Education Tips & Tricks

How A Bong Works, Etymology and Beginnings.

How a Bong WorksHow A Bong Works?

How A Bong Works

You’ve all seen and probably smoked out of one, but what’s the actual science behind how a bong works?

A bong is essentially a filtration device, similar to a hookah. It is a single piece construct, consisting of a watertight bowl-stem a water container and a ‘draw tube’ or pipe.

Etymology and Beginnings:

The word ‘bong; comes from the Thai word bong or baung, which refers to a cylindrical wooden tube, or pipe cut from bamboo. A bong is also known as a water pipe. Other slang names for a bong that you might recognize are bing, binger, pipe or hookah.

The earliest water pipe discovered is thought to have been used by tribes who lived in and around the area that is now known as Russia. The bong came through Persia to China along the famous Silk Road and soon became the most popular way for Chinese royalty to smoke tobacco, preferring it to snuff bottles or other intake methods.

How Do Bongs Work Scientifically?

When you light dry herb, it catches fire or combusts. The heat breaks down the chemical bonds of the herb and changes the particles into a gas, which takes the form of smoke. The purpose of the bong is to filter out the undesirable particles that are carried in this smoke, so you’re just breathing in the good stuff. We all know what the good stuff is: the cannabinoids that bring the high and relief. Water in your bong helps with this process of separation.

When the smoke passes through the water, much of the ash and tar is filtered out as it binds to the water molecules. Water is a bit like a net – it traps the ash and tar but it isn’t fine enough to catch the neutral compounds you want to smoke. Of course, a small amount of the compounds are left in the water but it’s an insignificant amount.

Another benefit of the water is that it cools the smoke before it reaches your mouth and lungs. Some of you might put ice in your bong. This is so the ice cools the smoke down to cause a smoother inhale to the lungs. We want to caution that it’s important not to cool the smoke too much though. The active ingredients you really want, will vapourize between 125 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so you want to keep them in the vapour stream. To do this, make sure you use enough water to cover the downstem.

Keep Your Water Clean

Keep your bong water clean.

You’ll also want to keep your water clean to improve the quality of your smoking experience. Any chemicals in the water will affect the taste of your hit and some chemicals – such as chlorine – can be dangerous if inhaled. Be sure to clean your bong before use — bacteria becomes present in used bong water roughly 22 hours after sitting in your bong. Hitting a bong with overnight bong water in it will give the bacteria in your water a direct line to your lungs, increasing your risk of infections. Keep your bong clean before each use.

Tips & Tricks

For the Cannaseur: Keeping a Cannabis Journal

Ah, cannabis. Such a complex and fascinating creature. The variation from strain to strain is enough to write about, and indeed many have mused. But have you ever considered writing about cannabis on your own? No need to sign up for night classes, we’re simply talking about helpful notes-to-self so you become the cannasseur you always knew you could be.

Keeping a cannabis journal will allow you to clarify your opinions and tastes, which is helpful as new cannabis experiences can often be (aptly) hazy upon future reflection. With your cannabis journal you’ll be able to check back for details that inform future fun, getting your highs to the most enjoyable elevation possible. And an older version of you may enjoy looking back to see how things have changed over the years.

In addition, those using medical cannabis can better track how certain strains affect their symptoms and dial in their perfect dose .

Here’s more about why and how to keep a cannabis journal.

To Enjoy Better Smoking, and…

As mentioned above, cannabis is no simple plant. Between cannabinoid ratios, terpenes, flavonoids, and all of the other beautiful details that make each bud her own – there’s a lot to keep track of. And we’re not even talking about the products that you love! Keeping a cannabis journal will help you sort out the plethora of options in this glorious legal market.

Cannabis journal entry
  • Relive Strains and Products You Love: Remember that edible that made you totally blissed out after that awful day a few months ago? (It was probably a cookie, but may have been a chocolate, I’m pretty sure it had green on the label??) Next time, you’ll know where you struck gold.

  • Avoid Strains and Products You Hate: You usually love sativas, but there’s that one strain that makes you just frizz out…but was it Jack the Ripper or Jack Herer? Noting cannabis experiences that aren’t worth repeating will ensure that you don’t.

  • Compare Variations: Cannabis strains, or even products, aren’t always the same. It’s handy to be able to check back when you feel like last time’s adventure with the canna-purchase in question was different than this one.

To Enjoy Smoking, Better.

But the cannabis ingredients involved in a stoney experience is only part of the story. What you do with your time with it is key. It’s tempting to smoke up and tune out, scrolling on your phone whilst noshing on whatever’s around – but you can do better. (You know, unless you have stuff you want to look at and whatever’s around is delicious.)

cannabis journal and bud
  • Keep an Adventure Log: When the right activity meets the right canna-purchase, magic happens. Whether you’re aiding a relaxation massage/bath combo afternoon with a indica tincture and an infused bath bomb, or taking your new favorite sativa cartridge to the club; you’ll be able to recount and repeat (or adjust) as desired.

