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 “moof,” bongs are one of the most popular ways to smoke cannabis and tobacco.
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.