Cannabis lovers often choose one single bong and use it until it falls apart or at least until they get a new one as a birthday present. At the same time, if you do want to choose a new bong and want to get the best one, you will soon find that there are so many different bong types available on the market that picking one can become a real headache.
So, how not to get lost in the zillion of different types of weed pipes? Glass bongs, bamboo bongs, straight tube bongs, multi chamber bongs—who even needs such a variety? Let us look a bit closer at the most popular items to understand the differences between them, the benefits they can provide, and the drawbacks they inevitably have.
You may have already noticed that glass bongs are more expensive than the same items made from other materials. And there is a reason for it. Glass is an inert material, which means it does not interact with any substances. When you inhale your weed, you can be absolutely sure that you taste the true flavor of the strain you have chosen.
Apart from this, glass is easy to monitor for any buildup or possible dregs. The bongs made of color glass are less convenient, but even they allow you to notice when it is time to clean them.
Compared to other bongs, the ones that are made of plastic are cheaper and more durable. If you want to take a bong on a trip with you, you can be sure that the plastic one will not get damaged, while glass or ceramic items are very fragile and require super-careful treatment and thick wrapping to stay in one piece.
Plastic bongs probably come in the widest assortment of forms and colors, and they are the most popular among cannabis lovers due to their convenience. Even if you drop one on the floor, there will be no drama, the bong will not break, and the spilled water will be your biggest concern. However, plastic bongs are not transparent, so it is easy to forget about the buildup on the inside walls that develops after a while. Plus, if you use plastic items too long (or if you buy a bong of a very low quality), they can add some chemical notes to the weed's flavor.
Ceramic bongs can be very beautiful, and for this reason, people often choose them for a present. They look festive, colorful, and they often end up sitting on a shelf as a decoration and come in handy only at special occasions.
These bongs are heavier than any other similar items and as fragile as the glass ones. That is why they are not the best option if you want to take a bong with you on a trip. The price of ceramic bongs is relatively low, and the choice is quite big.
For those who do not like holding a cold and artificial glass pipe, wooden bongs made of bamboo can be a great option. They are nicely polished, warm, and generally pleasant to look at. However, the choice of their shapes is limited. Instead, bamboo bongs may surprise you with all the possible kinds of design—from a natural wooden color to a fancy ornament, from a simple tube sealed at the bottom to a big construction that features a coconut shell base.
Such devices are less fragile than the glass and ceramic ones and pretty much as durable as plastic bongs. However, they require more attention when it comes to cleaning.
Some users believe that the natural fiber of bamboo purifies the smoke so that you can even avoid some negative side effects of consuming weed. The level of weed's interaction with the bamboo pipe depends on the way in which the device was made: usually, the more expensive the pipe, the more inert it is. But if you like a slight note of wood in your smoke, you can opt for a basic bamboo bong.
Metal bongs come in a great range of sizes and designs: from the “classic” straight-pipe shape to the crafted Arabian variations. These bongs have a destiny similar to ceramic devices. They also often end up in the cabinet display as they are very beautiful when they are polished but become very filthy after a short period of usage. Apart from this, it is impossible to understand when it is the time to clean them.
Metal bongs are quite cheap and very durable, but, at the same time, they may affect the taste of the weed and add some unpleasant “metal” notes.
Small bongs are handy, portable, and inexpensive. If you plan to travel, it will save space in your luggage and be easy to clean even if you have very limited time for it. If you are a beginner or an occasional user, then a small bong will be the perfect choice.
Regular users may want to obtain an additional bong of a large or extra-large size. Big devices are well-suited for big groups and offer a longer time of consumption. They can also make a great impression at any party. Moreover, big bongs are usually of a higher quality than the small ones, which makes them extremely durable.
As for the design of the bongs, the choice is also very large. Each of the bong designs can be applied to almost every material that we have described above, although some designs are more common for certain types of bongs than the others.
A straight-tube bong is the most popular and the simplest tool you can find in the variety of these devices. Such a bong consists of a simple straight tube with a sealed bottom, an open “neck” at the top, and a bowl poking out of the side of the tube. All you need to do is pour a bit of water inside the tube, put some weed into the bowl, and that is it―your device is ready to be used. Because the shape is so simple, this kind of design can be applied to absolutely any material.
Bubble-base, or round-base, bongs have the same structure as the straight-tube ones, only the bottom part of the tube is wider than the “neck” and has a shape of a bubble, which makes it slightly more stable.
These bongs are also pretty much the same as the regular straight-tube bongs, the only difference is in the bottom shape of the tube―in these devices, as you might have guessed from the name of it, the tube looks like a beaker. The wider bottom makes beaker bongs more stable than the straight-tube and bubble-base bongs.
A multi-chamber bong comes in different shapes of the tube (though a straight tube is more popular than other variations) that is divided into two separate chambers connected by another tube or sometimes by a third chamber. This construction allows you to filter the smoke twice and make it softer, smoother, and cooler. It means that multi-chamber bongs are better than the strait-tube and beaker/bubble-based ones. At the same time, multi-chamber devices are more expensive and significantly harder to clean.
This type of bong can have any shape; the only thing that makes it different from other devices is the percolator placed inside the tube. The percolator allows to dissipate the smoke right before it meets the water, and that creates a bubbling effect. For this reason, percolator bongs are sometimes called bubbler bongs. Bubbling water is not only fun; it also allows to filter the smoke better and cool it faster.
The disadvantages of this device are pretty much expectable: it costs more than bongs without a percolator, and it is much more difficult to clean.
A carburetor bong is the one that has a hole somewhere in the middle of the tube. The shape of the tube can be different, but the hole turns a bong into a carburetor bong. When you release your finger that plugs the hole, the fresh air gets into the pipe, and that produces a more intense hit than usual.
Gravity bongs work with the difference in pressure that develops when the water leaves the enclosed space. You can make this kind of bong with the help of a simple plastic bottle with the bottom cut off and a bucket (or pot) full of water. You make a small hole in the cap of the bottle and put your weed there; then, place the bottle inside the bucket and slowly pull the bottle out of the water so that the burned weed releases the smoke into the “vacuum space” inside the bottle. All you need to do now is remove the cap when the bottle is full of smoke and inhale the content.
It is a very fun thing you can do by yourself; however, there are also some professionally build models of a similar construction available on the market.
It is another example of a gravity bong, but here you will not need anything other than a bottle. Just fill it with water, add the weed just like in the bucket bong, burn it, and make a hole in the bottom of the bottle so that the water can slowly pour out into the sink. When the water has completely drained, tap the hole and remove the cap. Inhale the contents and enjoy! Again, if you really like this construction, you can find a professionally build device made of plastic or glass.
If you are up for experiments, you can try to make your own bong pretty much of anything. Apart from the plastic bottles mentioned above, you can use fruit, candies, LEGO blocks, food containers, and even ice or snow. Your imagination is the only limit! The purpose of cannabis consumption is to get medicated and to have a nice time, so if you want to try something new to make your routine more fun, then why not do it? Just find a bong that will suit all of your requirements and enjoy your experience with marijuana.