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Marijuana Bongs: What You Should Know

By on October 26, 2014

Summary (click to view)

  • Bongs are a type of smoking device that filters smoke through water
  • Studies show bongs can eliminate some of the harmful substances in marijuana smoke
  • Bongs are likely not as effective as vaporizers at preventing lung problems
  • Overall, research on the use of bongs is limited
  • When it comes to consuming marijuana, there are a number of different options.

    Though marijuana can be eaten or vaporized, many still rely on smoking as a method of ingestion. Water pipes, also known as bongs, happen to be a popular type of smoking device.

    What is a Bong/Water Pipe?

    marijuana-bongBongs work by passing smoke through water, thus removing various toxins and particulate matter that you might otherwise inhale.

    Studies suggest that water filtration can be an effective way of reducing exposure to the cancer-causing compounds in smoke. Water also helps to cool the smoke, making it easier to inhale without irritating the airways.

    Bongs come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. They can be made from a variety of materials, including glass, acrylic, bamboo, or ceramic.

    Entry-level bongs can be bought for as little as $10, whereas premium models can cost upwards of $1000.

    Benefits of Water Pipes

    Like with smoking any substance, burning marijuana produces a mixture of harmful compounds, many of which are linked to cancer. These include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), such as benzopyrene, which are also found in tobacco smoke.

    While studies involving marijuana are rare, studies involving tobacco have found that water pipes can trap as much as 90% of certain toxins.

    What’s more, a 1991 study found that passing marijuana smoke through water removed substances called cytotoxins, which are known to impair immune cells. This suggests that water filtration may be beneficial for smokers with immunodeficiencies, such as patients with HIV/AIDS.

    Bongs are also relatively easy to use and maintain compared to more technologically-advanced devices such as vaporizers.

    Drawbacks of Water Pipes

    One drawback of filtered devices like bongs is that they seem to trap more THC than unfiltered devices.

    A 1999 study found that water pipes produced smoke with a lower cannabinoid:tar ratio than unfiltered joints. Specifically, water pipes seem to eliminate more tar than joints, but more THC as well. As a result, some believe that water filtration may be less efficient than other methods of smoking.

    Even though water pipes seem to fare better than regular pipes at filtering smoke, they are likely not as useful as vaporizers when it comes to protecting the lungs. Vaporizers are able to avoid combustion altogether by heating marijuana at a cooler temperature.

    Regardless of what device is used, marijuana smoke has been shown to irritate the airways; in some cases, this can lead to mild lung problems such as chronic bronchitis.

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    • anish

      we use water bung 1st time when i in 6 class at that time we put direct pot in bottle and we called it “kuppi” now we make it through coke or sprite bottle and instead of pipe we use pen cover at the top of that cover of pen we put cable nut is this process good or not..After 6 to 7 shot the water become black n the test also change of weed while smoking at that time can we smoke it will harm or not to us please reply it

      • doodmanguy

        stop using plastic…

        • Yes, its very clean!

          No kuppi for me…lol
          I like a nice crisp clean good old Pyrex bong, with Washington’s finest.
          I’d take this guys advice, think about it man.
          Kinda stupid firing up a plastic bowl, its 2015 get glass. Even metal is bad to smoke out of, meaning metal screens are bad for you too.
          All these stupid ideas go down as health problems blaming weed when people dont think about something’s, you my friend make it hard for legalization.
          I think plastic homemade bongs are for addicts that don’t care about politics and im sure they smoke a little crack on the down low, not so healthy.
          Then to the medical marijuana industry.
          Once the state gets over high prices like a highschool kid trying to make money slinging, things will go great. It will spread that pot is very good for you once we fully understand all 420 special properties and consume it properly.
          So recap, no plastic,no metal, and no crack…lol

          • same dude

            I’d rather take a dab, one hit sends you to serenity.
            No crack!

            • just a picture

              My first time.

          • Chuck Evans

            Stainless steel will not hurt you at all and it is rust free and easy to clean and maintain. Glass breaks. Enough said. I want weed to be expensive. It will keep unsuccessful idiots from smoking away their chance to make good in this world. If you can afford the weed, obviously you are doing well enough to justify your choice to smoke it.

            • N2K12

              troll harder phaggot

      • snarff snarff

        dude wtf did you even just say lmfao stop using ghetto bongs like “kuppi” either get a pre paid card from the mail and order a cheap bong online or go to a local shop and get one

    • Anish Thapa

      and we smoke a lot of weed everyday can u give me how much we have to take it in one day

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    • Christopher Caldwell

      You gotta take weed and use it as a filter when smoking weed. Why because as the weed burns it will leave a chemical residue on the weed you used as a filter. The weed that was used as a filter would have change because you smoked through it making it a different type of weed. Making what you just smoke even stronger. Try it. Just think about the chemical reactions as weed burns and is filtered through itself. Proof look at the end of a cigarette after you smoke through it, don’t the filter have a build up after a while?

