With regard to the ceramics option, “just ignore the weird looks at pottery class,” quips Mark Bradbury, a manager at BC Smoke Shop in Victoria.
Water bongs are easily accessible at local pot shops or readily available online. But if shopping in person or shopping and waiting hold little appeal, industrious types can try their hands at making their own.
There are plenty of ways and materials for someone looking to make a water bong, but Mark Wojcicki, owner of Edmonton-based Smoky Mountain Head Shop, recommends constructing a gravity bong.
While the device is in operation, “you will hear the bong bubble as the smoke travels from the lit weed through the downstem and through the water.” The water is cooling and filtering the smoke, creating a smoother toke.
“The material won’t affect your high,” says Wojcicki, “but it can affect the taste.” While glass does not affect taste, he points out that users do risk breaking the bong if it is dropped.
An online search of how bong parts fit together offers the following basic explanation: the bowl holds the cannabis, which is then filtered through the carb (in essence, a hole or opening); the smoke makes its way through the carb from the downstem, a tube with one end submerged in water; and the base holds the water.
To get a water bong going, a person will need a water chamber (such as a bucket), a bowl with a downstem (allows smoke to pass through to the water chamber; easier to buy than make) and a smoke chamber (a plastic bottle with the bottom removed, or a pipe). Wojcicki offers this caution: remember that plastic can melt if heated too much, and can produce toxic fumes.
Once the bowl is full, light the cannabis while inhaling from the mouthpiece. “The smoke will be drawn through the inner tube, filtered through the water and then travel up the mouthpiece,” she says. Then, inhale the smoke and enjoy.
For the smoke chamber, a smaller diameter piece fits the bill. “[It] allows for an airtight seal when you press your mouth against it to inhale,” Wojcicki explains.
Bradbury suggests that getting a nice downstem with a bowl—again, purchasing the latter may be the best bet—can run you upwards of $30, and the other costs (bottles, bowls, etc.) could add up to anywhere from $10 to $30 apiece if you don’t have the materials at home already.
Home-made or store-bought, bongs have been reported to produce a smoother, cleaner high