Bongs have long been a preferred way to consume cannabis (and sometimes tobacco). Almost every regular user has filled the bowl with herbs, lit the herbs, inhaled into the chamber, uncovered the speed hole and enjoyed a sizeable hit. When properly cared for, bongs offer one of the best cannabis experiences.
Why Use a Bong
Bongs are a highly accessible way to enjoy cannabis for both practical and aesthetic reasons.
With regard to practicality, bongs are affordable and effective. Basic models are inexpensive, and high-end models still provide value considering their features. Few other smoking methods deliver comparable hits and near-instant effects. In other words, bongs deliver sizable amounts of cannabis smoke without breaking the budget.
From an aesthetic perspective, no other smoking method is as artistic as bongs. High-end ones can feature intricate and captivating blown-glass features, ranging from abstract patterns and shapes to recognizable animals and foods. Just a few popular designs feature Erlenmeyer flasks, octopuses, birds, elephants, aliens, trees and castles. Custom designs can also be made too.
More basic and affordable glass bongs might not feature the same intricate design work, but a simple clear bong still has elegance. It’s certainly more interesting to look at than a joint or steamroller once the bong is filled with herbs and smoke.
Shapes and Sizes of Bongs
Bongs are versatile, as they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. No matter how you prefer to use a bong, there’s a model that’s well-suited to your needs.
Small models that are designed for one or two people are readily available, as are models that can accommodate groups of six, eight or more. Of course, it’s helpful to have a few different sizes if you enjoy both on your own and at gatherings.
As mentioned, hand-blown glass bongs can feature a variety of accents that range from the simple to the complex. In addition to these embellishments, there are also many different general shapes that bongs can come in:
- Straight Shooter: A straight tube with the necessary holes and place to burn herbs.
- Bubbler: Cools smoke by passing it through a curved tube that’s surrounded by water/ice. Also known as a water bong.
- Party Piece: An oversized bong that has a large bowl, multiple chambers and mouthpieces and is suitable for multiple people.
- Pocket: A small and portable bong, the smaller size limits how many herbs can be enjoyed but is discrete.
- Percolator: Complex bongs with multiple chambers that help cool smoke. It can include many additions, such as removable bowls, ice chambers, spiral tubes and filters.
- Glass Bong: Made of glass rather than wood/plastic, so the bong doesn’t impart any undesired flavors into the smoke.
Types of Glass Used in Bongs
Bongs are made from a couple of types of glass, although one is predominant across most models.
The cheapest glass bongs are made from regular soft glass. While this can work, soft glass is prone to cracking when it changes temperature rapidly. Making the glass thicker can partially compensate for this, but these bongs are more prone to breakage.
Most glass bongs are made from borosilicate glass. Although borosilicate is more brittle than regular glass when used in common applications like windows and drinkware, borosilicate won’t crack even if it changes temperature almost instantly. Thus, it’s much better suited for everything from coffee makers to bongs.
How to Clean a Glass Bong
Glass bongs do require some maintenance, but it’s easy to take care of them. After use, here’s how to clean a bong:
- Empty of all herbs and used water.
- Put in a bong cleaning solution, saline or isopropyl alcohol.
- Close off the bong, swirly the cleaner and dump.
- Scrub gently with a wire brush if necessary.
- Your bong is ready for next time.
Some people use dish soap to clean with, but this can cloud glass and leave streaks.
Enjoy a Glass Bong
If you don’t yet have a bong, get one to try out. You’ll likely have a new favorite way to enjoy cannabis.