Long before there were ever dabs, bong rips were the best way to feel the effects of your marijuana fast and hard. While many cannabis enthusiasts enjoy using bongs, there are others who are intimidated by the thought because hits can be harsh. A lot of people don’t remember their first bong hit, and that’s probably because bongs have one job and they do it very well. They get you higher than Willie Nelson.
But, there are some top-class tips to getting ultra-smooth bong rips that will get you lifted without the lung burn. And know this…there is just something so enjoyable about taking a bong hit without the need to cough afterward.
The bong is a real piece of art. It combines glass-working and hydro-engineering into an almost perfect smoking device that provides smoothness, potency, and ease of use. Knowing how to use a bong is not rocket science, but maximizing its use makes smoking a more enjoyable experience.
Furthermore, people love using bongs because you can control the amount of flower that is burned. They are efficient, and there is little plant matter waste. Also, there’s water involved, so it’s somewhat like a cool science project. The purpose of the water that fills a bong is to filter and cool your smoke. This, as well as the size of the pipe, allows you to take larger hits of the herb. The water bubbling is what allows large amounts of smoke to fill the chamber of the bong until you pull the bowl and clear it.
While using a bong may be for some an amazing experience, many people, both new and experienced smokers, have made the mistake of forgetting how to rip a bong properly. Have you ever tasted bong water? It’s vile.
Like a lot of things in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to smoking a bong. Here are seven ways to improve your bong rips.
You have probably seen them on bubblers and bongs, but perhaps you don’t fully understand what they are or how they work. Bong percolators force the smoke to travel through the water allowing the water to to filter those nasty chemicals. The main purpose of the filtration is to cool the smoke and make hits less harsh. A percolator often has several holes, and each one serves as a point of diffusion.
Furthermore, the more holes it has, the more diffusion is possible, but it also adds to the drag of each hit. Simply put, it takes more lung capacity to clear the bong if there are lots of holes in the percolators bong. You get many different types of bong percolators, but ultimately they all accomplish the same thing. Here are the three main ways that percolators can help you:
- Moisturizing: One of the reasons that taking direct hits from a pipe or joint with no water filtration is so harsh is because the hits are dry. Forcing the smoke to interact with the water causes the heated water to turn into water vapor, which moisturizes the hit and makes the smoke less harsh on your lungs.
- Cooling: As you can imagine, the smoke is exceptionally hot as it comes out the bowl. Some lighters get as hot as 3600 degrees Fahrenheit. The water slows down the path of the smoke to the lungs which gives the smoke more time to cool down. Also, the effect of the smoke interacting with the water gives it a chance to dissipate the heat into water, which will consume the heat from the smoke better than air.
- Filtration: When the smoke makes contact with the water, filtration of the smoke occurs and thus the more surface of bubbles you have, the more filtration you have. Water is a polar molecule, and this means that when the water interacts with the smoke, the water magnetically attracts polar contaminants, taking them out of the smoke. Filtration in addition to moisturizing and cooling makes for much smoother hits.
As we have already mentioned, you can get several types of bong percolators, which we will take a quick look at below:
- Downstems: These were the first percolators, and they are what set dry pipes apart from water pipes. It’s a straightforward design with a tube that reaches into the water, that the air has to travel through and forcing it to come out as bubbles.
- Showerhead Percs: These also go by the name of UFO and tire, among others. They use a tube that comes up through the middle from the chamber below. This is covered by a larger tube that reaches down to the perc where the smoke and air exits into the water as bubbles.
- Tree Percs: These are the most common and well-known among percolators. There’s a tube that goes through the middle and attaches to a bunch of arms up high. These arms descend from the attachment point and into the water. This is how air is forced from below, up through the central tube and down the arms of the percolator, where it will enter the water as bubbles. Typically, the arms are diffused with between two and three slots in each arm.
- Inline Percs: These are similar to downstems and are simple, slotted tube percs. They are different to downstems in that they tend to sit flat in the water, whereas downstems usually enter the water at an angle.
- Turbine Percs: The low height of these percs make them easily stackable, and since they are one solid piece, they are easy to produce and durable.
- Honeycomb Percs: These are disc percolators and are easy to make, small and take up very little space. They are a solid piece, with no weak spots. They’re also relatively cheap.
- Spiral/coil Percs: These are merely a coiled tube with a hole at the end. What makes them different from a simple downstem is that they are more visually exciting and the more useful difference being the length of the tube, which forces the smoke to travel a longer path, increasing the cooling power of the perc.
