A bong, also known as a water pipe, uses water to filter out ash and fine particles from smoke, resulting in a cooler and smoother hit. Bongs have long been a popular option for smokers everywhere. The earliest water pipe goes as far back as nearly 3,000 years ago, and they were commonly used for smoking dry herbs and tobacco. Standing the test of time, bongs are reliable and effective in providing a highly enjoyable smoking experience.
Things to consider when buying a bong
Flower or concentrate?
If you fancy dry herb, then a bowl attachment Is ideal. A bowl comes standard with most bongs, and it conveniently holds your herb as you light it up. For dabbers, a dab nail is the preferred option for your concentrates.
However, if you only use wax or concentrates, then we recommend going for a dab rig (referred to as an oil rig, vapor rig, or concentrate pipe). Dab rigs are designed specifically to maximize the flavor and terpene profiles of concentrates.
Types of bongs
Ranging from the straightforward, classic beaker to ornately constructed glass pieces, Highlife Goods boasts a wide array of bongs/waterpipes for your cannabis needs.
The scientific style beaker bong is known for its sturdiness thanks to its wide conical base. The increased water capacity of the beaker base also allows for larger hits.
The straight tube bong has a slim and streamlined profile, maintaining a cylindrical shape from base to mouthpiece. The straight tube bong is understated in its appearance and effective in its function.
Also known as a bubble base, the round base rose to prominence around the 1970s. Round bases have a spherical shape with a flat bottom for stability. This is your go-to if you are looking for a functional piece with a retro vibe.
The bong is more than just a smoking apparatus; it is a functional art piece. Glassblowers across the United States have made creative innovations over the last several decades, transforming the process of bong making into an artisan craft.
The bong is made up of several essential components, no matter the type of the bong. Whether the bong is standard piece or an ornate glass masterpiece with complex detailing, every bong has the following features.
The base of a bong is the lower portion of the bong that fills with water. As previously mentioned, bongs are often classified by their base type, whether they are beaker, straight, or round bases.
The mouthpiece is the part of bong from where the user inhales the smoke.
Also referred to as a neck, the tube of a bong is the cylinder that connects the base and the mouthpiece. It conducts the smoke and air into the user’s mouth.
The downstem of a bong is the long connective tube that is inserted through the base and into the water. The classic downstem is a solid cylinder, while the diffused downstem features slits that, you know, diffuses and cools water and smoke, effectively functioning as a percolator.
The joint is the connection between the bong, the downstem, and the bowl. You may notice "joint sizes" and "joint genders" referred to on certain products such as bongs, dab rigs, and glass attachments, as they are used to tell whether the components are compatible to create an airtight connection. The most common joint sizes are 10mm, 14mm, and 19mm.
The bowl of a bong is the piece atop the downstem that holds the herb.
These bong components and accessories are advanced filtration designs that improve the overall function of the bong and enhance your smoking experience.
The bong’s percolator is a diffuser that filters and cools smoke. There are a wide variety of percolators, and some of the most common percolator types include:
Named for its tree-like appearance, a tree perc has a main stem that branches out to any number of “arms”. There are slits at the end of each tree arm for water and smoke to pass through, filtering and producing a cleaner, smoother hit. Generally speaking – the more arms, the more effective diffusion.
Shaped like a typical showerhead, a showerhead perc has a vertical stem with a flared round chamber. The slits at the bottom of the chamber ensures filtration and diffusion as water and smoke passes through.
A honeycomb perc is a disk with as many as 100 or more holes, creating a resemblance of a honeycomb. Bubbles are forced through the honeycomb holes, which reduces the size of the bubbles and increases diffusion and filtration. In general: the more holes, the more effective diffusion.
An ash catcher is an adapter that filters smoke before it enters the main chamber of the bong. Some ash catchers have percolators of its own, providing additional filtration and cooling. The primary purpose of the ash catcher is straightforward – to prevent ash and debris from getting into the bong, effectively keeping your bong clean.
