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When it comes to getting the most out of your cannabis experience, something as simple as clean bong water can make all of the difference. An unkempt water pipe makes the perfect home for pathogens like bacteria and fungi. But, can you get sick from dirty bong water? Here’s the scoop on why you should change your water and clean your pipes.

Can you get sick from dirty bong water?

Can You Get 1 Can You Get Sick From Dirty Bong Water?
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The short answer to this question is yes, you can get sick from dirty bong water. Like almost any wet, dank environment, stagnant water in bongs and water pipes is prone to bacteria and fungus. Have you ever noticed a pink film or black spots show up on a shower or bathtub?

That pink stuff is fungus and some of the same types of fungus can grow in your bong. Fusarium, for example, is one common fungus that typically grows in damp locations, like bathrooms.

This same pathogen is also known to destroy a cannabis plant or two. Fusarium is just one of many water-borne fungi that can potentially cause you to feel sick or get an infection if inhaled.

Molds tend to develop around percolators and reclaims, which are the most difficult places to clean. While molds can vary in color and appearance, the most common include pink, green, black, gray, and white molds.

If inhaled, mold spores can cause symptoms of:

  • Allergy
  • Headache
  • Coughing, chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • General malaise, feeling sick
  • Red, itchy eyes, blurred vision
  • Lung infection (bronchitis, pneumonia)

Of course, there are some variables to consider, such as your climate, the level of junk in the bong water, and the overall strength of your immune system.

For example, if you have been under stress than there is a good chance that your immune system is suppressed. When your immune system is down, you’re more likely to be affected by that bong water that you haven’t changed in two weeks.  To solve this problem, simply keep your water pipes clean.

How often should I change my bong water?

Can You Get 2 Can You Get Sick From Dirty Bong Water?
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Water in bongs, bubblers, oil rigs and other water pipe devices should be changed at least once a day. Or, for lighter consumers, before each time you spark up for a new smoke sesh.

The more dedicated consumers change their water after each bowl, though that isn’t exactly necessary. A good rule of thumb for all of the lazy folk out there is that if it smells, it is well past due for a change.

If your pieces are stored outside in a garage or in another damp place like a basement, it’s important to rinse out your pieces before use, as condensation can collect overnight and promote fungal and bacterial growth in the piece.

Stale water tastes nasty anyway, so keeping pieces clean and regularly switching out the water and ice will greatly enhance the overall cannabis experience.  Not only does clean water keep you healthy, but a clean piece allows you to really get the most of the delicious flavor and aromas of your cannabis.

Each cannabis plant produces its own unique fingerprint of tastes, aromas, and effects. As stale water, oils, condensation, mildews, and ash collect over time, they drastically distort the taste of the bud.

Not to mention, inhaling grime and potential mold spores can cause unwanted chest pain and headaches, which take away from the happy, and relaxing qualities of that famous cannabis high.

Want to learn how to properly clean your bong? Check out the article here.

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Delilah Butterfield

Delilah Butterfield is a Pacific Northwest native with a passion for cannabis and natural health. Contact her on Twitter @delilahbfield.
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