  • Be Mindful of Canna Use: This counts both in regard to using your journal for getting intentional about how you’re spending your time, as well as how much cannabis you’re using and what kind of patterns you have around use. The last two are useful for maintaining balance as well as for planning shopping needs.

  • Cannabis for Wellness Issues: Even people who use cannabis recreationally often also benefit medically from their cannabis use. If you run into something that’s great for occasional headaches, stomach issues, or other common problems; it’s great to have the information for the future. And, of course, this is invaluable for medical cannabis users!

  • Out-of-Town Cannabis Fun: When visiting a new-to-you legal mecca, there can be a lot to keep track of and the tasks at hand aren’t likely to help you remember the details. Keeping a cannabis journal will help you remember dispensaries, products, and brands that you love.

Doing Your Cannabis Journal Right

You could just grab a notebook and have at it, but it also might be helpful to think about what you’d like your cannabis journal to contain. First, get clear on why you’re starting your journal. If you want to have a list of all of the strains you’ve tried this year, also think about including things like which brands, where you bought it, and how close to phenotype you’d rate it. Here are a few more tips.

pencil and joint with cannabis journal
  • Choose the Right Journal: What kind of journal do you want? Do you want room to draw in it and get creative, or would you prefer just lines? Will you be likely to keep a physical journal on you, or would an electronic version be more practical?

  • Make It Yours: Do you. If you’re highest concern is to find the best munchie that’s ever existed, or the purplest bud you’ve ever seen, document your mission — no one’s judging here. Include details that matter to you, sans regard for anyone’s thoughts but future-you.

  • And Make it a Habit: Like they say, consistency is key. Your cannabis journal will be most useful if consistently log experiences. For medical and/or daily users, this might mean an entry reflecting on the day or week, and every session for more sporadic users.

You can find everything you need to get started at ECO Cannabis, from an ideal journal to amazing strains and cannabis products!

Tips & Tricks

Useful Tips Telling Your Doctor About Cannabis Use

While awareness of the medical benefits of cannabis is growing, there is still a stigma around cannabis use due to its reputation as a recreational drug. While medical cannabis has a long history in California (as compared to other states), some people still have issues bringing up their cannabis use to their medical professional. While telling a doctor about cannabis use can be intimidating, the risks of not doing so are even greater.

Tell doctor about cannabis use- doctor with leaf

Telling Your Doctor About Cannabis Use

The most common factor involved in withholding information about cannabis use from a doctor is fear of legal or professional repercussions. Even in California, some patients feel as though doctors will alert authorities or create a public record of an admission of cannabis use. But this could not be further from the truth.

While a doctor divulging personal information may seem like a nightmare, doctors are bound to confidentiality and have the express goal of meeting the health needs of a patient. Therefore, the best option is to provide your doctor with detailed information about your cannabis intake, especially if you have other prescriptions or experiencing symptoms that may be helped or exacerbated by cannabis use.


In order to prescribe the right medication or treatment, doctors must know about any drug or supplement use a patient engages in. In fact, an emerging debate within the medical community centers around the necessity of asking patients about cannabis use, as this is standard procedure for obtaining information about alcohol intake and other narcotics a patient uses.

Doctors require information about cannabis intake because it has the potential to interfere with prescriptions a patient may need. While cannabis may be safe in most circumstances, when mixed with pharmaceuticals, the result can be incapacitating side effects that are best avoided.

Things to Keep In Mind When Talking to Your Doctor

One aspect of telling a doctor about cannabis use that most patients do not understand is that medical professionals are increasingly more familiar with cannabis and its effects. With legalization rolling across the country, the medical field is awash with new information about cannabis and its impacts on health. In fact, many doctors are interested in learning about cannabis and eager to provide patients with insight into their cannabis intake.

When talking to your doctor regarding cannabis, you should have some specific information handy. In particular, doctors typically want to know your preferred type of cannabis, the way you use it, and how often you are using cannabis. This information may seem tedious or irrelevant, but all of it is used by physicians to make determinations about what medication is right for your individual situation.

doctor writing a prescription

Finally, take the opportunity to ask questions about your cannabis intake. While not every doctor will be comfortable with discussing cannabis use, there is no downside to asking. Your doctor may be able to provide you with valuable knowledge about cannabis and its relationship to your specific medical needs.

Being open with your care providers can help ensure that any treatment is in line with your current lifestyle and goals. Don’t feel like you ever have to hide your cannabis use!

At ECO Cannabis, we feel that cannabis can be an integral part of your wellness routine. Stop by to learn more!