Bongs come in many shapes and sizes and range from simple and sturdy to extremely delicate and complex. Some have additional percolators or recyclers to offer a super smooth smoke.
Others have fancy mouthpieces like a more traditional hookah. Whatever the style, smokers take a lot of pride in their bongs and usually keep them on display between uses to show off the design and glasswork. The sights and sounds of a glass bong being used are some of most familiar symbols of the American herb community.
Sometimes called “water pipes,” they’re a great way to get a heavy hit of herb without coughing up a lung, and they look cool! Bongs are the great, great grandchildren of hookahs and still function the same way. Herb is burned in the glass bowl and sucked down the stem under the water line.
The water cools the smoke and traps heavier particles of tar and ash keeping them from being pulled up the tube into the lungs. When you’re ready to clear the pipe, you pull the bowl out of the stem or uncover the carb and inhale every last molecule of smooth, thick smoke and try not to cough.