Article at a Glance:

  • Gain knowledge about the various categories of bongs and their unique characteristics to enhance your individualised smoking session.
  • Delve into the correct methods of packing, igniting, and inhaling from a bong to maximise the enjoyment of smoking.
  • Ensure cleanliness and safety while using a shared bong, which involves following cleaning procedures and using personal mouthpieces.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into all the essential information you should be aware of regarding bongs. This includes a detailed overview of their distinctive features, a step-by-step guide on how to effectively use a bong for beginners, as well as crucial tips to guarantee a seamless and pleasurable bong smoking experience.

Whether you are a novice in the world of cannabis consumption or simply unfamiliar with the concept of bongs, this guide is designed to equip you with the necessary knowledge and assurance to fully embrace this widely favoured smoking technique.

What Is A Bong?

Man smoking Higher Concepts Spiral Bong

A bong, also referred to as a water pipe, is an apparatus used for consuming cannabis.

It typically comprises of a chamber filled with water, a bowl or cone piece to hold the cannabis, a downstem that is submerged in the water, and a mouthpiece for inhaling the smoke.

The primary purpose of a bong is to filter and cool the smoke by passing it through the water, resulting in a smoother and more enjoyable smoking experience.

Characteristics Of A Bong

Two women sitting on a bed with a Her Highness Bong

A typical water pipe comprises various essential elements and parts that collaborate to deliver a pleasant and seamless smoking session.

One of the primary highlights of a water pipe is its water chamber, which plays a vital function in filtering and cooling the smoke. As the user takes a draw from the mouthpiece, the smoke is pulled through the water, where it becomes diffused and filtered, leading to a milder and less harsh inhalation. Plus, the water assists in eliminating ash and other contaminants from the smoke, resulting in a cleaner flavour and a more enjoyable smoking encounter.

Numerous bongs come with percolators or diffusers, which enhance the process of water filtration even more. These elements divide the smoke into smaller bubbles as it travels through the water, increasing the area of contact with the water and facilitating additional cooling and filtration. Consequently, the smoke that reaches the lungs of the user is considerably cooler and smoother, resulting in a more pleasant and less irritating smoking experience compared to alternative methods like hand pipes or joints.

Bongs vs Other Smoking Devices

Woman holding Bud Bottle Bong

Cannabis enthusiasts often prefer using bongs over other devices like hand pipes, vaporizers, and joints for various reasons.

Bongs are favoured for their ability to deliver cooler and purer hits due to the water filtration system, thereby reducing the harshness that is commonly associated with smoking.

Moreover, bongs are known for their efficiency in delivering potent hits, making them the preferred choice for individuals seeking a more intense high.

The water filtration also aids in eliminating some of the harmful byproducts produced during combustion, making it a popular option among health-conscious cannabis users.

Anatomy Of A Bong

Man smoking Higher Concepts Tree Percolator Bong

Here's an overview of the distinct elements that form a standard bong:

  • Bowl

The bowl, also referred to as the cone piece, serves as a detachable component utilised for the placement of cannabis during the smoking process. Typically situated at the lower end of the downstem, it plays a crucial role in securely holding and igniting the cannabis.

  • Downstem

The downstem serves as a crucial component of a bong, enabling the smoke to pass from the bowl into the water at the base. Its primary function is to submerge the smoke in the water, facilitating filtration and cooling before inhalation. This ensures a smoother and more enjoyable smoking experience.

  • Carb Hole

Certain types of water pipes and bongs come equipped with a carb hole, which is usually positioned on the side. This small opening serves a crucial function: when you cover it and then release it, it enables the smoke inside the chamber to be cleared out. By controlling the airflow in this way, you can adjust the intensity of your hit.

  • Percolator

A percolator is an extra chamber of water that includes diffusion elements, intended to provide additional filtration and cooling of the smoke for a more enjoyable hit. By breaking the smoke into smaller bubbles while it passes through the water, the percolator increases the surface area, resulting in improved filtration.

