A bong is one of the most common filtration devices also knows as billy, bing, water pipe or moof used for smoking cannabis, especially dried flowers or tobacco products. The bong is so engrained in the cannabis smoking culture that many experts go so far to consider it is a ritual.


Smoking dry cannabis flowers can be dated back to the 16th century in Central Asia during the Ming Dynasty while some protest that it was Africa where water smoking pipe was used for the first time. But the recent excavation in Russia display another story that the tribal chief of the Iranian-Eurasian Scyth tribe smoked from golden bongs about 2400 years ago, this is the latest finding in the ancient use of the bong.

When did Bongs become popular?

The use of water pipe was introduced during the late Ming Dynasty (16 century) in China, through Persia and Silk Road. It was the most popular method to smoke during the Qing Dynasty. It was preferred by Empress Dowager Cixi over all other methods of intake it was her most preferred way, even she was buried with at least three water pipes.

The beginning of glass

Glass can naturally found near volcanoes as obsidian created from cooling lava. The technique used in glass blowing continues to advance during the Hellestenic period of Ancient Rome. The Ancient Romans used a technique which we call today as ‘millefiori’ to create unique patterns. Millefiori is an Italian word meaning “a thousand words” and let to the popular implosion design which is very popular on bongs today.

Different Parts of bong

Bongs come in different sizes and shapes, but there are certain features which one can expect to find in most of the pieces. Bongs are not just cannabis smoking apparatus but have one or more chamber with water to filter and cool the smoke. Anatomy of bongs is provided to understand all the different components and their functions better clearly.

Anatomy of Bong

• Bowl Piece

The bowl is where the ground or broken down weed is placed. They come in different shapes and sizes, but often it is a glass indent or pushes with a hole at the bottom, some are just for decoration, and some have a functional purpose. Many new bowls have a built-in glass screen, which is better than the thin wired metal screen which needs to be changed frequently.

There are various styles in the new glass screen if you want that nothing shall pass the hole then go for the honeycomb style having smaller hole screen.

• Ash catcher

As the name suggests, one can easily guess the function of this part. An ash catcher is a glass attachment that catches the ash. They prevent the ash from going into your mouth by catching the ash from the bowl when it sinks through the hole and prevents it from going into the bong.

Some ash catchers have more function than just preventing ash from going into the bong, some of them come with built-in percolators to cool the smoke and further filter it. Additionally, they also accumulate most of the tar and junk before the bong does and are much easier to clean than the whole bong.

• Down stem

It is one of the most important parts of the bong. It is the connecting bridge between the water in the main chamber of the bong and the bowl. There should be a hole at the end closer to the joint and the size can vary 10,14 or 18 mm. These come in various styles performing the various function.

A basic down stem is just a straw with a hole at the end to cause bubbling. But there are far more advanced stems having percolators to cool down the smoke further. To keep the stem fixed to a glass bong ill recommend using a plastic clip.

• Joint

It is the part which holds the down stem, and it is also present at the end of all down stems. Joint comes in three different sizes, and they are 10, 14, and 18 mm, to smoke weed one must keep in mind that joint is female and not male.

The female joint allows the male joint piece, ash catcher, or stem from being inserted instead of wrapping around the joint.

• Percolator

A percolator is used to additionally filter the smoke after it passes through the water at the end of the stem. There is a flurry of different types of percolators in the market each having a different function, choose one depending upon the individuals need.

Avoid the one having many holes as the holes will get clogged and adversely affecting the performance of the bong.

• Splash guard

This feature is found in bongs having heavy percolation. They prevent the bubbling water from getting upward to the mouthpiece they come in different shapes and sizes.

Before these splash guard, there used to be ice pinch to hold ice and cool the air before it reaches the mouthpiece.
Some bongs have a bent neck which acts as a splash guard and protects the water to travel up and out of the mouthpiece.

• Mouthpiece

The final stop of the smoke before entering in your lungs is the mouthpiece, traditionally they are the highest point of the bong and are horizontal.

How to use?

The actual procedure of the bong is fairly clear-cut. Tobacco or herb is packed into a downpipe that could be a little pipe with a bowl at its head, wherever the herb is placed. This pipe is located close to the bottom of the bong and is drawn into the main structure of the pipe wherever the water sits.

