As the cannabis industry matures and smoking technology improves, you would think the bong would fall out of favor. You would be wrong. Here are bong etiquette tips that everyone should follow.
Most cannabis enthusiasts hang onto their water-filtrated device for many reasons:
- It is a smoother smoke than joints or pipes
- It is a functional piece of art that matches the owner’s personality
- It is a communal, sharable experience
- Tradition! It is one of those cannabis customs that just won’t die
A typical bong includes a slider bowl which leads to a chamber filled with water. Users draw water-filtered smoke from a mouthpiece. The bowl is located near the base of the device and is inserted into the body of the bong where the water sits. The water, allows the smoke to filter through the water before hitting the lungs, providing for a smoother experience. As the smoke is drawn through the water, it helps cool the smoke which not only helps in filtering those unwanted carcinogens and ash, it also helps in cooling the smoke.
Glass, Ceramic Or Acrylic?
Most bong enthusiasts will tell you that glass is the only way to go. Not only is glass considered the best conduit for the smoke, it is aesthetically pleasing. Glass artists around the globe still make stunning pieces of functional art.
Glass bongs are pricier and are, obviously, more fragile than others. But consider it more than a device to smoke marijuana; it is an extension of your artistic sensibilities.
Ceramic and acrylic bongs do the job just fine, so if cost or durability is important to you, these are for you.
Your Bong Experience:
Clean it: First of all, keep it clean! Nobody wants to put his or her mouth on a filthy bong. Even if the mouthpiece is clean, it is just good manners to take good care of your piece – especially if you are going to share it with others. Sure, your best friend won’t mind, but is that how you treat a friend?
Just add water: Add enough fluid to the chamber to allow the pipe to be under water. And, yes, water is what you want to put in your bong. Juice, booze or soda may sound great, but it does little to enhance the experience. Stick with H20. If you take a draw and water gets in your mouth, you’ve overfilled the chamber. Simply pour water out until the slider is submerged and you get a nice bubbly sound.
Fill the bowl: How many of you will be partaking? And how big is your bowl? Those are really the only two questions you need to ask. Let’s assume you have a standard-sized bowl and you are sharing with two friends. Fill the bowl about half full (¾ gram or so) of cannabis. You can put ground cannabis in your bowl or a chunk off of a bud. Either will work, although I prefer unground bud.
Bong etiquette: The supplier of the herb usually gets to go first. When lighting, make sure your lighter captures just a corner of the pipe – do NOT burn off the entire top layer of green. Ideally, there will be enough “fresh green” to allow the second user to get some. Burning the top layer of green all for yourself is akin to picking out all the exotic nuts in a can of mixed nuts and leaving the peanuts for everyone else. Can you say party foul?
Take it Easy: There is no need to overwhelm your lungs with heavy smoke. You don’t want to cough up a lung – especially on your first turn. Put the mouthpiece around your lips, light the herb in the bowl and gently inhale the smoke until you feel it in your lungs. Stop inhaling and hold it for a second or two before exhaling.
Don’t ‘Hold the Microphone’: Once you are handed the bong, take your turn and pass it to the next person. Do NOT keep talking about your cute dog or your obnoxious co-worker. This is called “holding he microphone” and is bad form. First of all, nobody is listening to your story; they are all waiting for you to pass the bong. Secondly, you are wasting precious cannabis. Waste not, want not.
Pass to the Left: After you have had your turn (one of two solid draws), carefully pass the bong to the person on your left. Why? Who knows. It’s just the way polite cannabis society does it. By consistently passing the same direction, you ensure that everybody takes their turn and gets what they need. Note: Pass the lighter, too.
Know Your Limit: Just because the bong has come around to you again, there is no need to continue. This is NOT an Olympic competition; it is supposed to be an enjoyable, relaxing and social experience. Simply take the bong and hand it to the person on your left.
Blowing the Ghost: When the herb is done, the ashy residue usually gets sucked into the water chamber. This is what is called “cashing the bowl” or caching the bowl” — experts just can’t seem to agree on the proper spelling. But all it means is that you either need to fill up the bowl again or put the bong down and enjoy your experience. If the bowl is done while it is your turn, tell the person to your left that the bowl is empty. It’s like handing someone an empty bottle of wine. Who would do that to a friend? Don’t be that smoker.
Watch Your Hygiene: Do you think you may be getting that bug that’s going around? Do you have a cold sore on your lip? Do you have a slight cough? Don’t partake in the party. This is the time for you to either abstain or use a personal device.
If You Break a Bong, You Own the Bong: Yep. Those are the rules. Sorry.