  • Water Chamber

The water chamber, located at the base of the bong, serves as a reservoir for holding the water. This crucial part plays a significant role in filtering and cooling the smoke as it travels through the bong.

  • Ash Catcher

An ash catcher serves as an additional accessory that can be attached to a bong. Its purpose is to effectively capture ash and other unwanted particles, ensuring that the bong remains cleaner for extended periods of time before requiring thorough cleaning.

  • Ice Pinches

Ice pinches refer to indentations or protrusions found in the neck or chamber of a bong. These features are specifically designed to hold ice cubes, which serve the purpose of cooling the smoke. By allowing the smoke to pass over the ice, it creates a smoother and more pleasurable smoking experience for the user.

  • Mouthpiece

The mouthpiece serves as the entry point for the user to inhale the smoke that has been filtered. Its purpose is to ensure a comfortable and effective inhalation experience, enabling the user to savor the cooled and purified smoke.

How To Use A Bong

Woman smoking Bud Matrix Percolator Bong

If you're new to using a bong, it can be an exhilarating adventure. It's crucial to grasp the correct procedure to guarantee a seamless and pleasurable smoking session.

Here is a comprehensive guide, designed specifically for beginners, that outlines the step-by-step process of using a bong to smoke cannabis:

1. Fill Water Chamber

To begin, fill the water chamber of the bong with an ample amount of water, ensuring that the downstem is submerged by at least one inch. Take caution not to add too much water, as this may lead to water reaching the mouthpiece while inhaling.

2. Grind Cannabis

To achieve an even burn and maximise airflow, it is recommended to use a weed grinder to grind your cannabis to a medium consistency. This will help ensure that the cannabis is properly prepared for consumption.

3. Pack Bowl With Cannabis

Grab a small amount of finely ground cannabis and carefully place it into the bowl or cone piece of the bong. Be mindful not to pack it too tightly, as this will hinder airflow.

4. Light The Cannabis

To ignite the cannabis, keep the bong stable and position the mouthpiece near your lips. Use a lighter or hemp wick to light the cannabis as you inhale gradually and evenly.

5. Inhale & Clear Chamber

First, take a slow inhalation as the cannabis begins to burn. As the chamber fills with dense, white smoke, you can either release the carb hole (if your bong has one) or remove the bowl to clear the chamber completely. Make sure to inhale any remaining smoke for a complete experience.

6. Exhale & Enjoy

Exhale and take a moment to appreciate the smoothness of the hit before exhaling. Repeat the process as desired, and remember to take your time between hits.

Beginners can feel confident and achieve an enjoyable experience when smoking cannabis by following these straightforward instructions on how to use a bong effectively.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using A Bong For The First Time

Two women preparing a bong hit

When using a bong for the first time, there are a few typical errors to steer clear of in order to guarantee a seamless and pleasurable experience:

1. Overfilling The Water Chamber

One common mistake to avoid is putting too much water in the bong's water chamber. This can lead to water reaching the mouthpiece or splashing into the user's mouth while inhaling. It's crucial to add just the right amount of water so that the downstem is submerged without any risk of splashing into the mouthpiece.

2. Drawing Hard

Drawing with excessive force can cause water to splash up into the mouthpiece. To avoid this problem, it is crucial to take slow and gentle puffs.

3. Too Much Heat

Applying an excessive amount of heat while lighting the cannabis cone piece can result in the entire bowl igniting simultaneously, which can lead to a harsh and unpleasant smoking experience. It is recommended to apply heat gently and consistently in order to achieve an even burn.

4. Neglecting To Clear The Chamber

Neglecting to empty the chamber after burning the cannabis can lead to inhaling stale smoke in future puffs. It is crucial to completely clear the chamber before proceeding to the next hit.

5. Not Cleaning Your Bong

Neglecting to properly maintain your bong can have negative consequences. If you fail to clean it regularly, residue will accumulate and impact the taste and smoothness of your hits. To ensure optimal performance and flavour, it is crucial to clean your bong after each use.