Also known as an ice catcher, an ice pinch is a series of (usually three) glass divots large enough to hold ice within the tube of the bong without blocking any smoke. The purpose of the ice pinch is to further cool the vapor before it reaches the mouthpiece.
As its name suggests, a splash guard keeps the bubbling water from splashing up and out through the bong’s mouthpiece. It is important to note that splash guards come in different shapes. Some ice pinches can act as a splash guard, as well as certain percolators (e.g. dome percolators). For some bongs, a bent neck can also function effectively as a splash guard.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How does a bong generally function?
When the contents of the bowl are heated, smoke travels through the downstem (and percolator) and filters through water. In this process, the smoke is cooled down as it travels through the tube and up to the mouthpiece where the user inhales.
What are benefits of using a bong?
A bong is convenient and easy to use. Bongs require less preparation than a joint. The next question “How to use a bong?” demonstrates just how simple it is – only 5 quick steps!
You will get a cooler and cleaner hit. Unlike the hit from a dry pipe, a bong will provide a cooler hit due to the water filtration process. Studies show that bongs are effective in filtering out carcinogens and other toxicants, making the smoke easier and safer to inhale.
Bongs are built to last. While bongs may typically require a higher upfront cost when compared to a blunt or joint, a well-constructed and well-maintained bong can last a lifetime.
Bongs are fun to use and easy to personalize. Bongs come in a wide array of colors, designs, shapes, and sizes, so you are certain to find one that best reflects your personality. Highlife Goods offers an expansive collection of bongs packed with unique features that will enhance your smoking experience.
How to use a bong?
Fill the bong with water. It is a water pipe after all. The downstem should be submerged no more than an inch inside the bong.
Prepare your dry herbs. Grind it with your preferred grinder or break it up with your hands, whatever works best for you.
Pack the bowl (but not too tightly). You want to make sure that there is room for some air to pass through.
Get ready to rip. Hold the bong with your non-dominant hand, and the lighter in your dominant hand. Make an airtight seal by placing your lips inside the rim of the mouthpiece.
Light it up and smoke away! Light your lighter, tilt it over the bowl, and slowly inhale to draw smoke up the tube. Once you have drawn enough smoke, pull the bowl from the downstem and inhale the smoke. Hold the smoke for two to three seconds, then exhale.
What kind of material is best for a bong?
Bongs can be made of a number of different materials. However, selecting the best bong material depends on the qualities you want from a bong. Whether you are looking to buy a stately glass piece or an affordable silicone bong, look no further than Highlife Goods!
Glass bongs are without a doubt the most popular bong. They are usually made of quality borosilicate glass, which is more resistant to heat and thermal shock than any other common glass. Users value the taste and purity of the smoke from a glass bong, as well the artistry of well-constructed glass pieces.
Silicone bongs have risen in popularity in recent years. Silicone bongs are made with food grade, BPA-free silicone, which is more durable than glass and easier to clean. The one major drawback of smoking with a silicone bong is the mild plastic taste you will get with most hits.
Ceramic bongs often match the pure smoking experience and creative designs of elegant glass bongs. Ceramic bongs are heavy and heat resistant, yet fragile – handle with caution!
Acrylic bongs are ideal for those who are on a budget. Acrylic bongs are typically more affordable than glass bongs, and they are far more difficult to break. Gas mask bongs are usually made of acrylic.
How to clean and maintain a bong?
Proper cleaning and maintenance are key to ensure that your bong will last a lifetime. The simplest, foolproof method for cleaning your bong is to use a rubbing alcohol and table salt mixture. Highlife Goods offers a wide variety of cleaners and cleaning accessories specially formulated for use on waterpipes. To clean your bong:
remove the bowl and downstem (if possible),
pour your cleaning solution,
plug the mouthpiece and downstem inlet to prevent the solution from spilling out, and
shake the glass piece so the solution covers every nook and cranny until the resin and residue is gone.
A few best practices for maintaining your bong include:
Change the water after each use.
Dump the ash from your bowl frequently to avoid pulling it through the bong.
Use an ash catcher to limit the amount of ash that gets through the bong.
Clean your bong thoroughly as regularly as possible.