How to Use a Bong Correctly: The Complete Guide

How Do Bongs Work?

These days the number of ways to consume cannabis seems like it rivals the number of cannabis strains available.

How we use marijuana has changed dramatically over the past few decades, but one thing that remains consistent is consumers’ preference for smoking from a bong.

This is likely because water pipes and bongs remove 90 percent of the toxins produced when igniting cannabis, making it a much healthier method of consumption.

If you’re thinking of investing in a bong, you should first understand how do bongs work. Many people think bongs are simple to use, but there are several things you need to know to make the best use of your bong. Keep reading to find out!

Parts of a Bong

To understand how a bong works, you will need to become familiar with the parts of a bong. Most bongs are comprised of five components: the bowl, base, carburetor, stem, and tube.


The bowl is the part of the bong where you pack your cannabis. When you are ready to use the bong, this is the part you will ignite.


The base is the large bottom portion of the bong. It holds the water used to cool the smoke.


The carburetor is a small hole in the glass pipe. When you ignite and begin to inhale the bong, hold your finger over this hole.

The carburetor is also known as the “carb” or the “choke.”


The stem is the part of the pipe that connects the bowl to the tube. The stem is connected to the bowl and extends into the base containing water.

Some bongs are streamlined or simplified. On a simplified bong, the stem holds the water instead of the base. This makes it possible for these bongs to have smaller bases.


The tube is the uppermost portion of the bong. It is where the smoke sits after it has been cooled and filtered by the bong water. You put your mouth on the top of the tube to inhale the smoke.

How Do Bongs Work?

Using a bong properly requires a few simple steps. Make sure to follow these steps closely to avoid damaging your bong or hindering your smoking experience.

Grind the Cannabis

To use a bong, it is beneficial to first grind your cannabis. This will ensure the herb burns evenly and reduces waste. Pack the bowl with your ground weed, making sure it isn’t ground so fine that it falls into the base.

Fill the Base

Fill the base with water up to the midway point. The stem must extend into the water. Make sure you do not fill the base above the carburetor hole.

Ignite the Cannabis

Place your mouth over the top of the tube and inhale as you ignite the cannabis. Make sure you have placed your finger over the carburetor hole.

When you are about halfway through your inhale, release your finger from the carburetor. Releasing your finger from the hole allows the smoke to move into the stem and tube.

Clean Your Bong

Keeping your bong clean and changing the water regularly is key to a positive smoking experience. Check out these instructions on how to clean a bong.

Types of Bongs

Bongs are made out of many different materials. When you conjure the image of a bong in your mind, you’re probably thinking of the classic glass bong.

These days you can also find bongs made of plastic and metal. Ecologically conscientious consumers enjoy bongs made from ceramic and bamboo.

In addition to being made from a variety of materials, bongs also come in many different types and styles. Let’s take a look at a few of these different types in depth.

Carburetor Bong

The type of bong we described above is the classic carburetor bong. You can tell whether a bong is a carburetor bong by whether or not it has a hole. If it has a hole, it is a carburetor bong.

A carburetor is not a necessary part of a bong, but many cannabis consumers prefer carburetor bongs. When you release your finger from the carb while inhaling, the hole lets air into the tube and creates a much more intense hit.

With a carburetor bong, you can be certain you are inhaling all of the smoke from the bong.

Straight Tube Bong

We mentioned streamlined and simplified bongs earlier. The straight tube bong is the most simplistic bong design you can find.

Straight tube bongs don’t have a large base at the bottom. Instead, the water goes straight into the tube.

Multi-Chamber Bong

Multi-chamber bongs are a heightened version of a straight tube bong. In a multi-chamber bong, the tube contains two separate chambers. These chambers connect through a third chamber.

The multiple chambers enable the bong to filter the smoke twice. Therefore, you get a smoother and cleaner smoke than you do with other types of bongs.

Percolator Bong

A percolator bong contains a piece of glass that causes a bubbling effect inside the bong. This percolator serves the purpose of further filtering the smoke by spreading it out.

Gravity Bong

A gravity bong uses a vacuum or suction to function. The vacuum moves the smoke up through the bong while keeping the water inside of the bong’s base.

There are two types of gravity bongs. They are bucket gravity bongs and waterfall gravity bongs.

Bucket gravity bongs are comprised of a plastic bottle and a bucket of water. Waterfall gravity bongs are similar. But, instead of using a bottle to create a vacuum, you drain the water from the base of the bong.

Dab Rig

Dab rigs are relatively new on the cannabis scene. They are special types of bongs specifically designed for smoking concentrate rather than dry herb.

Dab rigs melt the cannabis concentrate on a heated surface (usually quartz or titanium) and then vaporizing the concentrate. You inhale the vapor through a water filtration process that cools the smoke like a bong.

Dab rigs are often made of glass and provide a more flavorful and smooth smoking experience. I got my dab rig here and learned a lot about the benefits of smoking concentrate in the process.

Homemade Bong

If you’re looking to save money and be a little bit resourceful, you can make your own homemade bong from a variety of household objects. Some people use apples, water bottles, or even snow to make homemade bongs.

Benefits of Using a Bong

Many cannabis consumers agree that bongs provide the most intense, smooth, and filtered smoking experience. Now that you understand how do bongs work, you can start researching the type of weed bong that will work best for you.

If you enjoyed this article, check out our other health-related posts on CBD and cannabis.