Everything you need to know about bongs

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A basic guide all about bongs

image of jessica fung wearing a white robe with a white ceramic bong next to her on a bed describing everything you need to know about bongs

If you’ve never used a bong before, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. It’s crucial to select one that works well for you and your needs, so it’s best to do some research before you take your first toke. Bongs have a reputation for being used by experienced veteran cannabis consumers. However, using a bong doesn’t need to be complicated. And if you’re considering getting into the smoking world, you may be intimidated by the idea of using a bong due to fears of greening out. But don’t worry—bongs are easy to use and popular because they’re so simple to clean and store.

In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know before using your first bong: what they are, their components, and some things to consider when incorporating this tool into your consumption lifestyle.

What is a Bong?

A bong, also known as a water pipe, is a device used to smoke cannabis. It is a pipe that incorporates water, making it a uniquely different consumption tool for any cannabis consumer. The water filters and cools the smoke before you inhale it, allowing you to experience a high while avoiding many of the harmful effects of smoking, making bongs optimal for smoking cannabis because they filter out carcinogens and cool the smoke.

image of jessica fung wearing a white robe holding a ceramic bong for everything you need to know about a bong

Bongs are a fun and popular way to smoke cannabis. They’re easy to use, can be made from many different materials, have unique features that allow you to customize your experience, and some say they help you get higher than other smoking methods.

Everything about bong anatomy; knowing the different components

Bongs come in many different shapes, sizes, and materials and come with bells and whistles to customize your experience. However, every bong consists of these essential components that make up the anatomy of a bong.

Every Basic Component of a Bong

Mouthpiece

The mouthpiece is where you put your lips when using your bong; most bong designs feature a mouthpiece at the top of the bong and are directly attached to the neck of the bong, also known as the chamber. Some models have an opening on the side or bottom of them instead.

The shape and size of your bong’s mouthpiece can also affect how much smoke you inhale. A wider opening allows more smoke to pass through, while a narrower one only allows less smoke into your lungs. Try experimenting with different sizes until you find one that works best for you!

Bong Chamber

The chamber of a bong is also known as the neck. This is where the smoke/vapour travels through to your mouthpiece as you inhale from your bong. Depending on the size of your bong will determine the size of the chamber. The wider or thicker a chamber, the more smoke and vapour pass through, making for a more potent hit of cannabis.

Bong Downstem and Bowl

close up image of white ceramic bong and bowl and downstem for everything you need to know about bongs blog post

The downstem and bowl are usually permanently attached and are the most crucial components of any bong. The bowl of your bong is where your fresh ground flower goes; it’s essential to pack it into the bowl but not too tight where it’s difficult to burn and clog your downstem.

The bong’s downstem is the tube section that carries the smoke of your fresh flower into the water to be filtered before travelling up the bong chamber to the mouthpiece. Finding the correct size and length of your bong downstem is crucial to a comfortable toke. Some downstems are made with a built-in percolator (more on this below), offering more filtration. However, it’s important to note that every bong’s downstem must be airtight. Otherwise, smoke and vapour will begin to leak out from the bong, making it more challenging to get an adequately filtered toke from your bong.

Base

The base is the bottom section that holds the water, also known as ‘bong water.’ The base of a bong usually has a hole made for your downstem and attached to the bong’s chamber, allowing smoke to pass through your mouthpiece. The base can also house the percolator, adding an extra filtration layer, making for a smoother toke.

The Optional Components of a Bong

Percolator

Some bongs have percolators, a series of chambers that filter the smoke. Percolators are usually made of glass or silicon and act as an additional filtration layer. A percolator filters out carcinogens after the water cools the smoke and gives it time to change, making it smoother and easier on your throat.

Ash catcher

This filter catches all the leftover bits of ash and resin from your bong before they go into your mouth. It usually has a small tube and catcher that connects to your downstem and goes up through it toward the top, where it sits above your bowl. This add-on filters out your flower and helps to ensure that only smoke and vapour make it into your bong, keeping the bong water clean and offering a smoother toke as your pull.

Bong Storage

If you plan on travelling with your bong, depending on the type of material your bong is made of, you may want to consider storage for your bong, such as bags, boxes, or carry cases that offer extra padding and are smell proof can help conceal and care for your bong while you’re on the road.

Things to consider when picking your perfect bong

Bong Materials

When choosing the right bong for you, the first thing you should consider is the material. Various materials can be used to make a bong, and selecting the right one depends entirely on your consumption methods, lifestyle, budget, and overall preference. Here are some of the most popular bong types and why they work.

