One of the most traditional smoking weed methods for potheads around the world is through water bongs because of the cleaner smoke and the more heightened psychedelic experience it gives. If ever you want to grow your own weed, visit for varieties of seeds that fits the “high” you want.

What Really Is A Bong

In a pothead’s term, a bong is a smoking paraphernalia that uses water to filter smoke. Also known as a water pipe. Thereby proves to be a healthier alternative by filtering out pollutants and toxins that would otherwise get into the user’s respiratory system.

The smoke produces bubbles as it enters the water, and the user smokes the resulting vapor. It provides a more relaxed, cleaner, smoother, and more potent hit, making bongs popular among smokers.

Types Of Bong

There is a wide array of bongs available in the market. This paraphernalia varies according to the material used and the design.


  • Glass. Glass bongs are the most popular type because it does not contaminate the smoke with a strange smell and taste. Due to its transparency, it is also easy to keep an eye on resin buildup. Thus, making it easier to determine when the bong needs to be cleaned. Aside from that, the slippery surface of the glass makes it easier to clean.

However, one significant limitation of using glass bongs is that it can easily break when mishandled. Additionally, glass bongs are typically expensive.

  • Plastic. Bongs made of plastic are considerably inexpensive. These come in many colors and are more durable compared to glass bongs since they hardly ever break. This makes this type of bong suitable for traveling.

The only downside is that plastic tends to absorb odors. With regular use, the plastic bong will inevitably affect the quality and flavor of the smoke.

  • Ceramic. These types of bongs are not as popular as others because of their weight and fragility. Nevertheless, ceramic bongs are beautiful works of art that are quite expensive. It is also entirely opaque, so regular cleaning is advisable.
  • Metal. Metal bongs are relatively cheap. However, this type is not as common as glass or plastic bongs. Like plastic, metal bongs alter the smoke’s taste, so not many potheads prefer this kind.


  • Straight tube. As the name implies, this is a straight tube with a small downstem and bowl on the side. It is the most common and most straightforward design there is.
  • Multi-chamber. This design is a more complex variation of the straight tube. The body is still straight, but it branches out in the middle, thereby creating two chambers. Both chambers hold water, so the smoke is filtered twice. While this type produces a very smooth and clean smoke, it is also challenging to clean.
  • Percolator. Also known as bubbler bong, this type’s central defining feature is a percolator that creates bubbles. Hence, any bong with a percolator can be classified under this type.
  • Carburetor Bong. This type is just any kind of bong with a small hole in the middle that serves as an entry point for airflow. The gap is plugged with a finger while the smoke fills the bong. Before taking a hit, the finger is removed. It allowed fresh airflow to push the smoke out of the tube and into the user’s oral cavity.

Parts of a Bong

  • Tube/Base— a hollow, cylindrical tube about 8 inches long. It is where small amounts of water are poured into.
  • Downstem— a small tube at the side of the base which slides into the water. It is where the bubbles come from. Thus, the more cuts in the downstems there are, the smoother the hit will be.
  • Carburetor— More popularly known as “carb,” this is a small hole on the base’s side that serves as an avenue for clean airflow. It lets air in and clears the tube.
  • Bowl —on top of the downstem. It is where the weed sits for lighting.
  • Percolator.—acts as a filter by creating bubbles in the water when the bowl’s smoke enters the base’s water.
  • Ice pinch— Some bong models have an ice pinch where the tube has grooves in it that can hold a piece of ice. The ice serves as an additional layer of filtration as well as a coolant for the smoke.

How To Use A Bong?

Smoking through bongs may seem intimidating at first, comparatively when choosing for cultivation. However, in reality, it is a pretty straightforward process. The best weed is placed on the bowl and ignited. The smoke from the bowl travels in the downstem, into the water where it is filtered, and finally, through the percolator. The resulting bubbles then go up the tube and into the user’s mouth after every inhalation.

How Often Should Bong Water Be Changed?

