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Is Bong Water Good For Plants?

When changing your bong water, it's natural to wonder what else this weed soup is useful for. Particularly, many smokers over time have asked the age-old question: is bong water good for plants? 


This article seeks to answer this question by dissecting what, exactly, is in your bong water. From the cannabinoids and plant material to the toxins and tar, this article explores everything you need to know about feeding your plants bong water. 

What is bong water?


To understand bong water, one must first understand the bong. A bong is a smoking device for dry herb that uses water to filter smoke. This filtration process removes some toxins and tar from the smoke. Simultaneously, it cools the smoke down, making hits less harsh on your throat.


Because the smoke is filtered through water, the water traps toxins, ash, and other filtered materials. Thus, “bong water” is born. 


Bong water isn’t all bad, though. Unfortunately for the smoker, the water in your bong also filters out some of the good stuff from your cannabis, including cannabinoids like THC and CBD. As the water also catches any loose leaves and debris that get sucked through your bowl, bong water typically contains decomposing plant matter as well. 


The plant matter, combined with toxins, tar, and ash, generally turns your bong water a rusty brown color--a great indicator that your bong water should be changed. 


What’s in bong water?

Bong water may contain the following:


  • THC
  • CBD
  • Tar
  • Ash
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Naphthalene
  • Acrylamide
  • Acrylonitrile 
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Carbon dioxide

Is bong water good for plants?


Your bong water is brown and full of debris. You’ve been using the same water for the last week or two. It’s time to change your bong water. But what to do with your used bong water when you change it? For decades, stoners have wondered whether pouring the water into your plants can act as a sustainable (and free!) natural fertilizer. 


The logic is there: because of the decomposing plant material, your bong almost seems like it could be a mini composting bin. After all, bong water does contain some natural cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, such as THC and CBD. These cannabinoids have potential beneficial health effects in humans. Who’s to say CBD can’t help your plant flourish as well as it helps you? 


Sadly, however, besides a few anecdotal success stories and a handful of Reddit thread discussions, science on the benefits of bong water as fertilizer is minimal. 


On the other hand, science about the harmful compounds contained in smoke--whether cannabis or tobacco--is plentiful. When cannabis is burned, it produces carcinogens similar to tobacco smoke. These harmful substances include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are linked to cancer in human lung tissue. 


These PAHs--as well as ash, tar, and other toxins--get trapped in the water of your bong when you hit it. While this feature makes bongs a bit healthier for users than a dry pipe or joint, your bong water gets pretty icky as a result. 


Smoke from marijuana produces harmful toxins like naphthalene, acrylamide and acrylonitrile that then become trapped in your bong water. These toxins have been associated with a number of health risks such as cancer, anemia, and liver and neurological damage. 


It not only contains harmful toxins from the smoke, but the stagnant water in your bong attracts fungus and bacteria. Thus, your bong water contains germs and bacteria that are harmful for consumption--whether by a plant or human. 


Additionally, bong water tends toward the acidic end of the pH scale. During the filtration process, water traps acidic compounds like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. 


These compounds--as well as the other materials trapped by the water--impact the pH level of your bong water. Depending on what kind of plant you plan to water with your bong water, this acidity could potentially add to the water’s harmfulness. 


Simply put, bong water is not good for plants. Though it contains natural plant material and desirable cannabinoids, it also carries harmful elements, germs, and bacteria that could damage or kill your plant. 

To sum it up

Bong water acts as the main filtration system in your bong. Lucky for your lungs, it filters out toxins, ash, debris, and a number of other harmful substances. However, the feature that might give our lungs a break is bad news for our plants: giving your plants your used bong water is generally a bad idea. 


The toxins and harmful substances get trapped in your bong water. Additionally, burnt plant particles, ash, and other debris from your bowl contribute to an environment that spawns bacteria, fungus, and other germs. 


Your best bet when changing your bong water is probably dumping it right by the drain. The bottom line is that whether for a plant or a human, bong water simply isn’t safe to consume. 


FAQ

Where should I dump my bong water? 

Toxins, tar, and ash get trapped in your bong water when it filters your smoke. These toxins are made even more harmful by the fungus, bacteria, and germs that can grow in your stagnant bong water. As a result, the best place to dump your bong water is down the drain. 

What is the stuff in bong water? 

When you smoke dry herb from a bong, smoke gets pulled through the water in the chamber. This water acts as a filter and removes some toxins, tar, and natural cannabinoids from the smoke. These materials, as well as ash and burnt plant particles, get trapped in your bong water.

Can dirty bong water kill you?

While there’s little evidence to support that drinking bong water can kill you, it can make you extremely sick. Consuming bong water is likely to cause vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and/or severe headaches. Don’t experiment with drinking bong water. 

Is bong water acidic?

Bong water is generally on the acidic end of the pH scale. During the bong-smoking process, the water in your chamber filters through carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other acidic compounds contained in the smoke. These compounds impact the pH levels in your bong water, making it more acidic than when you poured it into your bong.