Bongs are awesome. Bongs are awesome because they cool down the smoke (making it less harsh), they increase the length of each hit (thus increasing your overall high) and adding ice cubes can make them even more awesome. Sadly, bongs are awesome because they decrease the quality of smoke you get in one hit. To compensate for this loss, there are a few steps you can take (and things to know) when buying a bong that will help ensure that what you’re smoking is still fresh enough to be an awesome experience every time.
1 – Glass thickness doesn’t really matter unless you’re planning on dropping your cheap bongs…a lot .
The lower the number, so around 3mm-5mm thick glass, the more sensitive to heat it will be. A little bit of heat on the bowl or down stem can cause it to shatter, so take care when cleaning and handling bongs made with thin glass. The great thing about these thick glass pieces is that they are quite durable. If you’re looking for a daily driver this might not be the best option because they’re more expensive, but if you want something that’ll last through Armageddon then get one of these suckers.
2 – It all starts with how you hit your bong!
We’ve done this before, but hitting a bong correctly is essential no matter what kind you have. When taking a rip from anything other than a one-hitter (or some other tiny pipe), you should cover the mouthpiece from letting any smoke escape. If you exhale all of your smoke before taking a second hit, then it will never get a chance to get fresh again and start tasting stale.
3 – Ice cold water doesn’t make things better!
Bongs are refreshing, but not because they have ice water in them. Many bongs on the market come with some form of built-in filtration that cools down the smoke while traveling through water. With these pieces, you can expect a smoother hit at a higher temperature, just like a hookah. Other bong styles rely on being filled with ice cubes or cold water from the tap to become more comfortable to smoke without sacrificing too much flavor. Ice cube bongs are my personal favorite, but they’re not always the most durable.
4 – Not all glass is created equal!
This can be said for many types of smoking devices, but it’s especially important when you start looking at bongs. The two main pieces you should pay attention to are the bowl and downstem . The bowl holds your precious green while the downstem has a few jobs: It conducts heat away from where you put your mouth (cooler smoke), cools the smoke before it reaches your lungs (less harsh) and attaches to the joint that connects it to other parts of your bong. In other words , these parts hold everything together.
Glazed bowls are great because they prevent any resin from sticking around after repeated uses, but they’re also porous which can make them harder to clean. Sure these bowls are easy to replace, but if you want the most out of your bong get one with an unglazed bowl or at least a removable one so you can take it out and give it a good scrub every once in awhile.
5 – Make sure you have enough water! No really…make sure !
You might think this is common sense, but there’s nothing worse than taking a rip from something that isn’t full of water. If space allows for more water try filling up your bong halfway then let it sit while the smoke subsides before emptying the rest. This will help ensure that everything stays fresh after being heated by its glass walls. 6 – Avoid plastic or wood at all costs!
Plastic and wooden downstems are probably the worst things you can choose when searching for a new bong. These materials are known to leech toxins into your smoke while they burn , which defeats the whole purpose of buying a glass piece in the first place. Not only that, but dirt and colors from residue can get stuck on wood while exposing it to heat (like cleaning with hot water) makes plastic pieces even worse . Save these parts for rolling papers…or maybe some other project if you’re feeling crafty.
7 – You might need more than one!
Don’t worry about looking like that guy who brings out more than one bong during Game 7 of the World Series, especially after reading this article. Just like everything else in life it’s better to have choices. That way you can always be sure that you’re using the best bong for the job at hand. I keep two at my disposal: an ice-cube type and a regular one with an unglazed bowl . As far as glass goes, bigger is better but I only use the big ones when no one is smoking out of them or if I’m trying to impress.