One of the most popular devices for consuming marijuana is the Bong. It is also known as a water pipe and many other terms, such as billy, bing, binger, or moof. Another interesting fact about it is that it is so deep-seated in the cannabis culture that some consumers even name their pieces, turning an otherwise inanimate object into a personality or character into their smoke group. The Bong – as famous as that!
Bong – the word is reportedly derived from the Thai word “baung,” which originally refers to a round wooden tube made of bamboo, but recently has taken the modern definition of a cylindrical smoking pipe as well.
The use of the water pipe has been traced by some back to China’s Ming dynasty for filtering and cooling the smoke. Others connect the usage of the bong to Africa, where tribes would build earthen bongs into the ground, using the same concept as today’s bongs. Some even claim that there are records of ancient bongs made of pure gold and used by a nomadic warrior tribe who lived in what is today Russia.
Since its first appearance and first use, the bong, in its evolution, has been made from many materials like hand-carved wood, bamboo, ceramics, and even plastic. All with the same purpose – smoking marijuana! A lot of people admire the MacGyver-like ability to turn just about anything into a bong, from Coke bottles to apples and watermelons and every object in between.
Modern day case is different though, today these majestic devices can take various shapes and sizes, but the usual ones are hand-blown from glass by real artists. Today bongs are the perfect combination of function and beauty, made by people who combine science and art.
The Bong Anatomy
A standard piece consists of five basic parts:
- Bowl – The round attachment where the dried marijuana is loaded and combusted. Most likely to be made removable, which allows it to operate as pull- or slide-carburetor.
- Carb (Carburetor) – A small hole used to complete the bong toke. The carb allows the user to clear the smoke from the bong’s chamber. There are number of carb types, but most frequently found on glass bongs is a pull- or slide-carb, uncovered when the bowl is removed.
- Downstem – The part that clears the path for the smoke from the bowl down to the base, where it filters through the water, is called downstem.
- Base – The base is the foundation of the bong. A bubble- or beaker-shaped base serves as a water holder, place where the smoke cools as it passes through the water.
- Tube – The chamber. The place where all the smoke goes to after it has filtered through the water and before it ends up in your lungs. The tube is the part that ends in the mouthpiece.
These basic parts can take all kinds of designs, shapes and colors depending on the function of the bong.
The Bong’s perks
First and foremost, the advantage that draws people to smoke from it
is its capability to cool and filter the smoke through water. This allows bong lovers a smooth draw, no matter how much smoke is inhaled. The bong’s perks differ to different inhaling methods.
Its advantage to a joint or a blunt is that the bong cooled filtering while preserving cannabis’ flavor and aroma. A pleasant and a smooth toke is the advantage that the bong has when comparing to the harsh, hot and dry heat of the hand pipe. And finally, when compared to a bubbler, the bong tends to be an extra fluid experience.
All in all, with all of its advantages, the bong is a device most certainly worth having next to you. And if you have never tried smoking from a bong – there’s a thing that must take the number one on your list!