A Quick Guide On How to Use a Bong

by Richard Lowe

What's more awesome than smoking from a bong?

Let's just start with a fact: Bong rips are among the most iconic methods of smoking herbs. Maybe you love your herb, but you’ve been sticking to rolling papers without exploring other ways to smoke it. Maybe you’re new to all of this and you don’t want to worry about feeling awkward asking your friends how to do it. Or maybe you just want to refresh the ABC's of how to use a bong. In either case, you’re in the right place! Just follow this guide.

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TL;DR

  • Prep your bong: add enough water to make sure that the bottom of the downstem is fully submerged.
  • Grind your herbs and gently tamp the herbs down into the bowl. It's important not to pack the bowl too tightly.
  • Put your mouth on the mouthpiece, grab a lighter, and light up the edge of the herbs in the bowl.
  • Inhale slowly to draw the smoke up into the chamber, pull the bowl out of the stem and inhale the smoke deeply.

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Step 1: Prep Your Bong

Step 2: Grind Your Herbs and Pack the Bowl

Step 3: Light Up

Step 4: Inhale the Smoke

You’re a Champ!


The ABC's of How to Use a Bong

Every single person that has ever smoked from a bong has had to learn the basics of its use. At first glance, it may seem complicated, but even the craziest and biggest bongs are not that challenging to understand, though they are a little cumbersome to use.

Once you have found the right sized bong though, they sure are easy to enjoy. Bongs utilize water to filter and cool the smoke so that the experience is smooth and seamless.

So, are you ready to dive in? Here’s everything you need to know about how to use a bong.

Step 1: Prep Your Bong

The first thing you need to do when prepping your bong is to add water. Bottled or tap water will work. Pour enough water to make sure that the bottom of the downstem (the tube of glass that sticks into the bottom chamber of the bong) is submerged.

The exact amount of water you should add will vary depending on the size of your glass bong, but a general rule of thumb is to ensure the water level is 1-1 ½ inches above the downstem.

If you pour too much water you may get water in your mouth, which is totally awful. On the other hand, if you add too little water, your piece will not work correctly and you will get a dry hit.

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Lowe’s Pro Smokers Tip

Dry off any water that might have gotten on the outside of the bong. Glass bongs are slippery when wet! You probably know where this is going. You might see your bong slip through your fingers and shatter if you don’t towel it off. Been there, done that...

Step 2: Grind Your Herbs and Pack the Bowl

Now it’s time to grind your herbs. We recommend you use a grinder to make sure the herbs are ground up finely. The goal is to get a nice even hit and not waste your stash. If you just stuff whole buds in your bowl, then you’re a poser.

Next, use your fingertips to pick up a pinch of dry herbs and carefully place them into the bowl. You can use your finger or the flat end of a lighter to gently tamp the herbs down into the bowl.

Don’t pack the bowl too tightly because you won’t get the proper airflow required to burn all your herbs evenly. Add enough herbs to fill the bowl evenly, you don’t even need to take the bowl slide out of your water pipe, yet.

Step 3: Light Up

Hold the bong from the bottom and make sure you have a good grip before you light it. Depending on the size of the bong, you may be better off just leaving the base on the table. A really big bulky bong can be difficult to lift and smoke at the same time. Perhaps, you just need to tilt it back a little.

Now, take a few deep breaths and prepare yourself. Filling your lungs with oxygen will make it easier for you to inhale all the smoke (this part is essential, especially if you’re a beginner because you won't cough as much. Although some people think coughing heightens the experience.)

Put your mouth on the mouthpiece. It’s important to ensure there aren’t any gaps so the smoke doesn’t escape. In other words, smash your cheeks and whatever parts of your face are necessary to create a seal on the mouthpiece. Depending on how wide the mouthpiece is, your lips may end up on the inside.

Now grab a lighter and position the flame so you're only burning the edge of the herbs in the bowl. This will help the smoking sesh last longer and preserve your stash. You will see your inhale pulls the flame gently into the bowl.

Step 4: Inhale the Smoke

This is the best part! Inhale slowly as you’re lighting the bowl. Don’t be a rookie and blow into your glass bong. The bong bubbles from the inhale, not from blowing into it like you are making bubbles in your milk.

There’s no need to rush. At this point, you’re just inhaling to draw the smoke up into the smoke chamber. You should start to see the chamber filling up with smoke. This is how a bong works, very little smoke will enter you lungs on the first inhale.

When you think there’s enough smoke, stop inhaling, but keep your mouth on the mouthpiece. Breathe your nose and if you must, cover the mouthpiece with your hand to keep the smoke from escaping. Then gently pull the bowl and stem from the bong and inhale the smoke deeply so it goes into your lungs.

Don’t worry if you can’t inhale all the smoke in the chamber on the first try, you can take a short break and cover the mouthpiece with your hand.

DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT COUGH INTO THE BONG! That will result in disaster.

When you’re ready to continue, quickly put your mouth back on the mouthpiece and take another pull.

Let me tell you, holding the smoke in for about 2-3 seconds will be enough to enjoy an awesome experience. And that's it, you did it!


You’re a Champ!

Well, if you've got this far, that's great! Now you can consider yourself schooled on the basics of how to use a bong.

In the end, we want to tell you one more thing - don’t forget to clean your bong regularly. If you’re going to use it often (which will probably happen because who doesn't love smoking from a bong?), then let's just put it this way: your bong will probably get washed more than your dishes.

Relax and enjoy your time!

If you like bongs and water filtration, then check out this article on how to use a bubbler. It comes with a video too!