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How to Use a Bong Like a Pro - The Ultimate Guide in 2024!

How to Use a Bong Like a Pro - The Ultimate Guide in 2024!

If you are new to using marijuana and you're wondering how smoking weed from a bong then you're in the right place! This article gives you the basics on how to use bongs. Without a doubt, a bong is one of the best ways to unlock the potential of your beautiful cannabis buds. Water pipes, bongs, and bubblers come in all shapes and sizes. Regardless though, they're all functioning under one basic principle: the water you'll put inside of them helps to cool the smoke for a smoother, less harsh hit. 

Many slang terms surround the bong. They are often called a water pipe, binger, billy, or bing.  There are many different shapes and types of bongs such as percolator bong types, ice pinch bong, and the double bowl bong. 

Do you want to learn how to smoke weed from a bong like a pro? Then you’ll love this step-by-step guide on bong use.

fruit drink healthy

Wash down your favourite strain with this adorable and masterfully crafted Fruity Detox Bong from Empire Glassworks.

Complete with a glass tube that looks like a straw, this eye-catching work of glass art is perfect for cannabis smokers who want to sit back and relax.

bong smoke toke
Glass comes in all shapes and sizes! Photo: @famousbrandz

The History of the Bong

The term ‘bong’ has its roots in the Thai word “baung”. A baung is a round tube made of bamboo that has been modified into a smoking pipe. Water pipes similar to modern day bongs were used during China’s Ming Dynasty. Use of the device has also been recorded in Africa where they were fashioned from the earth.  Nomadic tribes who resided within the borders of what is now modern Russia made bongs out of pure gold. 
The hookah of the Middle East and bongs share close similarities. Both are forms of a water pipe, but the hookah is used to smoke various types of flavourful tobacco and the bong is a marijuana water pipe. There are a couple of similarities between the hookah and the bong. Both include the use of a heat source to light the bowl that your smoking material is rested inside of. Both also utilize a water filtration process, which helps to cool the smoke before it hits your lungs. Once the smoke leaves the smoke chamber, it will travel either through the hose of the hookah or the neck of the bong. Both smoking methods also typically offer the option to add ice, typically by adding ice cubes to some sort of ice pinches. This helps cool the smoke, creating a less harsh experience when the smoke hits your throat.

There are, of course, also common things to keep in mind around both hookah and bong etiquette. Sharing is caring being among the most important! You also want to clean your bong and/or hookah fairly regularly so you make sure you and your friends can enjoy a smooth toke every time!
Bongs have been fashioned from a variety of materials such as ceramics, wood bamboo, silicone, and acrylic. True stoners have been known to craft Coke bottles and even melons such as a watermelon into a usable bong in a pinch. 
Modern bongs are available in a wide array of shapes and sizes. Many are formed from hand-blown glass. Bong designs blend art with science to create truly amazing masterpieces that function with optimum efficiency while looking amazing. One of the most popular designs are beaker and helix bongs. 


Blaze Glass
Jet Flash Mini Glass Bong
Mathematix 18" Beaker Bong Maverick Glass
Mini Inline Freezable Coil System

vortex bong glass

Made with 4mm thick, borosilicate glass, the vortex chamber on this beautiful glass bong is the perfect combination for a smooth toke.

beaker mathematix bong

There's a reason why the beaker bong is remade over and over again! This bong breathes new life into a tried and true classic.

coil ice smooth smoke
Why yes, yes the freezable coil IS worth the higher price tag! Everyone loves smooth hits, and this bong guarantees you just that.

marijuana water pipe
Try a silicone bong if you know you're accident prone! Photo: @dreamsinatra

