Bongs have a rich and legendary history. They’re literally been a smoking staple for hundreds of years. However, within recent years, their collective popularity has seen a significant increase. Bongs now have all kinds of modern, innovative features that eliminate the more unpleasant aspects of using them. And that's why they're more beloved and essential than ever.
In addition, many consider bongs to be the healthiest way to enjoy herbs in the “classic sense.” A lot of smoking connoisseurs cite the water filtration system within each bong as an effective carcinogen-removal technique. Others simply prefer bongs because of their versatility, efficiency, incomparable flavor and their historical significance. And by “historical significance,” we mean its undeniable position as the mother of all smoking devices for several centuries. What can possibly compare? As an online headshop, we know firsthand that bongs are the original smoker’s go-to, and we have nothing but respect and reverence for them.
What Makes Bongs So Good?
The primary reason most smokers prefer using a bong (rather than a traditional glass pipe) is because of the water filtration. When smoking from cigars or regular glass pipes, you risk inhaling burnt ash or tar. Simply put, this is a pretty gnarly experience. No one has ever endured this experience and thought: “this is pleasant.”
Fortunately, with bongs, this isn’t something you need to worry about. The water traps the ash. Therefore, it instantly inhibits the debris and prevents it from going any further - specifically, your mouth.
Also, many celebrate bongs for their ability to trap more than ash. In addition, bongs maintain a stellar reputation for trapping and filtering out harmful carcinogens and smoke-borne toxins that anyone using a regular pipe inhales. Water filtration also cools down the smoke before it reaches the mouthpiece. As a result, it goes in smoother and doesn’t irritate our lungs or throats.
When comparing smoking a bong to a standard dry glass pipe, the difference is much smoother, cooler and better-tasting. If you prefer to smoke from smaller pieces, bubblers offer the portability of a hand pipe but with the exceptional filtration of a bong. A bong is still superior because of their ease of use, and the reduced likelihood of clogs.
Water Filtration is Important!
Additionally, the water in bongs helps to filter out a lot of tar. Basically, this is why bong water eventually turns a dark brown. It's important to keep your bong clean to ensure the very best filtration and cooling possible. Smoking through filthy bong water isn’t a pleasant experience and will compromise the flavor and aroma of even the highest-quality herbs or concentrates. However, some believe smoking from a bong actually absorbs more of the beneficial compounds within common herbs than the actual tar itself. They also believe that we ultimately have to smoke more from a bong to achieve the same effects because the bong water absorbs many of the compounds.
Bong technology has undergone profound advancements in recent years. Therefore, many new percolators, glycerin coils and features are now available to maximize and enhance our smoking experiences. For example, smoking from a bong with a basic percolator will create really big bubbles but with a relatively low surface area. However, when using a more advanced percolator that produces smaller bubbles, you have a much higher surface area. Thus, you’ll experience better filtration and cooler smoke.
For the smoothest hits, we highly suggest adding an ash catcher to your bong. This will deliver even more water filtration and smoother smoke, and will trap any ash before it enters the bong. Ultimately, this keeps your bong clean and functional and guarantees stable, optimal performance.
How To Smoke A Bong
Let's be honest: if you're a regular online headshop customer or a smoking buff, you probably know how to smoke a bong. However, for those who are newly stumbling into the world of bongs, have no fear. We've put together a foolproof guide to smoking a bong like a seasoned, smoky expert.
1. Fill Your Bong With Water
The amount of water you need will depend on your bong's type and size. Generally, the rule of thumb is to fill the water just above any percolator or downstem your bong may have. Also, a handy tip is to fill your bong with a lot of water while it's brand new, or clean, and inhale as hard as possible. This will deliver the water straight into your mouth - just spit it out.
Repeat this until no more water gets in your mouth. Voila, you have the perfect water level! And it will be easy to remember next time you need to fill your bong.
2. Grind Your Herbs
You can use your fingers - but it's always best to use a herb grinder to ensure a consistent grind that won't clog your bowl. Usually, it's better to grind your herbs as fine as possible. However, don't grind them too fine to the point where it reaches the texture of dust. If you grind them too fine, it'll go right through the hole in your bowl piece.
3. Pack Your Herbs Into the Bowl
The bowl is the funnel-shaped glass piece that sits in your bongs joint and holds your dry herbs. Pack this piece with your grind herbs, firmly but not too tight. If you pack it too tight, you'll allow airflow through. It's always best to pack a small bowl, then you can always pack it again!
Hold the bong in your dominant hand and place your mouth over the mouthpiece. Your lips should go inside the mouthpiece to create an airtight seal. While you're inhaling, activate your lighter and bring the flame to your herbs. Continue to inhale while you're circling the bowl with the flame.
Stop lighting the bowl when you inhale your preferred amount of smoke. After a few seconds, pull the bowl from the bong, and continue to inhale until the bong's main chamber is clear.
And that's it! Now you know exactly how to smoke a bong!
Basically, no matter how many new techniques or devices come along, bongs will remain on the throne of smoking tools for many, many years to come. Its history, efficiency, artistry and flavor preservation (among many other features) have enchanted smokers for generations and will continue to for many more.