Bong Anatomy

Can you think back to that first perfect bong you purchased? Fresh out of high school and wanting to maximize your choice dried herbal potency, you drove to the local head shop and parted the beaded curtain with your hands. The two men on shift looked up at you, uninterested in your pilgrim journey into the wide world of water pipe and heady glass.

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Fast forward to current day you. You are an absolute know it all when it comes to knowledge of water pipes, bongs, bubblers, dab rigs, the whole nine yards. There are still some of us green behind the ears who have no idea about the anatomy of a water pipe AKA the notorious B O N G. Using a water pipe to have a burn sesh is one of the most common ways to ingest. Some herbal enthusiasts even name their pipes.

There are some main components to a bong or water pipe even the most inexperienced smoker should have a handle on.

  • Base

The base of your bong can make or literally break your glass blown dreams. Depending on the width of the base, you can decide where a safe place to temporarily or permanently house your best bubbler will be.

  • Bowl

The bowl of your bong is where all of the magic happens. Depending on the depth, you can pack this concave area with your favorite herbal blend.

  • Carb

The carb is a hole in the body of your bong that you can use to clear the chamber. Some bongs do not have such a whole, and you would use a moveable downstem to clear the smoke into your lungs instead.

  • Downstem

This is the tube between the bong and the bowl. Sometimes water pipes do not have a removable stem, and others have no stem at all.

  • Percolator

The most basic kind of percolator is the straight tube. This is a tube with slits at the base that goes under the water which allows smoke to pass through the water in order to cool it down. Percolator varieties are extensive so make sure to investigate every type.

There is other terminology for body parts of the bong that dig a little deeper. Not as common as the above vocabulary, these are still bullet points to remember during you next head shop visit.

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  • Diffused Downstem

A diffused downstem is a stem attached to a bowl that has slits in the end. This downstem can be permanently attached to the bong or be a removable piece.

  • Splash Guard

This feature is inside of the bong and can save your face from nasty bong water splash back.

  • Stemless

A stemless water pipe occurs when the bowl and downstem are not removable.

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Happy water pipe usage, friends!

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