Learning Bong Parts

If you are going to learn how to properly use a bong then you must know its parts. Your standard bong is made up of five critical parts. Items such as bong plugs and others are additional items that you can add as a bonus. 
    • Bowl:  The bowl piece is a bulbous attachment that cradles your dried flower. You pack the bowl with flower so it easily combusts. The bowl is removable so it can be used as a pull or slide carburetor.
        • Carburetor: The carburetor is referred to as the ‘carb’ by most users. It is a tiny hole that lets you clear the smoke out of the chamber as you finish the toke. Most glass bongs have what is referred to as a pull or slide carb. The tiny hole is exposed when you pull the bowl out from the side of the bong, just make sure not to pull the bowl out too far. 
            • Downstem: A tube that lets the smoke flow from the bowl into the base of the water so it can percolate through the water. This will also help cool the hit. 
                • Base: This is the bottom portion of the bong. It comes in many shapes and styles. It might have a bubble form or a beaker shape, but regardless of the shape the purpose remains the same: hold the water that will cool your hit. Make sure you don't fill it with too much water!
                  • Tube: The chamber extends up from the base in a tube fashion to the mouthpiece. Once smoke passes through the water in the base for filtration, the smoke will then pass through the tube and out the mouthpiece - into you! Some bongs have features like an ice pinch which further cools the hit.
                    Bongs are available in a wide array of colours, shapes, designs, and styles which each serve various functions. In some cases, downstems for bongs are replaced with percolator designs to create even further filtration and diffusion. The two most common designs are beakers and straight tubes. 

                    bong cannabis high
                    Find a bong that suits your personality. Photo: @smokersdynasty

                    How to Use a Water Bong

                    Now that you're familiar with the different types of bongs and all of their key features, it's time to learn how to use a weed bong. Trust us, it's not tricky, so don't psyche yourself out! Once you have the hang of it then a bong is going to be your go-to item for smoking herb because the hits are cool and refreshing. No more coughing and gagging like is frequently the case with a joint or a pipe. 


                    Step One: How Much Water in Bong? 

                    The use of water is what makes bong hits so enjoyable, so you need to learn how to fill up a bong! Your big question is probably how much water do I put in my bong? Never put too much water in the base, or it could travel up the neck and right into your mouth when you pull in a hit. No one wants these splash backs!

                    • The bubbler water level should be high enough that the bottom end of your downstem rests in the water.
                    • A regular-size bong will require only about an inch of water.
                    • On a stemless bong, add water to right above the perc.

                    You might want to test the bong by pulling in the air before you load and light a bowl. If you are wondering how to use a water bottle bong then the directions are the same. 


                    Step Two: How to Properly Pack a Bowl.

                    If you are wondering how to load a bong then keep reading. Ideally, prior to loading the bong’s bowl, you should use a grinder to tear your weed into small pieces. If you are new to using a bong then you don't have to pack the bowl completely full. Instead, loosely fill it so there is adequate airflow around the herb particles. Now insert the bowl into the joint. 


                    Step Three: How to Use a Bong for Weed.

                    The moment you've been waiting for! It is now time to take a hit using your bong. Using a lighter, hold the flame against the dry bud and take a drag from the mouthpiece of the bong. The bong will fill up with smoke. When the bong is filled with smoke, pull out the bowl and inhale the smoke. When you bowl becomes ash it is time to repack if you want to continue taking bong hits. 
                    Using a bong with weed is simple. Whether you're smoking out of glass, silicone, acrylic, or wood bongs, the steps are all pretty much the same. Each material may offer their own type of smoking experience, but the process itself will typically follow the same steps.

                    silicone pipe high

                    Made from food grade silicone, you can feel good about smoking out of the indestructible Kirby by PieceMaker

                    Besides its quality build, the Kirby also utilizes Hex-TEK high perc tech, includes a silicone diffuser downstem, and has many other thoughtful features such as a lighter holder. Oh! And it glows in the dark! What's not to love?


                    Questions About How to Use a Bong

                    Now that we've covered the simple steps on bong use, you might still have questions. Below you will find quick and easy answers to your top questions about bongs.  
                    How to use a gravity bong? Gravity bongs are typically DIY projects that involve using empty plastic bottles or a bucket, though there are some beautiful gravity bongs that are very much not DIY (see the Stundenglass below)! The bottles effectively funnel smoke through water and into your lungs. You basically submerge a smaller plastic bottle filled with a packed bowl in a larger bottle or bucket. When you light the cannabis you pull the bottle out of the water slowly so it fills with smoke. You unscrew the lid and press your lips against the opening to inhale the smoke. You push the bottle into the water as you inhale so that the gravity pushes the smoke deep into your lungs so you become very high. 

                    stundenglass gravity bong
                    One of the more advanced gravity bongs out there, @stundenglass will change the way you think about smoking from a bong.

