The Science Behind the Bong

The Science behind the bong

One of the most popular ways for all of us to smoke the magical cannabis plant which is also known as weed, reefer, marijuana and so many other names, is through a bong.

Everybody can agree and attest to that being a fact of every stoner’s life. However, as popular as smoking marijuana is, the fact of the matter is that not a lot of people know exactly how the bong works to provide you that smooth smoking experience.

If you have been hitting some of that good stuff for a while and the question has struck your stoned mind a few times, you might have found yourself without answers. That’s how it is for most people.

Well, worry no more. This here post is going to tell you all that you need to know about how and why exactly the bong you love smoking so much works as good as it does.

Once you know how it works, you will be able to better appreciate the beauty of smoking your favorite cannabis strain from your best bong.

Prepare yourself because you, dear stoner, are going to learn the science behind the bong right here right now.

The Architecture of The Bong

First things first, let’s take a look at all of the structural marvels that come together to make what everybody knows as bongs.

The Tube

Starting from the mouthpiece where you suck the smoke out of, down to the main part of the body of your bong, is what is known as the ‘bong tube’.

The tube is the cylinder shaped (usually) part of the bong  It’s the chamber where you see smoke filling up after it has been filtered through the water. Get ready to take a mighty rip of your favorite cannabis strain.

It is within the tube that all the cool features of the bong can be added like the ice pinches or the spiral percolators. These features are add-ons to make your bong fancier and your cannabis smoking experience better.

The tube can be made from a variety of materials. Glass tubes seem to be preferable nowadays as well as tubes made from silicone and acrylic also being quite popular.

There are even designs being made, which use wooden tubes. It all depends on your preference as to which tube you want to use for your bong.

The Bowl

This is the part where you put in all the cannabis you want to light up when you are taking a rip. It is a very small part but one of the most important parts of your whole bong. Some bong designs feature bowls that are removable. Why? So that they can also function as a carburetor.

The Carburetor

The small hole on the side of the bong which lets you clear up the smoke from the tube as you take a rip from your favorite bong is what is known as the carburetor. Plenty of bong designs feature removable bowls so that they can also perform the function of carburetors. Some bong designs have carburetors that are made on the side of the tube.

That means you have to cover the carburetor with your finger when you’re prepping to take a hit of cannabis. Once you have accumulated all the filtered smoke in the tube, you remove your finger and take it all in.


The smaller tube which accommodates the cannabis smoke from the bowl to the base of your bong is what’s known as the downstem. The downstem is what makes it possible for the smoke from the bowl to go through the water so that it is percolated and cooled down at the base of the bong.

The downstem is often considered to be the simplest part of the bong but there are much fancier bong designs out there. Some bong designs out there feature downstems which have more carburetors so that it helps the cannabis smoke cool down even further.

The Base

The bottom most part of your bong is the base. The base of your bong mainly consists of the water chamber which holds the water that cools down the cannabis smoke passing through it via the downstem.

The Science Behind Filtering Cannabis Smoke Through Water

Now we come to the part which explains why the bong rips make for a smoother cannabis smoking experience. When the cannabis smoke passes through the water at the base of your bong, the cannabis smoke actually cools down and becomes a bit cleaner. That is why when smoking cannabis through a bong, you can inhale much more and yet your lungs will not feel like they’ll burn up.

For the would-be skeptics thinking that filtering the cannabis smoke through the water will take out the THC from the smoke, you should know that water happens to be a polar solvent.

What this means is that it is not exactly good at dissolving cannabinoids which in turn means your cannabis smoke is going to be chock full of THC.

What the water does filter out though, is all the bad things that the smoke has. No more ash, no more tar, just the pure ol’ terpenes and THC concentrated smoke.

The fact that your bong filters out the tar and ash is why the water in the base and the bong turns into a brown-ish color after a lot of use. This is why you’re supposed to clean up your bong regularly.

What Happens When You Take A Rip

When you fire up the bowl, the cannabis lights up and smoke starts to form. When you inhale from the mouth piece to fill up the tube, you’re essentially creating a vacuum in the chamber which causes all the smoke from the bowl to accumulate into the chamber as it passes through the water.

This makes two things happen: Firstly, the water cools down the smoke and secondly, the water filters out all of the dirt, ash and tar from the cannabis smoke. Once you are done drawing all the smoke into the chamber, you remove the finger from the carburetor and take a rip.

It’s as simple as that, fellow bong smokers. You can now smoke your favorite strain of cannabis from your favorite bong with a more enlightened appreciation of the beautiful experience that it is to smoke the bong.