We all know there are many ways to consume marijuana. We can eat it, vape it, use it as a topical, or put it under our tongue as a tincture. There’s also of course smoking it. Chances are at some point in your life you will smoke from a bong. Despite the multitude of ways to consume cannabis, one of the most popular ways to consume is by using a glass water pipe, sometimes referred to as a water bong, or most commonly a bong.
Why Use a Bong?
Why should you opt to consume cannabis via bong, as opposed to say a simple glass pipe? The answer is pretty obvious: it improves the hit considerably. The reason why is because of the water filtration. As you inhale, the water acts as a filter, cooling the smoke, and ameliorating the harmful effects on your lungs. Marijuana smoke is nowhere near as harmful cigarette smoke, but it’s still not beneficial for your lungs. This is where percolators come in handy.
Percolator bongs take the normal filtration that happens in say, a beaker bong, and enhances it by adding more air into the mix, hence that pleasant bubbling noise. There are a wide variety of percolator styles. A tree perc for instance, looks well, like a tree, with up to sometimes 12 long arms for cooling and filtering your smoke. A showerhead perc resembles a showerhead, but performs the same function: bettering the smoking experience.
How to Smoke From a Bong
Learning to smoke from a bong can look complicated to the beginner. How is a person supposed to know when to pull the bowl, or whether they even need to do so at all. Is there a carb hole? Does a high quality bong mean a higher quality hit? Suppress your fears, I will explain it all.
Chances are the first time you take a bong hit, the bowl will already be loaded, so we will cover how to load a bowl at a later date. For now, we’ll concentrate on what to do when the bong is handed to you. The first step is to locate whether or not there is a carb hole located anywhere on the water pipe. A carb hole is an indicator of whether or not you will have to pull the bowl in order to clear the bong. They are typically located near the joint on the front, back, or side of the bong. If there is a carb hole, simply place your thumb over it and release the carb when the time comes (more on that later). If there is no carb hole, you will have to pull the bowl out of the downstem when the time comes.
When lighting the bowl, be vigilant about torching the entire bowl; everyone likes the taste of the green hit. Hence it is considered proper smokers’ etiquette to only let the lighter come into contact with a small surface of the bowl, if possible. If you make a mistake and torch the bowl the first time, no one will eject you from the circle. Bearing that in mind, you should learn now to corner the bowl. Again, that is a subject for another time.
How Big of a Hit do I Take?
the first time you take a pull from a bong, you will want to take a smaller hit than you would take if you were smoking from a glass pipe. A good guideline for your first time is to fill your lungs slightly less than halfway. You’ll eventually evolve to those much larger lung busting hits, but for now it is important not to overdo it! It’s paramount to ensure that you leave enough room in your lungs to inhale your hit, lest you end up coughing it all out and wasting it!
Clearing the Chamber
As you inhale you will want to clear the the bong of all residual smoke. How does one go about doing this? If the bong or water pipe you are using has a carb, just release the carb as you inhale. If it does not, you will need to pull the bowl when the time comes to clear. Don’t fret, this is easier than it sounds. The invention of glass on glass joints makes the action much more effortless than it was with a rubber grommet. Occasionally you might have an issue with the slide bowl and downstem sticking to one another, but this can be solved easily with what is called a keck clip, an ingenious little contraption that clips the downstem onto the joint. Fortunately, a fixed downstem completely eradicates this type of issue.
Always Clear the Bong
After you have taken your hit, it is considered good etiquette to “clear” the bong of any lingering smoke that remains in the chamber. No one wants a stale hit, and you might find yourself invited to fewer smoking circles if you are a repeat offender.
Congratulations, now you know how to properly smoke from a bong. Now go practice!
Add your tips for smoking from a bong properly in the comments below!