Unlike a pipe, bongs are larger and usually more complex in design. While pipes are usually short, elongated ones cool down smoke by making it travel away from the bowl. Bongs are usually large, elongated, and have enlarged chambers. This makes them superior smoking devices that effectively cool down a hit.
Cold water will further cool down a hit and allow for more to be inhaled. The downside is that cold water dries out the smoke, and so the user will likely cough after a hit. Warm water is used to introduce moisture to the smoke, making it much smoother by comparison. In any case, water bongs are made to produce large hits superior to a standard pipe.
As previously mentioned, the water in a bong is used to cool down and filter the smoke. This allows for pollutants and other debris to collect in the water, effectively filtering out the smoke. Tars and other toxins are trapped along with irritants and other residues. The water starts to turn yellow to a cloudy brown depending on how dirty your material is.
How much and how long you are smoking in one session also determines how your bong water will look. Water cools down a hit since the bowl is hot and the smoke passes through the water. Traveling through the chamber, the smoke is further cooled down. Bongs use water to make them more efficient.
While any bong can technically be used without water, there are also bongs that are designed to be used without it. Gravity bongs are an example of this. Grav bongs use suction to get smoke into the chamber. The user then simply takes a hit from the chamber after it has been filled. Some gravity bongs use water to create the suction while other use an accordion-like design.
The downside is that they are not true bongs in the sense that they can filter out smoke. They can effectively cool down a hit but not filter out the pollutants within. Water bongs are superior if you want a clean hit. In any case, you are sure to have a great experience using a bong, whether or not it uses water.
Using a water bong is very easy. Though many come in different shapes and sizes, their mechanism is relatively the same. Start out by using high-quality dry herb material. Grind it up using a quality grinder until it is nice and fluffy. Fill up the water chamber until it is no more than halfway full. The less water you use, the more smoke you will have.
Keep in mind that you will likely have to change out the water sooner if you do this. Lightly pack the bowl and light it up. You will hear the iconic bubbling sound as you take your hit. Once enough smoke has filled the chamber, lift the bowl and empty the chamber. You will likely cough on the exhale. This is normal. Once your session ends, empty the water chamber and rinse out your bong’s chamber.
Water bongs are unique in their ability to use water for cooling and filtration. Standard pipes are incapable of doing this and are only made to produce average hits. Bongs will effectively cool down a hit and allow the user to take in more. The truth is that you are better off with a silicone bong if you are no too experienced using bongs.
Not only are they more affordable, but you will never break one if it is made of silicone. While glass is beautiful, it is fragile and can be harder to clean. You can use any bong the way you want to, with or without water. Just know that your hits will be bigger, and you will come to realize why it is recommended to use them with water.