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Bong Tips: How Do Bongs Work  

How do bongs work

When it comes to instruments for consuming cannabis, a water bong is one of the most popular options in the world. Bongs or water pipes are filtration devices that are commonly used to smoke cannabis. Though there are many other methods for consuming cannabis, water pipes remain the instrument of choice for many smokers.

Typhoon Beaker Water Pipe - Chameleon Glass

The History of the Water Pipe

The bong gets its name from the word "baung", which in Thai refers to a wooden bamboo tube. Now days, "baung" has taken on the meaning of a smoking pipe. The modern style of the water pipe comes in various sizes and shapes. Most are hand-blown pieces made by glass-blowing artists.

While many of these pipes are made of glass, they aren't all made that way. The glass helps to accommodate for the intensity of the flame when smoking, making each glass piece capable of withstanding frequent use. Moreover, with glass, there is no additional taste added to the smoke, while plastic or any other material certainly adds its own flavor. Essentially, a glass bong is the best option for a pure hit.

UV Water Pipe - Noble Glass

How a Water Pipe Works

Many first time users are intimidated by the size and complexity of the instrument. However, with a bit of practice, anyone can learn how to use it.

To better understand how to smoke with this instrument, you'll need to know more information about each part of the piece:

1. Bowl

The bowl part of the pipe holds the dried cannabis. This is where your weed will be loaded, then combusted. Some pieces allow for the bowl to be detached, so it functions in the same way a slide- or pull- carburetor does.

2. Carb

The carb stands for carburetor. This is the small hole that you will use to clear the smoke out of the instrument's chamber. It is with the carb that you really complete your hit. Most pieces use the slide-carb or pull-carb, which will be exposed once the bowl is removed.

3. Downstem

The small tube that facilitates the travel of smoke from your bowl toward the base is the downstem. Once the smoke makes its way through the downstem, it goes on to percolate into the water.

4. Base

The pipe's base is essentially the bottom of the piece. It comes in many styles and shapes. Beaker-shaped or bubble-shaped bases are the most common styles. These are used to create a water chamber, allowing the smoke to cool when it passes into the water.

5. Tube

The tube is the chamber where the smoke travels after having been filtered through water. The tube design can take on many forms, which will ultimately impact the way that the user takes a hit.

Every piece is different. All of these parts can be any design, shape, or color, depending on what your piece's intended function is. For example, the downstem can be replaced by or attached to many different designs for percolators that allow for a varied level of separation or diffusion of the smoke once it passes through your piece's water chamber.

Medium Beaker 12" - Grav Labs

Why Choose a Water Pipe?

With all the many different instruments that can be used for smoking, why should you choose this piece? Most people choose these types of pipes because of their ability to filter and cool smoke through water. This allows the piece to create a smooth draw without limiting the amount of smoke that is inhaled.

When comparing a water pipe to joints, the piece's cooling percolation is superior. In comparison with a dry pipe, the water pipe's toke is smoother and it isn't as harsh on your throat.

Tips for Using Your Piece

On your journey to learn how this instrument works, you may find yourself overwhelmed with all the new information and references. While it may seem overly complicated, it actually is rather simple if you consider the following tips to help you enjoy your piece:

1. Use Deep Breaths

If you're used to taking short quick hits from other instruments, using this piece may come as a shock to you. To get the most out of a session, it helps to take deep breaths. Practice your breathing beforehand to acclimate yourself to the process and prepare to take larger hits.

2. Grind Your Cannabis Well

If you want to enjoy an even burn with your piece, it's essential to get a grinder. While some people may be fine with using scissors or their fingers to pull apart the cannabis flower, you won't have the same quality of hit that you would with well-ground cannabis.

3. Use a Mint to Prevent Coughing

For many smokers, coughing and using this instrument go hand in hand. However, this doesn't have to be the case. Before taking a hit, use a piece of gum or a mint to help keep your mouth moisturized. However, it's important that you make sure that you don't choke when inhaling. If you can, remove the mint or gum immediately before taking a hit.

4. Always Use Enough Water

Even seasoned smokers sometimes forget to monitor their piece's water content. The ideal water level for your piece will ensure that the downstem is submerged. For a piece with multiple percs, the percolators need to be in water as well.

While smoking with a water pipe takes some getting used to, bongs are an excellent way to take part in cannabis. Whether you're choosing your next piece or looking to make the switch to using a water pipe, be sure to keep this guide in mind.