Smoking from a bubbler, bong, or any water pipe is one of the most fun and social ways to smoke. A bong enables you to take extra large hits because of the large amount of smoke and herb it can hold. The most important benefit, especially for those who don’t necessarily enjoy extra large bowls, is the cooling effect ice and water have on the smoke. Cooling the smoke makes each hit way smoother; that equals no more sore throats, coughing fits, or ash in your mouth:
1. Teeing up a clean bong
If you’re smoking from a brand new bong, don’t worry about this just yet. This is important the more frequent you use your glass bong or water pipe. We made it super easy in this guide on cleaning your glass bong or pipe.
2. Filling up your bong with water
This is the most important element in a bong and essential for smooth hits. If possible, always fill from where you insert the downstem. This avoids water collecting and creating residue in the neck.
Only fill until the end of the downstem is just covered by the water, and won’t emerge if you tilt the bong when smoking. This prevents water from travelling up the downstem and ruining your bowl – or splashing into your mouth when taking big hits.
What temperature of water to use? We personally recommend as cold as you can, as this condenses smoke to make it more potent and reduces temperature, but it can be harsh. Room temperature water is recommended for balanced hit between cool, filtered, and consistent.
If your bong has an ice catcher (like our Plain Jane), stacking 3-6+ ice cubes is the most effective element to taking ultra cooled bong toke. This condenses the smoke even more, letting you take the biggest toke your bong can offer.
3. Fill the bowl
Add in some ground up herbs from your favourite strain. Some bowls may require you to use a screen to prevent smaller pieces from falling into the bong (or “pulling through”). This works well to maximize your weed, but does end up ash accumulating which you’ll need to clean out after each hit; a bent paperclip or small metal prong will do the trick.
Most bowls don’t require a screen which lets you pull through after the hit. This creates a satisfying feeling and sound, is the most convenient, but just be sure to empty your water after each session.
We recommend filling your bowl about 80% full to allow enough air to pass through the bud. Don’t pack too tightly as that’ll make it difficult to burn all your weed, and you could pull through untouched bud that would’ve been maximized with a smaller bowl. A light finger press is all you’ll need.
Before you fill the bowl, grind up your weed by following our 6 herb grinder hacks.
4. Close all the holes
For smoke to efficiently collect in the bong all holes should be closed. This is easily done by placing your lips inside the bong and your lips closing off the mouthpiece. All glass pipes and some bowls offer an extra hole to increase airflow, called a ‘carb hole’. If your bong has one (of if you’re using a pipe), close this off with your non-dominant hand’s finger. Be sure to release this after finishing step six.
Thicker glass bongs often don’t need carb holes because the bowl and downstem are removable and plug the only remaining hole with your weed that’s ready to burn.
5. Let it burn
This is where all the magic happens. Make sure to get comfy on your favourite couch, chair, or especially outdoors when it’s warm. Lighting up can be done with any lighter like a Zippo, Bic, Clipper, or any butane flame. We don’t recommend torches for most bong tokers as this burns the weed far faster than your inhaling can collect smoke. Jet lighters on the other hand are great for wind resistance but require delicacy. No matter which lighter, keep your thumb away from the flame, turn on a 180º angle (sideways).
A favourite way of cannabis connoisseurs is using a hemp wick, which limits any butane entering the bowl.
Start inhaling as soon as you touch the flame to your herbs. You’ll notice smoke collecting your bong’s chamber. Keep inhaling until the chamber is full or until the weed in your bowl begins to turn white ash. Be careful on inhaling too fast as you could pull the weed into the bong prematurely, splash water in your mouth, or not let your bowl roast long enough (and lose out on THC-rich smoke).
We recommend inhaling and exhaling slowly but steadily three times before you take your hit. Light up the bong inhaling through your diaphragm. This will increase the amount of oxygen in your body and extend the length in which you’re able to inhale. Keep the smoke in your lungs for a few extra seconds before exhaling if you can.
When you’re all finished smoking, dump out the bong water and clear out the bowl of any excess burnt herbs. Happy smoking!