This may be elementary for some but for those who still haven’t made their way to a smoother -- maybe even healthier -- smoking experience, looking at the benefits of a bong just may help convince you.
The water pipe has been around for thousands of years in various forms. It contains 5 basic parts:
- The base is the bottom and comes in a variety of shapes that create a water chamber
- The bowl is where your dried product is packed and combusted.
- The carb is a hole where smoke can be cleared from the chamber by the user.
- The downstem is the tube where smoke travels from the bowl before it filters through the water
- The tube is where the smoke collects after filtering through the water
What separates it from other smoking methods is the water filtration that filters out contaminants and allows for a smoother smoke.
Bong Science 101
When the product is lit in the bowl, it combusts and changes into a gas that takes the form of smoke. When this smoke passes through the water chamber, ash and tar are filtered out. The smoke is also cooled before it reaches your mouth and lungs.
When you light the dry herb, the heat from the combustion process breaks down the chemical bonds of the herb and changes the particles into a gas which takes the form of smoke. Burning your product produces both good things and bad things.
Getting the Good Stuff, Leaving the Bad Stuff
The smoke stream contains all the things you want from your product but it also produces ash and tar, not to mention hot smoke. Tar is simply a catch-all term for the many compounds that combustion produces.The purpose of the bong is to filter out the undesirable particles that are carried in this smoke, so you’re just breathing in the good stuff. This is where the water comes in.
The Benefits of Filtration
The bong provides a filtration process that cools the smoke as it passes through the water. When the smoke passes through the water, much of the ash and tar are filtered out as it binds to the water molecules. This filtration also gets rid of the stuff that would otherwise end up in your mouth and your lungs. Water acts like a net that catches the contaminants yet isn’t fine enough to catch the compounds that you are wanting to smoke. All you have to do is watch the water inside your bong turn brown to understand the benefits of that filtration.
Are You Losing the Good Stuff in the Filtration?
But are you losing the good stuff you want in that filtration process? Research says yes but a very negligible amount. Because cannabinoids and terpenes are not water soluble, what you lose is infinitesimal. What you gain is a vastly superior experience.
Keep it Clean
A quality bong offers a cooler and smoother experience, hands down. But you’ll want to keep the bong and the water clean to make sure that you are ensuring the quality of your experience. Any chemicals can be potentially harmful if inhaled and contaminants in the water will definitely affect the taste of your hit.