Why You Should Change Bong Water Regularly
Bongs are a great way to smoke cannabis. They look great, come in all shapes and sizes and also use water. The water in them cools down the smoke during each inhalation making it less harsh for your throat. The water is also recognized as a great filter that stops tar and ash from clogging up your airways. All you have to do is replace the water regularly. Why? Keep reading to find out.
Why do Bongs Need Water?
Bongs can come in all shapes and sizes, however, one characteristic that they all share is the chamber they have for holding water. The water you use to fill that chamber has two main jobs.
The first is that it acts as a filter. When cannabis is burned, the chemical composition of the plant is changed from THCA, which is non-intoxicating, to THC, a cannabinoid that triggers the feeling of being high.
Unfortunately, this act of setting the plant on fire also releases a ton of secondary toxic and carcinogenic compounds known as tar. According to some studies, smoke from burning cannabis is quite similar to smoke from tobacco.
This is because both contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are popular for their carcinogenic and mutagenic properties. Using a bong can help reduce your exposure to these because bong water can trap some of these compounds.
It will also filter out any ash or plant material before it can get to your mouth and airways. This does not mean the water can stop everything, however, it offers a cleaner, more healthy way, to get high than conventional smoking methods.
Another use of water in the bong is that it cools down the smoke before it reaches your mouth. This makes for a much smoother smoking experience and your lungs are most likely going to thank you for it.
How does Bong Water Filter Smoke?
The science folk have long tried to understand how bong water filters smoke. To get to the bottom of the mystery, they studied the difference in chemical composition between regular tobacco smoke and smoke from a bong. The results were quite eye-opening.
Research dating back to the 1960s has shown that water in a bong works effectively in the trapping of up to 90% of phenols, 50% of particulate after and benzo(a)pyrene. Both are toxins that show genotoxic and carcinogenic activity when inhaled.
There have also been studies on water-filtered smoke and the water left in a bong after smoking. Results showed that the bong water contained more carcinogens than the smoke it filtered.
More recent research from the University of Texas and the Harvard School of Public Health also revealed that filtering both tobacco and cannabis smoke helped get rid of acrolein and acetaldehyde, toxins that are known to attack alveolar macrophages, one of the lungs’ main defence.
How Does Bong Water Affect THC?
There are many believable studies that prove the effectiveness of bong water in filtering smoke. However this begs the question, how does it affect cannabinoids and terpenes, the compounds we all seek when we take that drag from the pipe?
The answer is that it can also filter them out. Fortunately, the amount the bong water filters out is usually very negligible compared to the other things it can help filter. This is because most active cannabinoids are not soluble in water.
Research has shown that 20% to 40% of the THC in cannabis smoke binds to the bong glass. This percentage increases if you’re using a plastic bong but the problem is not one that can be fixed. A simple solution is to get glassware treated with silyl and free of plastic or rubber parts.
Does Bong Water Get You High?
This is a question many people ask… especially when they run out in the middle of a great session. The answer is a big fat no, so don’t try drinking it.
As earlier stated, active cannabinoids are not soluble in water so if you want to get high from eating or drinking cannabis, you need to heat it up and mix it with some sort of fat.
Importance of Changing Your Bong Water Regularly
It is important that you change your bong water routinely. How often this happens usually boils down to personal preference but it is advised that you do it more often than not because if the water gets dirty enough, it can make you sick. Here are some more reasons to convince you to change that bong water often:
- It helps you preserve the flavour of your stash
- Clean water makes a better filter
- It helps the glassware to last longer
Remember to keep the bong clean too. We know that may be impossible immediately after a great session but remember to squeeze it in later.