You’ve just gotten back from your maiden trip to the dispensary and you’re looking to smoke your first batch of marijuana. Which method of smoking is right for you? This is a matter of personal taste but also has a lot to do with what you’re trying to accomplish. One of the most unique and popular ways to smoke cannabis is with a bong, and it’s not without its pros and cons.
- Can add water and ice to cool off and filter the smoke
- Can create much bigger, more potent inhalations
- A nice, practical piece of glass work for the coffee table or bookshelf
- No risk of getting ash or plant matter in your mouth
- Doesn’t require burning any paper
- Can fall and break fairly easily
- Can smell bad if you don’t clean and change the water regularly
- Not the most discreet way to smoke
If you’ve ever been in a headshop or a college dorm room, you’ve probably come across a bong. While you may have thought “that’s really not for beginners,” a bong is actually a very straightforward, enjoyable, and effective way to consume marijuana.
What you need to smoke a bong
- A bong
- A grinder (you can also use your fingers or scissors)
How to use a bong: Step by step instructions
- Pour water into the mouthpiece until the waterline is above the base of the stem but below the bowl. You can also put ice cubes in the water if you’d like.
- Take a small amount of marijuana, grind or break it up and fill the bowl, without packing it too tightly.
- Place your mouth inside the mouthpiece, creating a tight seal.
- Hold a flame over the bowl and inhale strongly, and steadily.
- When the chamber starts to fill with smoke, pull out the bowl or take your finger off the carb and inhale forcefully, clearing the smoke into your lungs.
- Exhale, and if desired, repeat steps 3-5.
- It’s not a must every time you use the bong, but make sure to keep it clean and change the water regularly.
A bong can produce large hits of thick smoke that can make it a more potent option than most other smoking methods.
Also known as a “water pipe,” a bong consists of a bowl attached to a stem that descends into a basin of water. This fits into a down-stem, which feeds into an airtight vertical chamber that’s open on the top, on which you place your mouth. They can be made out of plastic, silicone, bamboo, and a variety of other materials, but most bongs sold today are made of glass.
Bongs will usually have a “pull-out carb,” which is used by pulling the bowl out from the stem once the chamber has filled with smoke in order to quickly clear and inhale the smoke inside.
But why use a bong? A bong allows you to get a strong, full-bodied hit that can often do the trick without a follow-up. The water in the basin of the bong can also cool down the smoke and make it less harsh.
In addition, you can put ice cubes in the basin of the bong (or in the chamber, if it has an “ice catcher”) to cool down the smoke even further. You also don’t need to worry about any ash or plant matter getting in your mouth when you use a bong.
There are a few drawbacks to keep in mind when it comes to bongs. If they aren’t cleaned regularly the water in the basin can become very smelly, and if you accidentally spill this water — especially on your couch or carpet — it can take some serious cleaning to get rid of the smell.
Bongs also have a tendency to get knocked over and shatter. Finally, even when they are small, bongs are not the most discrete or portable way of smoking cannabis.