How-To Smoke Bongs & Water Pipes
By Canncentral Editor
Smoking Cannabis and Different Types of Bongs
As popularized in the Cheech and Chong movies, there are a variety of ways to smoke cannabis. For example, rolling papers, hookahs, hand or water pipes are just to name a few. Each of these methods provides a different experience and influences the grade of smoke inhaled. However, a healthier way to smoke cannabis is to use a water pipe or bong. A bong may be constructed from any air- and water-tight vessel by adding a bowl and stem apparatus.
After the traditional hand pipe, a bong is the most common method of consuming cannabis. In a bong, the use of dried flowers filters out the ash and some of the harmful carcinogens. This is achieved as one inhales, it draws the smoke through water before it reaches the mouth. Bongs have been made from various materials throughout its evolution. Materials such as glass, ceramic, plastic, bamboo and metal. A type of bong is determined by its different shapes and designs.
It may come as a surprise to you, but there are many different types of bongs available. They come in different shapes and sizes. There are:
- carburetor bong: This will have a hole in the middle. Depending upon the bottom shape, it can either be straight-tube, round base and beaker-shape. It is so-called to get fresh air into the bong and harvest the last remaining smoke. The carburetor’s hole somewhere on the lower part of the bong above water level is first kept covered during the smoking process, then opened to allow the smoke to be drawn into the respiratory system.
- straight tube: This is the simplest bong design to choose from. As the name itself states, it’s a straightforward device consisting of a tube with a mouthpiece on one end, with a bowl placed on the bottom.
- waterfall (gravity): Any bong that relies on the vacuum that water leaves behind when it leaves an enclosed space is a waterfall or bucket bong. Its mechanism relies solely on gravity to operate.
- beaker shaped: So-called for its shape of a science beaker.
- round-based: Again, so-called because of its shape.
- multi-chamber: With this bong, the straight tube is separated into two chambers and is connected by a tube or a third chamber.
- percolator: Also known as a bubbler bong, it is similar to the carburetor bong. However, the one distinction differentiating between the two is that the percolator dissipates the smoke. Hence a bubbly smoke is created in the water which enables it to cool more rapidly and clean much better.
- homemade: This will appeal to those who have a creative spark about them. Being the most creative, your material muse can be anything from the simplest of things such as fruit, water bottles, candy, building blocks and surprisingly even snow.
The basic component parts of a standard bong and water pipe will consist of the following:
- The chamber catches and channels the smoke and also holds the water.
- The Mouth-piece Hole
- The mouth goes here and you breathe in.
- Carb or Clutch hole
- Here this is the air inlet to flush the smoke to the mouth.
- Down-stem or Bowl/Socket Pipe
- The main inlet pipe to direct smoke into the chamber and also holds the bud bowl.
- Bud Bowl or Weed Socket
- Holds the bud while it gets burnt and directs the smoke in.
- The base
- The base is the bottom of the bong that keeps it upright.
The bong will only be complete until you add some marijuana and water. So, now that you have your bong and are all set to go, how does it work? With your finger covering the clutch hole, place your mouth on the mouthpiece hole and flame the bud bowl. A vacuum is created within the chamber when you breathe in. The vacuum then displaces the water. A second vacuum is created in the down-stem that sucks the flame into the bud bowl. As the bud burns, the smoke is pulled downward. With this constant upward vacuum and the force of gravity both cause the water to act as a type of liquid diaphragm. Thus pulling the smoke into the chamber repeatedly relieving the constant vacuum pressure. The physical act of breathing keeps the vacuum and diaphragm working to fill the chamber with smoke. The carb hole is opened allowing air to rush into the chamber as the bud heat is finished. The smoke quickly flushes out and into the lungs. Acting like a semi-smoke filter, the extra ash and embers are caught by the water. It should be noted that the bottom of the down-stem must be submerged in water because without water a bong is just a fancy dry pipe.