A bong is a truly amazing device that allows you to smoke dry herb cannabis without harsh smoke or ash on your tongue. The cool water, percolators, and ice catch each play their part in smoothing your hit until you can enjoy an enormous cloud without coughing - with practice. But just buying a bong isn't the end of your project. Most bongs have at least two pieces, the chamber, and a stem bowl, many separate the stem and bowl. These are sold together, but you can also enhance your bong or enjoy more diverse cannabis products by equipping the right bong accessories.
What accessories do you need for a bong? It depends on what you want to do with it. Dive in with VESSEL to explore some of the best accessories you can collect to use with one bong or many.
Extra Stems and Bowls
A bong uses a percolating stem, which extends down into the water, and a bowl which sits on top of the stem. Some are combined, some are separate. But you can also mix-and-match based on what fits into your bong's stem aperture. This means that you can enjoy different sizes and types of bowls, different levels of percolation, and create adapters for cool bong attachments. You can also very easily replace a bong's bowl or stem that has broken.
Get the diameter of your bong's stem aperture to learn the size of stem you need, and use the stem to size your bowls. Each needs to fit snugly, often using the frosted glass method of textured glass to lock in the smoke.
If you're a cannabis dry herb first-timer, don't forget to have at least one lighter (more is better) before setting up your bong. You'll need it to gently cherry the bowl as you inhale through the top of your bong. We encourage you to experiment with several types of lighters until you find your favorite lighter that provides the best grip and angle for your hands and bong.
No bong is complete without an ice tray. Ice cubes go into the top of your bong, just above the ice catch or "pinch" and help to cool the smoke as you breathe it in. The width of the neck (also known as the tube, uptake, or chamber) determines how large your ice cubes can be. The height determines how many ice cubes you can stack. Often, bongs are made to hold normal sized ice cubes. You can also get a specialty ice cube tray to make fun shapes or extra narrow ice cubes that fit into a smaller neck.
If you don't have the right ice tray yet, you can run cubes under cool water to shrink them before putting them in your bong.
Percolating Ash Catcher
An ash catcher is like a bong for your bong. It attaches between the stem and the bowl, preventing ash from the bowl from falling into the water, keeping your bong cleaner longer and improving the quality of your hits over the course of a smoke sesh. Some have water, all have a few extra baffles and channels that help to prevent ash from moving through.
Be careful when choosing an ash catcher, as you will need one designed to fit with your bong's size, shape, and stem angle.
A resin reclaim looks a lot like an ash catcher, but really it's designed to catch resin and drip it down into a removable silicone container at the bottom. You can smoke resin, which still contains a fair amount of THC, by adding a little to a bowl or joint. The resin collector works like some science equipment you have seen, trapping the aerated cannabis that would normally coat the inside of your bong and creating a downward-facing glass funnel into the removable container. Over time, resin will drip down into the container to be reclaimed.
A bowl screen is similar to what you might use in a spoon pipe to prevent ash from moving down the mouthpiece. Bowl screens can be used to stop ash and plant material from swirling around in your bong water after you take a hit. They can also be tapped or scraped instead of pulling ash down into the bong to clear the bowl.
Bowl screens can often be found In packs of 5, as small discs of metal mesh.
Grinders and Chambers
Every bong needs a grinder to go with it If you don't have a grinder yet, you'll find yourself breaking up buds by hand, which leaves chunky flower bits that don't burn quite as evenly as finely-ground leaf. A good grinder turns smoothly, is easy to grip, and creates well-ground leaf that fits evenly into a bong bowl, spoon pipe, or rolls into a joint just as well.
Some grinders have two chambers, a grinding top and a chamber below that fills with ground leaf. Some have three, with a screen below the leaf chamber and third chamber to catch resin. You can also separate the grinder and chamber functions, grinding with a very smooth and simple grinder and storing your leaf in a smaller, pocket-friendly chamber to quickly load your bong on the go.
Dabbing Banger or Nail
If you enjoy dabbing concentrates, you can turn your bong into a dab rig using a dabbing banger, also called a nail. This is a special flat-bottomed glass cup attachment that replaces the bowl of your bong. Instead of the channel to the bong being in the bottom, it extends from the side, then hooks into the bong stem.
To use a banger with your bong, heat the nail with a torch, then drop a small ball of dab concentrate into the cup. It will quickly vaporize as you inhale through the bong, allowing you to dab with a bong quite easily.
You can even use a vape pen with your bong, for fun bubbly vape and an even smoother hit. For this, you need a small rubber adapter. The bottom is shaped like a round pyramid and fits into the stem of your bong, and the top is a rubber funnel that the mouthpiece of your dab pen fits into. Flip your pen upside down and fire it as you inhale. If the seal is correct and you've captured the vape flow, then you can enjoy vape through your bong.
Bong Cleaner and Coat Hangers
Lastly, you'll want a few things to keep your bog beautifully clean. There are several ways to do this but, primarily, you need an alcohol solvent and a form of grit. Formula 420 and other bong cleaning solutions are very useful, but you can also put together a DIY bong cleaner using borax cleaning powder (a non-toxic scrubbing agent) and isopropyl alcohol. Very hot water run through the bong can also help.
Fill your bong with alcohol and your grit of choice and shake hard. Cap the stem and neck with your hands and shake at every angle to force the solvent and grit to scrub any residue off the inside of your bong. You can do this for several minutes and if the solvent turns brown, you can rinse and refill. If there are any stubborn resin deposits, use clipped and bent sections of a metal coat hanger to help you dislodge it, then shake again.
Finally, rinse your bong with very hot water before refilling with cold water and ice.