So you've decided to treat yourself to a new water pipe and you've picked up some kush. But...now what? If you've never smoked from a bong before, it can be a daunting experience. Most of us had someone more experienced than ourselves to guide us through that first bong hit. Those of us with good enough friends even handled the lighting and bowl pulling - making it super simple!
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But perhaps you're not quite as lucky. Maybe you're on your own and you need someone to walk you through how to use a bong. If that's the case, you're in the right place. Today, we're going to provide a step-by-step guide on how to use a water pipe to smoke weed. This guide is geared towards first-time users looking for the ins and outs of using a bong. But, it's a good refresher if you've been out of the game for a while.
By the end of this article, you'll feel confident in packing a bowl and sparking it. But before we teach you the step-by-step process of how to use a bong, we want to address an important question: how does a water bong work? Let's take a look.
How Does A Water Bong Work?
How does a water bong work, you ask? It's all about filtration. There are so many different styles out there, and many of these styles are designed to enhance filtration and provide a smoother smoke. This is why people prefer water pipes to other ways to smoke weed. Even the best pipes can't provide the smooth, clean hit that a quality water bong will. Here's how it works:
When you light the bowl and inhale through the mouthpiece, the smoke is drawn through water before your lungs. This cools the smoke down and adds a level of filtration that provides a smoother hit - despite how much larger the bong rip is than your typical pen hit.
Some bong designs take this filtration even further - through percolation. Percolation adds an extra water chamber that adds even more filtration for the smoke before passing onto your lungs. If you really want to dive deep into how bongs work, you can learn about the different types of percolators - and which provides the greatest level of filtration.
However, that is a topic for another day. Personally, we don't really feel that percolation is necessary if you have a quality bong and good weed. In fact, percolation may filter your smoke too much in some cases, causing you to draw harder than you'd like. Furthermore, percs are a hassle to clean.
So, now that you know more about how a water bong works, it's time to get into the main topic at hand today: how to use a water pipe to smoke weed!
How To Use A Water Pipe(Bong) To Smoke Weed: Step By Step Guide
Ready to learn how to use a water pipe to smoke weed? While you may be a bit overwhelmed looking at that scientific piece of glass in front of you, it's not as complicated as it may seem. Once you've taken a few bong rips it will become second nature - you won't even really think about it, sort of like breathing!
And with our simple step-by-step guide, you'll spark that lighter with confidence when you take that first pull. Let's start with the an obvious first step in how to use a water pipe to smoke weed: assembling the bong itself.
Step 1) Assemble The Water Bong (If You Haven't Already)
If you just bought your bong online or at a store, it won't come assembled. You'll typically have the main glass beaker or tube, a downstem, and a bowl. Remove all the bubble wrap to expose these three components.
Then, we recommend taking all of these components and giving them a good, thorough rinse before using them. Why? Whether you buy your bong in-store or online, there is a chance it could have traces of dust and other impurities from manufacturing, shipping, and storage. While there is usually no real cause for concern, you might as well take the 30 seconds it takes to achieve peace of mind.
Once you've rinsed and dried all three components, piece them together. Stand your bong upright on a safe, solid surface (away from pets or children that can knock it over). Then, put your downstem in the bong. You can then put the bowl in your downstem - or, set it to the side as you'll need to pack it later on.
Step 2) Add Fresh Water To The Bong
The next step is adding water to your bong. And you want to pay attention here - because this is a step where many new bong owners slip up. There is a fine line between too much water and not enough. The sweet spot can be tricky to find - and frankly, you may have to go through some trial and error.
The goal is to add enough water that the slits in your downstem are fully immersed in water - but not so much that you find it difficult to draw and you're not getting the function you want. You can test this out by the sink. Add water and check to ensure that the downstem slits are underwater while you're actively pulling from the bong.
You want to simulate the smoking experience to ensure you have the perfect amount. If you need a bit more, add some. If you have more than you need, empty a bit out. Simple as that.
We encourage you to add fresh water to your bong every day. With that said, let's proceed to step three - packing up your first bowl.
Step 3) Pack Your Bowl
Packing a bowl is always an enjoyable experience. To us, it's one of the best parts of the process. There is an art to packing a good bowl. Pack it too tight and you won't be able to get easy clean rips. If you pack it too loose, you'll struggle to get the bowl to actually light. An essential tool in every stoner's arsenal - especially when it comes to how to use a bong - is the grinder.