How To Determine The Right Water Level In Your Bong

Woman holding Bud Tree Percolator Bong

Users can achieve an ideal smoking experience with their bong by conducting experiments with various water levels and carefully observing the behavior of the smoke. To assist in finding the optimal amount of water, here are some helpful tips:

1. Begin With A Small Amount Of Water

Begin by adding a small quantity of water to the base of the bong, ensuring that the downstem is submerged , if they are present. This will allow you to test the bong without filling the chamber excessively.

2. Experiment With Different Water Levels

Take test hits and slowly increase the amount of water, carefully listening to the bubbling and percolation noises. Fine-tune the water level to achieve the perfect balance of bubbling and filtration, all while avoiding any water reaching the mouthpiece.

3. Watch The Smoke

Pay close attention to the movement of the smoke as it passes through the chamber. It is important to ensure that the water level is adequate for effectively filtering and cooling the smoke, which will ultimately enhance the smoothness and enjoyment of each hit.

4. Avoid Overfilling The Chamber

Be mindful of not putting too much water in the chamber, as this may cause water to reach the mouthpiece, resulting in a damp hit and the possibility of inhaling water.

Alternate Bong Usage Methods

Woman holding Bud Matrix Percolator Bong

There are multiple ways a user can consumer cannabis with a standard bong. The method you choose may depend on the type of bong you have and your preferred smoking style. Let's have a look at some of these alternate bong usage methods:

  • How To Use A Bong Without Water

Engaging in the act of inhaling cannabis through a bong without the presence of water in its chamber is often known as "dry hitting" or "dry smoking."

Smoking from a bong without water offers a unique smoking experience, resulting in a more direct and potentially harsher hit.

The process of smoking a bong without water is exactly the same as smoking one with water. However, before smoking, you remove all water from the water chamber.

When using a waterless bong, it's important to be aware of the potential harshness and adapt your inhalation technique accordingly.

Remember to take into account the potential difference in sensation and be prepared for a potentially stronger hit compared to using a bong with water.

  • How To Use A Bong With A Carb Hole

The inclusion or exclusion of a carb hole in a water pipe has an impact on how well the user can regulate the airflow and remove the smoke from the chamber while smoking.

When using a bong that has a carb hole, the individual can adjust the airflow to clear the chamber and breathe in the remaining smoke by covering and then releasing the carb hole. This technique grants greater control over the size of each hit and the thickness of the inhaled smoke.

When using a bong without a carb hole, there is no need to control the airflow. Instead, the user only needs to light the cannabis, and the suction created from inhaling will pull the smoke into the chamber. Once the chamber is filled, the user can then directly inhale the smoke.

  • How To Use A Bong To Smoke Cannabis Concentrates & Oils

If you want to use a regular bong to smoke cannabis concentrates, waxes, and oils, you'll require the following accessories:

  • Bong: A typical water pipe equipped with either a bowl or a banger attachment specifically designed for use with cannabis concentrates.
  • Cannabis Concentrates: Premium-grade cannabis concentrates, such as wax or oil, that offer a potent and concentrated form of the plant's active compounds.
  • Dab Tool: An indispensable tool used for the precise handling and manipulation of cannabis concentrates.
  • Butane Torch or Electric Nail: Utilised to heat the banger or nail to the optimal temperature required for vaporising the concentrates effectively.

Here is a detailed guide on how to smoke cannabis concentrates using a regular bong, broken down into easy-to-follow steps:

  1. Prepare the Water Pipe: Fill the water pipe with an appropriate amount of water.
  2. Get Ready with the Cannabis Concentrate: Utilise the dab tool to carefully place a small quantity of cannabis concentrate onto the banger or nail.
  3. Heat the Banger or Nail: Employ a butane torch or electric nail to heat the banger or nail until it reaches the optimal temperature for vaporising the concentrate. This temperature is generally lower compared to what is typically used for traditional bong hits.
  4. Inhale and Exhale: Once the concentrate has been vaporised, breathe in slowly and steadily, allowing the vapour to fill the water pipe chamber. Then, exhale as you would with a traditional bong hit.
  5. Keep It Clean: After usage, ensure to clean the water pipe and its accessories to maintain their functionality and preserve the flavour.

