You could continue smoking joints and blunts or take it to a higher level. For smoother hits, more intense and fast-acting highs, marijuana bongs are the way to go. Try it once, and you know you need them – needed, since the first time you toked.

This iconic smoking paraphernalia has become deeply ingrained in stoner culture, rising into prominence during the prohibition era. Back then, it was considered a sacred totem by many. Some even went as far as to name their pieces.

Even with other methods of consumption, bongs remain widely popular. As you are about to find out, it is the ultimate way of enjoying cannabis – and for many good reasons.

In this article, we tell you what a marijuana bong is, how it works, and why you should use it in the first place.

Overview: Marijuana Bongs

A bong is a water pipe used to smoke cannabis, particularly dried flowers. It is also called a bubbler, billy, binger, bing, and moof. In principle, it uses water to cool and filter the smoke before being inhaled, resulting in smoother, cleaner hits.

Marijuana Bong
A girl using a bong for smoking marijuana

Bongs have been around for centuries to smoke various herbs. The term “bong” supposedly came from the Thai word “baung”, a bamboo tube used for smoking weed. There are early records indicating use in China, Laos, Thailand, Africa, and Russia.

Today, marijuana bong come in various types, shapes, sizes, and designs. They are typically made of glass, ceramic, or acrylic. Glass, in particular, and the bamboo bong are the most preferred since it is inert and will not impact the flavor of the smoke. Some models are also highly decorative and viewed as art pieces.


Although several types of bongs exist, each should contain the same essential components. Understanding the anatomy of bongs enables you to get the most out of the toking experience.

  • Bowl. This round attachment is where the dried herbs are packed and combusted. It is usually detachable, allowing it to double as a pull or slide carburetor.
  • Carb. Short for a carburetor, it refers to a small hole found on the side of the bong. It works by clearing the smoke from the pipe chamber. Most bongs have a pull or slide carb, which is exposed when you remove the bowl.
  • Downstem. This small tube allows the cannabinoid-rich smoke to travel from the bowl to the water-filled base, where it then percolated.
  • Tube. A cylindrical chamber that extends from the base and ends in the mouthpiece. It is where the smoke passes through after being filtered by the water.
  • Mouthpiece. It refers to the large opening at the top of the bong. As the name suggests, it is where you place your mouth to draw the smoke.
  • Base. This chamber at the bottom of the bong holds the water that cools and filters the smoke. It can assume many forms but is usually shaped like a beaker or a bubble.

How It Works

A bong, in a nutshell, works by passing the smoke of burnt weed through water before being inhaled.

After lighting the bowl, the dried flowers combust and release smoke, which travels to the base via the downstem. The water at the base cools and dissolves ash, tar, and other water-soluble toxins in the smoke. Only the cannabinoids and other valuable compounds, which are not water-soluble, remain, and are subsequently inhaled into the lungs.

Why You Need To Use A Marijuana Bong

In the age of dabs and concentrates, bongs might appear outdated. But they have withstood the test of time for many reasons. Chronic smoking of marijuana, for example, is associated with respiratory symptoms (Ribeiro & Ind 2016). From smooth, potent hits to customizability and cost-effectiveness, here is why it is worth investing in a good old water pipe.

Cannabis Bong
Smiling man using a bong for smoking marijuana

Smoother, Cleaner Smoke

A bong is essentially a filtration device. The water removes unwanted substances from the smoke, preventing it from entering the mouth. It ensures that each hit is not only contaminant-free but smooth as well.

Water also cools down the smoke, making it gentler and less likely to irritate the airways. Hence, the throat and mouth cavity will not feel scorched even with repeated hits. This quality also makes it ideal for those who are extra sensitive to smoke.

Bigger, More Powerful Hits

There are times when small puffs are enough to satisfy you. Some days, though, you might crave for massive hits that will send you straight to nirvana. A bong can give you exactly that. You can fill the chamber with as much smoke as you can take in one pull for bigger rips. Or, you could get a bigger model.

Versatile & Customizable

Bongs come in many types, shapes, and sizes. This wide variety ensures that you will find at least one model that suits your needs, preferences, or even budget.

You can also customize your bong to attain precisely the smoking experience you want. It is just a matter of furnishing it with your desired add-ons or accessories. There are several options in the market, each with a specific purpose. For instance, it can either make the hits much smoother, offer structural stability, or prevent the water from getting into the mouth. Some also have aesthetic value on top of the functionality.

Stunning Designs & Styles

Bongs are more than just smoking paraphernalia – they are works of art. Some units are incredibly ornate and often handcrafted by artisans. Some are even embellished with pure gold or diamonds. You will surely find something that coincides with your aesthetic sense – or reflect your personality.

Reusable & Cost-Effective

At first, bongs might seem expensive. But consider that it is reusable and durable. With proper maintenance, it can last for years or even decades. It also does away with the constant need to buy rolling papers. This makes it extremely cost-effective in the long run.

One study also notes that blunts contain 1.5 times more buds than joints and 2.5 times more than pipes (Mariani, Brooks, Haney, & Levin 2011). In other words, you get more for the buck, using less to get that huge hit.

Environment Friendly

Bongs are the perfect toking device for the eco-conscious stoner. It is, after all, reusable, and goes against our harmful throwaway culture. In other words, it allows you to enjoy the plant while reducing your carbon footprint.

Different Bongs on Display


Ribeiro, Luis IG, and Philip W Ind. “Effect of Cannabis Smoking on Lung Function and Respiratory Symptoms: a Structured Literature Review.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 20 Oct. 2016.

Mariani, John J, et al. “Quantification and Comparison of Marijuana Smoking Practices: Blunts, Joints, and Pipes.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Jan. 2011.