                    How to use a bubbler bong? A bubbler is a hybrid mix of a bong and a pipe. The difference between bong and bubbler is very subtle. You fill the chamber of the bubbler halfway with water. Just make sure the bubbler water level is not too high. There is a carb hole that you hold your thumb over while you draw the smoke into the water chamber and then you remove your thumb to take the hit. In some cases you'll have a removable hitter instead of a hole.
                    How to use a mini bong?  A mini bong is just like a full-size bong and it operates in the same fashion. Many people prefer mini bongs to larger sized ones because they are more discreet and easier to store. 
                    How to use a bong with a percolator?  If you are wondering how to use a percolator bong then just remember that you use it just like a regular bong. The percolator simply provides extra filtration for a smoother toke. 
                    How to use a bong with ice catcher?  If you are wondering why do people put ice in bongs then the answer is simple. The ice cools the hit so it is less harsh on your throat and lungs.  An ice water bong gives a wonderfully refreshing hit. Most of the bongs have slots where you place the ice. Most people who try an ice bong never return to a standard bong.  If you have been learning how does a water bong work then you know that the water filters and cools the smoke so it is less harsh. When you combine that with the cooling sensation of ice then it becomes even more pleasant.  The fundamentals of how does a water bong work are all about the water, ice, and special diffusers like percs to make the hit pleasant and rewarding. 
                    Why is there water in a bong? To cool and filter the smoke. 
                    Why does bong water smell so bad?  Firstly, we should say that if you use some of the easy ways to clean your bong - all you need are simple supplies like some isopropyl alcohol, some course salt, hot water and other easy-to-grab things we cover in our How to clean a bong article - then you won't have to deal with dirty bong water at all! Nevertheless, we know life gets crazy and sometimes you don't have the chance to exercise a regularly cleaning routine.

                    The water chamber in your bong traps a lot of nasty stuff like tar, plant matter, ash, saliva, and even dead skin cells that you shed into the water every time you press your mouth to the mouthpiece. Over time, the water is pungent and must be changed. It's important to empty it out and start over regularly.
                    How often should you change bong water?  Many people sport a dirty bong like it’s some kind of a statement, but it is just nasty. Ideally, if you are daily smoker then you are best off if you change your bong's water daily. 
                    Do you put water in an ash catcher?  No, you never want water in your ash catcher. 
                    How to use a gas mask bong?  Okay, gas mask bongs have become popular novelty items that are frequently sold online and at dispensaries. The mask attaches to the bong. You slip the mask over your head. Light up and inhale with the mask on. You will be able to inhale and exhale without it going back into the bong. 


                    bubbler bong glass pipe
                    They may be dainty, but when hit right they'll hit you like a train! Photo: @kannon_diterra


                    Bongs have historically been a favourite way to smoke cannabis and will always remain one of the best methods. They give you a cool hit that won’t leave you gagging. A bong is ideal for both a newbie weed smoker and a pro who has been toking for years. The tips in this article are easy to follow and outline how to successfully use a bong to enjoy your bud. Once you use a bong you will fall in love with it! Many people become avid collectors of bongs because there are so many different shapes, sizes, and models. Bongs have become an artistic item for glass blowers and designers. It is not uncommon to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a designer bong to add to your collection. 
                    We hope this ultimate bong guide has given you some new ideas for how to ensure your smoking experience is pleasant each and every time you light the bowl! Now, if you'll excuse us, it's time for us to go do ...more research for the next article!


                    Still have questions? Drop us a comment below!

                    Megan Medeiros Written by Megan Medeiros (BA)

                    Megan Medeiros has a bachelor’s degree in English and is currently working on a master’s in English at James Madison University. She's the owner and operator of Medeiros Writing, and has been working as a cannabis writer for the past three years, mostly following the legal climate of marijuana, especially in areas like California, Colorado, Oregon, Canada, and other legal areas.

                    This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. All photos were sourced from | updated 2021

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