      • Bruz

        What the fuck shit are you spinning that whole paragraph makes no sense

        • Doug

          Weed through weed? That’s so meta!

        • David Cooke

          Have you truly never heard of a chamber pipe???

        • Petula Cobblepot

          I am so glad that other pot heads are as confused as me. I thought, this may be lingo I just am not hip to, I didn’t want to immediately assume that every pot head has fried his brain. Good to know that one, I am ok to assume that.

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      • Sky Kuhlman

        Joints work like this.

      • Agni Hilum

        Is that a joke, who hasn’t done that, accidentally. Yuk, silly

      • BeaverChick

        That’s just too much for me to understand right now. Weed through weed. WTF? That makes no sense.

        • SilkRoadToad

          Weed thru weed. Weedception

          Sorry…I just had to

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      • Justin Williams

        I’ve don’t that through my pipe I have taken a piece of a nug and placed in the end of my pipe, packed a bowl, smoked that, then packed 2 more bowls and smoked them, then after the 3rd or 4th bowl, took that nug I put in the end of my pipe wait a couple of hours then I smoked that nug and was hella lit and that nug tastes totally differnt

        • Chuck Evans

          You need to invest in better quality weed if you need all that to get high. Good weed should not take more than 3 tokes. I’m just sayin’.

          • Justin Williams

            I have good quality cannabis and I only need one bowl to get high but sometimes I need to smoke 4 bowls because i am in stage 3 of cancer and the pain is horrible and 4 bowls help

            • Chuck Evans

              Yeah, all cancer patients use the term”hella lit”. I don’t buy it. I am just a stoner. You should own up also.

            • Justin Williams

              Of course you don’t but it cause you’re a fucking hater who hates people that have cancer how the fuck would you know that cancer patients say hella lit i have met hella people that have cancer and they like to get hella lit, God says he wants your life back

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          • shamanic

            It all depends on tolerance iv smoked everything from thai to morocan hash to all the new strains tht are being grown. I’v been through periods when needed for medicinal value where for example the same weed great strain (gran doggy purp) an my tollernce went from smoking about half a g a day to about an 8th(3.5g) a day in a few months. Iv lowered my tolerce since tho. but like you said you should test your weed and try find out the stain an if possible who grew it and as much info as possible.

      • Giant

        This guy is speaking truth. That your body has limitation. That we are getting glass from nowhere and blunts all around… but purified hits and your body won’t want nothing but that. Just greeni-fied herb. Do nothing but smoke a bong and get the best weed hit you can buy and your body will want nothing but…

        • JustBlazed

          lol, just eat it, problem solved, no tar, no damage to your lungs, just all the benefits of the plant.

      • Colten MustachioBeckham

        damn are you high already XD all that would do is resining up weed which can fuck you up XD

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      • Lord kush

        True bro that’s how I roll my joints and as u pull on it it bakes the upper part of the joint too that’s y when I smoke weed I’ll be getting a lot of thc

      • Samujjal Dutta

        Ur high dude

      • Gavin Allen


        • Rusty Shackleferd

          Spoken like a true drug addict…potheads

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    • Moving Forward

      Lol at mild lung problem such as chronic bronchitis. COPD anyone?

      Cough cough, literally…

      • dave

        I cough so hard from cones and I never used to. Why?

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      • Chuck Evans

        Go ahead and choose your detention facility now. Maybe they will let serve your time in the area of the country that you prefer.

        • N2K12


          • Jon Brodie

            no just a narc

    • 63R01d

      Forget cooling the smoke, heating the smoke is way more better. I use hot tap water in my bong, its the best no doubt!! Makes the smoke so smooth and also has lots of moisture.

      • Timothy Leary Byrnes

        I will try this… Thanque 4 the inspiration 63R01d !~

      • Scott

        I agree. Cooling the smoke actually would slow down the particles inside of the smoke. Now I’m not a scientist, but I think that would make the smoke sticky. I’ve noticed more of a cough and Rez in the bong with ice bongs vs. Warm water.

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          Mail scam. Or too stupid to breath. Same results either way. Mail scams are federal offenses.

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        Illegal delivery is ALWAYS discrete and secure. Until it isn’t. Write us again from prison. Like they won’t find you through this email. Think before you type, Bubba.

        • N2K12

          take ur own advice, phaggot

    • David Cooke

      “Studies suggest…”

      Common sense suggests that studies requiring qualification with weasel words are not sufficiently authoritative to use as ammunition.

