Bongs have been a part of smoking culture for millennia, and stand tall as one of the culture’s most iconic centerpieces since their invention.
Researchers have found bongs dating as far back as 2400 years ago, where they were mostly used to smoke tobacco.
Not much has changed since then, but nowadays, bongs are mostly used as a way to smoke weed, typically in the form of flower or hash.
While the design of a bong is fairly simple, if you’re not used to using one then it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, we’re here to help.
If you want to take your first bong hit but don’t know what you’re doing, then this is the guide for you. Here, we’ll walk you through each step you need to follow to use a bong, and pretty soon you’ll be able to hit it like a pro!
Bongs: A Quick Breakdown
To understand how to hit a bong, you need to know how exactly they work. The design of a bong (also known as a water pipe) is fairly simple, typically only using a few parts.
A bong is designed to filter the smoke before you inhale it by pulling it through water – this not only removes most of the physical particles in the smoke such as ash, but also cools it down to make it easier to inhale.
A basic bong design is made up of three simple parts. These are the main pipe piece (which contains the water as well as the top mouthpiece), the bowl (where you put your product to light it), and the stem (a short tube that connects the two).
Some bongs can have other features to spice things up a bit, like a percolator for extra filtering, or an ice catch to cool the smoke even more.
Bongs are usually made of heat-resistant glass, ceramic, or acrylic, which makes them easier to clean and able to withstand repeated exposure to heat.
There are two main reasons why bongs are so popular – they produce a cleaner smoke, and lead to a stronger high.
By filtering the smoke through water (and sometimes additional filtering methods), bongs produce a cleaner and smoother smoke that is easier to inhale and reduces the amount of harmful materials entering your lungs compared to, say, an unfiltered joint.
They can also improve the quality of your high; by inhaling more pure smoke at once, you absorb a greater amount of THC into your body.
Hitting a bong also involves taking deep breaths that can make the weed hit even stronger due to the higher concentration of smoke being inhaled.
How To Hit A Bong In 5 Easy Steps
So now that we know why bongs are so popular, how are you meant to use one? As mentioned earlier, bongs can be tricky to use if you’re inexperienced despite their simple design. Here’s a step-by-step guide to taking your first bong hit.
1) Fill The Bong With Water
First, you need to fill the bong with water. Adding the right amount is important, as too little water won’t filter the smoke properly while too much water risks getting the bowl wet.
You want to put enough water into the bong that a decent amount of the stem leading into the bowl is submerged, usually around 1-2 inches above.
If your bong has a carb (a small hole in the chamber or the neck) make sure that the water level is far below this.
If you want a smoother hit, consider cooling the water down in the fridge or adding a few ice cubes.
Be careful if your bong is made of glass or ceramic – put the ice cubes in first, tilting the bong, so they slide in slowly to prevent them from cracking or shattering the pieces of the bong.
2) Pack Your Bowl
Now it’s time to pack the bowl. Grind up your weed or other smoking material into a coarse grind. It can be a bit tricky to get the right size pieces; you want it to be large enough
that it burns at a consistent rate and won’t just be pulled into the chamber, but small enough that it burns evenly without taking too long. Try to aim for your weed to be the size you would use for a joint or blunt.
Put a slightly larger piece at the bottom of the bowl to stop smaller pieces from falling through, and then fill the bowl up to the top.
Gently press down on the top with your thumb to keep your product in place, avoiding putting too much pressure that will prevent it from burning properly. With the bowl packed, put it back into the stem of your bong.
3) Light The Bowl
Here’s where things start to heat up a bit. First, choose the type of lighter you prefer – this is mostly down to personal preference, but some lighters work better than others.
Jet lighters and arc lighters are the best options, as they use a strong, consistent heat to burn the weed evenly. Zippos aren’t a great choice,
because their flame won’t burn evenly and will also leave your product tasting like lighter fluid (not what you want when taking a bong hit). Matches are also an option, although their small flame might not be strong enough.
While your first instinct might be to light the center of the bowl first, you should actually start from the edges. Burning away the top layer of bud will create a layer of ash on the surface,
which makes relighting it much harder. Meanwhile, starting on the edges will reduce the amount of ash and make it easier to take multiple hits from each bowl.
4) Pull The Smoke Through
Now it’s time to start pulling the smoke into the chamber. Take a few deep, steady breaths beforehand to prepare your lungs, which will make this stage far easier.
Place your mouth over the mouthpiece with your lips on the inside, puckering them to form an airtight seal around the top. If your bong has a carb, place a finger over it to keep the bong sealed.
Take a long, steady breath in to begin pulling the smoke into the chamber. Don’t pull too hard – an even pull will give you more control over how much smoke enters the chamber.
Don’t worry if you need to breathe out; if necessary, you can have a quick pause to catch your breath between this stage and the next.
The chamber should start to fill with milky white smoke, which will pool in the chamber before starting to fill the next with the bong. Once you’re happy with the amount of smoke you’ve pulled through, it’s time to take your bong hit!
5) Take The Hit
Don’t just try to inhale the smoke straight away – you need to improve the airflow in the bong to get the best inhalation. If your bong has a carb, this is easy; all you have to do is release your finger from the hole to get some air in.
However, bongs without a carb need a bit more precision. Carefully remove the stem from the bong, taking extra care not to tilt it too far and pour out the water. This will let the air flow through the bong, ready for you to rip.
Once you’ve done this, you can inhale the smoke. This works best if done in one go, so if you’re out of breath, take a moment to prepare.
Then, placing your mouth back on the mouthpiece, suck in the smoke in a short, strong breath. The chemicals in cannabis are absorbed rapidly after entering your lungs, so don’t feel like you need to hold it in for ages.
Take the hit, hold it for a second or two before breathing out, and don’t be afraid to cough if you need to. After all, you’ve just inhaled a large amount of smoke.
With that done, congratulations – you’ve just taken your first bong hit! Bong highs hit much faster and harder than the high from regular smoking, so for your first time it’s better if you’re sitting down (especially if your bong is glass or ceramic!).
Using a bong might seem intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing, but with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to hit your bong like a pro in no time at all. Just follow these simple instructions, and you’ll get the hang of it without too much hassle.
If you’re trying out a bong for the first time, you might want to have someone with you to guide you through it.
The high from a bong is unlike anything else, so it’s handy to have company not just to help you do it right, but to keep an eye on you after your first time.
With that said, bongs are a great way to up your smoking game and experiment a bit more with other ways of smoking cannabis.
Just like any other method of smoking, the most important thing is to stay safe and have a good time doing it. Enjoy!