Water pipes have been used to smoke marijuana since ancient times. Bongs played such a big role for ancient people that they treated them as sacred totems and even gave them names. As you see, bongs have been around for centuries, even though they looked much simpler before. Today, they’ve already carved a big niche in the global cannabis market.
Why do people use water pipes?
Unlike with smoking, using bongs doesn’t irritate the throat. There are no burning feelings caused by hot smoke that is always produced by joints. Bongs cool it down before the inhale, which gives a smooth hit. Also, using a bong can significantly reduce the number of toxic compounds entering the lungs.
As you might know, fire produces carcinogens and toxins. However, this tool filters some of these substances through the water. Users also avoid swallowing ash and tar particles because they stay in a water pipe.
Another good thing is that the water helps to reduce the number of inhaled microbes as water pipes filter bacteria and mold. That’s why using a bong is a healthier way to consume cannabis than smoking.
One more reason why people may prefer a bong is the aesthetic experience. Water pipes have become a kind of art since manufacturers started to craft them. Now they are available in different shapes, materials and colors, so one can enjoy their looks. In the article “Art You Can Smoke,” you can find incredible facts about bongs worth $50,000. Can you just imagine that?
How do they work?
Bongs come in various shapes, sizes and colors, but there are only two main types — standard and gravity.
Standard bongs have a long neck and a reservoir for water in the bottom. They can be made from different materials, such as glass, wood and plastic. Gravity bongs can be made either out of one container with a small hole near the base so the water can drain easily, or two containers, one of which is open and must be filled with water. Also, unlike standard bongs, gravity bongs do not bubble the smoke through the water.
The main way that bongs function is through vacuuming. After lighting up the weed in the bowl, some smoke gets released and you can start inhaling it, creating a vacuum that percolates the water.
Once the smoke rises up through the water and the chamber, it enters your mouth and lungs.
However, modern bongs can filter smoke in some other ways apart from using water — for instance, with the help of ice inside the tube that provides a very smooth hit or different percolators. Some tools even use a two-chamber system to cool down the smoke.
How to use a bong?
It’s important to use a tool that perfectly meets your needs; therefore, you must know how to choose a water pipe. As the market is saturated with them, selecting the right one can be a challenge. So let’s dig deeper to find out everything about it.
It’s important to consider what bong size will fit your lifestyle. For example, if you move all the time, you should pick a small one because it’s more portable. In case you are an experienced smoker, you will be more satisfied with a large-sized one since it allows optimal airflow and smoke filtration that produce smoother and tastier hits.
Once you’ve decided which bong size you need, think about its material. Note that different materials offer different benefits. Some of the most popular materials now are glass, acryl, silicone and ceramic.
Glass bongs are believed to provide the cleanest and purest tasting hits. But be careful because they are breakable and can be quite pricey. On the other hand, acrylic bongs are very cheap and reliable. However, you shouldn’t expect anything outstanding from them since the quality of smoking is usually worse. Users say that it can even leave an unpleasant taste in their mouth.
Regarding ceramic bongs, they are not only very durable and reliable but also deliver a great flavor and smooth hit. Similar to ceramic bongs, silicone ones are also almost unbreakable. They typically have a moderate price and can be used for years.
Now that you know what to look for in a bong, you probably want to understand how to smoke a water pipe the right way. If so read about it below.
First of all, you need to fill the bong with water so it covers all the holes in the downstem. Fill any percolators in the neck and chamber with water as well. Then, loosely pack the bowl with buds and make sure it’s not too full. Next, light it and place your mouth on the mouthpiece to slowly inhale. Note that you should exhale immediately, as there is no need to keep the smoke in your lungs, and you will feel the effect instantly.
Hopefully, the instructions given above will help you enjoy smoking. Be careful and always watch your body’s reactions if you want to make the most out of using cannabis.
Written by Tia M., Editor and Contributor at AskGrowers