The Complete Beginners Guide To Shisha

The Complete Beginners Guide To Shisha


Alright, so today we are going to go back to the basics to discuss our favourite topic, shisha! Throughout the years, shisha has transformed and has become so popular around the world that at this moment, as we speak, millions are puffing away, especially since we are currently going through state of emergency in a global pandemic. Shisha smoking is a way to kick back & relax whether you are at home (which most of us are right now), socializing with friends and family or going out to a shisha lounge to met new people. Hookah is also a world-wide industry that has rapidly grown over the last 10 years and is continuing to expand to various regions. In this post, we will be going through a series of questions all shisha-related so that you, as a new smoker, can understand everything about the hobby we love! So, without further ado, let us go ahead and jump into this complete beginners guide to shisha.


  • Is Shisha A Drug?
  • What Is Shisha Made Of?
  • Why Do People Smoke Shisha?
  • What Is A Shisha Lounge?
  • How Is Shisha Smoked?
  • Is Smoking Shisha Addictive?
  • The Impact Of Laws On Shisha Flavours
  • Where To Find A Shisha For Sale

Is Shisha A Drug?

Most people already know the answer to this, especially if you are a hookah enthusiast but in short, the answer is a big no! There is a huge misconception about hookah-shisha smoking around the world, especially for those that have never took the time to understand what it really is. The false accusation that shisha is considered to be a drug is the simple fact that it is smoked out of a pipe and that it does not appear to look like a cigarette. Shisha-smoking does not get you high and does not alter your consciousness. You can smoke it and drive without any issues. You wont have to take a breathalyzer and you are not going to get into an accident if you are driving safely. Shisha is not a drug, period.

What is Shisha Made Of?

Traditionally, shisha was made up of raw tobacco for several hundreds of years. The making of the traditional substance (mu'assel zaghloul) was a simple but lengthy process. The procedure was done by mixing raw tobacco with water, squeezing the tobacco till it was slightly filtered and then molded and dried prior to smoking. This was the way of smoking tobacco in the Middle East and  it surrounding Asian neighbours for centuries. Fast-forward to the 21st century, shisha flavour is now widely available through online sales and is manufactured globally. Today & still, shisha is made of tobacco but with the process of being fermented with molasses, glycerin, fruit essence & flavouring. This process of making & using these shisha ingredients started in the early 1990's when a new middle eastern generation decided to take on the centuries old ways of traditional smoking and enhancing it by making it appeal to adults of their youth. Since then this process has been replicated and further-more evolved around the globe thus giving us the many flavours we smoke and enjoy today. Other methods are also used to manufacture tobacco free shisha using the same modern process but with ingredients such as fruits or herbs being fermented.

Why Do People Smoke Shisha?

People smoke shisha as a way to relax and socialize. In most Middle-Eastern countries, drinking & smoking marijuana are not permitted. Individuals from these regions tend to smoke hookah as a way to get out and spend time with others just like one per-say in North America would go out to a club to drink & dance. This trend has been brought over and has seen rapid growth to becoming a norm here in modern society. Although the effects of hookah are not like that of alcohol or cannabis, shisha might still contain nicotine and therefore some will smoke it for that sole purpose. The majority of hookah smokers however partake in this activity for the enjoyment of their favourite and various flavour palettes such as fruits mixes, coffees and desserts. Although hookah does not alter your consciousness, many people tend to enjoy it to the point where they become enthusiasts. Just like any other market, the hookah-shisha industry has followers and influencers. Similar to cigar aficionados, there are individuals who partake this hobby very seriously. Hookah enthusiasts tend to try almost every new product released on the market can influence those who smoke it whether it be flavours, pipes or charcoal.

What Is A Shisha Lounge?

This one is pretty simple. Lounges for shisha are establishments where individuals can sit down, order a hookah-pipe & smoke. Over the years, these establishments have grown vastly in each country around the globe. Initially, hookah bars were just a place where you can order a ready-to-go pipe and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, however since then, hookah-smoking has been implemented in various establishments such as restaurants, coffee shops, clubs and even barbershops. Each shisha-lounge has their own set of in-house rules and unique way of preparing a pipe to serve. For instance, some bars that serve water pipes will have a rule set that an order for a hookah must ensure a maximum of 2 individuals per serving, whereas other lounges will have club rules to enforce that you enjoy a beverage with your smoke session. Some shisha-establishments will be unique in a way where they serve you a complimentary pipe when you order a meal (common in the Middle-East). The creative ideas are endless. What I am trying to say in short is that shisha lounges are places where you can smoke in-doors and that each hookah place is unique in its own way! 

How is Shisha Smoked?

Shisha tobacco is smoked out of a hookah pipe. The shisha-flavour is packed in a bowl and placed on top of the pipe. The bowl is then heated using ignited charcoal which helps produce smoke. This smoke then travels through the stem of the hookah-pipe and into the base of the apparatus where smoke is filtered through water and is preserved. This smoke travels once again from the base and through the hookah-stem's hose port when an individual takes an inhale using a hose. Setting up a hookah is easy but does take a couple of minutes to setup and prepare for smoking. You can learn more about how to setup a hookah by reading the tutorial and how to use a hookah.

Is Smoking Shisha Addictive?

Smoking shisha is considered be non-addictive. Unlike cigarettes which contain hundreds of additives (599 additives to be exact), shisha flavors only contain a few ingredients (we mentioned them earlier) which is the reason why it is considered to be a non-addictive substance in general. However, each individual is different when it comes to our daily social vices. Some may be addicted to gambling, while others may be addicted to drinking. There are those who do become creatures of habit and eventually do find smoking a problem whether it be cigarettes, marijuana or shisha. Each vice has its addicts and it all just depends on the person. Hookah tobacco still does contain nicotine and there are those who need to fill that void for the craving, but compared to cigarettes, the amount of nicotine found in shisha is a small percentage (0.05% nicotine per package). Therefore, the lesson learned here is to take everything into moderation and to stay healthy.

The Impact of Laws on Shisha Flavours

Finding shisha can be difficult in some regions based on certain laws and regulations put into place. As mentioned in the beginning of this post, there is a huge misconception of what hookah really is and therefore limitations on shisha-flavouring has drastically affected the sale of shisha over the years. For instance, finding shisha for sale in Canada is quite difficult due to the taxation of tobacco. Each province in Canada has its own rate on tobacco per gram, which significantly impacts shisha sales within the country. As an example, here in Alberta where Oxide Hookah is incorporated, the tobacco tax per gram is equal to $0.4125 which for a tub of shisha flavouring on an average containing 250 grams in total ends up costing a lot. Although there is only a limited amount of actual tobacco within the flavouring, the weight of the product is what is taken into consideration when taxed upon importing. This impacts the decision on whether retailers and wholesalers actually want to carry the product to sell, as margins would be considerably low in comparison to the high costs and fees that come with importing the product. However, new products have emerged on the market that are tobacco free and are more accessible to hookah smokers. Shisha that is manufactured out of herbs or fruit are easier to find and do not cost as much as the original shisha tobacco product. Local grocery stores or shisha bars may carry the herbal stuff.

Where To Find A Shisha For Sale?

If you are looking to find a shisha pipe for sale, Oxide Hookah as you covered for all things hookah. We even carry tobacco-free shisha so that you never run out of your favourite flavors. The hookah brands we carry are world renowned and are of the highest of quality. Our focus is to ensure you get the best products at a great price. Our experts are here to assist you with any hookah related advice. We hope this complete guide helped answer all of your questions. Reach out to us if you have any more questions regarding this article. 

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