You cannot enter the world of cannabis without knowing what a bong is, but if you do then this guide will show you the ins and outs of different water pipe styles. With more and more people exploring cannabis there will always be new ways to enjoy the flower but the classic method of bongs will always be a pedestal in the cannabis community.
A beaker bong is the most common water pipe shape there is on the market. Most beginner cannabis smokers gravitate towards beaker bongs due to their simplicity and easy cleaning. This style has a wide base and long neck giving it the resemblance of a scientific beaker from science class. The wide base provides stability to the water pipe to prevent easy breakage. In classic beakers the down stem is the only form of filtration in between hits, however nowadays beakers are fit with percolators to provide an extra level of filtration.
PROS: Beaker bongs are a classic that have not gone out of style and will not any time soon. They are easily cleaned, stable and come in an array of designs and sizes. Perfect for any beginner cannabis smoker.
CONS: Due to the angle of the bowl and wide base, some users prefer to tilt beakers for even burning which makes it lose some stability compared to being used flat on a surface.
Straight Tube/ Cylinder Bong
Exactly what the name would entail, a straight tube bong resembles a test tube straight from top to bottom with a flat base. The bowl typically pops out on the side with a removable or nonremovable down stem. Straight tube bongs provide easy grip for users and simple cleaning. Some cylinder bongs can be fit with different percolators and ice catchers to enhance each hit.
PROS: Easily cleaned, flat base provides stability and when fit with percolators the hits are smoother.
CONS: Several percolators may remove taste of the hit and may be difficult to clean.
Round Base Bong
Similar to beaker bongs, round base bongs have a rounded base body which provides more space for the smoke to circulate around to cool off. Don’t worry about it rolling around since the bottom is flat for stability.
PROS: Easy to clean with a bottom-heavy base to provide stability. Rounder base gives the smoke more area space to cool off in.
CONS: Less stable than traditional tapered beaker bongs due to the flat base and rounded edges so pieces like this need care.
Sometimes flower doesn’t hit the right spot and you want to try a different form. That is where dab concentrates come into play. A dab rig is a great option for dab wax concentrates. Dab rigs nowadays come in a huge array of styles, but to keep it simple a dab rig is a small water pipe piece with a quartz banger instead of a flower bowl. Dab concentrates tend to be harsher than flower, so dab rigs typically feature multiple percs. Even with multiple percs the dab wax does not lose its flavorful taste.
PROS: Best option for dab wax concentrates and are usually small in size.
CONS: Multiple percs can make it difficult to clean.
A recycler bong features exterior chambers or arms to recycle the water and smoke for clean smooth hits. Any bong shape can be considered a recycler when it has several percolators and chambers. These filter the hits from residue and allow the smoke to cool down before inhaling, by recycling the water around the bong. Recycler bongs are great options for dab wax concentrates which tend to be harsher hits than flower.
PROS: Cool smooth hits due to the recycling features. Works very well with dab wax concentrates to remove harshness and preserve flavor.
CONS: Multiple chambers and percs may make it difficult to clean properly.
Why choose bongs?
With so many different methods for smoking cannabis, bong smokers are not going anywhere. Water pipe bongs provide a more intense experience from one hit compared to smoking an entire rolled joint. This is due to the smoke being trapped inside the pipe whereas a joint is a constant blaze burning off cannabinoids. A water pipe bong allows for larger hits and the added recycling provides smoothness to not irritate the throat and lungs. Some cannabis users claim bongs hits get you higher than other methods.
Are People Ditching Bongs?
The quick answer is no. Although there are several methods nowadays to consume cannabis such as joints, bongs, and vaporizers; there will always be a market for bong users. Every cannabis user will have a preferred method of consumption and a majority enjoy bong hits. Plus, dab wax concentrates are largely consumed in dab rigs which fall under the water pipe umbrella. For more information, check out this Bong Usage Statistics article which discusses the frequency of bong users to show their prominence in the cannabis market.
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Written by: Stephanie J.