What is a bong, and how do you use one?

What is a bong, and how do you use one?

November 11, 2022 Written by Carlyn Atkinson

Water pipes offer a clean and smooth smoking experience compared to other methods of herb smoking. But many smokers are still hesitant to try it out!

Some people are just stuck in their ways, but others have been avoiding bongs because they don't know how to use a water pipe properly or think it's too complicated. But learning how to smoke your cannabis from a bong is super easy. Once you learn, it’ll become second nature in no time. There’s really nothing but upsides when you choose a water pipe.

When smoke passes through your bong's water chamber, it gets filtered, so you don't have to worry about additives damaging your body or getting a sore throat. Bong water pulls out particles from the smoke and makes it cooler.

Keep reading if you’ve been hesitant to pull the trigger on buying a bong because you aren’t quite sure how to use one. By the end of this article, you should be an expert.

 

What Is A Bong (Water Pipe)?

A bong, sometimes called a water pipe or glass bong, is a tabletop device that delivers a smoother smoking experience compared to other smoking methods. Every bong has a water chamber that filters and cools the smoke. Because of this water filtration, you get a smoother and more refreshing hit.

There are a few key differences between bongs and similar smoking accessories like pipes, bowls, dab rigs, and bubblers.

  • Pipes are a compact and convenient way to smoke weed. They don’t take long to “pack” with herbs, especially if you have a grinder.
  • Bubblers are very similar to bongs with a water chamber that filters the smoke, making it smoother. However, they are normally very small and shaped like pipes.
  • Dab rigs are also similar to water pipes. You smoke from a dab rig just how you would smoke a bong, but dab rigs are designed for extracts.

 

What Types Of Bongs Are There?

Bongs differ not only in their shape but in their materials and features.

Some bongs that come straight up and down, some have wider bases, and some look like fancy vases. Bongs can be made from many different materials, including silicone, acrylic, glass, or ceramic.

Simple bongs don’t have any fancy bells or whistles, but some come outfitted with special touches that make for a better, or at least fancier, smoke.

 

Components Of A Bong

Your average water pipe consists of the following parts:

  • Bowl. The bowl holds your dry herb. The bigger the bowl you have, the more weed it’ll hold.

  • Downstem. The downstem allows the smoke to reach the water chamber after you light your herb.

  • Water Chamber. This is the part of the bong you fill with water. The water chamber filters the smoke, cleaning and cooling it, making for a much softer hit.

  • Stem (Ice Catcher). Some smokers like adding ice cubes to the stem to cool the smoke. Not all water pipes have an ice catcher.

  • Carb. The carb is a small hole that allows you to control the airflow in the pipe. It can also be used to clean the stem or the water chamber.

  • Smoke Chamber. The smoke chamber connects the water chamber, stem, and mouthpiece.

  • Mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is how you get the smoke. Your weed smoke makes the journey from the bowl to your lungs via the mouthpiece.

  • Percolators. Percolators, percs, are small add-ons in the neck and chamber of the bong that will filter your smoke even more.

 

This should give you a good idea of how a water pipe works. But why should you use a bong compared to other smoking methods? It’s really personal preference, but there are a few common reasons why many people prefer bongs.

 

Why Would You Use A Bong vs. Other Methods?

So if you can just buy a pipe that fits in your pocket or some rolling papers, why should you bother with a bong?

Here are our top four reasons why bongs are the superior smoking method and why you should try one today.

 

Less Prep Work

Smoking out of a bong requires significantly less prep work than other methods.

The simplicity of using a bong is unmatched, and that comes in handy when you’re in a time crunch or just don’t want to put in the work.

Bongs are perfect for everyday smokers who don't need to make each smoke session a special event.

 

A More “Clean” Hit

Nothing compares to a bong rip. If you enjoy tasting your flower, smoking out of a bong is meant for you.

For example, when you smoke a joint or blunt, you’re also smoking the paper that houses the bud. With a bong, you’re only smoking the bud. And because of the water, a lot of other annoying particles (that often irritate your throat and make you cough) are being filtered out.

Studies have found that a larger percentage of toxins are left in the bong, not your lungs when you inhale. These particles build on the side of your bong instead of your lungs, where they can be easily removed.

