The percolator bong is a favorite among many marijuana smokers. It takes the smoking experience to another level by giving you an intense, full-body hit that may leave your head spinning for days.
In the 1970s, as the War On Drugs was gaining momentum, one man made his mark through the use of smoke. His name? George Walton. He invented the first percolating water pipe (also known as a percolator) in 1949. Since then, percolator pipes have been used around the globe to make some powerful hits. But what exactly makes these pipes so great at delivering weed smoke? Read more about percolator bongs on the following pages.
A percolator bong is basically just a water pipe with a small bowl attached to the side where hot vapor rises up into your mouth. This vapor contains high levels of THC which are released when you draw air into the bowl using a hose or other source.
When you inhale from the hose, you suck all the cool vapor back down into the bowl, so that only hot vapor reaches your lungs. Vaporizing concentrates like hash oil can be done in a percolator as well.
However, if you prefer the taste of fresh flower, a percolator will not work because there is no way for the flower’s essential oils to burn without being heated too much.
This process allows users to control the amount of heat they receive. They can choose whether to take their hits cold and mellow, or get super-high and aggressive. Some people even say that percolated vapor tastes better than straight up bud.
That said, most experienced stoners agree that the best hits come from combining both methods. If you’re new to smoking marijuana, try taking a few hits off the “cold” setting to see how you feel. You might find that after a couple of puffs, you’ll want to increase your intake.
If you’re looking for something different from regular old flower buds, give a percolator bong a try. These devices are extremely popular among marijuana connoisseurs across the world.
But why is the percolation method such a good idea? The key ingredient here is heat. By creating vapor instead of burning directly, you free yourself from the limitations of having to pack your own tobacco or cannabis leaf into a joint. Instead, you can fill your lungs with pure THC goodness without worrying about a single carcinogenic particle.
Just remember that if you plan to buy a pre-made cartridge, make sure that it has been processed properly. You don’t want any waxes or other unwanted additives clogging up the device.
You can also tweak your percolator setup to create a unique smoke experience. Let’s look at how to do some basic tweaking on the next page.
Materials Needed For The Percolator Bong
Most people who purchase a percolator bong already know what materials they need to get started. The average person should have little trouble finding everything he needs at a local hardware store. Here we’ve listed those items that may require special attention.
- A water pipe. Any standard water pipe will do but the smaller the diameter, the faster the vapor will rise.
- Two pieces of glass tubing. One tube should be long enough to fit over the top of the other. Glass tubes are available in various sizes, lengths and colors. Try to pick ones that match each other closely in order to maximize visual appeal. Also, avoid tubes that contain lead. Lead causes cancer.
- A short length of plastic tubing. Plastic comes in several varieties. Choose one that’s light weight and won’t melt if it gets too hot.
- A large round metal mesh screen. Only use screens that have holes that measure 1/8 inch or less in size. Anything bigger will let contaminants pass right through.
- An adjustable flame holder. Most percolators have one of these built in. If yours doesn’t, you can buy one separately.
- Double check to make sure your percolator bong isn’t missing anything else. Check out the list below for tips on making your own percolator bong.
Making The Percolator Bong
Here’s a step-by-step guide on building your own percolator bong. Remember that you can always modify any part of these instructions to suit your preferences.
- Step 1 – Find a clean area where you won’t be disturbed or injured. Prop up two chairs facing each other approximately 6 feet apart. Set one chair aside while you concentrate on this project. Place the second chair under the end of the longer piece of glass tubing to serve as a counterweight.
- Step 2 – Attach one end of the shorter piece of glass tubing to the bottom of the counterweighted chair. Thread the remaining portion of the glass tubing through the hole in the middle of the counterweighted chair. Use tape to seal the connection.
- Step 3 – Connect the end of the percolator plate to the opposite end of the percolator chamber. Then add the mesh screen over the percolator plate.
- Step 4 – Cut a long strip of paper towel or cloth. Wrap it tightly around the opening of the percolator plate until you reach the halfway point between the plate and the mesh screen. Tape it in place so that it touches the screen but can still breathe freely. This serves as a wick.
