The whole purpose of a bong is to get more bang for your buck. The bong filters out cannabis smoke to optimize the medical or recreational effects. Bongs come in hundreds of configurations and materials, but the mechanism remains the same. If you understand how a Bong works, you should see the need to change your bong water regularly.
What’s in a bong?
Bongs have a container for water. The container may be round and bulbous or tall and slim. Regardless of shape, a Bong has an opening with a Mouthpiece. A Percolator sits near the bottom of the container connected by a tube or Downstem to a removable Bowl on the outside.
The general idea requires users to fill the container partially with water and crushed ice. You load the Bowl with dry cannabis. While lighting the cannabis, you draw smoke through the apparatus to the Mouthpiece.
The water in the Bong serves at least two purposes:
It cools the smoke, so you avoid the harsh dry heat that comes with smoking a joint.
It removes some of the toxins associated with the combustion process, maximizing the cannabinoid effects.
Because it filters the smoke, using a Bong may be slightly better for your lungs than smoking. That makes us look at reasons you should change your bong water regularly.
10 reasons to change your bong water regularly
People have studied the filtration process since the days when cigarette smoking was the norm. As producers and smokers learned more about tobacco’s role in lung cancer, they looked to mechanisms that would reduce the carcinogens. Filter cigarettes half convinced producers and smokers that there was no harm in smoking. However, it is hard to put a filter in a self-made joint.
It made sense, then, to adopt the mechanics behind the tradition of hookahs. Under ideal conditions, water will eliminate 50% of dangerous hydrocarbons and 90% of cardiovascular toxins. However, it is also true that the filtered carcinogens remain in the water.
Improved Filtration: If you use the bong and let the water sit, the toxins and irritants float about, invisible at first. That debris multiplies with each use, so the fluid physics reduces its ability to filter.
Smoother Flavor: The stale and dirty water contains tars and carbon ash. They will alter the flavor and cannabinoid effects of the cannabis strain on which you spent good money.
Bong Longevity: Dirty water will clog pipes, percolators, and other parts. The Bong is a mechanical device subject to wear and tear; clean water assures longer life over multiple uses.
Saving Stash: You will use less dry herb if your bong water is clean. With clean water in a clean Bong, you will not use as much of the “fuel” cannabis to get the desired impact. It remains an efficient way to consume cannabis.
Less Health Risk: Dirty bong water hosts potentially dangerous mold and bacteria. The dirty water is a clear sign that you are not cleaning the Bong regularly. That makes it a petri dish for asthma, bronchitis, lung congestion, pneumonia, and more:
Authentic Aroma: Bad water smells. The odor is nature’s way of telling you to stay away. Because aroma is key to the cannabis experience, you will want a clean water experience. Veteran cannabis consumers choose strains that please them in taste and smell. Altering that aroma will disappoint them.
Better Overall Experience: Old bong water will turn brown with cannabis debris. It will affect the taste and increase the health risks. However, because Bongs are often shared, they will turn away the other users.
Avoid Mold: All organic material contains some water and seeks more. The warm wet interior of a Bong left sitting with its water invites fungi and mold. Even if you use the Bong frequently, the bong water is susceptible to the growth of pathogens. By the time you can see the mildew, it is a sign you have been inhaling polluted water.
Eliminate Resin: Resin is not good for you or the Bong. It can be dangerous. Some users scrape the resin out and reuse it for its alleged strength. However, resin is loaded with carbon and mold.
Prevent Biofilm: Unless you change the bong water regularly, a biofilm will cover all surfaces. The cloudy film is evidence of contamination and a contributor to further pollution as it presents a surface to which germs and parasites can attach.
Even veteran cannabis bong users do not replace their bong water after every use, even though they should. If the user really enjoys the Bong experience, they are likely too laid back to clean up after the use. If they have passed the Bong around, the guests are not likely to step in and flush it out.
Nonetheless, you should disassemble and clean all the Bong components before and after use. If you do not clean it immediately following use, you should do it soon. Moreover, cleaning it thoroughly before the next use will enhance your cannabis experience.
Vinegar and Baking Soda: You can mix a solution of White Vinegar and Baking Soda. The vinegar is a natural decontaminant, and baking soda provides an abrasive to clean the bong glass.
Isopropyl Alcohol and Salt: Choose 91% isopropyl alcohol, and you will kill the germs. The iodine-free salt grains will remove the toxic buildup on the glass surfaces.
Bong users should take apart the Bong and agitate the parts in the prepared solution before drying them thoroughly with lint-free rags. You can fill the Bong container with the solution; then shake it energetically. Pouring out the residue, you repeat the process.
If you expect to go sometime before using the Bong again, you should store it in a dark cool place. As you set it up for the next use, think of using distilled water as a filter and for making ice. You should enjoy fresher, smoother, and less risky cannabis smoke.