This pipe aims to submerge one end of the downpipe within the water, forcing any smoke to filter through the water before reaching the lungs. You can ask any smoker why they favor using a bong, and plenty have them can have completely different reasons, but the overall purpose is to attain a smoother smoke. They attain this in varied ways in which depending on the sort of water pipe or bong you’re using.

The smoke is drawn through the water, that not only helps in filtering those unwanted carcinogens and ash, it conjointly helps in cooling the smoke. These 2 benefits combined make sure the smoke is way purer than the smoke of a typical smoking pipe or roll of tobacco and is the reason more and more individuals are turning towards glass bongs rather than different smoking methods like blunt, joint or hand pipe.

Steps to use it

  • Add water carefully to the bong with a sink that is big enough to accommodate it well. Through the bong’s mouthpiece, add water and try to get the stream of water directly to the glass bong bottom.
  • Add sufficient amount of water to cover the stem’s bottom filtering part. Begin with the first round of between one to two inches as you attempt to inhale from the mouthpiece without lighting it for practice.
  • Take out the bong bowl and load it with marijuana or cannabis. The herbs should be ground, but in case it is not ground, you simply have to look over the nugget, get rid of the large stems, and break the remaining pieces to enable the bowl to burn easily.
  • If the glass bong contains ice catcher, (a blockage that makes ice remain at the top of the bong chamber) put a few ice cubes.
  • Light up the cannabis by holding up the light or fire directed to the bowl and run its flames over the herb. As you light, bring the mouthpiece near your mouth and inhale while watching the flame. The inhaling makes the flame pull the herb into the bowl and allows us to get the taste of burning herbs.
  • Once the bowl is properly lit, put the lighter down and stoke the bowl to see fit.
  • As soon as the smoke in the bong reaches the quantity, you are comfortable with stop inhaling. Hold the breath and open the airway of the bong by pulling the stem away from the bowl, finally inhale smoke into the lungs.

Advantages of using a Bong

A smoker has a variety of ways to smoke, but the glass bongs are the favorite choices among all because not only they are fascinating, but they also provide countless benefits to the users. Some of the benefits include;

• Smoother and big hits

For most of the smoker, the significant benefit of smoking from a bong is the smooth hit it provides. It not only suits the experienced but is best for a novice it allows them to enjoy and have experience on their first trial. It does not irritate the throat while inhaling as the water in it kills the bacteria that may be present in the smoke and makes the smoking experience very smooth and refreshing.

It enables the user to take bigger hits; most of the other methods don’t provide this. However, the case is different with the bongs. It gives you the chance to have big hits anytime you need them.

• Provides water filtration

The bong provides filtration that most smokers find fascinating as it not only cools the smoke but also it also helps in filtering out the tar and this is the reason why the water becomes so slimy brown or black. A regular smoker truly understands the importance of this kind of filtration.

The use of percolators in the bong is to enhance and maximize the smoking experience. For example, using a glass bong creates large bubbles. On the other hand, smoking using a percolator it produces small bubbles hence higher surface area consequently providing better cooling and filtration. It also adds up to an additional level of filtration and catches up the ash before it gets it, hence it keeps the bong clean and well functioning and providing a better smoking experience.

• Easy to clean

Bongs are easy to clean, they can be made from wood, plastic but the most preferred is a glass bong as it does not form any poisonous or harmful residue because the material from which it is made makes them non-porous. And you can simply see through the walls if the bong needs cleaning.

• Reusable

The other major benefit of smoking from a bong is the fact that it can be reused, unlike other options which you have to buy every time you smoke. Due to this reason using joints and blunts became more expensive as compared to bongs. This is also a reason why more people are choosing bong instead of other options. It is a wise choice to invest in something which would serve for a long period of time.


Bongs offer a unique and smooth smoking experience that other methods cannot offer. There are numerous ways of smoking, and some are even more affordable than a bong. However, the use of bong is one of the best way or method to smoke.

It is a healthier way of smoking as compared to rolling cigarettes and other methods because of the filtration process and even double filtration if percolator is used as the honeycomb one if you want nothing should get into the water. So for a good smoking experience and change in smoking lifestyle, all you need to do is to use the bong. They are indeed the best-known smoking method.