The Differences Between a Butane Lighter and Hemp Wick

Learn the differences between these two choices you can light-up your marijuana with

As is typical in the marijuana world, a lot of friendly debates are on-going, especially pertaining to preference of a certain strain or a certain method of consuming it. The truth is, there’s no right answer in any of this, simply what is preferred and desired the most. This relates to choosing to smoke cannabis using either a butane lighter or a hemp wick.

There are, of course, differences existing between the two options, but ultimately the choice to pick one over the other is personal. In this article we are going to explain thoroughly the pros and cons of utilizing both options, so that when deciding how you want to light-up next time, you can make a completely informed decision that is the right one for you.

Keep reading to discover the differences that exist between a butane lighter versus a hemp wick when smoking weed.

What Is a Butane Lighter?

If you’ve ever owned a BIC, Clipper or Zippo, then you have used a butane lighter. They are the ones that people light up their smokes with, and for that reason they are also commonly used for smoking marijuana. These brands specifically are not made to be refilled, although people have found ways to refill them nevertheless, and they are a cheaper option for those who do not want to spend time or money purchasing a refillable, higher-end butane lighter. Refillable butane lighters exist in all shapes, sizes and forms, with some producers getting quite creative with the designs, (lipstick shaped butane lighter, anyone?), but they can sometimes cost you a pretty penny and you’ll constantly have to be restocking your fuel, too.

What Is a Butane Lighter?

Many in the world of marijuana opt for a butane lighter because they often require less effort than a hemp wick, and in some ways they are more portable; one less thing that needs to be stored for quick access. However, some health concerns do exist pertaining to the use of butane lighters, because when you are smoking a substance that has been lit-up with one of these, you are also inhaling the noxious butane gases, which poses some long-term health risks and short-term health issues amongst the most sensitive individuals.

Pros and Cons:

As with all things in life, both pros and cons do exist for the use of butane lighters versus hemp wicks. Here they are:


  • Compact and portable, butane lighters are easy to take with you on-the-go, especially when you want to minimize the number of things you’re carrying around.
  • Cheap and affordable, butane lighters can be discovered at just about any local shop in your area and are often sold in multipacks so you can keep a stock of them nearby always.
  • Two types are available – disposable and refillable – making them suitable for all types of peoples with different preferences.


  • The use of butane lighters for smoking poses some well-researched and recognized health risks that may not be desirable for everyone.
  • Disposable butane lighters are made of non-recyclable, non-biodegradable plastic, meaning that they can pose a small threat to the environment.
  • Could burn off more cannabinoids, resulting in a product that is not as potent and could potentially minimize your high.

What Is a Hemp Wick?

Hemp, used for centuries as a source of food, rope and even clothing, is a widely available, multi-use relative to the cannabis sativa plant, the one we smoke and enjoy. Considered to be the sister of the cannabis plant, hemp itself, just like marijuana, contains numerous health benefits and does not produce a high, in addition to being an immensely practical building material that is quite suited for use in many modern-day commodities and constructions. These days, hemp seed is commonly consumed, added to many products and used for many purposes, including for baking cookies, breads and other pastries, as well as a source of flour or a nutritious addition to a smoothie or acai bowl.

Hemp Wick

Hemp wick is also sourced from the hemp plant, but it is a thin string that is weaved from the fibers and then coated with beeswax. It is easy to light but still requires some time to burn away, making it a brilliant option that you can ignite with a butane lighter and then apply close to your joint end, packed bowl, etc. The packed or rolled cannabis will then light up, but it will not burn too much, as can sometimes occur when using a butane lighter alone. Utilizing a butane lighter adds noxious butane gases into your marijuana bud, which then get transferred over to your lungs and body, but the hemp wick does not hold any of these noxious gases, so even though it also has to be lit with a lighter, these toxic fumes do not latch on, which is ultimately what makes it a much healthier option. In addition to the health benefits, many claim that using a hemp wick actually produces a much tastier and smoother hit because the device burns at a much lower temperature than a butane lighter, allowing the consumer to fully experience the entire flavor of their weed with nothing being masked or covered up. Hemp wicks have grown so popular, in fact, that some marijuana-consuming individuals swear by this natural fiber, only ever smoking when utilizing some hemp wick.

Pros and Cons:

As with everything, some pros and cons do exist surrounding the hemp wick, so here they are:


  • Healthier option, keeping your lungs free from noxious butane chemicals and more.
  • Makes a tastier, smoother smoke, and helps light tricky-to-reach bowls without burning your fingers, etc.
  • Biodegradable and long-lasting.


  • Not as convenient to carry around, and requires a two-step process for ignition.
  • Not always readily available for purchase in all areas and requires spending a bit more money to enjoy a smoke.

Our Opinion:

At the end of the day, our opinion does not really matter, because ultimately the decision to use a butane lighter or a hemp wick to smoke your cannabis greatly depends on your own personal needs, desires and comfort levels. If our opinion does, however, interest you, then we would say that we prefer using a hemp wick over a butane lighter. We find that our lungs feel better afterwards, the cannabis lasts a longer time and the high remains crisp and potent. Additionally, we find that this is a more natural way of smoking marijuana and it does not seem to be too inconvenient carrying around both a butane lighter and the hemp wick. Furthermore, by knowing the quality of the hemp wicks we use, it does not matter how pure the butane in the lighters are, because it is being transferred to the hemp wick regardless and the noxious butane gases do not stick. More than anything, we find that igniting cannabis using a hemp wick is a much easier way to share a few bowls amongst friends, because the product burns better and the hemp wick is more convenient to pass around. Plus, those tricky to finish ends of joints that are quite small and difficult to grasp become actually quite simple to light up with a hemp wick because the point of ignition is immensely accurate. These are some of the reasons why we prefer the hemp wick, but again, the decision to choose a butane lighter over the hemp option is completely yours to make and should be a personal choice.

Final Thoughts:

If you’ve been finding it difficult to decide whether to use a butane lighter or a hemp wick when smoking marijuana, or if you were desiring more information pertaining to this subject matter, then we hope that this article provided some answers and further details concerning this topic. We hope you not only found this article to be entertaining, but also educational and informative. It is important to remember that the consumption of cannabis is the sole responsibility of the user, and discretion should always be exercised.