The grinder will get your flower in the perfect consistency for rolling joints or blunts - but also for packing bowls. Some smokers prefer to break their weed down by hand, but this isn't easy - you can end up with too large of chunks that ruin the smoking experience.
You also risk losing potency as you forcefully break down the bud and pull trichomes off that stick to your fingers. Plus, let's face it - who wants to break down weed by hand? Work smarter, not harder! A quality grinder will transform the way you smoke weed - and it makes packaging bowls a breeze.
Grind up a nug, and open the grinder to expose the freshly ground flower. Take your bowl with your other hand, and scoop the weed into the bowl. An easy way to go about this is to get all the weed in one side of the grinder, put the bowl up to the rim of the grinder, and use one finger to push the weed in. Be sure you're doing this over a counter or table to catch any spillage.
In terms of the actual "bowl packing", be sure to gauge how much you're going to smoke. Are you taking one bong hit and calling it quits? Pack a one-hitter. Do you have friends over? Pack a fatty. Just be sure you've packed the weed down in your bowl nice and tight. But not too tight - remember, that will prevent you from actually getting the smoke to pull through the downstem and into your lungs. Put your bowl back in the downstem, and prepare for lift-off!
Step 4) Light The Bowl & Slowly Inhale
Now comes the fun part - and the moment you've anxiously been awaiting. It's time to actually spark that bowl up! We encourage you to sit down somewhere comfortable and have a table or counter in front of you. Take the bong with one hand and your lighter or hemp wick with the other. Put your lips inside the mouthpiece and start slowly inhale. Once the water pipe starts functioning and water is bubbling, light the bowl.
If you're smoking alone, go nuts with the lighter or hemp wick. If you're with guests, though, good etiquette is to be more surgical with how you light the bowl so everyone around can get some greens. Once you see that red cherry in the bowl, you can put the lighter or hemp wick down and prepare for the next step - removing the bowl and clearing the hit.
Step 5) Remove The Bowl From The Downstem & Clear The Bong
It's important to keep your eye on how much smoke is accumulating in the smoke chamber of your water pipe - you want to get a good rip, but you don't want to bite off more than you can chew. Remember - bong rips pack a serious punch.
Once you see enough smoke in the chamber, you can remove the bowl from the downstem and clear the water pipe. You will inhale more aggressively to get all the smoke from the chamber. If you can manage, hold the rip for a second or two before exhaling to ensure your body gets all of those magical little cannabinoids in your system. Exhale all that smoke out, and enjoy the ride you're about to take!
Step 6) Finish The Bowl & Ash It
If you packed a one-hitter, you may have pulled the contents of the bowl all the way through and there is nothing left. If you packed a bigger bowl for yourself, you can set the bong down while you relax before your next hit. Or if you're with friends, pass the water pipe to the next lucky contestant.
Whatever you do, you'll want to ensure you ash the bowl once you're done with it. Get all the charred weed into an ash tray (or down a toilet if you don't have an ash tray). The longer you leave it in your bowl to sit, the dirtier your bowl will be - and the more work you'll have to do the next time you want to smoke. Your future self will thank you if you just ash the bowl when you're done!
Step 7) Pack Another - Or, Clean The Bong For Next Time!
After you've washed the bowl, you'll have an important decision to make - are you going to pack another, or are you chillin'? If you decide to call it quits for a while and enjoy the high, we encourage you to put the water pipe somewhere safe and out of reach. The last thing you want is a curious cat or child to knock your bong over and shatter it. Keep it in a cabinet or somewhere it can't fall.
Final Thoughts On How To Use A Water Pipe To Smoke Weed
There you have it - you know how to use a water pipe to smoke weed. While it may have seemed a bit daunting at first, you can now see how simple and straightforward it is. If you can, it may be worth inviting a more seasoned smoker in your friend group over to assist you.
Let's face it - no one is going to turn down an invite to try a new bong with some free weed! Otherwise, this guide will serve you well on your quest to conquer that first bowl in your new bong. We hope you enjoy!
If you're just doing some research before you actually go about buying a bong, we've got some incredible recommendations that you're sure to love. Our article on the coolest bongs features some glass pieces you won't find anywhere else. We've also got an article on the best water pipes of 2022 that is worth a read.
And if you want to grab everything else you need to smoke that glass bong for the first time, take a look at our awesome modern smoking accessories. From portable water pipes to ash trays, rolling trays, storage jars, and everything else you may need. We've got it all - head over to the site and take a look for yourself!
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