It’s 4:20 and you have a lit joint in your hand, but you’re not alone! Recent surveys show that 55 million Americans use marijuana and 35 million Americans consider themselves “regular users”.
But, did you know that a joint isn’t the most efficient way to smoke? Between hits, a joint burns and the smoke dissipates into the air instead of your lungs.
Try smoking in a bong! The pot doesn’t burn between hits and a bong cools down the smoke so it doesn’t burn your throat and lungs.
We put together a guide for choosing and using a bong to help you get started. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know before you go to the marijuana supply shop.
7 Tips for Choosing the Best Bong
There are tons of bongs available both online and at local retailers. Here are some things to look for when you want to buy a quality bong.
The adage rings true here too; you get what you pay for. A quality bong runs at least $100 and some of the best bongs go for up to $500 and beyond, but for the most part, you’ll find a great quality personal bong for less than $150.
Every stoner has a clumsy moment from time to time, but if you want to keep your bong from shattering if you slip and drop it, look for a well-built durable bong that will take a bump or two. Some bongs come in silicone that never breaks when they hit the ground!
Other things to look for in a durable bong are thicker glass, wider bases, and shorter height because those tend to break less often than the taller unwieldy ones.
Yes, size matters… for bongs at least! Decide if you want to travel often with your bong or if you’re looking for more of a party centerpiece that people gather around before you choose a bong size.
For those who tend to wander from place to place or for bong toking beginners, go for a smaller piece because the taller ones pack a real punch for seasoned smokers, let alone a novice. For most people, the sweet spot for bong size is between 8 inches and 14 inches.
A good bong is like an investment because they aren’t cheap when you get a quality piece, but the goal is to find the best quality bong within your budget and try to get the best price possible on that pipe. You may even negotiate with the shop if you buy local bongs!
A reliable indicator of bong quality is the weight. Good quality, thick glass weighs much more than the cheap thin ones. Another thing to look for is craftmanship because hand blown pipes aren’t always produced by master glassblowers and they may not have constructed the pipe well.
Percolation is what happens when the bud smoke filters through the water in the bong and bubbles up (or percolates) through the pipe then into your throat and lungs. This cools down the smoke and helps remove any impurities, making the hit smoother on your throat and lungs.
There are a few different kinds of percolators you may see in a bong including:
- Propeller Percolator
- Tree Percolator
- Showerhead Percolator
- Swiss Percolator
- Faberge Egg Percolator
Some bongs have more than one percolator as well, which makes the smoke travel through elaborate glass tubes and paths to get to your lungs and further cools the smoke as it travels. As long as your bong uses at least one percolator, you’ll notice a difference in the smoothness of your tokes.
Name brands tend to make better products and have more bong configurations and options than the more independent and start-up companies. Trusting a known bong brand is a pretty safe bet when you go to buy your first bong.
These are some of our favorite bong brands right now:
- China Glass
- Smoke Cartel
- Sesh Supply
Keep in mind that some of the best bongs come from artisans who don’t mass produce like the name brand companies, but trying a hand-blown piece by a local artist may surprise you!
7. Reliable Shipping
This only applies if you buy your bongs online because, if you buy them in a store, you know the piece isn’t broken when you buy it and it’s on you to get the bong home safe.
For online bong and water pipe retailers, look at customer reviews to see if people report getting shards of glass in the mail instead of a beautiful bong. Glass bongs need lots of packaging materials to ensure they don’t break during transit.
Another tip: look at the bong company’s return policy and return shipping costs in case you get the wrong bong or need to return it.
Quick Tips for Using a Bong
It’s normal to cough a little when taking bong rips, but you can practice bong ripping enough that you don’t cough when you take a big rip. Use these tips when you hit your bong to help reduce the hacking and save your throat.
- Practice your deep breathing techniques
- Grind your herb into fine bits
- Keep a breath mint or gum in your mouth
- Take a breath of fresh air after your pull and before exhaling the smoke
- Put ice in your bong to make the smoke colder
One final tip: You can also experiment with adding other liquids to your bong. Check out this article for more information about adding liquids (other than water) into your pipe and the effects of percolating smoke through other liquids.
If We All Had a Bong, We’d All Get Along
Once you choose a good bong (or several), you can start smoking smarter. No more need to waste that sweetleaf smoke between pulls!
Keep in mind that using a bong takes practice for most people and you need to learn how to get the hang of using your particular bong. Don’t feel discouraged if you hack your lungs out the first couple of times you smoke.
We hope you loved reading this article and that you learned a few things about choosing and smoking with bongs. If you need more information about legal weed and ways to get high, check out the rest of our blogs today!