Cannabis is experiencing a booming growth as more states push for legalized marijuana.
Of course, for recreational users that means more information is available on both flower and the associated paraphernalia.
Many people aren't quite aware of what's out there just yet, but it's important to take a look around so you know what you're buying.
Are you looking at buying a bong? If so, then you'll be interested to know there are different types to suit everyone's needs. Let's dive right in.
What Defines a Bong?
A bong is essentially any form of water-pipe that doesn't require a hose to operate.
So, technically, a hookah isn't a bong and they're rather wasteful for smoking cannabis at any rate.
Instead, a bong will usually consist of a bowl, a chamber for the water, and a carb which you let off to clear the smoke from the device.
They range from relatively cheap metal-on-plastic models that are certainly serviceable to glass-on-glass bongs which have an extensive array of accessories to provide for a smoother smoking experience.
Bongs are generally superior to pipes and joints when it comes to conservation of the cannabis. In most cases, a single toke is taken from the bowl of a bong, which means nothing is lost to sidestream smoke.
The water also cools down the smoke, allowing the user to take larger hits and hold them for much longer.
The Simple Stuff
Simple bongs are often quite desirable for those who don't want to spend a lot of money.
In many cases, you can find things like a basic beaker bong for under $20.
As a general rule, these bongs will be smaller and less customizable than more expensive glass-on-glass pieces.
They may have some simple accessories included with them, but the limited length and different materials often make them a bit less awesome of a smoking experience than larger, more complex water pipes.
For the beginner, these will do fine, but there are different varieties available to the connoisseur who is looking to get the most out of their buds.
Bubblers: Great for on the Go
One type of bong which is often separated from the others is called "bubblers."
These smaller bongs are much more portable than the larger types and many people find them useful for smoking on the go.
They're not as discrete as a pipe, obviously, since you'll need to add water to the chamber. They're great for taking to a friend's house or on a trip when you want a bong but don't want to wrap up a 12" glass-on-glass piece with tons of parts.
They range from simpler models to quite complex, multi-chamber pieces that can render smoke extremely smooth without the need for ice.
The Bigger Stuff
Larger bongs can be quite expensive but they're handy to keep around the home if you're looking for an excellent smoking experience.
For most people, these are the way to go. While they generally cost more than smaller bongs they provide a smoother hit by having a larger water chamber and a longer stem.
Most of these are glass-on-glass, meaning that they have ground glass joints of a standard size. This allows you to switch out the different accessories available.
These accessories include percolators, ash catchers, and others.
Percolators offer a different way to pass the smoke through water. There are a ton of different types available, but for the most part, they all do the same thing: they allow more time for the smoke to cool as it passes through the water.
Ash catchers are a small piece underneath the bowl which keeps the ash from hitting the water, allowing your bong water to stay clean for longer.
Since there are so many different sorts of accessories available these bongs often become a mainstay in the homes of a recreational smoker.
If you have the money and care to not break them, a good glass-on-glass bong can last for a lifetime. These days they're also much cheaper than when you had to walk into a shady headshop to pick them up, making them a big bonus.
Zongs: Compacted for Length
Zongs are a specialized category of bong.
They allow for a longer stem in a compact form. Essentially, the stem zig-zags in the shape of a Z, so you can have a much longer stem than possible with a standard straight shot bong.
It's a good way to go for those who want an ultra-smooth smoking experience but really aren't up to having to store a 24" bong in their home.
Since they require specialized blowing and extra effort to create a quality zong is among the most expensive type of bongs that you'll find anywhere. They're often embellished with additional designs as well, creating an attractive display piece.
There are really no downsides to a good glass-on-glass zong apart from the price. They're easier to store than a straight shot with a comparable height, they hit smoother, and they're a great looking piece all the way around.
Still, they may be a bit much for a newbie so take a look at some before you make a final decision.
Get Started by Buying a Bong
So, now you know the difference between the major types of bong, so it's time to make a decision.
Buying a bong is a personal choice, and many of those who are looking into purchasing one can be led astray by those trying to make money bilking newbies.
Fortunately, great glass is available at excellent prices these days. If you're in the market why not take a look at what we've got?