Bongs are a staple of cannabis culture. In almost any media representation of weed, bongs will come into the conversation. They are a great way to get stoned at home, especially with friends. However, if you’ve never used one before they can be a little daunting. It may seem the easiest way to smoke for those who are used to bongs. Though I do think we all remember our first time and how completely confused we were. Not wanting to look silly in front of friends can ruin a perfectly good smoking session. So let’s have a look at all of the information we need about bongs.
What Is A Bong?
Bongs are usually a type of water pipe that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. The weed is diffused through the water which creates large amounts of smoke. The basic setup of the bong is usually the same even if it looks completely different. There will always be a water chamber, a mouthpiece, a hole, a bowl and a stem. There are so many different styles of bongs as these aspects are easy to move into strange and creative places. Bongs have been around for a long time and have just evolved through thousands of years into the modern glass-blown pieces they are today. If you are interested in the history of the bong then have a look at our bong history article for more information.
How Does Smoking Work?
If you have never smoked a bong before it can be tricky. It is definitely not quite as instinctive as it looks. First, you can make a mix or just grind up your weed. Many people prefer to make a mix of tobacco and weed, especially the first time around. That mix is then going to be packed into the bowl, the tiny metal boy on the front of the bong. It is important to pack quite tightly so make sure it burns well, but not so tight that the air can’t get through. You’ll then want to cover the hole with your thumb, take a big inhale and light the bowl at the same time. Once the smoke has been pulled through the water you can release the hole on the back and just take a deep inhale and there you go. You will likely cough at the start but that’s alright, everyone does.
Are Bongs Better For You Than Smoking Joints?
This is something that is often said about bong use, but is it true? Bongs definitely give a much smoother smoke than joints do. It tends to feel significantly better but realistically it’s still just smoking and you’re actually taking in much larger inhales. Basically, smoking is smoking, can’t really change what it’s doing to your lungs. Just make sure you change out your water regularly or you could start inhaling some slightly nastier stuff.
What Is A Percolator?
So some bongs have a thing called a percolator which is basically put into things to allow a substance to react with water. They are usually found in coffee makers and they help the ground coffee react with the water for a richer flavour. When a percolator is put in a bong it has a slightly different job to do. It causes the smoke to pass through the water twice instead of once. This cools the smoke right down which will make it more enjoyable and a lot smoother to inhale. The smooth hit is generally much more popular these days, although perc bongs can be a fair bit more expensive than non-perc.
What Do I Want In A First Bong?
If you are looking for a very first bong there are a few things you need to consider.
The material that the bong is made out of can make a huge difference to its smoke and usability. Personally, I believe that a classic glass bong is a good way to go. They are easy to clean, and they look pretty. However, many think that for a very first bong you should go with a slightly more giving material like metal or plastic. Basically, glass is a good option but can be fragile and more expensive. Plastic is usually much cheaper but may not last as long. So it really depends on if you just want something simple to start with or want to go straight into something you plan on having for years.
You should also have a think about what you want to use it for. Will it live in your living room? Will it travel with you? Is it just for your use or is it for friends too? How durable does it need to be? There are a lot of things to consider. Maybe you want something to show off on a shelf? Or something to hide under the bed? Have a really good think about these questions and do your research before you go buying your first piece of equipment.
Caring For Your Bong
It is so important that you keep your bong clean and happy. Bongs can be delicate and have quite a few parts so making sure they are looked after is important. You’re inhaling from this piece of equipment so if you don’t look after it that nasty dirt and build-up is going right into your lungs. Usually, bong cleaning takes about 10 minutes and requires a few little bits and pieces. Maybe soon I’ll do an in-depth article on exactly how to best clean your bong. However, I will just tell you that you must clean it regularly or the contaminated water could make you genuinely quite ill. Dirty bong water is a hotbed for bacteria and you can risk anything from strep to e. coli. Definitely clean your bong regularly, don’t wait for it to start looking dirty. If you use your bong a lot just clean it weekly to be safe and you won’t be risking any nasty health problems.
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