When it comes to getting the most of your dried flower, learning how to use a bong is an essential skill that will give you a smoother toke, a longer drag, and a potentially healthier experience compared to smoking joints.
In the wonderful world of cannabis, the glass bong, also known as the water pipe, is one of the most popular methods of consuming dry herb.
In fact, the bong is so iconic that it has practically cemented itself in cannabis culture, with many producers creating custom-made or specially designed bongs to fit the personalities of each and every toker out there.
These days, bongs have struck a note with almost every cannabis connoisseur out there, finding a home in nearly every enthusiast’s arsenal.
To find out how you too can learn how to use a bong, keep on reading!
What is a Bong?
A bong is a water pipe designed specifically for smoking cannabis.
It uses water to both cool and filter the smoke that passes through, resulting in a cleaner tasting, smoother feeling, and a potentially healthier alternative to smoking standard joints or blunts.
The way a bong works is fairly simple.
A bong consists of a few key components: a mouthpiece where the user inhales, a water chamber, a downstem which transports the smoke to the mouth, and a bowl where the weed is burned.
In order for a bong to operate, you need to fill the chamber with water and pack weed into the bowl inserted into the downstem.
When smoking a bong, the weed burns in the bowl, creating a vacuum inside the chamber that displaces the water and sucks the smoke into the chamber, which cools the smoke before you inhale it.
Once enough smoke gathers in the chamber, the smoker will pull the bowl from the downstem, causing air to rush in, allowing the smoke to be inhaled into the lungs.
Using a bong has several benefits. Aside from providing a smoother drag, studies have found that water can be effective in removing some of the toxic compounds found in cannabis smoke.
Similarly, when looking at the smoke coming from tobacco, researchers found that “water filtration reduces both the amount of particulate matter and the number and quantity of toxic substances in the smoke that passes through it.”
A series of other studies further support these findings, indicating that unlike many of the other harmful compounds found in cannabis smoke, THC can pass through the water and leave other harmful compounds behind.
That said, the water and mechanisms behind the bong can act as an effective filter to many of these toxic compounds we otherwise would be inhaling when consuming joints, making the bong not only a more effective option but also a potentially healthier one as well.
How To Use A Bong
Now that we’ve established the basics behind what it is and its benefits, we can get to the fun part, teaching you how to use a bong!
First things first, here are the materials you’re going to need:
- Weed (whichever strain your heart fancies)
- A bong (including a downstem and bowl)
- A lighter, torch, or hemp wick
- A weed grinder
- Cleaning supplies for your bong (plugs that will fit into each hole and some cleaning solution)
Get your grinder and your weed and go to town.
Place small nugs of weed between the teeth of your grinder and cover the grinding chamber with the lid. If your nugs are too big, break them apart with your fingers to make them smaller.
Once the lid is in place, twist clockwise and then counter-clockwise to grind your weed down to a uniform size.
If you don’t have a grinder handy, you use scissors or your fingers to get the job done. Just make sure that you get your weed down to a small enough size to be easily burned in the bowl.
Before you can use your bong, you’ll want to make sure that your bong is clean, your bowl is ash-free, and that it can slide smoothly into the downstem without any friction or jamming.
Once everything is set in place and good to go, pour some water into the chamber through the mouthpiece.
You’ll want to make sure there’s enough water so that the downstem is fully submerged, but you don’t need to add much more than that.
Grab a small amount of ground weed with your fingertips and carefully place it in the bowl.
Once it’s in the bowl, use your fingertip to pack it firmly but not too tightly as it may cause combustion and airflow issues.
After you’ve filled the bowl with enough weed, insert it into the downstem.
Now you’re ready to go. Grab your lighter, torch, or hemp wick and light the bowl.
As you light the bowl, you’ll want to place your mouth over the mouthpiece and inhale at a slow and steady pace, without being overly aggressive.
To know if you’re doing it right, you’ll see the smoke being pulled from the downstem and gathering in the chamber.
Clear the chamber. When you feel that enough smoke has entered the chamber, you’re ready to inhale.
Remove the bowl from the downstem and inhale the smoke. At this point, you’ll want to make sure you’re consistently inhaling the smoke through the same slow and steady inhale as before.
Keep going until all the smoke is out of the chamber.
Exhale and enjoy the high.
Once you’ve finished smoking with your bong, it’s time to clean it.
After continued use, bongs can get gunky with resinous buildup and produce a foul odour. To keep your bong in mint condition, you’ll want to clean it after each session.
To do this, you’ll first want to clear the ash from your bowl and rinse each of the bong pieces off with water. Using your cleaning solution, grab a sponge or cloth to scrub each piece down.
If you prefer an alternative method, you can put the pieces in a plastic ziplock bag with coarse salt and rubbing alcohol and shake it to scrub each piece down. By doing this, the alcohol will be able to break the resinous gunk down while the salt acts as a gentle scrub.
Once you’ve got all of the gunk off, rinse each piece off with some water and set them to dry. Repeat this process with the bong itself as well as the downstem.
How to Use a Bong – Technique Takes Practice
Bongs are an iconic piece of equipment in cannabis culture and have been around for decades. Learning how to use a bong will not only give you an enhanced smoking experience but also act as a potentially healthier option when it comes to enjoying your dry herb.
For those who have only relied on smoking joints, using a bong offers an alternative method to naturally enjoy your weed while simultaneously being easier on the throat and lungs.
While it might be a bit more work to use a bong, the result is well worth it.
As with anything else, practice makes perfect, and you may not be an expert bong toker on the first try.
That’s okay! Perfecting your technique and experimenting is all part of the fun.
We hope this article gave you the right tools and information necessary to teach you how to use a bong and get the ball rolling.