Using dirty bong water will result in foul-tasting smoke because of the microbes, molds, ash, and resin hitched in every hit. Thus, as a general rule, smokers are advised to pour out and change bong water at least once every twenty-four (24) hours. Practicing this also makes it easier to scrub off resins and stains because it does not teem in the paraphernalia longer than a day.

Some potheads would even go as far as changing the water after smoking every different strain to get the most flavor out of the weed. The bong water might also need changing during use when debris falls into the water by accident.

When deciding how often the water needs to be changed, it is also essential to consider the place where the bong is stored. Extra caution should be taken if the paraphernalia stays in a cool, damp place because this environmental condition is suitable for microbial growth. Should this be the case, users are urged to rinse out the bong with boiling water or isopropyl alcohol and salt.

Signs That The Bong Water Needs To Be Changed

The best rule to go by is if it does not look suitable for drinking, then it is time to change it.

Water Discoloration and Floating Biofilm

Potheads can tell that the bong water needs to be replaced if a biofilm’s presence could be observed. Fortunately, most bongs are made of glass, which makes it easy to see the contents. Suppose the water is visibly murky and has a dark, slimy film floating on top. In that case, it is most certainly an aggregate of pathogens and harmful microorganisms that accumulated in the dirty water. This is hard to miss a sign that the water in the bong is no longer conducive for filtering smoke.

Resin Buildup

Another conspicuous sign that bong water is revolting enough to be replaced is the visibility of resin buildup. A visible indication of this includes particles of charred plant matter sticking on the surface of the glass.

Foul Odor

A bong that is well past due for a cleaning and a water change will have a disgusting smell. Suppose the bong water has reached this stage of disgustingness. In that case, this is a clear indication that it is time to change the water and use the combined powers of salt and alcohol to rub the stench, and of course, microbes, off the bong.

The Aftermath Of Dirty Bong Water

Smoking through a bong has one primary benefit: the water acts as a filter that traps toxins and unwanted particles not to contaminate the smoke inhaled by potheads.

Bongwater is prone to a breeding ground for unwanted pathogens – especially when kept unhygienic. Users must keep in mind that the water acts as a filter for toxic substances found in combusted weed. Hence, after each session, the water is undoubtedly swimming with all sorts of dirt and toxins filtered from the smoke. Failure to change the water might lead to catastrophic consequences.

Pathogenic Growth And Infection

Dirty bong water is an oasis for the most harmful water-borne bacteria and pathogens such as Streptococcus, Aspergillus, E Coli, Black Mildew, and many more. When these harmful microorganisms accumulate in the water and are inhaled, it will undoubtedly cause various diseases.

The statement mentioned above was substantiated by a 2011 case study, which revealed that patients who smoked moldy marijuana suffered from a severe lung disease caused by Aspergillus fumigatus. It is a fungus that grows on marijuana and likely thrives on a biofilm in dirty bong water. This only goes to show that smoking marijuana using dirty bong water can have serious health consequences.

While the bong itself does not necessarily have to be cleaned daily, the bong water must be thrown out and changed regularly or even after every use. It is not such a big hassle than the suffering that could ensue from using dirty bong water.

Distasteful Hits

The bong water’s purity is equivalent to any smoker’s cannabis experience because it affects every hit’s smoothness and flavor. Inhaling smoke passed through filthy, bacteria-laden water is unhygienic and a recipe for a catastrophic cannabis experience. A bong filled with nasty biofilm, resins, ash, and microbes accumulated in the stagnant moisture will negatively affect the bud’s taste and aroma by distorting its otherwise pleasant flavor.

Bottom Line

For such a mundane task, cleaning a bong and replacing its water plays a crucial role. It helps determine whether the smoker will inhale a smooth, flavorful hit or a hit full of pathogens hitched in the smoke.

While changing bong water every day might seem like overkill for some stoners, it is worth keeping in mind that overzealous cleaning is always more preferable than lax hygiene. After all, it is difficult to imagine anyone who would complain from inhaling smooth, flavorful hits from a squeaky-clean bong with clear, pure water.

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