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The Smoke Shop History – Why Are They Called Headshops?

High Quality Headshop
Source: Staxx Smoke Shop

While the word ‘headshop’ may have entered the popular vocabulary long back, the origin of the term still seems to be confusing. Some people claim that ‘head’ is an acronym for ‘Eating Acid Daily’. Some others relate the phrase to a nickname of the dead heads. However, the term likely seems to have originated in 1913 from a slang. Somebody was noted to associate a drug’s name with ‘head’ to represent an addict. In the 1960s when pot heads started becoming a popular aspect in the American culture, it seemed to cater to the people interested in improving their experiences. By then, it was clear that the ultimate mission was to help the visitors feed their heads. 

They were established as stores specializing in drug paraphernalia. One could count on the local shop to bear different types of accessories to enhance your experience. It would have everything from rolling papers and water pipes to incense and visual aids. The drug itself was definitely not a part of the inventory. The state and federal law often found that these shops escaped from violations using creativity. They always created an impression that the water and glass pipes that decorated their shelves were not intended for drug use. To do this, they banned certain words at the store. One who uttered any of the banned words was sure to be ejected from the shop. In fact, such a vocabulary-based prohibition was in full effect in states where marijuana was not yet legalized. In the late 1960s, they were known to be important spots of countercultural support and offered a safe point for the distribution of publications which could question the authority. 

When shops first began opening up, they were commonly found in the most popular districts of the major US states. California experienced a major boom and LA’s west side offered a nice number of shops. The birth of headshop was marked with the opening of the legendary Psychedelic Shop in 1966. They never faded away completely but as the culture of stoners was opted by corporations, it was forcibly streamlined into a standard smoke store which traded in drug paraphernalia like water pipes. With the existence of weed today in almost every zone, they are getting back their popularity. Many of these have evolved in the form of online shops. 

Today in the Amazon age, it is apparent that brick and mortar shops find it really difficult to compete against online shops. Online shops fit perfectly into the modern marketplace due to the comfort of ordering stuff from home which has become the ideal shopping method. However, there is still something special about visiting a land-based shop and conversing with the shop people about what’s new. But those who know what they want can find it really easy and convenient to visit an online shop and buy things affordably. Though a lot has changed about shops from the 60s, they still offer similar services at the core. Glass pipes never became extinct and even the incense is back in the inventory.

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