7 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Hookah

Woman smoking hookah in bar

Hookah means different things for different people. For some, hookah is a nice way to enjoy a social meal with friends, and for others, it’s the ideal method for relaxing each day after work. If you aren’t familiar with hookah, here’s a simple explanation: hookah is a waterpipe that’s used to smoke tobacco through heated coals, and, in some cases, wood embers.

Many people use the term “hookah” interchangeably to describe what they’re smoking, but it’s important to note that the word hookah describes the actual instrument used to smoke—not the substance. The truth is, hookah has a lengthy and complex history, and there’s so much more to it than most people understand.

Whether you’ll be trying hookah for the first time or are a hookah aficionado, these seven interesting facts about hookah are for everyone.

1) It Can Relieve Stress

hookahBelieve it or not, hookah has long been associated with stress relief. Many people have stated that hookah allows them to unwind, and it’s a healthier way to do so—unlike smoking, drinking, or taking drugs, hookah relaxes the body without altering its natural state. People who struggle with anxiety have also stated that hookah helps minimize the feels of anxiousness and uncomfortability.

2) Hookah Was Popularized In India

Many believe that hookah origins stem from India during the 15th century.The current instrument used became popularized after glass began being imported into India through the British East India Company. At the time, it was commonly smoked unsweetened (added flavors became popular in the Middle East later on). However, precise origins are unclear—some people believe it originated in Persia. This is how the glass base—called shisha—was made.

3) Hookah is a Mix of Items

Woman smoking hookah in barPeople who don’t know much about hookah might assume it’s just flavored tobacco, but it’s actually comprised of several ingredients. Traditionally, the mixture contains tobacco, molasses, and fruit.

4) Abdul-Fath Gilani Created the Hookah

A man by the name of Abdul-Fath Gilani is credited with inventing the hookah in the early 1600s. Abdul-Fath Gilani was physician to Akbar I, also known as Akbar the Great. He designed the foundation of the instrument (which was later modified), because he believed that he could relieve some of the effects of smoking tobacco if its smoke passed through water before being inhaled. However, it’s important to note that variations of the hookah device had already been in existence.

5) There’s A Special Way to Clean It

hookahWhen most people think about hookah, they don’t ever think about the maintenance of it. The truth is, you have to have a clean hookah using a certain methodology if you want it to last long. A clean hookah is not only more sanitary, but allows you to have a more enjoyable smoking experience. Of course, with a complex instrument, there’s a very particular way of cleaning it. The easiest way to approach this is to purchase a hookah cleaning kit, which often comes with a microfiber cloth, natural cleaner, glass cleaner, and several multi-sized hookah brushes.

6) You Can’t Get High

There’s a common misconception about hookah that the smoker gets “high.” This isn’t necessarily true. While the user may feel “buzzed” during an extended smoking session, it’s not the same “high” that you get from other drugs, like cannabis. “Everyone comes in asking if it’s going to get them high,” Luis Rodriguez, manager at The Darkroom Hookah Lounge, said in an interview. “It’s nothing like marijuana.” You may start to feel light-headed, or even ultra-relaxed, which can create the illusion of being high for some people, but the reality is, you cannot get high.

7) You Can Smoke Out of Real Fruits

Woman smoking hookah in barToday, many businesses take hookah to the next level by selling it directly in fruits. Common fruits include pineapples, apples, and oranges. This is especially common in restaurants that sell hookah, however, prices can quickly add up. With a fruit hookah, the fruit serves as the base of the bowl, and the tobacco is placed in the fruit.

Here’s a simple version of how it would work with a pineapple: the pineapple would be cut in half, and a cork-like instrument is placed in the middle to create a hole for the fruit to sit on the hookah. Then, a piece of fruit is cut out from the inside where the tobacco is placed. In a restaurant or high-end hookah lounge, this process is much more intricate. Using fruit as the base can enhance the flavor in some cases, and even keep the tobacco fresh for longer by adding moisture to it.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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