For those who like to smoke weed, or other substances for that matter, one of the more favoured and traditional ways of doing so is with a bong. It is a word or term that is often spoken about, but, to the uninitiated, what is it, beyond a frequently used reference in rap music and counter-culture? In short, a bong is a water filtered device through which the smoker’s substance of choice is filtered. A little like a glass bowl with a mouth piece the bong has been around for decades, here, to keep you entertained, or to inform you should you want to wow the guests at your next dinner party, are a few facts about the bong.

Holiday plans

If you thought Jamaica was the place to go to get your fix of weed, you would be wrong. The Caribbean nation may be the home to Rastafarianism and reggae music, but a recent global survey by The Telegraph suggested that with more than 18 percent of the population partaking in weed smoking, that Iceland was the marijuana capital of the world. Australia ended up ranked ninth on the list at just over ten percent, still well ahead of Jamaica who finished in 22nd spot. It probably goes to show why if you typed ‘bong shop Sydney’ into a search engine, you would get plenty of positive results coming back.

Monty Python

The bong isn’t just an instrument for smoking, it was also the name of a character in revered comedy group Monty Python’s sketch entitled Election Special. In the famous sketch the announcer is giving the results of constituencies in a General Election where the candidates are very silly. The candidate for the Slightly Silly Party is Kevin Phillips-Bong and he garners precisely zero percent of the vote.

Origins of Bong

Bongs, also known as water pipes have reportedly been around for as long as 2400 years. So, while they might be new to you, they are not exactly modern science. The word ‘bong’ itself is said to have arrived in modern English lexicon from Thai, where water pipes where called ‘baung’ and were traditionally made from a clay gourd attached to bamboo pipes.

What does the water do?

The water component of a bong is very important for two reasons, firstly it lowers the temperature of the smoke which in turn makes it easier and more comfortable to inhale. This is one of the reasons why social or novice smokers find things like bongs or Hookas for more appealing than things like pipes and cigarettes. Secondly, the water also acts as a filter removing harmful and carcinogenic substances like tar from the smoke. The water doesn’t remove everything, but it reportedly removes about 90% of the less desirable elements in the smoke, leaving the smoker to enjoy a smoother and more flavourful inhalation.

Bong v Blunt

The question on most smoker’s lips is which gets you higher faster. The answer is simple, it’s the bong. Each time you inhale from a bong you get more of your substance of choice. If it is marijuana you are smoking there is no need for it to be mixed with tobacco and the unlike with a blunt, the impurities are filtered out and the smoke is a cooler temperature making it easer to take in more, faster.

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