: the social stigma against marijuana and its current lack of federal legality.
“Alcohol is associated with 88,000 deaths per year, yet it’s able to court the luxury consumer,” Sheena Shiravi, director of consumer communications at Eaze, a cannabis technology company that connects adults to local retailers to get legal cannabis delivered on demand. “As consumers continued to be educated about cannabis and begin to see cannabis more easily integrated into their lives, we’ll start seeing cannabis brands targeted specifically and successfully at the luxury consumer.”
Maintaining high quality glass bongs takes a little skill and some high-quality cleaning supplies, thankfully Higher Standards have their own range of fantastic maintenance accessories.
The cannabinoids used in these experiments were extracted from hemp, but are not available in any existing hemp, THC, or CBD products, VICE reported. And the concentrations of cannabinoids found to be effective were extremely high. But, the authors noted in their research, those concentrations are clinically achievable, so it is possible new treatments using this age-old medicinal can be developed. But that’ll likely take a minute.
“These compounds can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans,” van Breeman stated in the release. Weed-based COVID prevention, however, is not meant as a standalone. The idea is that we may be able to combine getting vaccinated with using cannabinoid medicinals in order to give ourselves maximum protection against COVID. It’s important to note that these results were produced in a lab, and it’s too soon to say how these findings will play out in real human bodies.
There is reason to be cautiously optimistic about how much weed can help protect us from COVID. But unfortunately, cannabis misuse is still considered a risk factor when it comes to COVID, and research suggests that even those who use marijuana for medical reasons may be at higher risk of dying from coronavirus. Let’s not forget that COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and that smoking (or vaping) isn’t great for your lungs. So even if there is some — as yet unproven — benefit of using cannabis to prevent COVID, you are unlikely to reap that benefit by taking a strong bong rip.