Is there any difference between a “bong” and a “water pipe”?
No, it’s just terminology. In the 1970’s Head shops got a lot of complaints for calling them bongs as it implied they were used for pot. So now people call them “water pipes” and smoke tobacco, shesha or even cannabis in them.
The “water pipe” used to be called either a “hookah” or a “narghile”, which originated in the Middle East. Hookahs generally seem to have leaky hoses, so don’t buy one unless you want to play around re-sealing it or it is just for display.
What is a good Bong?
Bongs / water pipes, allow you to inhale a large amount of highly concentrated smoke. The large chamber of a bong cools the smoke which is then cleaner and smoother, as well as cooler than other smoking methods such as spliffs or pipes.
One thing to look for is the balance between volume of smoke and filtration. Bongs can be a great way to medicate, however, is there are too many chambers they leave stale smoke behind for the next person. If you are planning to share a bong it’s better to go as big as you can, but don’t get so much filtration that you can’t clear it comfortably.
You also need to think what kind of smoker you are and what your lung capacity is. For example a four-foot bong isn’t very practical, or much use, for someone who can only hold their breath for a short time. But don’t get too small of a bong, as a lot of small bongs don’t “hit” well. As I guide, I would say go for 10 inches minimum.
Assuming you’re buying a glass bong, thickness of the glass is important, you don’t want it breaking on you! Also, the best quality glass bongs are “glass-on-glass”, which means the slide does not need a rubber gasket but is fitted air-tight into the main bong chamber.
Another thing to consider is extras like a diffuser, an extra percolator, and maybe as ice catcher, which is probably the cheapest and best addition to the bong. They are all worthwhile but can be expensive additions to your bong purchase.
There are a lot of very good high-end brand name bongs that will give you great quality.
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