Water bongs (also known as glass water pipes) are among the most popular devices for consuming herbs like tobacco. But why use a bong as opposed to the host of other options available? We’ll explore this question today to give you an idea of why the devices are so popular.
Why Use A Bong: First and Foremost, What is A Bong?
A bong is a device used for smoking herbs like tobacco. Bongs feature an extended pipe, which the user places their mouth inside, and a bowl attached to a slide, which is where the user places the herbs. The slide is aimed below water level; exactly how much depends on the desired effect, and bong users generally have their preferences.
Water bongs bear some similarity to hookahs, except they are smaller and more portable.
Water Bongs vs. Glass Water Pipes: Is There a Difference?
Many shops will use the term “glass water pipes” to describe water bongs as the latter phrase carries with it connotations of drug use. “Glass water pipes” and “water bongs” are, however, the same, and both can be used to smoke legal herbs like tobacco.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s explore the question of “why do people use bongs?”
Why Use a Bong? 5 Key Reasons
1. It’s Easy
Using tobacco rolling paper properly takes practice, which can make it daunting for newcomers — especially when indulging in social settings. Water bongs and glass pipes are easy by comparison. Even just observing someone else using them is enough to get newcomers over the learning curve, whereas rolling paper requires firsthand experience and practice.
2. Water Bongs Produce Smoother Smoke
In addition to being easy to use mechanically, water bongs are easier on a beginning smoker’s lungs. The water cools the smoke and filters out tar and ash. This filtration, by the way, is why bong water eventually turns brown.
Along with the last point, this is one of the foremost reasons bongs are so popular. It’s one of the only answers many people need to the question, “Why use a bong?”
3. Glass Water Pipes Are Highly Customizable
Bongs from retailers like VaporizerChief come in a wide range of styles. This makes them great for people looking to experiment and find the device that works best for them. From more elaborately-designed glass water pipes to straightforward water bongs, there’s no shortage of options for the adventurous.
4. Bongs Are Easy to Maintain
When wondering about why to use a water bong, the question of maintenance inevitably comes up. newcomers are often worried that glass water pipes will require complicated cleaning. Nothing could be further from the truth, however.
Glass water pipes require a quick rinse after each use to get rid of the water. Some people stretch this out and wait until the water is heavily discolored. Changing your bong water is super easy, however, and arguably more hygenic.
You’ll also want to conduct a more thorough cleaning of your glass water pipes periodically. This is similarly easy; pour out the dirty water and fill the pipe with a cleaning solution. Cover the openings with your hand and shake it thoroughly. Viola!
5. Water Bongs Provide Large Hits of Smoke
No post aimed at answering the question “Why use a bong” would be complete without mention of this point. Simply looking at a water bong makes it easy to see why they provide a much bigger hit of smoke than other devices, like small pipes or rolling paper.
This can enhance a smoking session and make it much easier for people indulging in social settings to achieve the desired effects.
Frequently Asked Questions about Water Bongs
Now that you know why to use a bong, let’s explore some other frequently asked questions on the topic.
How much water to put in a bong?
The exact quantity of water depends on the bong size. Generally, you want to make sure that your bong’s downstem is slightly submerged; between half an inch and a full inch. For glass water pipes with multiple chambers (or percs), you generally want to submerge all of the perc openings. This will ensure you take full advantage of the bong’s filtration capabilities.
How to use a water bong?
Using a water bong requires just a few steps:
- Fill the bong with water so that the downstem is slightly submerged.
- If your bong has percs, submerge all of the openings.
- Remove the bong’s bowl before filling it up. Removing it is key as many glass water pipes have been ruined by folks knocking the whole thing over while trying to fill the bowl.
- To fill the bowl, pack your herbs loosely; make sure it’s not so full that the herbs fall out nor so tightly packed that air can’t get through.
- Return the (now packed) bowl to the downstem.
- Hold the bong with your non-dominant hand. If you’re a novice user of glass water pipes, set it down on a flat surface, like a table.
- Place your lips inside the water bong’s opening.
- Hold a lighter up to the edge of the bowl while inhaling slowly. Don’t use up all your inhaling power just yet.
- Once the material within the bowl has caught aflame, remove the lighter but keep inhaling slowly. The goal here is not to inhale the smoke just yet but rather fill the bong chamber with it.
- Once the smoke begins to approach your mouth, remove the bowl and take a deep, rapid breath to get the smoke into your lungs.
Hopefully, these written instructions aren’t too complicated. But if you’re more of a visual learner, check out the video below.
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How does a water bong work?
A water bong’s function is simple; it uses water to filter and cool the smoke. Lighting the bong produces smoke from the dried herbal material in the bowl. The smoke will then rise through the bong water and up towards your mouth, eventually into your lungs.
How to clean a water bong?
There are many ways to clean a water bong, but perhaps the simplest involves these steps:
- Dump the dirty bong water
- Remove the bowl, stem, and any other removable parts. Everything should be disassembled.
- Rinse the bong with warm water to dislodge resin.
- If doing a deep clean of your glass water pipes, place each piece you’ve removed into its own container and place at least a quarter cup rubbing alcohol in them with one tablespoon of salt.
- Shake the containers vigorously.
- Put half a cup of alcohol into the bong itself, plug the holes, and shake.
- Rinse through everything with warm water again and you’re good to go!
Doing this at least semi-regularly will make maintaining your glass water pipes super easy.
Why do you put water in a bong?
Glass water pipes are designed to function with water; while you theoretically could use them without water, it might be unpleasant! Besides, the water acts as a cooling agent, which produces smoother smoke. The use of water in bongs is, in fact, a key answer to the question of “why do people use bongs?”
How often to change bong water?
Next to “why do people use bongs,” this is perhaps the most common question related to glass water pipes. Changing the water in your glass water pipes is easy enough that you can do it after each use. You can’t go overboard with this, so it doesn’t hurt. Plus, the more regularly you change the water, the more regularly you’ll have to do a deep clean like the one outlined above.