The bong is a piece of smoking paraphernalia that has been around for many years. The first known reference to the use of water pipes in China dates back to 3000 BC. However, it was not until much later, with the introduction of tobacco into India and Persia (Iran), that we started seeing references to such devices being used as part of religious ceremonies or rites.
Smoking weed can be fun, but if you do so often without taking care of your body, there will be some adverse effects. Luckily when you’re stoned all day long, like most people tend to do, this doesn’t matter nearly as much anymore since you’ve probably had several meals already. Still, eating well while getting baked isn’t always easy.
If you have never smoked pot before, here’s an explanation of what a bong is, how they work, where you can find one for cheap, and just about everything related to them.
What Is A Bong?
A bong is designed to vaporize liquid by forcing air through said liquid at pressure levels, usually obtained using a bellows pump powered by hand or foot pedal. Although there are numerous kinds of bongs today, each generally takes two forms – those that heat the chamber inside via electricity and those that don’t.
The latter kind uses only a small amount of power and instead relies solely on manual pumping action to create enough flow rate to produce vaporized smoke.
Depending on their intended purpose, they come in various sizes and shapes, whether to get heady quickly or take longer hits more efficiently. Some even look like traditional hookahs! They also vary greatly in price, quality, and functionality.
This article will focus mainly on the newer models aimed toward consumers rather than collectors.
When someone asks, “what is a bong” this refers specifically to the larger glass tubes seen above. These bongs typically consist of either a single large bowl down which the stem protrudes, or multiple smaller bowls arranged side-by-side. Most commonly made of acrylic material, glass, or metal, they serve primarily to hold the herb and provide space for the user to inhale its vapors.
How Much Does It Cost?
This depends entirely on the brand and model you choose. They are, generally speaking, though prices range between $30-200 dollars. More expensive ones cost upwards of $500 due to better materials and craftsmanship.
You should know. However, cheaper ones aren’t necessarily bad. Many of them still perform very well and provide good value for money. Also, remember that unlike most things in life, “you get what you pay for.” While higher-end brands may offer superior build quality, durability, and performance over time, lower-priced products may last a while too.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll see different pricing structures among sellers online. On eBay, for example, listings under $50 are extremely rare. However, once you reach $100, things become far less competitive, and prices drop dramatically. Generally, expect to pay approximately twice as much for something listed on Craigslist versus eBay.
Where Can I Find One For Cheap?
Craigslist is king when looking for deals on anything, especially electronic items. Its classified section contains thousands upon thousands of listings ranging from cars to computers. Another great resource for finding bargains is Amazon Marketplace.
Search for whatever product you need within the site’s catalog and add it to your cart. When you check out, you’ll see exactly how much shipping costs will be and be able to purchase directly from Amazon.
There are dozens of other websites offering similar services, including Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, Slickdeals, Offerup, etc., but these three are the best places to go for buying/selling locally.
Once again, keep in mind that prices on sites like craigslist and eBay depend heavily on supply & demand. Please don’t assume that because one item sold below $40 yesterday, it will sell somewhere close to that same price tomorrow.
Also, realize that certain states and countries outright ban sales of any smoking apparatus. Even if you live in California, you won’t be able to buy a bong unless you move to another state or country with relatively permissive laws regarding recreational drug usage.
Lastly, please note that none of these sources are safe havens against scammers. Never give out personal information or make payments outside of secure websites. At least avoid doing so altogether if possible. Instead, try using Google Checkout and PayPal whenever possible for quick transactions. Otherwise, you could easily lose hundreds of dollars with no recourse whatsoever.
Can You Clean Them Easily?
Most bongs are pretty durable and shouldn’t require cleaning very frequently. You should be fine if you notice black residue building up after extended periods of heavy use and neglecting proper maintenance. All you need is hot water and soap. Be sure to rinse off the whole thing afterward thoroughly.
Some newer models now include built-in filters that prevent buildup, but these still need periodic cleaning.
So What Kind Of Pipe Do I Want?
