How it’s done:

The tip of a short glass stem, or the middle of longer stem, is heated until it’s red-hot. The end of the stem is placed over a bump or line. The heat vaporizes the speed and the vapor is inhaled, usually through the nose.

Time to get off:

  similar to smoking, about 7-10 seconds.

Things to watch out for:

As with smoking, the vapor can definitely irritate your lungs. You rail through your nose, so there’s irritation of the nasal passages to consider. The stem will be very very hot, and can burn you or someone else.

Strategies to reduce possible harms:

The stem used for railing could, theoretically, be contaminated with blood or other body fluids containing HIV and Hep C. Have your own stem and, if you have to share, try and wash the stem between uses and users. To avoid burns, keep your eyes on the hot stem before, during and after railing. To prevent burning down your house, have a glass or metal dish to put the hot stem on after you’ve done your hit.