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  • Writer's pictureKyle Holt

Bongs 101: School is in Session

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

- Everything you need to know about percolators, ice traps, and the intricacies of bongs.

Are you just starting your cannabis knowledge tour? Are you looking to learn all you can about bongs and what their advantages are for cannabis consumers? You’ve come to the right place.

Today, we’ll take a quick lesson in bongs, what advantages they present, and assess their viability as a consumption device.

Welcome to Bongs 101.

All About Percolators for Cannabis Consumption

Some of the most common questions around bongs are:

● What is percolation and what are percolators?

● Why do we need percolators in a bong?

● Can I buy a bong without a percolator?

Let’s quickly examine the answers to those questions.

Percolation is defined as a liquid passing through a filter. However, when it comes to percolators in bongs, it’s more complicated than that.

A coffee filter is a percolator, but you don’t want to put one in your bong. Instead, the percolator consists of simple holes built into the down-stem of the bong.

They are submerged in bong water which allows the smoke to break up into smaller (and more) bubbles as it passes through the water.

While some worry that enhanced contact with the water will extract cannabinoids from the smoke, a 2007 paper firmly pointed out that cannabinoids are incredibly hydrophobic.

Few, if any, will be lost to water filtration.

More importantly, as the smoke is spread out through a percolator, the water absorbs heat and provides a more thorough cleanse.

Percolators are said to “cool” the smoke and make it more “smooth.”

You don’t have to buy a bong with a percolator, however.

Any level of water filtration will provide said benefits.

Generally speaking, however, the better designed the percolator, the better the bong.

But percolators aren’t the only important piece of bong technology on the market.

Other Interesting Aspects of Bong Technology

Percolators are just the beginning.

Glassmakers are known to twist their bongs to provide “ice traps.”

These bends in the glass allow consumers to drop in ice cubes that will further cool the smoke after its cycled through the percolator.

More recently, bong makers have even made recycling systems within the bongs.

The idea is that after the smoke is pumped through the percolator, it flows through another tube that cycles it once more through the water chamber.

A paper looked at all the benefits of using a water bong and suggested that they “can be effective in removing components from marijuana smoke that are known toxicants, while allowing the THC to pass through relatively intact.”

Are Bongs Better than Blunts?

Bongs offer cooler, smoother hits.

Blunts offer a fuller taste.

Bongs let people take as big of a hit as they can.

Blunts let people share with as many friends as they want.

The question of whether bongs are better than blunts is completely subjective; each has its benefits.

And no one says you can’t use both at once.

If you learned something about bongs today, please share this article with your friends!

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