Smoking can often be the best way to experience the benefits that certain herbs provide users, whether you are smoking cannabis, CBD, or other herbs that you enjoy. However, those who smoke often may not like the harsh hits that they have to take in order to unlock the use of their desired dry herbs. The solution? Using a water pipe can serve to cool down your hits so that you can better enjoy your smoking sessions throughout the day. To help you decide which product you will most benefit from, let’s take a look at the different types of water pipes that you can find and which may be best suited for you.
A water pipe is a type of smoking tool that utilizes water in its design in order to enhance the smoking process. Arguably the most popular and well-known water-based smoking tool is the bong, but there are many other types of water tools out there that essentially serve the same purpose. We’ll dive more into these different types of water pipes and tools later on in this guide.
In comparison to paper goods or other smoking tools, water pipes actually come with a few unique benefits that may make them a better tool for frequent smokers to use. Some of these benefits include:
The most obvious change that comes when using a water pipe is that it comes with water filtration. Whether it is the small filter in water pipes or more complex filtration systems in bongs or dab rigs, this minor addition actually provides several different benefits for smokers. But what are they?
Water filtration systems help to eliminate the potentially dangerous substances contained within smoke as the smoke travels throughout the water and the device. This results in a cleaner smoking experience that smokers can feel better about if they tend to burn herbs often. If you want to reduce the impact that smoking can have on you, you may wish to purchase a water pipe to mix your smoking sessions up throughout the day.
Although residue can easily build up on the inside of a water pipe over time, clean up is relatively easy if you make sure to clean your piece often and stay on top of your regular cleaning schedule. This is especially true for smaller water pieces or tools where it is easier to reach the inside of the product, like bongs.
Whether you are smoking a paper product like a joint or a blunt or you are smoking from a small pipe, you know how hot the smoke is and how easily your throat can get irritated if you are someone who smokes frequently. Water filtration not only serves to clean the smoke that travels through your tools but cools down the smoke as well, resulting in smoother hits that aren’t so harsh on your throat. This is especially important if you are taking hot hits like those produced by vaporized concentrates.
So, what is the difference between a water pipe and a regular pipe? Whereas a regular pipe delivers the smoke to you as is, a water pipe filters the smoke and cools it down to provide you with cleaner and smoother hits each time you smoke.
As we’ve established earlier on, there are different types of water pipes that you can use for different types of smoking sessions. Here are the different options you will see when you begin shopping around for a new piece to add to your collection.
Bongs allow you to take bigger rips of your bowl, filtering the smoke as it travels upward through the tube and into your lungs. While the bong is much larger than the average pipe, it is perfect for people who want something that will give them a bit cooler smoke yet is still easy to use and won’t require too much work to prep and operate.
Dab rigs are made specifically for concentrates rather than herbs. Featuring large bodies and complex water filtration systems, dab rigs make it so that the superheated vapors that enter the nail are cool and smooth by the time they reach your lips. (You can also find various types of dab rig alternatives that offer water filtration systems but are much more compact for your traveling needs.)
Bubblers are small pipes that have water filtration systems for the benefits listed above. If you want something that offers more portability than a bong, you are going to want to purchase a bubbler instead.
While bongs are relatively easy to use, knowing what the different parts of a bong are can be helpful if you are new to glass pieces. The components featured in a bong are:
As you may already know, the bowl is the part of the bong where you load your ground herbs. This part will fit perfectly into the downstem, which brings us to our next section.
The downstem is the tube leading down into the water portion of the bong. This small tube allows the smoke to travel into the bong when you begin inhaling, bringing it through the water and up through the body to your lips.
A percolator is a term for the filtration systems that you may or may not encounter in your bong. Some bongs will have percolators while others will not. Make sure to pay close attention to this when you begin shopping for your first glass piece.
As with the percolator, there may be a carb hole in your bong and there may not. If your bong does feature a carb hole, you will cover this hole (much like you would with a pipe) and release your finger to clear the smoke once you’ve finished your hit. If your bong does not come with a carb, you will pull the bowl out to wrap up your hit instead.
