Most of us have a terrible habit, and it isn’t smoking weed. The bad habit, shared by many stoners, is the way we neglect our bongs. Bongs, when left to their own devices develop a murky layer of slime. The old bong water turns brown, smells like a bog, and starts to host an array of living things. Dirty bong water in no uncertain terms is terrible for your health, and it can make you seriously ill if left untreated.
Shockingly, there is a published scientific paper looking at the disastrous effects of dirty bong water, ”Marijuana “bong” pseudomonas lung infection: a detrimental recreational experience.” More on that in a moment.
Picking up a bong only to see it is filled with dirty water can be pretty off-putting – especially in a group session. It’s embarrassing to offer a friend a hit from a bong filled with bodily fluids, mold, and bacteria. Dirty bong water not only makes you look lazy, but it can also have some adverse effects on the experience.
What’s Wrong with Dirty Bong Water?
Everything suffers from dirty bong water, the flavor, the high, and potentially your health. You spend so much of your money buying high-grade nugs, but you waste them as soon as you put them in a bowl of a dirty bong. The subtle flavors of blueberry, pine, and lemon are replaced by mold, mildew, and fungus.
These are living microorganisms, which have made your bong home. They thrive off the residue left there after chronic use. They take hold, and begin to take on a life of their own and become something known only has “Biofilm.” This is the name given to the slimy layer of microorganisms living on top of a swamp, or potentially in your bubbler.
The creatures living in Biofilm love warm, moist, and humid environments. This just so happens to be the exact climate in your lungs. As you pull another bong rip through the slime, its eventually going to pull spores and bacteria straight into your lungs.
Changing your bong water regularly has many benefits, not only affecting taste and potency but also for your health. Studies show that water filtration is effective at reducing compounds in smoke. Water also helps to keep your smoke cool and smooth. But what about dirty bong water? How healthy is it?
Dirty Bong Water Sending Bacteria Straight to Your Lungs
In early 2018, a team of researchers out of a University in Malaysia, led by Agni Nhirmal Kumar took on a case of pneumonia triggered by a dirty bong. This may be the first recorded instance of a contaminated bong leading to a serious lung infection. Has this happened before? Of course! But nobody has had the mindset to put it into medical history.
The patient was a 23-year-old weed smoker, who had been smoking daily for at least four years. He also smoked cigarettes. When the researchers first took his case, he was in day three of fever, was coughing up blood, and had very challenging breathing. Apparently, he had been having lung issues for a while but didn’t seek medical attention until it was dire.
After extensive testing, they determined he had something called Necrotizing pneumonia, which is pneumonia that causes cell death. An inflammatory response triggered it. The patient had abscesses on his lungs, as well as gangrene.
Moral of the story is that yes, dirty bong water causes lung infections, and possibly even pneumonia if left untreated. If this terrifying medical report hasn’t convinced you to clean your bong water yet, likely nothing will.
Dirty Bong Water Affects the Entire Experience
Long ago smart smokers knew that dirty bong water led to a build-up in their lungs. Now, with this research paper, there is proof. But even if you don’t care about the state of your lungs, you should care about the overall experience.
If you smoke weed, you know that each strain has a different flavor and a subtle aroma. The chemicals in cannabis, called terpenes, produce these alluring scents. Terpenes are why a Lemon Haze tastes like citrus, and Girl Scout Cookies tastes so deliciously skunky. But if you forget to clean your bong, you’ll quickly find out that nothing tastes delicious at all. Instead of citrus and hints of pine, you’ll get swampy, moldy, dank flavors.
Why even smoke weed if it just tastes like swamp water? One of the best parts of the experience, beyond the high, is the flavors. If you had to filter a fine red wine through a dirty sock, would anyone still drink red wine? The same holds for a nice juicy nug – if you filter the flavors out using a dirty filter – the experience is destroyed.
How Often Should You Clean Your Bong?
By now, we have hopefully convinced you that it’s time to change your bong water. For most house chores, there is a schedule. You do the dishes every day (hopefully!), you wash the sheets a few times a month, and you take out the garbage every week. So, how often should you dump your bong water?
- Daily Smoker: If you smoke weed every single day, like its going out of style, you’ll want to clean your bong frequently. At the very least dump out the water at the end of the day. This is like taking out the dirty filter, the water, and replacing a clean filter. You’ll also probably want to clean the bong itself on a weekly or biweekly basis. Get a bong cleaner, a pipe cleaner or toothbrush, and get to work! A little scrubbing will remove the scum which could still build up if you smoke that often.
- Casual Smoker: If you smoke more on a recreational basis, daily changes aren’t necessary. For someone who uses the bong a few times a week, dump out the bong water once every seven days. Give the bong a good scrub at least every few weeks.
- Any Smoker: Even if you smoke weed once a month or once a year, don’t think you can get out of bong cleaning duties. Part of the reason why the slime builds up is from lack of use. If water sits around, it may also build up bacteria. If you rarely use the bong, dump the water out between uses.
In conclusion, yes you can definitely get sick from old bong water. Don’t leave it sitting around. Don’t forget to change it frequently, and don’t forget to clean your bong as well. Although chronic weed smokers have known the dangers of dirty bong water for years, now its proven how dangerous it can be. Thanks to the research paper out of Malaysia, everyone can see exactly how series a lung infection from dirty bong water can be.