There are tons of ways to smoke cannabis. Pipes, joints, backwoods, bubblers and bongs have been getting us high for decades. Oftentimes bongs are preferred because they tend to get us nice and high with just the smallest bit of cannabis. They also provide a supremely smooth hit because of the water chamber that all of the smoke filters through. Most times we fill this chamber with room temperature to cold water. This will cool down smoke before pulling it up the tube while also catching the ash for a clean, smooth hit. Some opponents to bongs believe that cannabinoids and terpenes are filtered out in the water, but experts disputed this case. What bong water does do, however, is flavor the smoke of our hit. That means, if we don’t change it and it becomes ashy and black our hits will taste like ash. But it also means we can change the flavor for the better.
When we burn dried herb it heats to a pretty high temperature. That combustion results in a hit that is pretty hot. This is why hitting cannabis out of a short pipe can burn our throats as the smoke goes down. That’s why the most classic way to tweak our bong water is to cool it down. The easiest way to phase the heat out of the smoke is to add ice directly to the water chamber of our bong. Lots of glass is outfitted with an ice catcher though, which can cool the smoke without cubes being put directly in the water.
A cold water concentrate of herbal mixtures can also be a great way to complement the flavor of our bud. This include flowers like lavender, dandelion, and rose that are used in herbal work. The easiest way to infuse water with dried or fresh herbs is to use boiling water in the same way that we would when making a cup of tea. If we’re choosing this infusion method then we should try to get our water ready in advance. Hitting a hot bong isn’t a pleasant experience, it’s different than the usual hit but still, cooled down smoke is definitely the right way to go.
That being said, if we’re using the hot water method we should extract the herbed water in advance and then let it cool to room temp. If we’re feeling extra sassy we can freeze the tea in an ice cube tray for future use. A cold water infusion is also possible, it simply uses time instead of using heat to concentrate the chemical compounds. Let the herbs sit in the water for around 24-48 hours, agitating as necessary so that the water hits every surface of the herbs. Once the water has taken on the flavor of the herbs the water will take on a greenish, yellow, or even red color.
A lot of herbs will make for a tasty hit, but while deciding what plants to infuse into our water we should take a look at the terpene composition of both the herbs and the strain we’re planning to use. With the right herby water we can actually amplify the effects of our buds by either adding to the current terpenes or complementing them with our flavored bong water.
Next time we’re peeling an orange or find ourselves looking at a lemon in our fruit bowl we should think about using it for our next session. Instead, we can drop it right into our bong water for a refreshing addition to our daily toke. Like the herbs listed above, peels of citrus fruits contain terpenes. As such, adding them to our bong water can help complement or amplify the flavor in our inhalation depending on the terpene content of the strain. To amplify the citrus infusion just pour boiling water over the peels and then let it cool much the same way as with the herbs. Again, it’s possible to use the water hot but cooling down the smoke is the objective so it feels a bit counter intuitive. While these are great to add directly into our bong, don’t leave the peels to decompose in the glass. This could lead to unhealthy hits, gross buildup inside the chamber, and more.
As we mentioned above, don’t leave organic matter to decompose in the bong water. Empty out the citrus peels, flowers, or herbs after the session ends. Similarly, know where the herbs and plants are sourced from to ensure that we’re not making pesticide teas to smoke out of. For those looking to get creative mixing peels, flowers and herbs into desirable flavors be sure not to add anything to the bong that contains sugars or fats. Liquids that contain fats (like milk) could bind to the cannabinoids, removing some of the high from our hit. With sugary drinks like gatorade and juice as it will gunk up the insides of our piece even more than the usual resin buildup. Lastly, don’t add anything to the chamber with a high alcohol content. You know, because flame will be applied to the same glass piece where the flammable liquid is. Other than that, experimentation with flavors as we’ve describe is not only safe but encouraged!