If you're thinking about smoking cannabis with a bong, you might be wondering what the pros and cons are when it comes using one. Also known as a water pipe, “bubbler,” or “
The word “bong” comes from the Thai word “baung” or “baawng,” which was first recorded in the 1944 McFarland Thai-English Dictionary as a cylindrical bamboo pipe for smoking “kancha, tree, hashish, or the hemp-plant,” and people throughout Africa and Southeast Asia have used them for centuries. However, you can make a bong from just about anything that creates an air- and water-tight vessel, as a bong's design is similar to a that of a small-scale hookah.
We know that bongs are a little intimidating, with the bubbling water, huge smoke chambers, and super-sized bowls, but there is no reason you should be anxious or fearful about using a bong. To help you feel a bit more at ease we've listed some of the pros and cons of using a bong; don't worry, you can always pass it on after your first hit!
- The water traps heavier particles, water-soluble molecules, and toxins and prevents them from entering your airway to give you a clean and “smooth” smoke.
- Many tars separate from the smoke and build up to the inner walls of the bong instead of being inhaled.
- You get much bigger “hits” of smoke to inhale than with other devices.
- The water cools the smoke, making it easier to inhale. Some bongs have chambers that hold ice to cool off the smoke even more.
- Bongs are easy to use and (usually) easy to clean.
- Bongs can be a reflection of your personality.
- The water filtration process also traps tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); a 2000 NORML-MAPS study found that “water pipes filter out more psychoactive THC than they do other tars, thereby requiring users to smoke more to reach their desired effect.”
- Most bongs are fragile and cumbersome.
- You have to change the water often or it starts to taste and smell bad.