Glass bongs contain several parts, including a stem, a bowl, a downstem, and a base into which water is stored. After you pack tobacco or herbs into the bowl and light up, a deep inhalation will draw the smoke through the stem or downstem, through the water, and up the tube—the trunk, if you will—and into your mouth. This may seem unnecessary or curious, but in fact it acts as an ingenious filtration device. Freezable Bongs
As smoke travels through the water, certain kinds of molecules and particles get trapped in the water, or filtered out, thereby reducing the harshness of the hit. Compared to other means of smoking—paper or a wooden pipe, for example—bongs are less likely to burn or otherwise negatively affect your throat. Have you ever lit a cigarette and inhaled too deeply or pulled from a pipe and found yourself coughing, throat cramping and burning? It’s those sensations and experiences that bongs are designed to minimize, which is not to say it’s foolproof: take a big enough hit of tobacco or the herb of your choice in a bong and you’ll likely wrestle with a coughing fit. A little wisdom goes a long way here. Bongs are designed to reduce harshness, but they don’t eliminate it, and no one should take hits too big to reasonably manage or enjoy.
Appreciating Your Bong
Like anything made out of glass, bongs are susceptible to cracking, breaking, or shattering if mistreated. You should consider a bong an investment, the way you’d consider a car or a nice television an investment. These are nice, and, in some cases, luxury items. Since they’re manufactured out of glass, you should handle them with the utmost care.
You should also consider the labor professional glass blowers put into crafting them. In many cases these are labors of love, and they deserve respect, especially when you consider the years of training and apprenticeship required for the artisan to learn the craft well enough to make these works of art. Come to think of it, that’s the best way to approach glass bongs: as works of art.