- Fritted Disc Percs: There is just no other perc as powerful as the fritted disc percs. The amount of bubbles and thus surface area of these bubbles, makes all other percolators look like nothing.
2. Ash Catchers
Making use of ash catchers is another step in water filtration that will make sure that your smoke is significantly cooled down. One of the main reasons that people have coughing fits after a bong hit is due to improper filtration.
An ash catcher is a device that separates the bowl from the bong. This will keep ash from falling directly into your bong and possibly splashing up into your mouth. The majority of ash catchers will come with a built-in percolator for bongs that might need little extra cooling to balance out the severity of a harsh rip. Another significant advantage of using an ash catcher is that they gather most of the tar and dirtiness before your body or bong does. They’re also smaller and easier to clean, compared to whole bongs. This means that keeping hits fresh is a much easier process with an ash catcher.
Ash catchers bongs are available in many different sizes and designs, but they usually look like mini water pipes. Some of the most popular are glass ash catchers. They are typically sold as an accessory for water pipes or bongs and are designed to be easily added and removed from your favorite flower tube. Often, the ash catcher will be loaded up with scientific percs to filter the smoke before it hits the main chamber and perc of the bong. More percs mean smoother rips.
An important factor to consider when purchasing an ash catcher for your water pipe is weight. You can’t buy a huge six-inch tall ash catcher if you have a small water pipe that is standing less than ten inches. The ash catcher could make your bong top heavy, which would increase the likeliness of an accident or breakage.
If you are a keen water pipe user, then an ash catcher would be a great investment. Not only do they allow for a cleaner water pipe but they also enhance the flavor of the hit with added diffusion. The price usually ranges between $20 and $70, depending on the design and its added uses.
3. Hemp Wick
The hemp plant of today has many uses, from hemp seed products (bread, cookies, etc.), organic lotion, and even clothing. But one of the most innovative products created from the hemp plant has got to be hemp wick. Hemp plants and hemp plant products have been around for centuries, being used on clothing, ropes for sailors as they crossed bodies of water and food. But, the popularity of hemp wick has really risen within the past 20 years, since hemp has become less controversial and more legally available. This has got a lot to do with its health benefits, affordable pricing and because it’s easy to transport. In fact, most smokers wrap their wick around their lighters for easy usage and traveling.
As the name itself implies, hemp wick is wick that has been made from hemp fibers and is usually wrapped around a lighter so that it can be easily lit. The great thing about using a hemp wick lighter rather than a butane lighter is that you aren’t inhaling any of those harmful butane gases. While you do need to light the wick to get the flame going, none of the gases transfer to the wick, meaning none of those gases come into contact with your lungs. This ensures a healthier, smoother, and tastier hit. Hemp wick also gives you more control of the flame and allows you to corner your bowl with a lot more precision.
Adding a little practicality to the rising oil smoker market, you can now also purchase a hemp wick holder. This enables you to simply ball up your wick, place it in the storage pot and stick the end through the hole. This makes dabbing a lot easier and also minimizes the risk since rather than holding the wick itself, you can hold the pot instead.
Let’ take a quick look at some of the best hemp wick available on the market today:
- Bee Line Hemp Wick 200FT: If you are after organic hemp that is slow burning, then this one is for you. This is a clean way to light your bowl, joint or blunt.
- Bee Wix 420FT: This is one of the longer rolls of hemp wick, and it lasts a very long time. It isn’t as thickly quoted and doesn’t burn as slow as some of the others, but it is an excellent smoking product.
- Twisted Bee Hemp Wick 200FT: Also organic and slow burning, and it comes in two different sizes. It’s nice and thick and is also excellent quality.
- I-Tal Hemp Wick 15.5FT: This is a nice thick hemp wick that is very slow burning. This product will help you to get nice clean smoke, whether you’re smoking recreationally or for medicinal purposes.
- Humboldt Hemp Wick 100FT: Made from organic hemp and beeswax, this is a really good quality hemp wick. It’s not as slow burning as some of the others, but it works great to deliver clean hits.
4. Electronic Lighter
If you are looking to remove the need for butane completely, then you could opt to use electronic lighters. These often contain tin metal wires as heating elements; however, the more impressive ones come with ceramic heating elements which give some of the smoothest smoke that you can get from your weed. These are much better for smoking hash or kief mixed into a bowl.
Electronic lighters charge off a USB cord and port, and are also generally wind resistant, meaning that they won’t go out in a strong breeze. They operate much better and are of a much higher quality than most plastic lighters. Due to the electronic mechanics, they will light every time, as long as the battery remains charged. Most charges last for about a week, so they don’t need to be charged all that often, meaning that it is unlikely that you will find yourself in the position of needing to use your car lighter.
