Cold bong water equals cool, smooth hits. Warm water equals harsher, heavier hits. Everyone knows that.
But is it really that simple?
Ask any group of smokers about the perfect bong water temperature and you’re bound to spark some potent opinions. Take it from us – in developing the MouthPeace, we painstakingly sampled hundreds of bongs with hundreds of users from all around the country.
Needless to say, there’s more to the cold vs. warm equation than smoothness. In the quest for the perfect bong hit, we have to go deeper.
Let’s go back to Water Bong 101 for a moment. One of the chief benefits of a water bong is its ability to cool the smoke while preserving its potency and flavor profile. Cutting the heat makes the smoke less irritating to the mucosa lining your mouth and respiratory tract – in other words, it’s gentler on the lungs and less likely to send you into coughing fits.
The colder the water, the cooler the smoke. It’s safe to say that cooler is better to most cannabis consumers.
But keep in mind that filling your piece with warm water is still going to cool the smoke. The temperature of the water is always going to be less than the burning bud in your bowl.
Conclusion: cooler water definitely yields cooler smoke, but warm water has a cooling effect as well.
One of the few downsides of filling your bong with icy-cold water is the resin build-up. THC solidifies faster in lower temperatures, leaving more resin behind on the innards of the piece.
If you can’t stand to see those precious crystals go to waste (or you really hate cleaning your bong), cold water can work against you.
You know that feeling you get when you press your palms around a warm mug of coffee?
Toasting a glass of warm water is a lot like that.
There’s something to be said for the feel of a warm bong giving off plumes of steamy smoke. Like a hot shower or a sauna room.
Coldwater, on the other hand, tends to deliver thicker, more refreshing hits. The crispness of cool water enhances the freshness and flavor of the product.
In short, warm water produces a very different sensation than cold water. Which is better to is up to you.
If you’re aiming for the healthiest hit possible, water is definitely your friend. Filtering marijuana smoke through water lowers the amount of toxic substances while preserving most of its THC content.
The reason is this: many of the harmful particles in marijuana smoke are water-soluble, while active ingredients like THC are not. The negative substances get trapped in the water while the good molecules pass through. Studies have also suggested marijuana smoke that has been filtered through water has less impact on the immune system than unfiltered smoke, which is good news for medical users.
But there’s a caveat. Some of the THC does get trapped in the water. Though not water-soluble, THC molecules are ‘sticky’ and can adhere to the particulates you’re filtering out.
Because of this, you have to consume more water-filtered smoke than non-filtered smoke to get equally high, according to one study. So, if you wind up smoking more with a bong than you’d smoke unfiltered, the health effects aren’t as great.
As for warm vs. cold bong water? Though some smokers claim that warm water is a better filter, there isn’t solid evidence backing it up. The temperature shouldn’t impact the bong’s filtration ability.
Choosing the Perfect Temperature
Water temperature can affect and enhance the smoking experience in numerous ways. In the end, it all comes down to preference. The only way to find out which will create your perfect hit is to do what we did: experiment!
Just keep in mind:
If you’re going to experiment with warmer water, don’t go above the temperature of an immediately drinkable cup of tea – not a McDonald's coffee. Too much steam can burn your throat.
- Whichever temperature you prefer, always change your bong water after each sesh! Leaving it to sit is a recipe for bacteria and grime. Fresher water equals fresher tokes.
- Glass bongs are sensitive to sudden temperature changes. Don’t pour hot water into a cold bong or cold water into a warm bong! Run the piece under lukewarm water first.