To enhance your smoking session while using a regular bong for cannabis concentrates, take into account the following suggestions:

  • Utilise Premium Concentrates: Incorporating top-notch concentrates into your smoking routine can greatly elevate the taste and overall enjoyment.
  • Ideal Heat Levels: It is essential to heat the concentrate to the precise temperature in order to achieve the most desirable flavour and vapour production.
  • Take Deliberate Inhalations: When inhaling the vapour, adopt a slow and deliberate breathing pattern to fully savour the flavour and experience the desired effects of the concentrate.
  • Effective Upkeep: To ensure a pristine and flavourful smoking experience, make it a habit to regularly clean your bong and accessories.

Tips For Keeping Your Bong Clean

Woman smoking pink Bud Matrix Percolator Bong

Cleaning and maintaining a bong is crucial for ensuring its best performance and durability. Here, you'll find a range of helpful tips and techniques to effectively clean and maintain your bong:

  • Regular Cleaning

It's important to clean your bong on a regular basis to prevent the buildup of residue, which can negatively impact the taste and smoothness of your hits.

  • Utilise Cleaning Solutions

Consider using cleaning solutions specifically formulated for bongs, such as Formula 420. Other home remedies include isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt. These solutions work effectively in removing resin and buildup.

  • Soaking Method

Soaking your bong and its accessories in the cleaning solution for an extended period can help loosen and eliminate stubborn residue. Remember to thoroughly rinse with warm water after soaking.

  • Brushes and Pipe Cleaners

To reach those hard-to-access areas like downstems and percolators, make use of brushes and pipe cleaners. These tools are perfect for thorough cleaning.

  • Frequent Water Changes

After each use, it's essential to change the water in your bong. This prevents residue buildup and helps maintain a fresh taste.

  • Proper Storage

When your bong is not in use, store it in a safe and secure location to avoid accidental damage.

By following these valuable tips and techniques, you can ensure that your bong remains clean, performs at its best, and lasts for a long time.

Safe Practices When Sharing a Bong with Friends

Two women lighting Her Highness Bong

When using a communal water pipe, individuals new to the experience should take into account the following recommendations for maintaining a clean and safe environment:

  • Individual Mouthpieces

If possible, it is advisable to utilise personal mouthpieces or covers in order to minimise direct contact with the communal mouthpiece, thereby reducing the transmission of germs and promoting a hygienic usage.

  • Regular Maintenance

It is important to encourage regular cleaning of the communal water pipe, including the mouthpiece and other areas that come into contact with individuals, in order to uphold hygiene standards and prevent the spread of germs. Establishing a cleaning schedule will ensure that the water pipe is consistently maintained.

  • Alcohol Wipes or Sanitizers

It is beneficial to have alcohol wipes or sanitisers readily available for cleaning the mouthpiece and any shared surfaces both before and after use.

  • Respectful Sharing

Emphasise the importance of practicing respectful sharing habits, such as using individual mouthpieces and handling the communal water pipe with care, in order to maintain cleanliness and promote a safe communal experience.

By following these guidelines, new users can actively contribute to a hygienic and safe communal water pipe experience while enjoying their smoking session.


Woma exhaling from Her Highness Bong

Bongs offer a unique and enjoyable way to consume cannabis, providing smooth and powerful inhales that can enhance your smoking experience.

Exploring the world of bongs introduces a range of flavours, sensations, and rituals that can transform cannabis consumption into an immersive experience.

To start your bong journey, it's important to understand the basics, familiarise yourself with different types of bongs, and find one that suits your preferences.

Experiment with different strains and techniques to personalise your smoking experience. Whether you choose a glass, ceramic, or silicone bong, enjoy the process and discover what works best for you.