Cannabis delivery instruments, Part III: The bong

by DGO Web Administrator

I had promised a friend that this week’s column would look into the e-nail and some of the other cool technology that accompanies the explosion (that may be a poor word choice – tune in next week to see why) but, as things developed, there seemed to space for only one implement, the King of All Smoking Apparatuses …

The bongThere is a certain threshold crossed when a smoker of cannabis becomes a bong owner. A bong is not something one generally just brings home to Ma and Pa’s house and plunks down on the coffee table to be used when the mood strikes. (There definitely are those households, but mine was definitely not one of them). Bong ownership denotes a certain level of commitment to the cause.

There are a few reasons. First, you’re not just running into the gas station and walking out with a bong for under 10 bucks like you can with paper wraps or a small pipe. A bong, technically called a “filtration smoking device,” is a more elaborately-engineered tool than the others we’ve discussed the past couple weeks that uses water to cool and clean the smoke. The result is a smoother smoke with the capacity for large amounts of cannabis intake in a single hit … like, very large amounts. This is another reason why bongs are a step up from the average smoking implement. Bongs encompass the terrain of coughing, tears running down the face, more coughing, and moan-type utterances combined with barely recognizable linguistic offerings.

The way a bong allows a smoker to create such daunting amounts of smoke is by use of the magic of volume. The basic bong is a glass or plastic tube with an addition fitting near the bottom which houses a removable “slide” piece submerged in water. Sizes may vary wildly – one house I lived in had a six-footer that could be coupled with several three-foot extenders to create the possibility of 21 feet of smoke inside a three-and-a-half-inch diameter chamber. I think I have admitted my math deficiencies here previously; I don’t know the total volume of smoke, but I only saw one person do it solo, and he just sat quietly for the rest of the afternoon before being walked home by a chaperon. My current bong uses a “bubble” fashioned at the bottom of the tube to create its volume. I’d kind of forgotten about its potential for super-sized hits until my brother-in-law recently visited and noted the years it had been since using one. There was coughing that day, a lot of coughing.

Pros:You gonna get hiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh high.

See last week’s discussion of glass bowls with regard to the incredible crafted beauty available in this genre of device.

Cons:Also breakable. Not very portable, as a result.

I don’t know if this totally classifies as a “con,” but if you want to see someone’s head explode, walk into most headshops across this great nation and ask to see the “bongs” instead of the “waterpipes.”

Next week we will look at rigs and vaporizers, the delivery methods of choice for concentrates. Enjoy your bong hits ’til then.

Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at [email protected]


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