    • DariusPhD

      How incompetent person wrote this? Do you have even basic knowledge? THC isnt water solube so by logic cannot be fitered by water(this give question where they make error in methodology)

      • Kyler Varnell

        Exactly. Lol. Water bongs(pipes) actually give more THC than almost any other method, besides Vapes.

        • The Spirit of Mohamed Atta

          Nothing gets me higher than water pipes.

          • tony

            its a common misconception that thc is the only cannabinoid that gets you high. this is where the next few years is going to be awesome, they’ll be able to start telling you what cannabinoids your body will best respond to. this way you can pick the strains that should work with your body/ailment. haven’t you ever smoked a bowl, or doob or vape bag with someone and get way more fried than they did? its because of our unique physiological make up and endocannabinoid requirements. we all will react slightly differently (sometimes dramatically) to different strains of marijuana with varying levels of thc, thc-a, cbd, cbg, cbn. while thc is great, there are other pieces of the puzzle as well!

            • Chuck Evans

              How will that information help? If they do not label the canabinoid content of each strain of weed, how will you know which one to buy? How will you get your dealer to run tests on his/her dope to do this? Will you not buy the dope they have anyway? I don’t see anyone saying,” No thanks man, this stuff isn’t labelled and I have specific needs”.

            • Royalty

              Unfortunately the only way you can get weed labeled with the strain & percentage of THC & CBD are places that have recreational dispensaries. How do I know this? Because I live in Oregon & I trim the plants. The dispensaries that have opened around me are actually quite nice & clean. The people that work in them are very knowledgeable about the cannabis. There’s charts with every strain’s benefits so you know which one’s the best for you. My best friend’s aunt had breast cancer (lives in WA) she started smoking weed & hasn’t had a problem since she even grew her hair back. Anyways, if you live somewhere that’s anti weed then all you can do is visit one of the 4 great states that are pro weed or visit Canada.

        • Chuck Evans

          Horse manure. Small amounts of THC is lost in water pipes. Do your homework.

          • N2K12

            yet you despise weed. ur full of shit. phaggot

      • tony

        before you insult someone’s intelligence you ought to make sure you don’t come off looking like a dumbass with horrid grammar and typos, maybe that’s just me though.

        i think you’re trying to oversimplify this to fit your loosely based opinion on what happens as the smoke travels down through the pipe stem through the water before finally making it into your system. i expect so you can feel as though you got one over on this guy, i’m not sure why he provided some good information. while true, thc is not water soluble, that only means that if you put weed in water then drink the water you won’t have the ability to get a buzz. however when you push smoke through water, it can leave bits of the smoke behind (think about nice bongs with ash catchers or charcoal filters, you still get resin lining the inside of the actual bong itself even when there is no ash going into it). there was a study done, this isn’t just taking personal experiences and trying to prove them as fact. The group NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) did a study using different smoking methods being pulled through a material they could later analyze. it showed water bongs leave more thc behind than say smoking a joint. what it doesn’t cover is the vast amount of other cannabinoids that are interacting with each other. it mainly focused on thc. so mr. darius if your phd is anything more than a figment of your imagination, i shall pray for your patients, you need to take a walk down here with the rest of us regular joes and get off that horse you’ve been ridin around on.

      • Chuck Evans

        PHD- Pretty Hard and Dense. THC IS slightly water soluble and therefore smoking through a water pipe results in THC loss. Make a THC donation to the smoking device if you must.

    • Robert Gerus

      In 1972 I got busted with 13 bongs huka pipes whatever 35 fine big fuckin deal the cops kept my pipes, bastards.

      • Chuck Evans

        Joints leave NO evidence. Think about that while you are doing your community service.

        • N2K12


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    • Tom Wilhelm

      Bongs are indeed the way to puff. Now if you use a magnifying glass to ignite you’re weed, you’ve found the ultimate puff’n system. Check out this bong I found, the High Beam Solar Bong. Google it stoners!

      • Chuck Evans

        The products of combustion do not care how you light whatever burns. No benefit here. Just smoke and mirrors. Literally, I’m sure.

        • N2K12

          ignorant phaggot

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    • Jake

      So they linked compounds in pot with cancer? Yet in the following paragraph little has been studied on the effects of pot. I can guarantee that if it is grown without pesticides or harmful chemicals it shouldnt. I also dont trust any study that involves the same federal government that schedules it at 1 on drug classification. As soon as i read the first two paragraphs i was thinking ” what a joke.”

      • ChanaYah

        Hahaha…my sentiments exactly.

    • HS Med

      This entire discussion is why canabis is still illegal in 24 states.

    • Paul

      THC is not water soluble. It is not filtered out or trapped by water. That’s ridiculous.

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    • Bsnsn

      Im pretty young wont do it just here cause j dont want my brother to do it we dont hang out anymore

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