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What Is A Bong?

What Is A Bong? A thorough explanation of bongs and water pipes

Quality enthusiasts, or unwitting viewers of Workaholics and American Pie, may be familiar with the titular device being used in slapstick comedy. In layman’s terms, a bong is a device used to smoke using water and/or ice as a filtration system.


The origins of the name ‘bong’ are actually murkier than we’d expect. Many speculate the name originated from Thailand as a derivative of the word 'Baung,' which means 'wooden water pipe' which can also be called a water bong.

Another popular theory is that the bong was adapted from a similar, early version of the device in Africa from the Bong’om tribe.

However, the unanimous consensus is that the bong came to the U.S. from military soldiers stationed overseas in the 1960s. From there came the innovative glass blown variants that make up the bulk of models we're familiar with today.

What Is A Bong?

Now, how does one use a bong? If you want to know and have to ask,  you're probably part of a Venn diagram where the circles don't touch. But don't worry, we got you!

UV Water Pipe - Noble Glass

How It Works

So, the way the bong works is by drawing smoke from a bowl containing the product you're igniting, through a pool of water. This works to both filter and cool the smoke before it’s inhaled by the user (you).

These chambers can also be filled with ice to help with the cooling process. And the more contact the smoke has with the ice or water, the better the filtration and the smoother the hit!

Typhoon Beaker Water Pipe - Chameleon Glass

Pros and Cons of a Bong

Other than an interesting decorative choice for your pad, what are the pros of a Bong?

From a scientific standpoint, there’s a significant pro in reduced toxicity: passing the smoke through water helps to filter some of the tar and other harmful chemicals that may be inhaled while smoking.

Water filtration is a definite bonus compared to non-filtered pipes or rolled cigarettes that allow small particles, toxicants, even burning embers to pass into the smoker’s mouth, esophagus, and lungs, potentially causing damage over time.  

However, when it comes to care, it’s best to handle one with extreme caution. Most modern bongs are made of glass, which means that they're fragile. Also, they tend to be on the larger scale and as such, aren't exactly the most portable devices. Look into a bubbler for the bong experience in an on-the-go package.

You're also going to have to keep your bong clean to get the best flavor and experience from your leaf. Depending on the size of the chamber, you might end up changing the water every few bowls, at least give it a rinse every few sessions...


Where to Start

So you’re sold on a Bong? Maybe you are interested in something a bit more complex, like a Gravity Bong? Need a specific size? How about color? Well, we have a wide selection of bongs for you to choose from! We have bong deals on products from Noble Glass, Higher Standard, ROOR, Tsunami Bongs, MJ Arsenal and more. 

Lesson over, let's get you smoking!