How Does a Bong Work? A Guide to the Water Pipe

One of the most popular methods of consuming cannabis, particularly dried flower, is the Bong.

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One of the most popular methods of consuming cannabis, particularly dried flower, is the Bong. It also goes by the names water pipe, bing, binger, billy and other slang terms. The bong is legendary in cannabis culture and many enthusiasts adore their bongs to the extent that they give them names, personifying these objects within their smoking circle.

History of Bongs

‘Bong’ is thought to have come from Thai ‘baung’ meaning a round bamboo tube and has now become an accepted modern term for a cannabis smoking pipe.

The use of water to filter and cool smoke pre inhalation stems back to the Ming dynasty in China. There are also reports of similar devices historically being used in Africa where they would be made using earth but with the same principles as modern bongs. From Russia, there are stories of bongs made of gold created by nomadic warriors.

Hookahs, a water pipe that is used to smoke tobacco, are also close relatives of the bong. They use a hose for a mouthpiece and they can be made for single use or for multiple users.

Modern day bongs come in a variety of shapes and sizes with the most popular ones being the artistic, hand-blown glass bongs that are a blend of art and science. These are both functional and beautiful.

This, however, was not always so and bongs have seen an evolution through bamboo, wood, plastic, ceramics and even tin cans in the case of some DIY bongs. So, today you can have a bong made from pretty much anything.

Parts of a Bong

Your standard bong is made up of the following parts:

  • The Bowl. This is the bowl shaped or bulbous part of the bong that holds the cannabis. Often, the bowl is removable allowing smoke to be cleared from it. This also makes it easier to clean, pack and transport your bong.
  • The Carb. Abbreviated from ‘carburetor’, the carb is the tiny gap that allows smoke to be cleared from the bong’s chamber, facilitating completion of the toke. A pull or slide carb is the most common carb used on glass bongs; it is visible if you remove the bowl.
  • The Downstem. This is a small tube that facilitates smoke traveling from the bowl to the water peculator in the base. The downstem is frequently replaced by or affixed to a different percolator parts which diffuse or separate the smoke as it traverses the water chamber.
  • The Base. This is the base of the bong and it appears in different styles. It is where water is stored to filter and cool the smoke which passes through it. As it needs to hold water, a beaker or bubble shape is common for the base.
  • The Tube. This is the compartment that encloses the smoke after it has passed through the base. At the end of the tube is the mouthpiece and human interface.

Every one of a bongs’ parts can come in a multitude of different sizes, shapes, colors designs and materials.

Types of Bongs

Common bongs include:

The Salvager. This bong is designed to be efficient. First, smoke filters through a showerhead filter at the bottom of the downstem. Next, it gets internally recycled and the smoke is sent round for a second diffusion, then eventually to the mouthpiece.

The Einstein. With this bong, there are 2 styles of percolator; the honeycomb percolator and the Swiss percolator. The honeycomb percolator recycles to the Swiss which uses its cheese hole design to dilute the smoke.

Sesh Supply “Poseidon”. This bong uses 2 inverted shower-head percolators which continuously scatters the smoke as it passes through the honeycomb percolator between each chamber.

Advantages of Smoking You Cannabis from a Bong

A bong’s main advantages are the cooling and filtering effects that it has on the cannabis smoke. This provides a smooth draw even when you are inhaling a large amount of smoke.

Bongs also offer the same spectrum of aroma and flavor as smoking cannabis does. Compared to smoking cannabis from a pipe, bongs will give you a much smoother toke meaning that you will have much healthier lungs in the morning than when you are pipe smoking.

Bubblers provide cannabis consumers with portability of a hand-pipe but with the water cooling and filtering of a bong. They are, however, a less fluid experience than a bong and their smaller parts can cause hassle by clogging..

Having browsed Canncentral’s selection of bongs you may have spotted something you like. There is something there for everyone’s taste in terms of shape, size and color, so let us know what your favorite is.

If you own a cannabis dispensary, headshop, or smoke shop, and you are interested in purchasing wholesale cannabis glass pipes, bongs, accessories, and more, check out Canncentral.

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