Water bongs are perhaps the most well known, iconic method of imbibing marijuana. With a quick light, a gradual intake and then a sudden burst of breath, you can imbibe a large quantity of marijuana all at once, with the main benefit being the fact that you don’t have to experience the pain of the burning sensation that typically follows a puff from a joint.
Bongs are so popular that many people seek to try to experiment with them – you’ve no doubt seen plenty of potato, apple, or even tree bark bongs, so it makes sense that people manipulate and change aspects of bongs to suit their desires.
However, there is one element of the classic bong that must never, ever be changed; you should only ever use water as the cooling filler in the base of the bong, not anything else.
Why though? What is the actual reason why you should only ever use water in your Bong?
What Water Does in a Bong
Everyone has seen a bong in action, whether in real life or just on TV, or perhaps you have even tried it yourself as part of your marijuana experience.
However, of all the people that know what a bong is, very few have any actual idea of what the water is supposed to do. You obviously have to fill the bong up with water up to the small hole in the base, but why on earth are you actually doing this?
A bong is actually correctly known as a water bong, as the water content is actually integral to the entire mechanism of using a bong.
The thing to understand is that nature abhors a vacuum, so when you start sucking on the mouthpiece of a bong when properly assembled; the water is pulled upwards, creating a sort of vacuum effect of pressure within the water.
Your intake of breath is not enough force to actively pull the water molecules upwards, but the force is enough to suck in the Marijuana smoke that is being created as you light it on the bowl. This causes the smoke to be pulled into the water, but the internal pressure of the water within the bong base is too strong to allow gas to exist within it.
As there is an active stream of pressure coming from the bowl in the form of more marijuana smoke, the gas can only move out of the water and into the bong tube, allowing you to breathe it in once the tube is completely filled.
However, the water acts as more than just a pressurizing force to allow for convenient marijuana extraction – it also acts as a coolant.
The primary reason to use bongs is the fact that marijuana smoke can tend to be extremely hot on the tongue and in the throat, turning some first-time smokers away from marijuana entirely. By using cool water in your bong, the smoke that you pull into the tube is cooled by being in contact with the water, lowering its temperature drastically. This makes it a lot easier to enjoy your bong at a calmer, cooler temperature and not suffer any unnecessary burning.
However, since the only reason you keep water in your bong is to provide pressure and keep your weed smoke cool, maybe you should try and use some other substance? Are there any problems with using any more interesting liquids as a filler medium? What about wine?
Possible Substance #1: Wine
Wine is a very popular replacement for water in bongs, as it would seem like it would make sense, right? Wine is basically water, but far more interesting and delicious. Maybe if you used wine as your bong medium, you would not only get to enjoy your marijuana but also a little bit of alcohol as well.
Well, if you do this, you are probably going to have a pretty terrible time.
For starters, THC is alcohol solvent – this means that it has a natural tendency to stick to alcoholic substances once it passes through them or comes into contact with them. This means that when your marijuana smoke is pulled into the wine, the THC is going to bond to the wine and you are going to lose a lot of the potency from your puff.
This alone is reason enough not to use wine or any alcoholic beverage, but there is another problem as well.
If you have ever tried boiling wine and then sticking your face over it, you might understand what the issue is with using wine as a medium in a bong; when you put wine in a bong, it will heat up, and you will end up breathing in a mist of wine, which hurts your lungs and makes breathing rather difficult.
Wine or any other alcoholic kind of beverage is basically useless as a medium for bongs. So, what about tamer liquids? How about fruit juice?
Possible Substance #2: Fruit Juice
Fruit juice doesn’t contain any alcohol, nor does it feel especially painful when you breathe it in, so it would seem like it is an excellent alternative to using wine in your bongs, but it actually has a great deal of problems of its own.
For starters, if you put an acidic fruit juice in your bong, you are likely never going to get the taste of whatever fruit you’ve used out of your bong. This might not seem like a problem now, but what if the flavor of fruits is not what you want with any particular strain? Every single puff is forever going to taste like evaporated fruit juice, no matter how intense or delicious the strain of weed you are using.
Furthermore, this acidity can taste and feel strange when it is mixed with the THC-laden smoke of your bud, as this intensity is carried up to your nose and mouth when you intake using fruit juice as a bong medium.
Overall, using fruit juice in your bongs is going to make the entire experience taste horrible, and it is important to remember that a big part of the experience of enjoying marijuana is the unique flavors and smells. What’s the point if you are just going only to taste one thing?
Well, at least now you know that you need only ever to use water in your bongs, so you can just fill it up and leave it there until you next want it, right?
Don’t Forget to Change Your Water!
One final, very important step to maintaining your bong is to make sure that you always change the water after every single use.
This might seem like an unnecessary piece of intense cleanliness, but in actuality, it is incredibly essential, as the leftover water is really not a good thing to keep around your house.
For starters, still pools of water are a massive breeding ground for bacteria, meaning that you could be using a disgusting, murky pool of diseased water every time you smoke.
Furthermore, every time you use your bong, that water is getting tainted with the smell and flavor of whatever strain of marijuana you were using at the time. This is essentially the same problem as using fruit juice as a medium in your Bong, as the water will forever only taste like whatever strain you last used, ruining the flavor experience of any future strain you want to use.
This water will not only be a disgusting pool of infected putrescence, but it will also taste and smell revolting. Make sure you keep your bong water changed regularly, ideally with filtered water, but regular tap water will usually work just fine.
Final Thoughts on Why You Should Only Use Water in Your Bong
When people first see someone using a water bong, their first thought it likely that it is an incredibly simple, easy first step into the marijuana world; something without any complicated rules or irritations that create problems. Unfortunately, as with basically everything in life, it is far more complicated than you would expect.
You not only need to ensure that you only ever use water in your Bongs, but you also need to make sure that you change your bong water every single time, as you risk serious health issues and foul flavor if you don’t.
No matter how good an idea it might seem, do not put anything that is not fresh, cold water into your bong; otherwise, you risk getting a whole lot of disgusting flavors and negative ramifications from what should be a nice, relaxing smoke.
Finally, just in case you have seen a few videos on the internet that make it seem like it would be a cool idea, absolutely do not use pure liquid nitrogen as a bong medium! It might look like it would be a fun experience and something that would make your puffs nice and cool, but it has a lot of unforeseen consequences. Seriously, trust us.