The world of cannabis has definitely changed since Cheech and Chong came onto the scene. Someone will roll your joints for you and you no longer have to make your own edibles. However, smoking out a bong is still a timeless tradition among smokers.

Whether you're an established smoker, a newb looking to explore the different ways to smoke or someone that is tired of being hungover after a night out, this guide will teach you how to hit a bong like a pro. It’s like training for the Olympics but way less hard. 

How to Hit a Bong Step-By-Step

Before you go loading your water-pipe up, there are a few things to take note of before toking up. Most importantly, "water pipe" is another word for bong. That being said, understanding your bong and its features will ensure that you are making the most of your piece and all the features it has to offer. 

The education doesn't stop there- knowing how to pack and hit your water-pipe will ensure that you are making the most of what your weed has to offer. What we are getting at is that we just want everything and everyone to reach their maximum potential. 

Understanding the Components of a Bong

Before we just go hitting a bong, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with its components. Understanding how these parts work together will help you appreciate all the things your bong brings to the table. A metaphorical taking your water pipe on a first date if you will. 

A typical bong consists of a bowl, a downstem, a water chamber, and a mouthpiece. The bowl holds your weed, the downstem directs the smoke into the water, and the mouthpiece is where you inhale the filtered smoke. 

All bongs will have the four components above but some water pipes will have a carb that you release in order to clear the chamber while others will clear the chamber by removing the bowl. One isn't particularly better than the other and ultimately, it is your personal preference.

As far as composition goes, there are two common materials that bongs are made from: glass and silicone. Silicone bongs may alleviate any anxiety you have about breaking your piece since it can fall down, go boom without consequence. Glass bongs are more standard and can have a few more features available, like percolators and ice catchers, than their silicone counterparts. 

Preparing the Bong

Being prepared is one of the best ways to get the most out of your bong. Start by making sure your piece is clean and has fresh water. You will want to fill the water chamber with enough clean water to submerge the down stem but not too much water that it splashes into the bowl or you get a big ol’ sip when you go to clear it. If you have been using your bong for a little bit, you may see a faint line indicating the water level you are looking for. 

Packing the Bong

Time to open up your stash pack and get your grinder and weed out. You will want to grind your cannabis to a medium consistency for an even burn. Grind too fine and it will get sucked into the chamber; don’t grind it all and you’ll be struggling to take a hit. 

Next, load the bowl, making sure not to overpack it, as this can restrict airflow. A little tap-tap with your lighter on the packed bowl ensures an even surface, allowing for a consistent burn. 

Lighting Up

Moment of truth, smokers of the world. Once your bong is prepared and the bowl is packed, it's time to light up. Using your dominant hand, hold the flame above the bowl while inhaling tenderly. 

“Cornering the bowl”, or lighting only a section of weed, allows multiple people to enjoy fresh greens. As tempting as it is, avoid burning the entire top of the bowl at once. This will help you make the most out of your bowl.

Another way you can ensure you are getting the most out of your bowl is to use hemp wick instead of a lighter. Hemp wick is composed of hemp twine twisted and then coated in beeswax. The result is the equivalent of a slow-burning candlestick and can help avoid the combustion that can sometimes be seen with lighters which means more cannabinoids and terpenes for you.

Inhaling and Exhaling

Hope you got your best set of lungs on because now it is time to hit the bong bowl. Place your mouth in the mouthpiece, creating a seal with your lips. 

As you inhale, the water in the bong percolates and cools the smoke, making for a smoother hit than a pipe or another smaller piece. Once you've filled the chamber with smoke, release the carb hole (if your bong has one) or remove the bong bowl, allowing the clean air to rush in and clear the chamber. 

How to Rip a Bong

Ripping a bong involves inhaling a large amount of smoke from a single bong hit, and is not for the faint of heart or if you’ve just started exploring cannabis. If you are up to the challenge and want to get really high, here’s how to take a bong rip-

Build up Your Tolerance: Bong rips can be intense, especially for beginners. Build into the rip by gradually increasing the size of your bowl and the size of your hits. 

Controlled Inhalation: Inhaling slowly can make for less of a punch in the face when taking a bong rip. Don’t inhale too slowly- the smoke can go stale and lose any of the benefits a bong brings to the table.

Hold and Release: After taking a rip, hold the smoke in your lungs for a few seconds before exhaling. This allows your body to absorb more cannabinoids and terpenes. When you're ready to exhale, do so slowly and steadily.

Essential Tips for a Perfect Hit

Use an Ice Catcher

For a smoother and cooler hit, consider using a bong with an ice catcher. Placing ice cubes in the catcher cools down the smoke, making it less harsh on your throat and lungs thus reducing the odds that you will spit-cough all over your friends. 

This is especially beneficial when ripping a bong, as the larger hits can sometimes be overwhelming without the added cooling effect.

Control the Flame

The way you light your bowl can significantly influence your hit. Hold the flame slightly above the bowl, almost pulling the flame down onto the bowl when you inhale. 

Avoid direct contact between the flame and the weed to prevent harsh and uneven burning.

Regulate Your Breathing

Here’s where yogi’s have a leg up with all that breath work they’re doing. Proper breathing techniques are essential when hitting a bong. 

Inhale slowly and steadily to allow the smoke to fill the chamber, and exhale in a controlled manner to avoid coughing fits. Practicing deep and slow breaths helps maximize the absorption of cannabinoids into your bloodstream. See? Exercise is not just good for your body; its also good for your smoke sesh.

Cleaning the Bong After Use

Maintaining a clean bong is not only essential for hygiene but also for preserving the flavor of your herb and people wanting to smoke with you. Resin and general buildup can affect the taste and quality of your hits. Old bong water can also impact the taste and quality of your smoke.

The best method to clean your piece is with a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt. Shake the solution vigorously to remove stubborn residue, and rinse thoroughly with warm water. 

​Our in-house focus group (that's us, the people who work here) have some sage wisdom to pass along regarding you and your bong:

  1. Bongs can create a lot of smoke and that smoke can smell. Make sure you are in a space where that is embraced or come prepared with something to reduce the smell of smoke
  2. Exhale all the air out of your lungs before you hit it. This will make sure you can take the largest hit possible. 
  3. Don’t pack your bowl too tight. This will make it damn near impossible to hit. 
  4. Empty the water after each sesh. This will prevent any yucky germs from making a home. 

No one comes out of the womb knowing how to hit a bong so have grace with yourself if it takes you a minute to get the hang of it. Understanding what makes a bong a bong, how to prepare the bong, and how to rip are all part of the experience. With these tips and by maintaining proper bong hygiene, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable hit every time. 

So, toss your favorite strain in your grinder and get a smokin’!

January 22, 2024 — Amber Sparks
Tags: how to

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