Smoking out of a bong is a tried-and-true method that has been around for decades. What makes this form of smoking superior to using blunts or pipes is the water filtration. There is a wide array of bongs on the market, some of them with more water filtration than others. In this article we will examine how the various features of a bong contribute to its overall filtration, as well as accessories that can give a cleaner smoking experience.
A basic bong is made of three parts, the bowl, the downstem and the bong. Filling the bong with water such that the end of the downstem is fully submerged is the first step. Next, the cannabis or CBD flower is packed into the bowl and ignited, at the same time the consumer produces suction on the mouth of the bong. This pulls smoke through the downstem and into the water where it breaks up into bubbles, which rise through the water and flow up the bong to the consumer for inhalation. This might seem very basic, but there’s a lot going on here.
The first element which can affect the cleanliness of the waterpipe smoke is the bowl. Most bowls are made with a simple hole at the bottom of a conical cup. As the flower is burnt the ash and debris flies down the hole and into the bong water. There are a few bowls which can use basic screens to contain these contaminates, but the majority of them clog easily, are a pain to reload after use, and are infuriating to clean. The Invincibowl’s proprietary high-flow screen reduces water contamination by 99%. The screen is captured in the bowl for easy re-loading, and can be simply taken apart for quick cleaning.
Why should you care about the excess tar and debris you get in bong water when using a traditional simple hole bowl? Bubbling water creates aerosols, tiny little water droplets, which travel in the direction of the air flow. If the water being bubbled is filled with gunk, that gunk will get trapped in those tiny droplets. Any guess where they go when taking a fat rip? Mmmm, tasty.
The downstem has a few features which will affect the quality of the smoke. At the end of the downstem is the diffuser where air bubbles form during smoking, larger holes in the diffuser lead to larger bubbles forming. A packet of small bubbles has more surface area than an identical volume of large bubbles (skip to the end for the math). Most basic glass downstems have slots as their diffusers, resulting in large bubbles. The Invincipole offers an array of small holes on its diffuser, resulting in a shower of micro-bubbles when in use.
The fit of the downstem into the bong is a factor that is often overlooked, and generally can’t be adjusted. As the bubbles escape the downstem diffuser, they float up through the water. Contaminates like tar and carbon diffuse through the air/water barrier of the bubble from the higher concentration in the smoke to the lower concentration of the water. The longer the path a bubble has from the diffuser to the top of the water, the more filtration happens. Logically, placing the downstem diffuser right at the bottom of the bong will result in the longest travel for a smoke bubble. The adjustable nature of the Invincipole makes it possible to extend it right to the bottom of every bong, yes, even yours!
Bongs come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, but in general there are two features which affect filtration: the amount of water the bong can hold and any percolation modules. A larger volume of water a bong holds, the longer it takes for contaminates to build up, and the cleaner every subsequent hit will be. With identical use, the water in a small bong will be much more yellow than the water in a big bong. For an unbreakable bong with a large water reservoir, we love the Chill Pipe, with its patented vacuum wall insulation and ceramic interior, you can’t go wrong.
Percolation refers to a second aeration module located in the neck of the bong, above the primary water reservoir, which is filled with a small amount of water. A series of holes in the percolator connect the lower half of the bong to the neck. As smoke is pulled out of the initial reservoir it filters through this smaller water volume scrubbing away more tar and carbon.
An additional accessory to make your smoke as clean as possible is the MouthPeace. This universal fitting filter pops right on the top of any bong and uses triple-layered activated carbon fibers to scrub the smoke as it leaves the bong. Our Performance Package combines all of these extraordinary filtering methods for the ultimate in clean smoking. If you’re looking to keep your lungs as healthy as possible, it is worth the money, plus, you’ll have it for life!
DANGER, MATH AHEAD!
Let’s take a quick look at surface area. A bubble with a radius of 2mm has a volume of 33.5mm3 and a surface area of 50.3mm2. A bubble with a radius of 1mm has a volume of 4.2mm3 and a surface area of 12.6mm2. It takes roughly eight 1mm bubbles to equal the same volume as one 2mm bubble. The total surface area of those eight 1mm bubbles is 100.5mm2, nearly double that of one big bubble! This means that twice as many contaminates can pass through the air/water membrane and out of the smoke.