5. Ice Catcher
Ice bongs are among the most popular glass bongs. As the name suggests, ice bongs are bongs with an ice catcher. An ice catcher bong includes bulges in the tube on the bong, and therefore it’s possible to add ice cubes in the tube. The purpose of the bong ice catcher is to stop the ice from falling through the water chamber, to ensure the ice melts slowly and the smoke is cooled down.
Every smoker wants to enjoy a nice cool smoking experience which is why most opt for a bong with ice catcher. Adding ice allows the smoke to cool down a bit more before it reaches the lungs. Nowadays, almost every bong comes with an ice catcher. Over the years, it’s become a must-have feature. It’s usually just the small water pipes and pocket bongs that don’t come with one due to their size. Ice catchers can be discreet, made or pure glass, or you can get colorful ones.
Adding ice to the ice bong is easy, but you need to be careful when doing so. It’s not a good idea to just throw the ice in. Since ice cubes are fairly hard, they could break the glass ice holder if they fall down to fast. While the ice bongs are typically made of durable simax glass or pyrex, still remember that it’s only glass. The best way to add the ice is to incline the bong a bit, and slowly put the ice cubes in.
Another way to cool the smoke down without the need for ice is by means of a glycerin tube. The glycerin can be put in your freezer without expanding and breaking the glass. It also retains the cold for a long time which means you can get cool hits deep into your session.
6. Dosage of Packing Should Be Little Bigger
As you most probably already know, the first step to packing the bowl is to break up or grind the dried herbs using a herb grinder or even your fingers. It’s a good idea to use a herb grinder with a kief catcher to make sure that you save the valuable by-product for cooking or packing extra special bowls. Grinding the herbs don’t only preserve the kief but also leads to a smoother hit.
Now it’s time to pack the broken down weed into the bowl. With your finger, you can gently press on the pot, and repeat this step if necessary, until the pot is even. This is a delicate process. Packing too tightly can disrupt airflow while packing too loosely means that it won’t burn well enough, which could seriously affect your buzz. It’s suggested that you pack it lighter at the bottom and denser toward the top. The main goal at the end is to have an even bowl that has very little leftover. So you need to get in there and get your hands dirty.
It’s likely that the second and third time you take a hit, it will taste more like ash than the first. It’s all about trial and error. This is the only way to guarantee that you will get good at your craft. Eventually, you will find the perfect dosage for packing. The ultimate goal is to be smoking with taste. But the taste of your herb, rather than ash.
7. Use Only Good Smoking Matches
While butane lighters are arguably the most common way to light a pipe, joint or bong, they are not always a preferable way. In fact, smoking weed with matches could be a much healthier option. This is also the simplest way to light up, and it smells good.
If you are concerned about the taste of what you are smoking, which you should be, you might want to stay away from butane. In other words, stay away from lighters. One of the biggest factors when it comes to matches vs lighter weed is that Environmental Working Group (EWG) has claimed that the butane used in products like lighters could be an allergen to people who are sensitive to it. Butane fumes can irritate the skin and eyes, and when inhaled, it could cause damage to the lung tissue.
When used in large quantities, butane can also increase heart rate and lead to neurotoxicity. While butane has potential to cause serious harm, the chance that it would affect someone who is using it is very low. However, for heavy smokers, it’s advised to minimize your butane exposure. Therefore using matches to smoke weed is a much healthier option. Another great advantage of matches is that they never run out of fluid, while, of course, lighters frequently do. But, the most notable difference has to be the taste. Lighters often leave a funky taste in your mouth. While this is not a major problem for everyone, it definitely does irritate some people. If that’s the case, then grab yourself some good smoking matches.
Final Thoughts on How to Get Better Bong Rips
Loading a bong is a fairly simple process. Place the weed in the bowl, light it up, and then smoke it. Over the years of smoking with glass, you learn tricks along the way to give yourself a more enjoyable bong smoking experience. Hopefully, this article has put you on the right path to gaining better bong rips.
When it comes to the question of hemp wick or electronic lighter, hemp wick is certainly the answer. It gives a clearer taste and a more authentic experience. Hemp wick is the ultimate life hack in the world of stoners, where everyone is looking to make things simpler. It’s proven to be the thriftiest and most beneficial companion. It’s not only a fresh and clean option, but it’s also easy to implement into your routine.
If you follow these seven tips, you might just be the next Snoop Dogg. While many people think you need years of experience to master the bong; the secret is technique, not tolerance.