Glass

Probably the most popular bongs on the market are glass bongs. They’re durable and straightforward to clean, but they can also be quite expensive depending on the size and style of your bong. They’re also prone to breaking if they get dropped or knocked over too many times. Suppose you choose a transparent or semi-transparent glass bong. In that case, it’s easy to see residue and buildup, so more maintenance is required to keep it sparkly, but glass is easy to clean; almost any household cleaner, like dish detergent, will do the job perfectly. Another plus of having a clear glass bong is the ability to see how much water is in it without measuring, and as your smoke from it, you can watch your bong bubble up in action.

Ceramic

Ceramic bongs are less common and tend to be more expensive than their glass counterparts; however, they have a lower risk of breakage because they’re much harder than either glass or silicone. Ceramic bongs are a luxury item and offer a very sleek finish to the look of a bong. They’re pretty easy to clean, the same way as a glass bong. However, their opaque stone finish makes it impossible to see just how filthy your bong is without thorough cleaning. And because of the glaze or ceramic finishing of the bong, buildup and residue can quickly occur. So regular maintenance after every session is necessary to keep your ceramic bong looking fresh.

Silicon

A super popular bong material. Silicon bongs come in whacky shapes, sizes, and colours and are cheaper than glass and ceramic. They are generally lighter, softer, and more flexible, making them more durable. They are great for group smoking sessions where the bong can be passed around and shared without fear of someone dropping and breaking it. It also makes for an excellent travel bong; they are dishwasher safe, making them super easy to clean.

Acrylic

Acrylic bongs are popular because they are inexpensive compared to glass and ceramic. They do the job of providing an excellent smoke session; however, longtime use of an acrylic bong isn’t healthy because of the cheap plastic material, and heating it up for an extended period can cause severe health issues. It will destroy the experience of the weed.

Size and shape of the bong that will work best for you

Once you’ve chosen the material for your perfect bong, think about the size and shape that will work best for you. Bongs come in all shapes, sizes, colours, designs, and looks. And fit different consumers with different consumption methods and lifestyles. Some people prefer smaller, even mini bongs because they’re more portable, while others like their bongs large enough to share with friends or keep around the house as décor pieces (not everyone wants a giant joint). It ultimately depends on what kind of lifestyle you live! Here are some general styles of bongs for you to consider for your consumption style.

Straight tube bong

These resemble a simple pipe with a water chamber at the bottom. They’re usually cylindric in design and offer various sizes in circumference and diameter depending on how potent you prefer your hits. The wider the chamber, the more smoke you inhale, making for a stronger hit. The shape of a straight tube bong creates more but smaller bubbles that form a smoother, more controlled hit every time you heat your flower. However, if you choose a bong where you find the mouthpiece is too wide, you can purchase attachments to make a smaller mouthpiece, so you’re not inhaling as much smoke.

Beaker-shaped bong

Beaker shaped bongs

These are the most classic look of the bong. This style has a wider base than the top, which helps keep it steady while in use. They’re called beaker-shaped bongs because the bong’s base resembles a science beaker. The shape of a beaker-style bong offers bigger bubbles when you heat your flower, offering a strong pull.

Bubblers

These have characteristics of both pipes and water pipes; they have a small bowl for herbs at one end and an attached chamber filled with water at the other. Bubblers are known for a smoother hit than using a standard bong. Bubblers usually have built-in percolators, which offer an extra layer of filtration. You can change the size, shape and style of your bong’s stem to control the potency of your hit.

Once you learn everything about bongs, it can elevate your cannabis consumption

image of jessica fung wearing a white robe with a white ceramic bong next to her on a bed describing everything you need to know about bongs

Bongs are a classic tool of consumption for any cannabis consumer, and with so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find your perfect bong. The great thing about bongs is you can always have more than one. Remember to pick your perfect bong based on your intended use, whether for solo use, group smoke sessions, travel, or even decor. There’s a bong perfect for whatever your cannabis consumption needs are. Let us know in the comments how you picked your bong and if it’s treating you well!


Disclaimer: Please note this article is written for general, entertainment and public education purposes only. Although we conducted our research on this topic from sources that are believed to be reliable. We do not claim the information presented here is accurate. The team at Very Jessica Fung is not responsible for injury, loss, or damage, personal or otherwise, that could occur when consuming cannabis and/or drugs. Please review the VJF legal disclosure for more information regarding our content. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!

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