Simple and effective, every smoker should have this skill in their repertoire.
Pop culture would have you believe bongs were made for dropouts and deadbeats. But bongs, alternatively known as water pipes, are one of the oldest and easiest ways to enjoy dried cannabis flower. While they are a little bigger and bulkier than your average pipe, they rely on water to filter the smoke, resulting in a smoother, cooler inhale. Learn how to use one and you may just have a new favorite way to consume flower.
Before You Begin
The four items you need to rip a bong are a bong (duh), one nug of high-quality flower, a lighter, and some water, preferably ice-cold.
It’s also helpful to familiarize yourself with the various parts of your bong before you let it rip. You’ll find the mouthpiece at the top of the tube and that’s—surprise, surprise—where you’ll put your mouth to inhale the smoke. The chamber is the inside of that tube where the smoke will accumulate once you start pulling air in with your mouth. The bowl is where all the fun happens as that’s where you pack in your flower and light up. The downstem is the narrow tube attached to the bowl. It moves smoke through the bowl and through the water inside the bong as you inhale, cooling it down before it hits your lungs (hence my preference for ice-cold water).
Choosing a bong comes down to how much you’re willing to spend and how much smoke you’re looking to inhale with a single rip. The cost can range anywhere from $15 for a small, basic model to hundreds of dollars for larger, more intricate glass pieces. For first-timers getting into the bong game, I’d recommend starting with a basic model that’s no larger than a foot in height. Starting small will allow you to comfortably test out this method without making a large investment.
Step 1: Water
Pour some water into your bong. You'll want enough to submerge the downstem so that smoke is forced to go through the water. Avoid filling up the bong (unless you're hoping to inhale bong water).
Step 2: Grind
Roughly grind your flower until it resembles the texture of loose leaf tea. Doing this allows air to easily pass through the plant matter, preventing clogs and maximizing the contact between flame and flower. If you don’t have a grinder handy, place your bud in a shot glass and cut it up with scissors.
Step 3: Pack Your Bowl
Grab a pinch of flower and pack it into your bowl, making sure it’s secure enough not to fall out but not packed so tightly air can’t pass through.
Step 4: Light It Up
Using a standard lighter or match, light your bud while inhaling through the mouthpiece.
A little weed etiquette: light only a corner of the bowl if you’re sharing with others so there’s fresh green for your friends to enjoy.
Step 5: Inhale
With your mouth placed securely inside the mouthpiece, breathe in to pull smoke through the downstem and into your bong’s chamber. Once you start to see that chamber fill up with milky white smoke, take a breath so you can inhale once more, this time consuming the smoke.
Contrary to popular belief, a bong rip won’t get you high instantly. Wait at least ten minutes for the high to fully develop and assess how you’re feeling before lighting up again.
Bonus Step: Cleaning Tips
To get an enjoyable experience each time and save yourself from pain and misery in the long run, be sure to clean your bong after each use. Simply rinse your piece with hot water and vinegar and use a Q-tip dipped in alcohol to wipe away reluctant residue. Cleaning after every smoke sesh may sound tedious, but trust me when I say it’s preferable to tackling months of buildup.
Looking for flower to get you started on your bong journey? Look no further than our collection of the best low-potency bud for new consumers.