Smoking is an easy, time-honored way to consume cannabis, but burning weed produces toxins, and its hot smoke can irritate the throat and lungs. Bongs can deliver the pleasures of smoking in a healthier, more comfortable format that’s easy for newcomers and seasoned cannabis users alike.
Here we take a look at how to enjoy your favorite weed strains with a bong.
What’s a Bong?
Bongs are receptacles that filter combustible smoking materials, like cannabis,
through water. Though the earliest bongs were probably made of bamboo or carved wood, today’s varieties include bongs made of glass, ceramic, or metal, with artistic touches that often turn them into functional works of art.
In all their many forms, bongs contain three essential pieces: a chamber that holds water, a mouthpiece for inhaling the smoke, and a bowl that contains a smokable substance, such as ground marijuana flower.
With a bong, the smoke produced by combustion is first filtered through water, which considerably reduces these toxins. Bong users also say that water filtration produces a smoother, purer smoking experience than combustion, without irritating the throat and lungs.
Supplies for Smoking a Bong
If you’re a newcomer to cannabis, a bong can seem intimidating. Bongs require a few more steps than simply lighting up, but this way of consuming cannabis is easy to learn and offers a pleasant and relatively safe introduction to the weed.
Bong of your choice. A basic, starter bong should include a downstem and a bowl that can be removed for cleaning.
Marijuana flower – coarsely ground. Finely ground weed can escape into the bong’s downstem and collect inside the bong’s water chamber.
A lighter or hemp wick. A lighter can ignite the contents of the bowl quickly, but it can also leave butane residue behind. A hemp wick (also called a "bee line") has a long string that can be lit and touched to the bowl without introducing any additional toxins.
Steps for Using Your Bong
- Grind your favorite flower, but not too finely
- Make sure your bong is clean and dry
- Have a lighter or hemp wick on hand
- Add water to the chamber to an inch or two above the end of the downstem. Water temperature is a matter of personal preference. Some prefer cold water for a smoother smoke, while others like warm or hot water for the moisture it brings to the lungs.
- Remove the bowl from the downstem and fill it loosely with ground flower. Don’t pack the bowl too tightly, or it might not burn evenly.
- Replace the bowl into the downstem, making sure it fits snugly.
- Hold your bong securely by the neck or rest it on a stable surface while you’re lighting the bowl.
- Put your lips inside your bong’s mouthpiece so that it makes a solid seal. It’s considered bad bong etiquette to put your lips on the outside of the mouthpiece and your seal won’t be as tight.
- Light your hemp wick or lighter and hold it to the edge of the bowl to ignite the flower. Inhale at the same time in order to pull the flame into the ground flower.
- Continue to inhale as the smoke disperses through the downstem and into the water. Enjoy the bowl solo, or share it with friends.
- After use, or at least every few times, clean your bong with a isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt mixture. Soak parts individually in a zipper storage bag and scrub them gently to remove residue in the chamber, downstem and bowl. Rinse thoroughly with water and dry.
Bongs deliver a safe, clean smoking experience that anyone can enjoy. Whether you’re a beginner or an old hand, there’s a bong to suit your lifestyle and your budget.
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