How Does a Bong Work?

How Does a Bong Work?

Bongs have been around for ages. Over the years, very little has changed about them other than the shapes, sizes and materials used to make them. In the recent past, bongs have had a resurgence and herb lovers try to find better ways of enjoying their dry herbs and maximising their benefits.

For the complete novice that hasn’t used a bong before, but is seriously considering using one, here’s a look at the basics of a bong and how it works.

What is a Bong?

In layman's terms, a bong is a device that is designed to filter and cool the smoke that comes from combusted herbs. There are numerous types of bongs in the market. They all work towards the same goal. The only difference is the process and the level of efficiency.

Currently, most bongs are made from glass. But, you can also find options made from wood, plastic, silicone and bamboo. Every bong user has their preference and their reasons. But if you’re just getting started, a glass bong is highly recommended.

The Anatomy of a Bong

Before jumping into how a bong works, it's vital to go over the different parts. It will make it easier to explain and understand how the device works.

The bowl

The bowl is a bulbous attachment that holds the dry herb while it's being combusted. In most bongs, the bowl is removable, which allows it to function as a pull-or-slide carburettor. 


Also known as the carburettor, it’s a small hole that allows the user to clear smoke from the chamber of the bong to complete the bong toke. Most bongs have a pull-or-slide carb which is exposed when the bowl is removed.


This small tube allows smoke to travel from the bowl to the base, where the smoke percolates through the water.


The base is the bottom of the bong. Depending on the type and design of the bong, the base can take many shapes. In most cases, the base is a bubble or beaker-shaped to create a water chamber where the smoke cools as it passes through the water.


The tube transports the smoke from the base to the mouthpiece. It is the chamber that fills with smoke after it has filtered through the water. It can also hold other features like an ice pinch.

How A bong Works

The process of using a bong is relatively easy. It starts with filling the base of the bong with the right amount of water.

Once the base has enough water, you can pack the bowl with the dried herb. Take caution when packing the bowl. You shouldn't pack it too tightly, or else some of it won't combust.

Light up the herb in the bowl and place your mouthpiece and inhale. When you start to inhale, you create a vacuum in the tube between your mouth and the water. 

This vacuum forces the smoke to flow through the down stem, into the base of the bong, through the water and up the tube, through the mouthpiece, and into your lung.

Although some bong devices might look complicated, using them is relatively straightforward, even for new users.


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