Everything You Need to Know About Bongs

Discussion in 'Bongs, Dab Rigs, Bubblers, Water Pipes' started by TDayeInVA, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. #1 TDayeInVA, Feb 25, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2012
    Everything You Need to Know About Bongs
    Unknown Author

    Though bongs themselves come in many shapes and sizes, and also with many features and quirks, there is a basic principle.

    A 'bong' (otherwise known as water pipe) is a smoking instrument that cools/filters smoke by allowing it to pass through a fluid, typically water, before being inhaled. If a substance can be smoked, it can be smoked in a bong. The smoker may have to adapt the 'mix' to get the most out of the substance they smoke in the bong however. They are generally acrylic or glass.

    Bong information:

    In a bongs the smoke passes through water to cool and filter it. Marijuana is placed into a bowl on the end of a tube whose other end is in a sealed container partially filled with water. The end of the tube attached to the bowl is below the level of the water so that as the smoke exits the pipe it travels through a layer of water. The air pressure in the chamber is lowered through another tube that stays above the water level in the chamber. When the air pressure inside the chamber is lowered, air from outside the chamber passes through the bowl and its tube and bubbles through the water.

    Bongs are not particularly portable, as they tend to be awkward, delicate and heavy. Sizes range from the size of a small pill container to eight foot tall escapees from a mad scientist laboratory. Principally made from glass, plastic, ceramic, and metal they can be an art form unto themselves. The principal benefit of smoking through a bong is that the smoke is cooled. One can put any number of liquids in the chamber to filter the smoke, and beer or other forms of alcohol are often used, but this is not recommended. Water is the most common liquid used. The active ingredients in herbal smoke, legal buds or marijuana are fat and alcohol soluble and when filtered through such substances the active ingredients go into the solution.

    Multi Chamber is the coolest way of smoking a water pipe. Smoke filters by passing through various chambers and strike one's head in it's purest and coolest form. The pleasure further goes high by putting ice in one of the chamber.

    Multi-Chamber Bongs

    In addition the carcinogens in smoke are water soluble so that when smoke passes through some liquid other than water one loses active ingredients and gains carcinogens in the smoke entering your lungs. One method is to put ice water in the chamber, the cooled water is not quite as effective at removing the carcinogens but the additional cooling is favored among smokers. Carburetors are small openings in the chamber that are covered during the hit and towards the end opened to allow all the smoke to escape the chamber. Occasionally one finds a bong designed so that carbonation is accomplished by lifting the bowl slightly and allowing the air to enter the bowl tube.


    The substance to be smoked is packed into the bowl and ignited.The user places his/her lips inside the mouthpiece, forming a seal, and inhales, causing the flame to be drawn toward the substance. An inhalation is known as a "hit," "pull" or "rip." As the user inhales, the flame is drawn towards the substance, igniting it and the smoke that is produced travels through a hollow pipe that is attached to the bottom of the bowl. The pipe enters via an airtight stem into a vessel containing water.

    At the side (or back) of the bong, above the water level, there is usually a small air hole (nicknamed the "carburator" or "carb"), the user covers with a finger until they believe that a sufficient amount of smoke has accumulated. After the smoke is inhaled into the lungs, the "carb" is used to introduce fresh air into the bong. The fresh air introduced through the "carb" hole helps to cool the smoke further. If the smoker is using a larger bong, with a larger bowl, the first hit contains little or no smoke. The purpose of taking the first inhalation is to draw the clean air out of the chamber and to start drawing in smoke from the bowl.

    The smoke rises through the water, cools and gets rid of some of toxicants and is trapped in the air chamber above the water. The smoker collects purified smoke above the water is finished.

    Now to inhale collected smoke, cannabis connoiseur uses a bong carb hole. At the side (or back) of the container, above the water level, there is usually a small air hole (the "carb"), which is kept covered up with a finger during the first phase of bong use, until the point when sufficient smoke has been held in the air gap above the water. Its purpose is to allow an easy passage of air, without the water bubbling, into the stem-container when the smoke is finally inhaled into the lungs. The fresh air from this hole helps to cool the smoke further.

