smoking out of water pipes

smoking out of bongs and water pipesSMOKING 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 bongs and water pipes beaker straight bubble

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

beaker bong or water pipeThese 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.

They work hand in hand with bowls, removable downstems and concentrate nails. Because of their shape, they are relatively easy to clean and consequently require less cleaning.

For medical purposes, like smoking of weed to alleviate a given condition, beaker water pipes are the best.

Straight Water Pipes

Straight bong or water pipe graphicStraight 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

round or bubble bong or water pipe vector graphicThese 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.

Ice Catcher

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 perc for bong or water pipe

  • 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.

    • honey comb perc bong water pipe graphicHoneycomb 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 perc bong water pipe graphicMatrix 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.

  • inline perc bong water pipe graphicInline Percolator- these are horizontal tubes containing several slits. The number of slits determines how effective the percolator works. It is directly proportional, the more the number of slits the more the percolation. Mostly used to compliment other percolators which should be placed above it.

  • fritted disc perc bong water pipeFritted Disc Percolator- they resemble the honeycomb perc only that they have more holes. The more holes allow more 'bubbling'. That is to mean more smoke coming your way.

  • spiral perc bong water pipeSpiral Percolator- commonly called coil percolator. It brings the smoke through a coil that allows continuous cooling before it gets up providing longer and smoother drags as compared to other percs.

  • shower head perc bong water pipe graphicShowerhead Percolator- they contain two tubes, a larger and smaller. The smaller one connects the main chamber and the larger tube redirects the smoke to another percolator. It ensures the smoke passes the chamber many times before finally inhaling it.

  • turbine perc bong water pipeTurbine Percolators- they are designed to allow water to go up the pipe through sides. This allows for effective filtration with great visuals.

  • downstem for bong water pipeDownstem Percolator- this is just a tube that ensures continuous airflow. Initially, it separated dry pipes from water pipes.

  • Fabergé Egg Percolator- it works well when paired with another percolator. It cannot work on its own. When pairing it with another percolator, place them close to ensure the smoke gets enough surface area to spread out and give more bubbles.
  • Benefits of Water Pipes bongs

    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.

    Ash and other by-products from combustion are very small to be noticed in smoke, but cannot go through water. To make this even better, add an ash-catcher attachment to your bong walls.

    Smooth Hits

    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.

    Bigger Hits

    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.

    More Fun

    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.


    Disclaimer: The content provided in this blog post is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information discussed is not intended to encourage or promote the illegal use of cannabis or any related activities that may be unlawful in your jurisdiction. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of any other individual or organization. The author and publisher of this blog post disclaim any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is the responsibility of the reader to comply with all applicable laws regarding cannabis in their respective jurisdictions. This blog post does not replace the need for professional legal counsel. If you have any legal concerns or questions regarding cannabis use or related activities, it is strongly advised that you consult with a qualified legal professional. 

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