It largely depends on what you want to achieve with it. The cheapest option is a simple plastic water pipe if you intend to use it primarily for casual consumption. These are essentially glorified straws with holes drilled in the bottom for easier drawing. Prices vary between $10-$15 and are available everywhere.
You might consider purchasing a wax pen that resembles cigars with a mouthpiece attached to the top for greater control over airflow and temperature. Wax pens allow users to customize temperature, draw length, and intensity, making them ideal for both beginners and experienced smokers. Typically costing between $25-$35, they retail for a bit more on eBay and Craigslist.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to experience the full effect, you should invest in a gravity-fed setup. These are small aquarium tanks fitted with a hose leading to a glass tube atop the bowl. Users manually manipulate these units to adjust the desired airflow and draw lengths by turning knobs near the base.
While you can get away with simpler setups like the water above pipes or wax pens, nothing beats having an actual dedicated piece of equipment designed exclusively for this task. Unfortunately, they tend to be much pricier. Expect to shell out between $75-$300+ for a decent unit.
Are Any Other Types Of Pipes Cooler Than Just Water Pipes?
Yes indeed! Take a trip down to Chinatown, and plenty of vendors sell unique versions of the classic water pipe design. Amongst the most popular are Chinese bamboo bongs, Japanese ceramic bongs, Turkish clay pots, Mexican lava lamps…the list goes on and on. Each of these designs offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Generally speaking, though, the biggest difference comes down to aesthetics. With every type of bong described thus far, you’ve got to deal with a fairly plain white interior surrounded by a thick layer of resin. Not very appealing, right? Thankfully, you can fix that problem by opting for a colored version.
These days you can spend hours browsing countless options across dozens of websites, searching for the perfect color combination. Once you settle on one, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything cooler than what you picked out.
Again, remember that colors aside, prices are somewhat comparable to regular waterpipes. But once you factor in the added expense of specialty parts and construction materials, you can easily double or triple the overall cost.
Does Smoking Weed Affect Me Anyways? If So, How Badly?
Your health will depend on lots of factors besides smoking marijuana. Things like diet, exercise level, genetics, stress management habits, sleep patterns, nutrition, alcohol intake, caffeine intake, etc., all play major roles in determining the potential impact of consuming THC.
However, one significant aspect you absolutely must address beforehand is hydration. Drinking plenty of fluids before smoking helps flush toxins from your system and prevents dehydration. Drinking water tends to relax you further by increasing blood circulation throughout the brain and elsewhere.
Not only does this help reduce anxiety, but it also makes you feel way more relaxed and calm overall. After all, it’s common sense to stay properly hydrated during stressful times.
Finally, eat a balanced meal before consuming your daily dose of bud. Avoid foods rich in fat and cholesterol. Try avoiding fast food, sugary snacks, and junk food altogether. Stick to fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and fish.
All that considered, you should feel healthy and happy instead of incredibly anxious and paranoid.
Hopefully, this guide helped answer your questions about what a bong is, how they work, why they exist, where to find one, how much they cost, and if they’re worth owning. Thanks for reading, and enjoy responsibly!
Selected bong models in the price range of up to $20 were reported as durable and effective. Enjoy!
This small Waterpipe looks nice. Its straight and tall glass water chamber, decorated with an artistic image of a green pot leaf, look like an original soft drink bottle. It is nicely frosted, which makes it a bit old-school style.
This impression is intensified by cool purple elements, contrasting with the main part of this Waterpipe. This thing gives you some nice smoke and certainly will make you satisfied.
Clear Acrylic Bong
Simplicity can be a huge benefit. This water bong shows how this claim works in reality. It’s clear; it’s straight; it’s simple.
Yet, it’s very effective and easy to use. The water doesn’t spill easily out of this bong. Made out of standardized bong parts, including the metal downtube and bowl, mouthpiece ring, rubber grommet, and base, this water bong will serve you well and long.
Mini Molino Bong
Molino stands out with its high-quality product. This very small water glass bong with cobalt detail on the mouthpiece is the most portable, durable, and elegant piece on the market.