 

Smoke Is Easier to Inhale

The one thing most people like about bongs is the ease of your inhale. Thanks to the water chamber in your bong, the smoke is cooled and filtered making it easier to inhale. The water removes the hot temperatures and ruggedness of the hit.

If you’ve never used a bong before, you should start with a bong that has a side chamber. The side chamber stores ice and will downplay the heat of the smoke even more.

 

Great for Groups or Solo

The good news is that bongs are great for solo stoners and for group sessions.

Depending on the day, you can hang solo with your bong and get some work done around the house. Or, you can get ready for a weekend gathering and share the amazingness of your bong with your closest circle of friends.

 

How To Use Your Bong

We’ve already been acquainted with the different parts of your bong, so we can get started right away.

 

Fill the water chamber

Take out your downstem and fill the chamber with clean, cold water.

You want to be sure your downstem is completely submerged, but don’t over fill. The more water you have, the harder you have to pull the smoke when you inhale. Take a few deep breaths through the mouthpiece to test your water level. If the water doesn't reach your lips you’re ready to go.

If you want to add ice to the stem for an even smoother hit, now is when you can add ice to the stem.

 

Pack the Bowl

Before smoking, you need to pack the herbs into the bowl.

 

Grind the herbs

Breaking up your cannabis is an integral part of the smoking process. Some people will break it down with their fingers or with a pair of scissors. Others have a trusty grinder they use to break the nug into small, evenly sized chunks.

 

Pick the herbs and put them into the bowl

Once the bud is ready, pack the larger pieces into the bowl. Once that’s done, top off your bowl with smaller pieces of herbs. This keeps the smaller pieces from dropping into the bowl as you inhale.

You should only need to fill your bowl about half way if you’re smoking alone. Pack a little more if you’ve got some friends coming over, but don’t overpack the bowl. If the bowl is packed too tight, the air won’t pass through properly and you’re smoking experience will suffer as a result.

 

Place the bowl into the water pipe

Now that your bowl is filled put it into the bong’s downstem section. And keep in mind that the glass can break if you’re not careful.

 

Get Ready To Smoke

It's time to get down to business. 

 

Get everything ready

Put your bong on an even surface and get comfortable. You need to be able to get a firm grip on the bong around the smoke chamber with your non-dominant hand. If you prefer, you can hold the water pipe from the bottom as long as you are comfortable.

 

Put your mouth on the mouthpiece

You want to put your lips inside the mouthpiece and seal any openings. It's considered poor etiquette to wrap lips outside of the mouthpiece. Your friends will appreciate it if you avoid that.

Take a couple of deep breaths before lighting the herbs. This will fill your lungs with oxygen and make the smoke feel much smoother.

 

Light the herbs

Hold the lighter sideways and put the flame at the edge of the bowl. Don't light too close to the bowl if you want your herbs to last longer.

You can make the cannabis last even longer by using a hemp wick instead of a regular lighter.

 

Slowly inhale the smoke

Inhale gradually while continuing to light the herb in the bowl so the chamber fills with smoke. If this is your first time, don’t overwhelm yourself. You’ll only need to fill the smoke chamber about halfway.

 

Get rid of the flame and keep inhaling

Once the herbs are glowing and the bowl is filled with smoke, remove the lighter. Keep your mouth on the mouthpiece yet or the smoke will dissipate.

 

Breathe in the smoke and hold it in your lungs

Now you’re ready to remove your finger from the carb and take a nice deep breath. Get the smoke into your lungs and hold it in for a few seconds. Now exhale. Do this as often as needed until there’s no smoke left.

You don’t need to breathe in the entirety of the smoke in one go. Cover the mouthpiece with your hand to seal the smoke inside the bong until you’re ready for another hit.

 

Grab Your Next Bong From Daily High Club

There you have it. Now you’re ready to hit your bong like a pro. Now that you know how to use a bong, it’s time to pick one up!

Daily High Cub has an excellent selection of the best bongs on the market. We have everything from durable borosilicate glass bongs to silicone bongs.

We also have a subscription box that sends you a brand new bong and tons of other goodies every month!

As long as you know what you’re doing, you can’t go wrong with a bong. Happy smoking!

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