Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on December 24, 2022

The industrial hemp plant (Cannabis Sativa L.) has been cultivated for thousands of years and used for both medicinal and industrial purposes. It’s a highly versatile plant that’s slowly making its way into the mainstream following the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized the cultivation and consumption of hemp and hemp-derived products

Among the many hemp products coming onto the market, hemp wick is one you may have heard commonly mentioned in the cannabis community. It’s a lighting accessory popular among weed connoisseurs, but one that gets often overlooked. 

So, if you’ve gotten curious about it or are thinking about trying it for the first time, this article is for you. We’ll talk about what hemp wick is and what it’s used for, as well as its benefits and how to use it.

What Is Hemp Wick and How Does It Work?

Hemp wick refers to a bundle of twine made from twisted hemp fibers. Hemp wick has a thin beeswax coating which significantly slows down the burning rate of the twine, similar to a burning candle. The beeswax also makes the hemp wick more structured and able to retain its shape when you light it. 

Being an all-natural product, hemp wick is well-liked by health and environmentally-conscious cannabis users. It produces a clean smoke that’s easier on the lungs and adds to the ritual of preparing some cannabis buds to smoke. 

You will still need a lighting source to light the hemp wick which can be off-putting for some users, but once you understand its charm and advantages, it won’t feel so redundant anymore.

Why Use Hemp Wick for Smoking Cannabis

It may not seem like it would make a big difference, but using a hemp wick has many advantages and we believe that once you try it, its slow-burning flame will win you over in an instant.

A Healthier Alternative to Matches and Butane Lighters

Conventional lighting methods such as matches and butane lighters are a fast and convenient way to light a joint, but they also release a lot of toxic fumes. Frequently inhaling butane can become harmful over time, and the same applies to the mixture of burning wood and glue when you light matches. All of these substances are better kept away from your lungs. 

Additionally, since butane lighters burn the weed at a high temperature, the smoke you inhale will also be very hot and unpleasant. That’s why hemp wick is a healthier alternative. Hemp doesn’t release any toxic chemicals, the most you can feel is a faint sweet scent of the beeswax. The slow burn will produce much cleaner fumes than any Zippo or Bic, and the smoke won’t be as hot.

Retains More Flavor

The biggest difference hemp wick will make for you is the flavor, hands down. Butane lighters combust the cannabis buds at very high temperatures (3,500 degrees Fahrenheit!) which destroys a large portion of the terpenes. This affects the flavor greatly, but not only that. The terpenes are also important because they work synergistically with other cannabinoids like CBD and THC to produce better effects.

Unlike butane lighters, hemp wick burns at lower temperatures (by at least half) because it’s coated in beeswax and a lot of the terpenes are actually retained. This results in a much more flavorful and wholesome smoking experience. You will be able to taste the unique flavor profile of the strain and your tokes will be smoother and cleaner.

Environmentally Friendly

Hemp wick is an organic product and it comes from a renewable source which is why it’s a great natural alternative. Hemp grows incredibly fast compared to some plants (3 months) which means that it’s found in abundance. In contrast, butane is manufactured from petroleum which is available only in select regions, making it a non-renewable source. 

Additionally, you’ll reduce the plastic wastes from disposable lighters. One lighter will last you for much longer and you won’t have to buy a new one every month. A spool of hemp wick lasts a long time and once you’ve used it, there are no waste products remaining because it’s biodegradable.

More Precise for Lighting

When you use conventional lighters or matches, you’re usually in a rush to avoid getting your fingers burned so you may end up with unevenly lit weed, something that often happens with bowls. When weed burns unevenly the taste is greatly affected and you may end up lighting it again which combusts the weed even more and makes it harsher. 

With hemp wick, you won’t have this problem because it burns slowly and it doesn’t lose its shape or flame while you take your time to light the buds without rushing. 

How to Use Hemp Wick

The most practical way to use hemp wick is to wrap it around your lighter so you can have it with you at all times. Some hemp wicks are sold together with a lighter, so you can buy a set too. There are even hemp wick lighter cases that are designed to hold the wick wrapped around the lighter in place. You can find these in dispensaries and even some head shops.

Using a hemp wick is easy. All you need to do is light the wick and give it a little time to start burning properly (this will also burn off any remaining fumes from the lighting source). Then, light your buds as you normally would, and take your time, because hemp wick will burn slowly and it will retain its sturdiness. When you’re done, blow it out and pack it for next time.

Bottom Line – Once You Try Hemp Wick, It’s Hard to Go Back to Conventional Lighters 

Hemp wick is a very clever twist of the classic hemp twine used for tying plants or making jewelry. The beeswax coating makes it a great lighting accessory that not only improves the taste of the smoke, but also saves you from inhaling harmful gas. While using hemp twine does require an extra step and may not be the fastest way to light those nugs, the process is far more rewarding. Those who use hemp wick know that once you make the change, it’ll be hard to go back to conventional lighters.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.