- Step 5 – Fill the rest of the percolator chamber with loose sand. Insert the stem of the percolator plate through the center of the wicks. Gently tap the plate against the ground to compact the sand. Repeat this step until the entire space is filled. This helps keep the unit neat.
- Step 6 – Light the wicks. Leave them lit overnight. Don’t touch them during this period. Afterward, blow gently on them every now and again to prevent them from going out.
- Step 7 – Once the wicks have burned down, remove them from the percolator bong. Rinse the whole thing off in running water. Dry thoroughly with a soft cloth. Now you’re ready to start vaping.
Safety Concerns With Smoking Marijuana
While percolator bongs are very effective at getting a potent hit, it’s important to remember that smoking marijuana poses health risks. So before you begin to consume, educate yourself about the effects of smoking marijuana.
First things first — don’t drive or operate machinery while you’re high. Driving under the influence of drugs is dangerous for everyone involved. Even though percolator bongs produce milder highs than traditional smoking methods, they can still affect your ability to function normally.
Second, never exceed the recommended dosage. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe consumption. Never mix alcohol with your marijuana supply. Alcohol increases the likelihood of accidents, fires and severe burns.
Thirdly, don’t share your bong with anyone else. Sharing is usually frowned upon in the marijuana community. There have been cases reported where someone unknowingly smoked a partially consumed joint that contained traces of another person’s saliva. Saliva transfer can cause serious illness.
Fourth, don’t drink fluids immediately prior to smoking marijuana. Doing so dilutes the THC content of the smoke. As a result, your high will last slightly longer and possibly intensify more.
Finally, don’t smoke your marijuana in public places. Many states have laws prohibiting smoking anywhere except private property.
Now that you understand the basics, read on to learn about the pros and cons of percolator bongs.
Pros & Cons About Using The Percolator Bong
There are plenty of reasons why people enjoy using percolator bongs. Below is a summary of the advantages associated with this type of smoking apparatus.
- Convenience – Unlike blunts and joints, percolator bongs provide a quick and easy way to obtain a strong hit. All you have to do is plug in your hose, light the wicks and inhale. No rolling required.
- Taste – Packed with THC, percolator vapor offers a smoother, tastier high than its counterparts. Users often claim that the vapor tastes better than straight bud.
- Efficiency – Because percolator bongs rely solely on vaporization, they deliver a stronger effect and eliminate the waste typically incurred with other forms of smoking.
- Cost – Although percolator bongs are relatively inexpensive compared to other smoking equipment, they aren’t cheap. Depending on the model, prices range from $100
My Favorite Percolator Bongs
Black Leaf Percolator Bong – Blue Double Dome
Using 5mm thick glass, this Black Leaf Glass Straight Bong features two blue glass dome percolators to smooth out that hit.
“It has an 18.8 joint, ice notches, and comes equipped with a diffuser downtube. It has a small Black Leaf logo near the foot of the tube.”
WS Series Messias Illusion Ice 5mm – Double Tree
This stunning 5mm Weed Star Messias Illusion Ice features a double chamber 3-arm Tree Percolator beneath ice notches and a huge 29.2 size joint.
The mouthpiece is subtly worked inside with slim white interweaving lines swirling around inside the rim, while directly beneath it a multitude of glass bubbles decorate the outside of the tube above the frosted WS Series logo.
“With the tube filled with ice behind with the logo and marbled tube, and with the double tree percolators bubbling away and the smoke slowly milking its way into the pipe, this 5mm Messias Illusion Ice 29.2 is truly a magnificent sight to behold.”
Pure Glass Percolator Bong – 1-Tree Beaker – Frosted Black
This frosted black 1-Tree Beaker Bong by Pure Glass Bongs features one 6-arm Tree Percolator beneath ice notches. The bowl is colored to match and compliment the theme of the bong.
“Pure Glass Bongs are magnificent examples of the expert craft of making superior percolator bongs, often shied away from by other glass manufacturers due to the intricacy of the work involved and the perceived fragility of the finished product. Pure Glass is now leading the way with an exemplary selection of high-quality glassware featuring smoke-smoothing percolators.”