The terms “bong” and “pipe” are often used interchangeably, especially among people who aren’t really familiar with smoking accessories.
They are both used to smoke marijuana and they also have water chambers (although not all pipes do). But as much as they share certain similarities, in reality, they refer to two entirely different things.
That said, learn more and take a close look at the differences between the two to help you distinguish one from the other.
1. The Smoking Experience Varies
Water pipes usually deliver harsher hits, earning them the reputation of “lungbusters.” Anyone who has used a pipe can attest to this. After all, just about every pipe user has coughed fiercely after taking a hit from a pipe at some point.
Pipes are also known to have particulates that can undermine the smoking experience significantly. At times, pipe screens disintegrate, and pieces of ash and leaves can be sucked through the stem and straight into the mouth. Worse still, these particles can hit the back of your throat, triggering a serious cough.
When it comes to hits, bongs deliver long and strong hits as long as you know how to do it correctly. The smoke you inhale is filtered by bong water, providing for a smoother hit. Moreover, bong rips have an immediate effect.
2. Their Structural Designs Are Different
Pipes are ideal for a quick hit at any time of the day and at any location. They are available in different shapes, sizes, and materials, making it easy for you to pick what you feel works for you.
You’ll find anything from small hand pipes to larger tubes in the market, each made from materials such as metal, silicone, wood, and glass. But as portable, as they are, the smaller variants can easily get lost.
Bongs, on the other hand, are bigger pipes with a water chamber to filter out soot from smoke, tar, and other particulates from the bong bowl. For this reason, bong hits tend to taste cleaner, smoother, and even flavorful.
Bongs come in various designs. Some are artsier with sophisticated percolation and cooling features. You’ll also find mini-bongs and bubbler pipes, but these are still challenging to carry around and are more ideal for home use.
3. Different Ways of Using a Bong and Water Pipe
With a bong, you draw the smoke through the bowl and downstem right into the water. The smoke then cools off and moves up through bubbles into the empty bong chamber above the water, filling with smoke.
As for water pipes, a straw or pipe points out an upward angle from the side. Sucking on it draws the smoke through the down stem and into the water. The smoke then proceeds to move up into the body of the gourd and out the straw or pipe.
Water Bong Vs. Pipe: Which Is Best for You?
Both pipes and bongs are popular in the smoking community. Some would vouch for the bong, and others would stand by the pipe at any time. The ‘pipe vs. bong’ debate has been a subject of heated argument among stoners and will continue to be for years to come.
The truth is the one that’s best for you is the one you will enjoy the most. Consider the differences pointed out in this article so you can make a more informed decision during your selection process.