    Bong Etiquette


    This should come as no surprise to anyone who smokes bud: you shouldn't ever exhale through your bong. If you do exhale into your bong, you're going to end up with wet weed and pissed off friends. This may sound silly, but novice pot smokers do this all the time. If you need a breather during your hit, either cover the top of the chamber with the palm of your hand (to keep in the smoke), or breathe through your nose. Most advanced smokers will fill the chamber beyond its capacity to hold smoke. They will then exhale the extra smoke and take in the chamber-smoke on their next inhalation.

    Water Level
    Make sure your bong is filled (with water) to the appropriate level before you let anybody smoke from it. If the chamber is too full, you're going to get bong water on your lips every time you take a hit. (Bong water tastes nasty!) Also, when you fill the bong too high, you run the risk of having water rise up the stem and soak your weed. Not enough water is also a problem. The water's surface should be at least one inch above the bottom of the stem. When the water level is too low, the smoke will not be cooled or filtered properly. Both of these conditions are cause for harsher hits.

    Bowl Size
    When you are packing the bowls for a "session" (two or more people gathered for the purpose of getting high), be mindful of how much weed to load for each person.

    Here are some things to consider:

    1) How much does this person normally smoke? You don't want to pack more than somebody can "snap" (finish completely) in 2 or 3 hits.
    2) Is it good weed or dirt? If the weed is really good, you're not going to need much to get you high.
    3) How many people are waiting for their turn? You may want to pack smaller bowls if the bong is taking too long to get around the circle.
    4) How much weed is left, and how long does it need to last? If you're running low on weed, or your weed has to last for a while, don't pack huge bowls.
    5) Is this weed from someone else's stash? If you're loading weed from someone else's bag, don't take the largest buds.

    Party Pooper
    I hope you're paying attention, because this is very important: unless you enjoy looking like a fool and a loser, don't ever knock a bong over! This may sound harsh, but it's a most heinous party foul to spill, or worse, shatter a bong. The spilt water can stink up a place for hours, even days. Furthermore, bong water may stain if spilled on carpet. I can only suggest that, no matter how high you get, you keep an eye out for any bong that might be underfoot.

    Change Your Water

    Don't let your bong water get too polluted. When the water gets murky, it begins to stink, and will negatively alter the taste of your bud. Also, if you keep the water fresh, you won't have to clean your bong as often. If you own a small bong, you may want to change the water after every session. For larger bongs, once every month or two should be fine.

    History of Bongs

    The word bong is an adaptation of the Thai word baung, a cylindrical wooden tube, pipe, or container cut from bamboo, and which also refers to the bong used for smoking.

    Bongs have been in use by the Hmong, in Laos and Thailand, for centuries. One of the earliest recorded uses of the word in the West is the McFarland Thai-English Dictionary, published in 1944, which describes one of the meanings of bong in the Thai language as, "a bamboo waterpipe for smoking kancha, tree, hashish, or the hemp-plant."

    Homemade Bongs

    Home-made bongs are fun to make, a ritual if you like. But, more often than not, the materials used in their construction do not stand up to the test of time and the rigours of even moderate use. Quality glass bongs, hardy acrylics, and durable metals are all professionally engineered by companies, run by people who are empathetic to smokers and their life-styles and tastes.

    I'll get to this in another guide later on

    Anatomy of a Bong

    The Bowl (a.k.a. cone piece, chillum)


    Pretty self-explanatory, this is the spot where the herb goes! Bowl is then insterted into the down stem.

    Ice Catcher (a.k.a. ice notches)

    These little bumps reside in the tube of the bong and, you guessed it, hold ice. This cools down the smoke before it enters your mouth.

    Ash Catcher

    An ash catcher acts as a second chamber that filters and cools the smoke before it enters the bong. Inserted into the bong's downstem.

    Inline Ash Catcher

    An inline ash catcher is an ash catcher (usually) built right into the bong, and the water chamber is almost always sideways. This picture below a picture of a bong from GC's own Five to One:
    A percolator is a filtering and cooling chamber that sits in the bong's tube. There are a few kinds of percolators, the most common ones are tree percolators, and dome percolators.

    Tree Percolator

    A tree percolator has 'arms' that point downward and are submerged in water. Usually has 2, 4, 6, 8, or 12 arms.

    Dome Percolator

    A dome percolator uses a single, small chamber that directs the smoke into the water. The dome is sometimes made with colorful glass designs.

    |End of Percolators|

    Cited: Weedguru
  2. Preaching to the choir.

Share This Page