For many newcomers to smoking, bongs can be quite intimidating and there isn’t always someone to show you how to smoke a bong the right way.
The first roadblock is all the bong-related jargon. How can you figure out how to smoke it if you don’t know what it is?
Terminology for Bongs
Bowl: this is the part of the bong, shaped like a very small bowl at the base, where the weed is put, hence the term “smoke a bowl.”
Downstem: this is a long pipe that is removable, pointing into the chamber of the bong. Removing it spreads the smoke into the bong water.
Carb: a hole in the chamber of the bong. It is meant to be plugged or stopped with your finger as you take a hit so that all the good stuff doesn’t escape. You can then release it when you are done with your hit and the smoke will escape.
So now that you know these terms, how do you actually smoke a bong?
Bong Smoking Technique
Fill your bong with water. Water is meant to cool and filter the smoke. A good rule of thumb is to fill enough water so that your downstem is submerged by about half an inch. Too little water will result in harsh smoke and too much will result in water leakage and you might even inhale some. How much water you end up putting in can be a matter of trial and error, but the errors will be easy enough to spot.
Load the bowl. Grind your weed up the same way you would with a joint. Loosely fill the bowl and don’t overfill it. You can mix it up too: load the bowl with hash, do a mix of weed and hash, add some tobacco or skip all of that to just smoke a dab.
Light up and go. Position yourself so that you can comfortably inhale from the bong through the mouthpiece while also lighting the weed in the bowl and plugging the carb with a finger. There is some amount of hand-eye coordination needed, but it is easy to master after a few tries. Start by plugging the carb with a finger. Then, light the bowl and start inhaling.
Smoke it right. This is where it can get a little complicated. Keep these reminders in mind when you are smoking:
Remove the flame when you notice that the weed has caught. A telltale sign of this is when the weed glows.
Make sure you have enough capacity that, once you remove your finger from the carb, you can continue inhaling. Not all bongs will have a carb; if yours doesn’t have one, you should remove the bowl instead.
Then, make sure you surface to get some fresh air—all in one breath. Fresh air will ensure you get that bong smoke into your system. If you’re unable to draw all the smoke out from the bong at first, don’t worry about it. Lung capacity and technique will only improve over time.
Tips and Warnings
Be prepared to cough. A lot. It can be daunting, but you’ll be fine. To reduce the chances or severity of the coughs, opt for smaller hits.
Understand you will get very high. Bongs are stronger than joints and so a little goes a long way. Pace yourself!
Lips in, not out. When using the mouthpiece, make sure your lips go on the inside.
Clear the rest of the smoke before passing it on. If you are smoking with others, make sure you get rid of all the smoke in the chamber and neck of the bong before passing it on. It’s just good etiquette!
Corner your bowl. Cornering is another bong slang term, and it refers to when you only light a small corner of the bowl. This is to preserve the freshness of the rest of the bowl, especially if you are sharing the bong with other people.
Do any seasoned bong rippers out there have any more tips to share? Let us know in the comments below! We hope this has been educational for our readers. For more content like this, follow @cannalifenet.