What is a Bong and How to Use it?

by benny yang on Apr 13, 2023

What is a Bong

If you're new to smoking weed, you may have heard of a bong, but you may not know exactly what it is or how it works. In this blog post, we'll explore everything you need to know about bongs, including their history, benefits, and how to use them properly.

What is a Bong?

A bong is a type of smoking device used to inhale smoke from dry herbs or tobacco. It consists of a bowl to hold the substance, a stem to draw smoke through, and a water chamber to cool and filter the smoke before it reaches the user's lungs. Bongs can come in many different shapes and sizes, from simple glass tubes to elaborate, multi-chambered contraptions.

Bongs have evolved over time and can come in various shapes and sizes, such as glass bongs, beaker bongs, percolator bongs, and more. There are simple glass tubes for those who prefer a classic design, and more complex, multi-chambered bongs that offer a unique and customized smoking experience. These multi-chambered bongs can have additional features like percolators, which further filter the smoke, and ice catchers, which cool the smoke even more.

While some may view bongs as just a tool for smoking dry herbs or tobacco, others see them as a form of art. Many artists have created unique and intricate designs that showcase different styles and techniques. Some bongs even have themes, like popular movies or cartoons.

How Does a Bong Work?

When the substance is lit, smoke is drawn through the stem and into the water chamber. The water helps to cool and filter the smoke before it is inhaled. This process can make the smoke less harsh on the lungs and provide a smoother smoking experience.

The History of Bongs

The history of the bong can be traced back to several ancient civilizations. In fact, the use of water pipes for smoking has been documented in various cultures around the world for thousands of years.

The earliest known use of water pipes for smoking dates back to the Ming Dynasty in China. During this time, bongs were made from bamboo and were used to smoke tobacco and opium. They were often decorated with intricate designs and carvings, and the smoke was cooled by passing through water before being inhaled.

In Africa, bongs were traditionally made from gourds or hollowed-out horns. These early bongs were simple in design but were effective at cooling the smoke and filtering out impurities.

In the Middle East, hookahs were used for smoking tobacco and hashish. These elaborate water pipes were often made from glass and were decorated with ornate designs. The smoke was cooled by passing through water before being inhaled through a long hose.

During the 1960s and 1970s, bongs became popular in the United States as part of the counterculture movement. Glass bongs were introduced during this time and quickly gained popularity due to their durability, ease of use, and ability to create large, smooth hits.

Today, bongs are used by people all over the world for smoking dry herbs, tobacco, and other substances. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, and can range from simple glass tubes to elaborate, multi-chambered devices.

The Benefits of Bongs

One of the main benefits of using a bong is that the water filtration can make the smoke less harsh on the lungs. Additionally, bongs can be a fun and social way to smoke with friends. They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can choose one that fits your style.

While the use of any smoking device can have health risks, there are some potential benefits to using a bong for smoking dry herbs, tobacco, and other substances. Here are some of the potential benefits of using a bong:

  1. Smoother hits:One of the primary benefits of using a bong is that the smoke is filtered through water before it is inhaled. This can help to cool and smooth out the smoke, making it easier on the throat and lungs. This can be especially beneficial for people who have respiratory issues or who find smoking to be harsh on their throat and lungs.
  2. Improved taste:When smoke passes through water, it can help to remove some of the impurities and improve the flavor of the smoke. This can be especially beneficial for people who enjoy the taste of dry herbs or tobacco but find smoking to be too harsh.
  3. More efficient use:When using a bong, the smoke is typically delivered more directly to the lungs than with other smoking methods. This can help to increase the efficiency of the smoking process, meaning that less substance is needed to achieve the desired effect.
  4. More control:Because bongs can be designed with various features like percolators, diffusers, and ice catchers, users can have more control over the smoking experience. For example, adding ice to the chamber can help to cool down the smoke even further, while a diffuser can help to create smaller, smoother bubbles.
  5. Artistic expression:Bongs are often made from glass and can be decorated with unique designs, patterns, and colors. This can be a way for users to express their personality and individuality, as well as appreciate the craftsmanship and artistry of the bong itself.

How to Use a Bong

To use a bong, you'll need some dry herbs or tobacco, a lighter or matches, and some water. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use a bong:

  1. Fill the water chamber with water - You want to fill the water chamber with enough water so that the stem is submerged about an inch or so into the water.
  2. Pack the bowl - Grind up your dry herbs or tobacco and pack it into the bowl. Be careful not to pack it too tightly, as this can restrict airflow.
  3. Light the bowl - Hold the bong with one hand and use your other hand to light the bowl. Begin inhaling slowly as you light the bowl.
  4. Inhale the smoke - Continue inhaling until the water chamber is filled with smoke. Once the chamber is full, remove the bowl from the stem and inhale the smoke from the mouthpiece.
  5. Exhale - After inhaling the smoke, exhale and enjoy the effects.

Cleaning Your Bong

It's important to clean your bong after each use to prevent buildup of resin and other substances. To clean your bong, you'll need some rubbing alcohol, salt, and some hot water. Here's how to clean your bong:

  1. Remove the bowl and stem - Before cleaning your bong, remove the bowl and stem and set them aside.
  2. Rinse with hot water - Rinse out the water chamber with hot water to remove any loose debris.
  3. Add salt and rubbing alcohol - Add a handful of salt and some rubbing alcohol to the water chamber. Cover the mouthpiece and the stem with your hands and shake the bong vigorously for a few minutes.
  4. Rinse with hot water - After shaking, rinse the bong with hot water to remove any remaining salt and alcohol.
  5. Dry - Set the bong aside to dry completely before using it again.


A bong can be a great way to enjoy smoking dry herbs or tobacco. By following these steps, you can use your bong properly and keep it clean for optimal performance. Remember to always use your bong responsibly and in accordance with your local laws and regulations.