Mar 08 , 2022
Smoking shisha is a delightful pastime, so much so that hookah lounges have become hotspots in many cities and towns throughout the world. Today, you don’t have to necessarily be at shisha lounges or hookah bars to indulge in the deliciously flavorful smoke and the ambiance. You can have your own hookah setup at home and smoke as many shisha flavors as you desire.
What Is Shisha?
The literal meaning of shisha is glass. Shisha is a smoking device, which is also known as hookah. The word hookah literally means a water pipe. Thus, a hookah has a pipe and a base or vase that serves as the water chamber. Since this vase or base is usually made of glass, the term shisha is widely used to refer to the entire water pipe or hookah setup.
However, a hookah or shisha has a few parts other than the pipe and water base. An ordinary shisha has a bowl, usually made of clay, and it is glazed. There is a hose to draw the smoke. A tray serves as a placeholder for charcoal, and you can ash the pieces when needed. Also, you get a few grommets for the connections. The other requisite is foil or heat management device.
This entire apparatus serving as a smoking device in the form of a water pipe is known as shisha or hookah.
What Do You Smoke in a Shisha?
You can smoke tobacco, cannabis, buds, flowers, or herbs in a shisha. However, the standard substance used in shisha smoking is hookah tobacco. Hookah or shisha tobacco is not the dry and chemical-infused material you find in cigarettes. Also, the tobacco is not the kind of leaves you may be familiar with in cigars. Shisha tobacco is a distinct product with infused flavorings.
Shisha tobacco flavor comprises black or blonde leaves, with or without any nicotine. The tobacco leaves are processed using molasses, glycerin, or honey. Most brands use at least two of these processing and curing agents to keep the tobacco moist and juicy. Furthermore, almost all shisha tobaccos use at least one flavor, ranging from menthol and mint to a variety of fruits.
The Multiverse of Shisha Flavors
Originally, shisha smoking was primarily about enjoying exotic tobacco. Legend has it that the Mughal Emperor Akbar was fond of the tobacco brought to India by Portuguese traders. His doctor developed a water pipe to cool and filter the smoke, so Akbar could enjoy the tobacco.
In time, shisha smoking became more about tobacco leaves infused with molasses, honey, and fruits. The multiverse of shisha flavors you find today has hundreds of varieties. This evolution did not happen in recent years. Indians, Iranians or Persians, Egyptians, Turks, and others in the Middle East have been enjoying exotic tobacco flavored with natural extracts for centuries.
Hookah or Shisha Smoking vs. Cigarettes
Hookah or shisha smoking is a world apart from cigarettes. Although modern cigarettes have filters, you have to light and burn the tobacco to draw the smoke. Shisha smoking does not involve burning the flavored tobacco. Instead, you light charcoal pieces and place them atop a foil or heat management device on the bowl containing a shisha tobacco flavor.
A hookah or shisha uses convection heat to warm the flavored tobacco. The hot tobacco infuses the generated smoke with its delicious flavors and nicotine for the varieties that contain it. Also, the honey, molasses, and glycerin in the shisha tobacco makes the smoke even more pleasant.
The other significant differences between shisha and cigarettes are the smoke’s temperature and composition. Cigarette smoke is hot. A shisha cools the smoke as it interacts with the water in the hookah base. Thus, you get a much more comforting smoke through a shisha.
Also, cigarette smoke has toxins, not all of which are checked by the filter. Besides, a lot of smoke emanates from the burning tobacco of a cigarette that is not routed through the filter. In contrast, all the smoke generated by a shisha passes through the water in the base.
Thus, you get a more effectively filtered smoke. Plus, there is no way to inhale unfiltered smoke passively as the only outlet from the shisha is the hose. You do not draw or inhale any smoke unless you take a puff from the hose. The ambient clouds exhaled by fellow users is not the same as the unfiltered smoke from cigarettes.
How To Get Started With Shisha Smoking
Khalil Maamoon has a plethora of hookahs and shisha flavors for beginners and connoisseurs. Find a hookah according to your budget, choose a preferred tobacco flavor, and get some natural charcoal and aluminum foil to get started with shisha smoking.