Your Guide To Bongs:
What Is A Bong?
A bong is a filtration device used for smoking in order to cool down the smoke the user is inhaling. Today, bongs are most commonly used for smoking marijuana but can be used to smoke tobacco and other substances. They usually contain water in the bottom and are most often made using cylindrical tubes.
The term bong actually comes from the Thai word “Baung” (pronounced bah-owng)- a cylindrical smoking tube made of wood or bamboo. The McFarland Thai-English Dictionary published in 1944 first defined the word bong (baung) as “a bamboo water pipe for smoking kancha, tree, hashish, or the hemp-plant.”
How To Use A Bong & How To Smoke A Bong
1. Water Level & Temperature
3. Ice (optional)
4. Break-Up Weed & Pack A Bowl
5. Light Bowl & Inhale
6. Smoke Will Fill The Tube
7. Pull Out Bowl
8. Finish Inhaling Smoke
Types of Bongs
The general size and shape of your bong directly affects your overall experience in several ways. From the drag (total resistance level while inhaling) to the comfort level and temperature of the smoke. Each element of a bong offers a slightly different benefit. The way bongs are described is usually broken down into several elements: “Style”, Tube type, base type, height and sometimes if there are percolators. Over the past few years as cannabis/marijuana have become legalized in a number of areas throughout the world, there’s been new creative types of bongs coming to the market. We’ve put together a breakdown of the ones we’ve found to be the most popular types of bongs.
Types of Bong Names and Descriptions:
12″ Straight Tube Fritted Perc Bong
18″ Honeycomb Beaker Bong, Classic 12″
Basic Bong Types (Top -The Tube)
Bongs are typically going to be found with three different options for where the mouthpiece is going to be. The straight tube bong is the classic, as you learned from before, cylindrical tubes were used for hundreds of years.
As we continued to evolve, we now see a lot of angled water pipe mouth pieces as well as different custom and mini designs. The only real difference is the angle and placement of the mouthpiece for each of the different types of bongs. These custom designs are often referred to as “Headie Glass” or the more preferred “Artisian Glass”.
Bong Base Types (Bottom)
All different types of bongs are smoked the same way, adding water, packing the bowl, lighting and taking a deep breathe in. However, they require different levels of water. If your downstem has holes or slits for filtration, make sure the water sis just above that.
Bong Sizes (Height)
They aren’t common, but there are plenty of options if you are looking for a 4 ft+ bong!
Medium sized bongs are definitely most common, however recently there has been a new found appreciation for the “mini bong” (under 8 inches). These are known to be casual yet powerful.
Bubbler Vs Bong
Parts of A Bong
Fitting & Bowl Sizes
Almost all bong fittings are standardized into 3 sizes. Small, Medium, and Large
The exact terms and numbers used for these 3 sizes vary in the community.
Here is the most popular general consensus:
- 10mm Bowl (Small) – AKA; 9.9mm, micro joint
- 14mm Bowl (Medium) – AKA; 14.4mm, 14.5 mm, standard joint
- 19mm (Large) – AKA; 18.8mm, 18mm bowl, large joint
- Custom Sizes – Most glass bongs fall into these 3 standard sizes. However, some artists choose the use custom fitting sizes. Often times they are usually accompanied with a matching pre-fitted bowl.
Water pipes with percolators offer a smoother, cooler smoke session. Bong percolators work based around the concept of diffusion.
Diffusion – the spreading of something more widely
Percolators, often called Percs, spread your smoke out to a wider volume. The smoke from your bong rip disperses and combines with fresh air and water to cool it down and smooth it out.
The downstem of a bong affects your smoke session as well.
Different setups change the level of diffusion, mentioned above, and can even help keep your favorite bong clean. Bong slide or bong slider are other terms people may use for downstem. The thing they all have in common is that it is where the bowl is placed!