Bong 101: The Science Behind How It Works
How does a bong work?
Some of us like to know what’s behind the magic. We like to see what’s going on behind the curtain, beneath the hood, and inside the screen. The science behind how a bong works is very cool.
So here’s a bong science lesson for you.
The whole thing starts when you light the herb that’s been packed into the bowl and begin to inhale. This initiates a flow of air through the bong that causes the reservoir of water at the bottom of the bong to start bubbling. Since oxygen is at the heart of combustion, this airflow causes the bud to burn, while also immediately pulling the resulting smoke down the stem into the water.
As the smoke passes through the water, all sorts of particulates and toxins get filtered out to remain behind in the water. But because THC has an extremely low solubility in water, most of the good stuff passes through and travels up into the chamber.
Once the chamber fills with the now-filtered smoke, it’s time to remove the bowl. The higher pressure of the air outside the bong will now rush in, forcing all the smoke that’s built up inside the chamber to shoot into the smoker’s lungs. If, for some weird reason, you haven’t already seen this a million times, here’s what the whole process looks like.
How Effective Is A Bong?
So just how effective is this method of smoke filtration? According to Nicholas V. Cozzi, Ph.D., “it appears that water filtration can be effective in removing components from marijuana smoke that are known toxicants while allowing the THC to pass through relatively intact.”
“It seems that many patients could benefit from the use of water pipes to deliver THC. This would allow patients to titrate their dose quickly while reducing the health hazard associated with smoke.”
OK, enough reading for now. Time to take a hit, fully appreciating the physics behind your bong and your next massive rip.