Today’s cannabis enthusiasts may be enjoying the highest quality cannabis that’s ever existed in the history of the plant. But if you haven’t invested in the proper equipment to consume it with, you might be engaging in the cannabis equivalent of drinking Dom Perignon out of a juice box.
You wouldn’t pop the cork on an expensive, aged Pinot Noir and proceed to drink it straight out of the bottle; you use a wine glass. In an era when cannabis is both at its highest point in quality and price, why don’t we afford the same luxury to our favourite strains? Like cannabis itself, bongs have grown up in the age of legal cannabis. It’s time to shelve your acrylics and home-made water bottle bongs and invest in something you can proudly display next to your best crystal.
Even those who typically prefer smoking joints might consider shelving their rolling papers and making the switch. From better filtration, to more precise dosing, conserving more cannabis, getting bigger but smoother hits, promoting sustainability, or even the simple fact of being fun and ornamental, bongs can greatly enhance your cannabis experience.
Here are our five most convincing reasons for why you should start using a bong.
But before, check out our pick for the best bong of 2020:
Bongs are not just a way to consume cannabis; they’re cannabis artwork. Just like the vases, sculptures, and fine glassware that adorn your home, a bong is a decorative accessory that adds to the aesthetic of your home. And like the clothes you wear, and the paintings you hang, a bong is something that can be used to define your individuality, and express your personality.
Do you use a massive piece of glass with percolators, kinks, and ice-catchers? Or are you more on the classy side—someone who enjoys a sleek and modern design, like The Session Bong? While joints may vary slightly in terms of the paper’s material, size or shape, they all generally look the same: the cannabis version of a cigarette. A bong is always personalized.
A bong is similar to the tableware you buy to eat your food on, and consume your beverages—something that adds value to the aesthetic of your home. Put simply, a stylish bong on your coffee table is a centrepiece. An ashtray full of joints on your coffee table is a mess to clean up, and a visual eyesore. This leads us into our next point: using a bong can help to keep your house clean.
Despite our best efforts to keep our cannabis consumption from creating a mess in our homes, the reality is, where there is combustion, there is ash. The real question is, how do you best contain ash and other by-products of the smoking?
Those who regularly smoke joints at home will recognize this familiar scene: a dirty ashtray on the middle of the coffee table, black soot spilling out of its sides, with half-smoked roaches (that you didn’t want mixed-up with the fully-smoked roaches) scattered around the rest of your home.
Due to a mix of laziness, forgetfulness, or maybe just by design, joint-smoking is not always conducive to keeping a clean home. Bongs, on the other hand, keep everything well contained within a singular unit. And since you typically consume the entire bowl of cannabis in one go, you don’t have to worry about leaving a trail of ash or half-consumed cannabis products around your home.
When it comes to bongs, the only cleaning you have to worry about is the bong itself. And with the right bong, even this is no more difficult than cleaning out a wine-glass after using it, or washing your plate in the sink after eating.
If you’re looking for a bong that’s easy to maintain, go simple. While the complicated designs with kinks and swirls, percolators and ice-catchers may look cool, they can be next-to-impossible to maintain. And that fancy aesthetic can be quickly tainted by a buildup of grime. Instead, we recommend going for something more simple. A modern and elegant design, like the Session Bong, not only looks more mature, but is also incredibly quick to clean. This is owed to its sleek, straight-shaft design, and is further aided by Session Goods’ cleaning caps which lets you fill the bong with a simple mix of rubbing alcohol and salt, plug its mouthpiece and shaft, and give it a thorough shake. This lets you clean your bong in a matter of seconds, maintaining it the same as you would a drinking glass.
One of the biggest problems that today’s cannabis consumer faces is dosing. Every type of cannabis flower has its own specific level of THC, and while you can roughly eyeball the amount of flower you’re consuming, without actually weighing it before consumption, it’s tough to know if you’re smoking 0.1 grams or 0.3 grams. The problem of dosing is amplified depending on your smoking method. Take joints, for example. Every joint is a different size, and every puff you take will vary in terms of the amount of flower burned and smoke inhaled. Sure, you can commit to taking just “two puffs” off a joint, but how big are those puffs?
While bongs are not a foolproof way of delivering consistent dosing either, they at least have the advantage of being a single-serving form of consumption. You fill your bowl-piece up to a specific level, take a hit, and then put the bong down. You can clearly see how much cannabis you’re consuming, and have the ability to fill your bowl-piece up to a consistent level each time you smoke.
If you want to control your dosing even more, you can measure out specific quantities of cannabis using a scale, and store them (in jars, bags, containers, etc.) as single portions. You can then consume these single portions easily using a bong. A joint, on the other hand, may be difficult to roll with such a small quantity of cannabis. This is why many joint smokers will roll larger joints, take a select number of puffs, then extinguish the joint to be consumed again at a later time. While this may work for some cannabis consumers, it can very quickly cause a strong burnt-cannabis odour to permeate your space. Those who want to be more precise with their dosing—especially without stinking up their home—should consider using a bong.
