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Bongs vs Vaporizers. What's best for beginners

Bongs vs Vaporizers. What's best for beginners

Contributed by Irene Stepanenko, CEO at AskGrowers 

When it comes to marijuana consumption, the second-most important thing to care about, after the flower itself, is the delivery method. This point can be often overlooked by consumers that usually limit their experimentation to only one or two methods. If you are one of those people who haven’t had different experiences of cannabis use, learn more about various delivery techniques to enjoy brand new effects of marijuana. 

There are three groups of delivery methods: inhalation, oral, and topical.  When a marijuana substance is inhaled, the gases enter the lungs before absorbing into the bloodstream through smoking or vaporization. This article will give detailed information on inhalation techniques and explain which of them is the best for beginners.

The ways of smoking cannabis 

People who prefer smoking are offered a wide array of devices that include pipes, hookahs, water pipes, rolling papers, and even homemade one-time use devices. Each of them provides users with different experiences and has an influence on the grade of smoke inhaled.

Hand pipes 

Probably, it’s the most common smoking device among cannabis consumers. It may be favored for its convenience as a hand pipe is small, portable, and simple to use. Today, hand pipes are available in numerous creative forms and decorative styles, so it helps individuals to express themselves.

Rolling papers 

Rolling papers are commonly used to smoke joints or blunts. One can choose paper with different compositions of hemp, bamboo, or rice and roll cannabis to make a joint. If you want to try a blunt, take cigar paper made from the tobacco and roll cannabis there. This option would work for people who like nicotine flavor and enjoy the effects of its combination with cannabis.


Hookahs is one of the less common methods of smoking marijuana. People typically don’t smoke cannabis alone in a hookah because its low water content makes the plant burn very fast so sometimes it even cannot be inhaled. Besides, a burnt flower has an acrid taste. Smoking cannabis with the help of hookah is considered a waste of substance because large quantities of weed are needed to get the same results as other smoking methods. To deal with it, cannabis is sandwiched between tobacco, which introduces the same health risks as blunts.

Water pipes

Water pipes for smoking marijuana are also called bongs. Bongs are offered in a variety of designs and styles like hand pipes. But they are more sophisticated because of incorporating water. They say that water cools the smoke but it’s still unknown whether it is an effective filter for harmful cannabis constituents.


This device steadily heats marijuana to a temperature that is high enough to extract cannabinoids but too low for the potentially harmful toxins that are released during combustion. This way, vaporization can minimize the health risks associated with smoking. Those who prefer vaping have a wide range of choices because the market is saturated with various forms of vaporizers.


Vaporizer vs bong

Bongs have been used by cannabis consumers for centuries. They have evolved a lot compared to the first models. They are typically made out of glass or acrylic and consist of a mouthpiece, stem, chamber, and a metal bowl which allows heating of the substance. One can inhale really large amounts of smoke using a bong. 

Vaporizers are younger than bongs but commonly used today because they significantly reduce the odor of smoking. Besides, there are many different vaping liquid flavors to choose from. Recently, vaporizers have evolved into a light and easy-to-use vape pen. 

The key differences between bongs and vaporizers are the following:

  • Bongs need water for filtering out the smoke while vaporizers don’t require adding it.
  • The price of vaporizers is significantly higher.
  • It takes more time and a bigger dosage to get high while using a bong.
  • Vaporizers allow you to inhale clean smoke without harmful chemicals.
  • Bongs consume bigger amounts of substance than vaporizers.
  • Vaporizers are much smaller than bongs, so you can easily carry them around anywhere.


What would be better for beginners? 

People who want to start smoking weed are usually cautious about potential side effects, so they wonder what smoking method is better to apply. They usually choose between a bong and a vaporizer because these are the most popular smoking tools.

As the effects of vaping cannabis are milder than when one smokes weed, beginners should start marijuana consumption by using a vaporizer. It’s important to note that vaping can make you feel high depending on the amount of the substance you use. Luckily, modern vaporization technology is associated with fewer health concerns. Today, health professionals agree that vaping cannabis poses less risk and is medically preferred. 

But no matter which method you choose, the most important is to decide on the dose. Beginners should be careful and start with small amounts of substance in order not to get undesired effects. Increase your dosage only if you are absolutely sure that you can take more.

General smoking tips for harm-reduction

  • Don’t hold the deep inhale for long, try to make an exhale faster.
  • Use rolling papers that are approved by the FDA, so they are not toxic.
  • Choose glass bongs and pipes instead of plastic ones that can contain chemicals like BPA and phthalates.
  • Always keep your bongs and pipes clean and never roll cannabis on dirty surfaces.
  • Don’t share your pipes, bongs, or joints to reduce the risk for infections.

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