Bongs have been around for centuries and have outlasted many fads. They remain one of the most popular ways to enjoy weed. Not all bongs are created equal though, there are many types of bongs choose from depending on what you’re looking for and your own personal preference.
What is a Bong?
Bongs are basically used to cool and filter the smoke produced by weed by letting it pass through water. It is thought that smoking this way is better for your lungs than smoking in a joint, but this hasn’t been proven.
In its simplest terms, a bong has a bowl in which you place the weed, which you then light. As you inhale, the water in the bong begins to bubble and the smoke makes its way through the water and then through the chamber as you inhale it.
Gravity bongs work slightly differently as they use water to create a stronger vacuum, but the effects are still the same.
Advantages of Bongs
Some people prefer to use bongs for a number of reasons, these include:
- Smoother taste
- Cooler draw
- Better flavor
- Can be easier than rolling a joint
- No tobacco needed
- Stronger effect
What Materials are Bongs Made From?
Some people have been extremely creative when it comes to turning everyday objects into bongs. People have been known to use fruits and vegetables in a pinch, but the most common materials to make bongs from include.
These types of bongs are usually quite expensive as it takes a lot more work to make them. They can also be quite heavy and fairly fragile so many people keep these on display to use periodically rather than traveling with them. As they aren’t transparent, it can be difficult to know when to clean them.
The most popular type of bongs. Glass is perfect for monitoring the build-up of resin and is easier to clean. It also doesn’t affect the flavor either. A good quality glass bong can be a little more expensive but it is often well worth it
Plastic bongs are extremely durable and cheap, which is why many people prefer them for traveling. Some plastics will affect the overall taste so you might want to experiment with a couple first. Many people start off with a plastic bong until they get a little more experienced.
Although these types of bong look great, they can really affect the taste and are difficult to clean effectively. There’s also no way to accurately gauge resin build-up within them so they can become quite dirty.
Types of Bongs
Straight Tube Bong
The least complex of all bong designs. A straight tube bong consists of a tube that is sealed at the bottom with a small bowl attached to the side. It is the basis for most other types of bong.
Carburetor bongs are designed with a hole in the middle. If yours doesn’t have this then it’s a different type of bong. The hole actually produces a much higher intensity of the hit. When you uncover the hole, it allows fresh air to push smoke into the lungs at a faster pace.
Beaker Bottom Bong
Essentially the same as a straight tube bong, except it has a much wider base (like a beaker) that makes it more stable and less likely to get knocked over and broken.
Round Bottom Bong
Another take on the straight tube style of bong. The round base bong has a flat base, but the bowl is spherical which makes it slightly less stable than the beaker style but more so than the straight tube.
This type of bong describes the use rather than the shape. A percolator bong can be any shape, the only difference is that they contain something called a percolator. This is usually made of glass and is used to dissipate smoke prior to it going through the water. This causes the iconic bubbling in the bottom of the bong. Because the smoke is dissipated before it goes through the water it is cooled faster.
Also known as a recycler bong, this is another variation on the classic straight-tube type. In this type of bong, instead of one long tube, there are two chambers connected by a third tube.
As both chambers hold water, the smoke is filtered twice before it’s inhaled. This has the effect of cooling the smoke and producing a much smoother hit.
The complexity of this type of bong means that it is much more difficult to clean and is often more expensive.
Bucket Gravity Bong
For times when you don’t have a bong to hand, this rough and ready technique will do the job just as well. Using a plastic soda-style bottle and a bucket of water, you cut the bottom off the plastic bottle and fill the bucket with water. The bottle is then put in the water, with the top of it remaining above the water level, and the weed is lit in the hole in the top. As you slowly pull the bottle out of the water, it will create a vacuum and begin to fill with smoke. You can then put the cap on until you’re ready to take a hit.
This works in much the same way as a bucket gravity bong. Instead of cutting the bottom off the bottle and submerging it in water, you fill the bottle with water and out a small hole in the bottom to let it drain out.
Gravity bongs are often used in a pinch when there’s nothing else available as they aren’t the easiest to carry around with you.
Bongs continue to be very popular with both new and experienced users. Though the designs have become more intricate, the basic way they work is exactly the same. You might want to try a few before you decide which you prefer as they can differ widely in how easy they are to use and clean.