Think cannabis is a cheaper option than a bottle of wine, or 12-pack of beer? If you’re a cannabis enthusiast who regularly smokes joints, that might not be the case.
A gram of even medium-quality cannabis in today’s legal market, according to Budzu, costs almost $13, while a gram of high quality cannabis costs nearly $15. If you’re smoking that entire gram in joints, that may only translate to three joints that you can roll with each gram (depending on the size of joint you normally roll). For serious cannabis enthusiasts, that might only last one day.
In other words, if you’re a cannabis enthusiast who smokes joints every day and enjoys high quality cannabis, you may end up spending $15 a day just on cannabis. Owch. The exorbitantly high cost of quality cannabis is what drives many cannabis lovers to settle for subpar, cheaper cannabis. If you want to avoid this cheap-weed tragedy from befalling you, there are two options: cut down on the amount of cannabis you consume, or change your consumption method.
In the cannabis community, bongs are widely considered to be the most efficient way to consume cannabis. That’s because with the amount of cannabis you might use to roll a single joint, you may be able to smoke five hits out of a bong.
By conserving more cannabis, you may find yourself with enough money in your budget to afford better quality cannabis. Interestingly enough, this ability to afford higher-quality, more potent cannabis may help you form healthier consumption habits. This leads us into our next point: using a bong may be a healthier way to consume cannabis.
There’s a lack of research around how different consumption habits—joints compared to bongs, for example—impact on your health. However, Dr. Dale Gieringer, the state coordinator of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) California and director of the Drug Policy Forum (DPFCA), proposes what seems to be a novel idea for those looking to adopt healthier consumption habits. According to Dr. Gieringer, if you insist on smoking your cannabis, “the easiest way for most smokers to avoid harmful smoke toxins may be simply to smoke stronger marijuana.” That’s because with more potent cannabis, you can consume less overall plant matter to achieve the same type of effect.
The basic idea here is simple: bongs help you conserve more cannabis, which saves you money, freeing up your cannabis budget to purchase higher-quality (in this case meaning more potent) flower, which therefore allows you to consume less plant matter to get the same effects. (Not to mention that, comparatively, smoking a joint also means smoking the paper that the flower is rolled in.)
While the healthiest way to consume cannabis is with a dry-herb vaporizer or edibles, many cannabis consumers find it hard to adapt to the thinner vapor they produce, finding themselves at a loss in terms of flavour, the immediacy of the effects, and even the satisfaction some get from inhaling smoke. Edibles, for their part, can take an hour or more to kick in, last longer, and produce effects that not all cannabis consumers enjoy. While smoke is undoubtedly not healthy for the lungs, if you’re looking for a healthier way to inhale smoke, you may want to consider a bong.
Another reason why bongs may be a much healthier way to consume cannabis smoke comes down to the filtration that water provides, compared to a joint or pipe, which often don’t provide any sort of filtration whatsoever. While this is still subject to debate in the cannabis community, one study from the University of Texas in conjunction with researchers from Harvard’s Schools of Public Health found that passing cannabis smoke through water effectively removed two toxic substances, acrolein and acetaldehyde. Inhaling these substances negatively impacts both one of the lung’s major defence cells, and the immune system in general. In other words, passing your cannabis smoke through water (i.e. using a bong) could have less of a negative impact on your immune system.
If you want to get the full sensory experience of smoking cannabis, nothing packs a flavor punch like a bong. With an air-tight delivery system, and the water in your chamber acting as a filter, a bong offers a much more pure, full-bodied, and smooth hit than other smoking methods.
The tools you use to consume your flower will drastically change your sensory experience in the same way that cooking with a cast iron pan enhances the flavor of your food. You would never catch a professional chef dead searing a ribeye steak in a cheap non-stick skillet. Neither should you expect to get the full experience of your cannabis flower if you’re consuming it in a joint, pipe, or poor-quality bong.
To fully bring out your cannabis flower’s unique terpenes and aromatics, and get the full flavor profile of each strain, we recommend using a bong.
What bong do we recommend using? Read the next section to find out.
If you’re looking for a bong that is simple to use, quick to clean, and elegant enough to serve as a coffee table centrepiece when your mom comes over, we recommend the Sessions Bong.
The genius of this bong is in its simplicity. Small details like an angled mouthpiece, and ergonomically designed hand grip, makes the process of this bong effortless. With a sturdy downstem made from borosilicate glass, silicone footer that indicates the ideal waterline, interchangeable accessories, and easy cleaning capability, the Sessions Bong is everything you need in a smoking companion.
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