SMOKING OUT OF WATER PIPES
As the name suggests, smoking out of water pipes can be simply defined as passing smoke through water before inhaling it at the other end. Any kind of smoke can pass through water. Tobacco and cannabis smoke are typically similar with a few differences of their composition.
These water pipes used for smoking are called bongs (the word originated from a Chinese word 'baung' which is a bamboo tree resembling a pipe used for smoking). Sometimes called billy, bigger, or bubbler (because the smoke bubbles through the water).
Cannabis smoke contains all active components including CBD, THC, other cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and other fine particulates commonly called ash. Just like tobacco smoke, cannabis smoke to contains hydrocarbons that are harmful to the lungs.
Is smoking out water pipes dangerous? How is it done? What are the benefits? Are all questions plus more that will linger in your mind when smoking out of the pipe is mentioned. Worry no more.
In this article, you will know all about how to smoke out of water pipes, the different water pipes, and the benefits.
How Does the Water Pipe Work
Bongs are available in all sizes, designs, materials, and shapes, ranging from simple to complex. But they all serve the same purpose. Their major role is to cool and filter the smoke before it gets to your lungs.
Generally, the bong has a bowl where you place your dry cannabis. When you light, combustion starts taking place as the smoke is directed into the water. Immediately you light, suck to increase pressure forcing the smoke to go through the water instead of dissolving.
As you suck, the water in the bong bubbles while the smoke rises through the chamber to your mouth and finally to the lungs.
The surface area covered by smoke is large making cooling faster which helps the lungs to easily handle the smoke. Some bongs are designed in a way that allows you to add ice cubes for further cooling.
The water traps all solid materials however small they can be. Only fine smoke-free of contaminants are allowed to go through. To enhance filtration and cooling, use a bong with many percolators.
Wondering what percolators are? More about them will be discussed later in this article.
Types of Smoking Water Pipes
As mentioned earlier, smoking water pipes are of different sizes, designs, materials, and shapes. Below are the common types and how they function.
Beaker Water Pipes
These pipes have a wider base with a narrow neck. Unlike the straight pipes, beaker pipes hold more water on their wide base which enhances filtration and cooling.
For medical purposes, like smoking of weed to alleviate a given condition, beaker water pipes are the best.
Straight Water Pipes
Straight water pipes resemble the normal pipes which have a uniform cylindrical shape from top to bottom. They are simple to use with no complications. Their functionality is similar to that of beaker water pipes but with relatively little water at the base.
They contain a bowl protruding from one side close to the base where you place your dry cannabis before you light. It usually makes smoking out of water pipes look so simple as this is just straightforward.
Round Base Water Pipes
These water pipes look similar to beaker water pipes with a slight difference in the base. They have sphere-shaped bottoms that are flat.
They are relatively more stable than the straight water pipes because of their base area but not as stable as the beaker water pipes.
Recycler/ Multi-chamber Water Pipes
Contains two or more straight water pipes interconnected. They are connected in a way to allow smoke to move around the two or three tubes before getting to your mouth.
There are two chambers involved and each has water in it. The smoke has two undergo a double filtration process before inhaling.
These are bongs with the ability to hold ice cubes without falling to the base of the bong. The ice cubes are located above all the percolators. Here is where the final filtration process takes place before inhaling the smoke.
Their main purpose is fine filtration. After the initial stage of filtration, the smoke is passed through ice to lower the smoke temperatures further and remove any contaminant that might have escaped the first stage.
Monitor the water levels as you continue smoking, remember the ice melts, adding more water to the base of the pipe. Empty it slowly during the process.
A percolator called perc in short, is a gadget present in the bong used to enhance filtration and cooling of smoke. The main function of bongs is to smoothen the smoking experience, and the percolators help bongs achieve this function effectively.
The percs exist in different styles and each of them functions slightly in a different manner but the final results are similar. Below are the different styles in which you can find percolators;
Tree Percolator -Called tree because of the rods they contain in the bong tubes that look like a tree with branches. There are few slits in the limbs, for this case the branches of the rods, which allow for diffusion during smoking. This kind of percolator requires careful handling as it breaks easily.
Honeycomb Percolator- the name is derived from their shape that looks like the honeycombs. Their shape makes them more efficient for filtration. Additionally, they do filtration while keeping the process constant. Because of their three or more honeycombs, the smoke has ample time to cool and undergo filtration.
Matrix Percolators- these are normally located at the center and plenty of spaces left between them. They operate almost the same way as showerhead percolators. Their top holes are resistant making the lower holes bring less smoke.
Benefits of Water Pipes
Water pipes have existed since the time of homosapiens. What was the main reason for inventing this method of smoking? Were there benefits? Below are major benefits of using water pipes;
High Levels of Filtration
Combustion of plant materials results in the production of toxins and carcinogens. These are cancer-causing agents. To avoid this, bongs are required to trap them as you smoke.
Unfortunately, bongs cannot fully capture these carcinogens, but to a greater extent better than directly inhaling smoke. Filtration also helps to trap other harmful solid compounds from getting to your lungs.
Burning cannabis and smoking it directly leads to irritation on the throat as the smoke goes down. Inhaling hot smoke using rolling paper, dry pipes, blunts will make you feel a burning sensation on the throat that may discourage you from smoking again.
Bongs contain water at the bottom to cool the smoke before it gets to your lungs through the throat. This does not however rule out coughing. You may cough occasionally and that is absolutely normal.
Deep hits are not healthy, but experienced stoners love the deep hit. This looks easy since the smoke has already been filtered. For newbies, begin with small hits before graduating to greater hits.
Reduced Mold and Bacteria
Water in bongs is able to trap mold and bacteria lowering the number of microbes getting to your lungs through smoke. Bongs filter these molds and bacteria using the clean water at the base.
To ensure this is effectively done, use clean water all the time. Clean water traps more contaminants than already used water. You can use a glass cleaner to clean your Water Pipe.
Bongs are great fun, especially when having it as a group. It is important to wipe the mouth of the bong to avoid transmission of infections.
It is evident that smoking out of water pipes is by far the best form of smoking. Instead of joints and blunts that make your smoking experience feel like hell, bongs will ensure you no longer inhale toxins and other contaminants from papers used to roll blunts.
Always make sure to use clean water for filtration. Hygiene is important when dealing with anything that is getting into your body. Already used water does not filter as perfectly as clean water does. Clean your bong thoroughly in case you are using it with your friends.
After smoking you will visually see the water become dirty as a result of trapping dirt. Using a water pipe is the modern way to go.