The base simply refers to the bottom portion of your bong on which the body is built.
The chamber or tube on your bong is the long portion leading up to the area where you will place your mouth to inhale the smoke. Many chambers will be long tubes, but some may include additional features designed to enhance the smoking experience.
As it is with most smoking tools, bongs come in a wide variety of materials that allow for a versatile experience. But what types of bongs are you going to encounter and which ones may be the right selection for your needs? Let’s take a look at the three most popular materials used to make bongs.
Glass/quartz bongs are great for those who care about the flavor of their herbs and want an untouched smoking experience. Unlike other materials, your smoke won’t be contaminated by glass, which means that all of the smoke that travels throughout your device is pure (in terms of taste). These products are also easier to clean as you can see everything on the device. The only downside is that they can be quite easy to break, which means that they may not be right for those who regularly drop their current smoking tools.
Acrylic bongs are the cheapest bongs available, making them perfect for those who are on a budget and who need something that gets the job done. They are also quite colorful and are perfect for those who are interested in having something that stands out from the pack. That said, the materials used in these products can taint the smoke that you are inhaling and while they are not as sensitive as glass, they can shatter if they should accidentally be handled wrong.
Need something that is not going to give up on you anytime soon? You may want to look into a silicone bong instead! Silicone bongs are sturdy and flexible, making them perfect for people who want something that is near impossible to break. Additionally, there are plenty of fun designs out there that make these products great for anyone who needs a colorful piece to add to their collection. They can also be quite easy to clean due to their flexible and easy to handle surfaces!
Before you decide to purchase a water pipe, it is important that you consider the pros and cons of doing so. Let’s take a look at these advantages and disadvantages to get a better idea of where you may stand on buying a new piece.
Smoother Hits: Taking hits from a paper product or a regular glass piece can be harsh on the throat. Using a glass piece gives you access to water filtration systems that purify and cool down the smoke before it gets a chance to reach your throat.
Healthier Smoking: Although smoking is not the healthiest activity, using a water piece can get rid of some of the impurities found in smoke, making a bit safer in comparison to smoking as you normally would.
Flexible Experience: Whether you want to smoke a large bowl of herbs, take your herbs on the go, or vape concentrates, there are plenty of different types of water pieces that will allow you to get the experience that you are looking for.
Not Very Portable: While bubblers offer you a water pipe experience that you can take with you (keep in mind you still need to fill it up and empty it after using it, which can still be undesirable), larger water pipes are not something you can take around and use wherever, unlike regular glass pipes that you just load and smoke.
More Expensive: Glass pieces are expensive, especially when it comes to bongs and dab rigs. If you decide to purchase a budget product, you can end up with a sub-par experience. This is something to remember if you are not willing to invest in a glass piece that you will use for years to come.
If you decide that you do want a bong, the good news is that these pieces are easy to operate. All you have to do is:
Fill the water with the bong until the downstem is partially submerged. You can test it out by inhaling to make sure that it bubbles and that smoke will be allowed to travel into the base of the bong.
If you have a bong with an ice catcher, add ice to the bong as this will cool down the hits much more than water would alone.
Grind your herbs and pack your bowl (not too tightly as this can make it hard to hit).
Place your mouth at the top of the bong and inhale as you begin lighting your herbs. If you do have a carb on your bong, make sure that you have a finger covering it as you begin taking your hit.
Once enough smoke has filled the bong and you are already inhaling smoke, release your finger from the carb cap or pull out the bowl to begin clearing the bong.
Exhale your smoke and take another hit!
Some bongs will be easier to operate while others will require more work. It all depends upon the type of bong that you choose and what matters to you most when you smoke.
Water pipes are an excellent tool to have on hand if you are a frequent smoker and are tired of the harsh hits that you are taking throughout the day. Are you considering adding a glass piece to your collection? If so, use the comprehensive guide above to learn more about what glass pieces are, what types are on the market, and how they work before you start shopping around for one of your own!