MONSTERS OF SMOKE Bongs What is a bong?

What is a bong?

A bong is a device that is used to smoke herbs or tobacco by filtering and cooling the smoke through water. Bongs are also known as water pipes, bubblers, bingers, or billys. They have been around for centuries and are popular among cannabis enthusiasts who enjoy a smooth and potent hit.

The origin of the word bong

The word bong comes from the Thai word “baung” (บ้อง), which means a cylindrical wooden tube or pipe cut from bamboo and used for smoking. The Thai word itself may have originated from the Mon-Khmer language of Southeast Asia. Bongs made of bamboo are still used by some people in rural areas of Thailand and Laos, as well as in Africa.

The anatomy of a bong

Bongs can have different shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, but they all share some basic features. A typical bong consists of the following parts:

  • A bowl, where the herb or tobacco is placed and lit.
  • A downstem, a tube that connects the bowl to the base of the bong.
  • A base, where water is stored and where the smoke bubbles through.
  • A neck, a long and narrow tube that rises from the base to the mouthpiece.
  • A mouthpiece, where the user inhales the smoke.
  • A carburetor, a hole that allows air to enter the bong and clear the smoke from the chamber. Some bongs do not have a carburetor and instead require the user to remove the bowl or the downstem to inhale the smoke.

The function of a bong

The main purpose of a bong is to filter and cool the smoke that comes from burning herbs or tobacco. This is how it works:

  1. The user fills the base with water, enough to cover the bottom end of the downstem.
  2. The user packs the bowl with ground herb or tobacco and lights it with a lighter or a match.
  3. The user places their mouth over the mouthpiece and inhales, drawing air through the bowl and downstem.
  4. The smoke travels through the downstem and into the water, where it is filtered and cooled by the water.
  5. The smoke then rises up through the neck and into the mouthpiece, where it is inhaled by the user.
  6. If there is a carburetor, the user covers it with their finger or thumb while inhaling and releases it when they want to clear the smoke from the chamber. If there is no carburetor, the user removes the bowl or the downstem to allow air to enter the bong and clear the smoke.

The benefits and risks of using a bong

Many people prefer using a bong over other methods of smoking because they believe it offers some advantages, such as:

  • Reducing some of the harmful substances in smoke, such as tar and carcinogens.
  • Cooling down the smoke, making it less harsh on the throat and lungs.
  • Enhancing the flavor and aroma of the herb or tobacco.
  • Increasing the potency and efficiency of the herb or tobacco, as less smoke is wasted.

However, using a bong also comes with some risks and drawbacks, such as:

  • Exposing oneself to more smoke than other methods of smoking, which can damage lung tissues and cause scarring and inflammation.
  • Inhaling deeply and holding one’s breath when smoking from a bong, which can increase blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Sharing a bong with others, which can spread germs and infections.
  • Cleaning and maintaining a bong, which can be tedious and time-consuming.
  • Using a plastic bong, which can leach chemicals like BPA and phthalates into the water and smoke.


A bong is a device that is used to smoke herbs or tobacco by filtering and cooling
the smoke through water. It has a long history and a variety of designs and
materials. Some people enjoy using a bong because they believe it offers a smoother
and more flavorful smoking experience. However, using a bong also has some health
risks and challenges that should be considered before choosing this method of


  1. How Does a Bong Work? Benefits, Risks, and Myths – Healthline
  2. Bong – Wikipedia
  3. What Is a Bong? Weed Bong Definition | Weedmaps
  4. What Is a Bong? | Leafly