As a newbie using medical cannabis, you will probably turn to the bong eventually. These are one of the most common ways to consume marijuana and specifically use the dried flowers of the herb. Also known as a binger or bing, this instrument is so popular in the cannabis culture that people have gone so far as to name their pieces.
So what makes a good bong?
A number of things happen when you use it. Burning the cannabis inside produces a stream of smoke that transfers all of its healthy components to the inhaler. This includes CBD, THC and other cannabinoids that can improve your health or alleviate complex symptoms that don’t respond to traditional medication.
Breakdown of the Bong
The standard bong is made up of the following parts:
The Bowl–This is the large bulb like attachment at the end of the bong which acts as the receptacle for the dried cannabis flowers that need to be burned. Some bongs have removable bowls that can be pulled out and filled easily.
The Carb –The carb or the carburetor is basically a small hole in the bong that allows users to filter out smoke from the chamber. This allows them to complete the toke. These can also be pulled or slid out when the bowl is removed.
The Downstem –This is the small tube that users use to inhale the smoke from the burning cannabis flowers in the bowl. The chamber allows smoke to the base where it percolates with aid from water.
The Base –As the name implies, this is the base or bottom of the bong and it can take on a variety if shapes depending on the type you get. The popular one has a beaker shaped base because it has ample space for water and can cool the smoke as it percolates.
The Tube –This is the mouthpiece of the bong which is basically the chamber that fills up with the smoke of the burning cannabis. The smoke is filtered through water which cools it down. Some bongs also feature an ice pinch in the tube.
All of these parts can differ in different bongs so no two are exactly alike. The shape and size you get will depend on how you intend to use it. For instance, some bongs have a downstem that can be switched with a percolator that can diffuse or filter the smoke as it passes through.
Using a Bong
Using a bong is simple and the design reveals how. All you need to do to use one is place your mouth at the top of the tube opening and light up the cannabis in the bowl. Then inhale once it is lit and the smoke is directed into the water through the stem. Then it will travel up the tube into your mouth and nose as you breathe in.
The carburetor or choke of the bong has to be covered while you inhale and take a hit and then uncovered when you are through. This will allow clean air to fill the chamber once again for the next fresh hit. If you want, you can remove the downstem or the bowl for the same effect.
You should not use more than 1.5 liters of water in the bong if you want a good hit each time. Even though the temperature can be mild, some users claim that they get a smoother hit with cold water.
Types of materials used in different bongs
You can find a variety of bongs in a range of shapes and sizes depending on how you wish to use them. Here are a few of them you can get:
Glass Bongs –These are preferred by users for several reasons. For one thing, the glass does not absorb the smell from the smoke so the flavor you get will be pure. You can also see the smoke coming up the pipe through it which adds to the experience. However, make sure you treat it with kid gloves as these tend to break easily and are not cheap either.
Plastic Bongs –Plastic bongs are popular because they are more cost effective and do not break easily either. It comes in a variety of colors, shapes and designs so you are spoiled for choice. However, unlike glass bongs, these absorb the smell from the burning cannabis which changes the taste of the smoke after a while.
Ceramic bongs –These are quite beautiful to look at because the waterpipes look like they are made of clay. However, ceramic bongs are heavier than the average bong and can thus break very easily. These are also more expensive than other bongs because they are usually handmade. Since these are also opaque you need to remember to change the water regularly in them or before each use.
These are some of the popular bong designs that you can purchase:
Straight tube –This is the traditional bong style and it features the typical flared base with a long mouthpiece. The straight tube bong can also feature a variety of bases which can range from beak-like to bulbous depending on use.
Multi-chamber –These feature more than one water chamber and these can go all the way to 7 chambers. The function of these chambers is to filter the smoke multiple times to give a smooth and cleaner hit. However, be prepared with some serious lung power if you use a multi-chamber bong. You need a lot of inhaling power to pull the smoke from those chambers into your mouth.
Percolator bongs –As the name implies, this bong contains a percolator which creates a bubble effect. This allows the glass to cool down the smoke resulting in a cooler and smoother hit.
The best way to choose a bong that suits you is to prioritize the condition you want to fix. That way you can get quality hits from your medical cannabis each time you use it and save money in the bargain.
Read about the benefits of marijuana here