The thriving marijuana market shows no signs of vanishing. As more states decriminalize cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, new methods of smoking weed are pouring into the market, providing us with more innovative options for getting an energetic buzz from the wonder plant.
For seasoned cannabis users, there's always the excitement of discovering a more intense high from the smoking experience. Gravity bongs come into play here.
What is a gravity bong?
A gravity bong, also called GB, Grav, water pipe, or bucket bong, is a unique smoking device that uses water and gravity to fill a bottle or chamber with a massive amount of smoke you can inhale. It's well known for its strong hits that can get you very high instantly. This instant high and the small amount of flower needed makes the gravity bong popular among old and new stoners who want to get super baked quickly.
Is a gravity bong legal?
Whether gravity bongs are legal depends on your location. Federally, marijuana is still considered a controlled substance throughout the U.S. Since gravity bongs are used for cannabis consumption, they're considered paraphernalia and are likewise illegal.
However, it's not that simple. Many states have decriminalized or legalized cannabis use, which applies to gravity bongs. If you live in a state where weed is legal, your bong won't get you in trouble.
If you're outside the U.S., it will likely depend on whether weed is legal in your country. If you're concerned about whether your gravity bong is legal in your state or country, consult a law enforcement officer or lawyer to find out the exact regulations for your area before you make or buy a bong.
Types of gravity bongs
There are two significant types of gravity bongs. Though they're used in slightly different ways, both function the same: Each uses gravity to pull smoke into a chamber and then push it into your lungs.
Glass gravity bong
A glass geeb such as the Gravitron bong consists of a vase-like container with a bottle nested snugly inside. The top of the bottle holds the bowl and can also be used as the mouthpiece. The vase section is filled with water, and the bottle is submerged to fill the inner chamber. When the bottle is pulled out, it creates a vacuum that pulls the smoke inside. Reinserting the bottle causes it to refill with water, pushing the smoke into your lungs.
Rotating gravity bong
A rotating gravity bong also uses a water-filled chamber that empties into a second chamber via gravity. In this case, the two chambers are attached, one on the other, rather than nested. When the bottle is rotated, water pours into the empty lower chamber, pushing out the air and sucking the smoke into the resulting vacuum. Flip the bottle again to use the water to push the smoke back out.
How does a gravity bong work?
Grav bongs have three main parts: a bowl, a two-part bottle or chamber, and a mouthpiece. The secret to the gravity bong is in the chamber. It typically consists of two sections, one filled with water and one into which the water is poured. To draw the smoke into the chamber, you light your flower in the bowl and then rotate or lift the chamber, depending on the design, until the water flows out into the other section. The suction pulls the smoke into the emptying chamber as the water flows from one chamber to another — thanks to gravity. Once it's complete, you can force the smoke out by refilling the chamber with water.
How to clean your gravity bong
It's essential to clean your gravity bong regularly to prevent buildup and mediate the risk of mold or bacterial growth. You can discard the plastic bottle and replace it with homemade gravity bongs. But if you have a store-bought piece or use less disposable materials to make yours, you'll want to clean it properly.
Start by separating any parts that you can for maximum access. Remove the bowl and mouthpiece to clean separately. Fill each dirty component with alcohol and coarse salt and shake. Scrub any parts you can reach. If you don't want to use alcohol, you can substitute vinegar, although cleaning may take a little longer since vinegar is less potent. Make sure to rinse each piece thoroughly to remove any remaining alcohol. Use a Q-tip or pipe cleaner to get into hard-to-reach places and scrape off any remaining residue.
Put the bowl and mouthpiece into their Ziploc bag with some alcohol and coarse salt and shake until clean. Again, you can use a Q-tip or pipe cleaner to get into hard-to-reach spaces. Rinse thoroughly and put everything back together.
Advantages of gravity bongs
Gravity bongs come with many advantages. The steady suction flow on the burning flower produces a highly concentrated hit using minimal plant matter. And because the water draws the smoke into the chamber, you can inhale the smoke using your total lung capacity for bigger hits and higher highs. They also allow you to easily store some smoke in the chamber while you breathe between hits or pass the bong to another person.
How high do gravity bongs get you?
Gravity bongs were made for those who can handle the unfiltered influx of THC and want to feel the full effect of it in less time. Compared with traditional ways of smoking flower, gravity bongs are larger, which explains the massive plume of smoke it can hold. A considerable amount of smoke, coupled with it rushing into your lungs as the top chamber is pushed down while inhaling, and you get nothing less than a monster hit that feels out of this world.
Because gravity bongs are known for producing an overly powerful high, they are ideal for veteran smokers. Casual users may find the concentrated smoke too much for their tolerance.
Should I buy a gravity bong or make one?
As you already know, making gravity bongs at home is possible and doesn't cost a fortune. Gather your supplies and start creating your very own homemade gravity bongs. But if you're unsure whether you should DIY or buy one from your trusted smoke shop, then you may find the following information helpful in choosing between the two:
Pros & cons of making a gravity bong
The most significant benefit of a DIY gravity bong is the price. You can often use items you may already have lying around the house, such as a water bottle, so it's practically free. You also don't have to worry about forgetting it at home if you go out to smoke with friends — you can make another.
However, there are some upsides to manufactured pieces, as well. Despite the often hefty price tag, a store-bought piece will likely last you a long while, whereas the DIY one-hitter may break down quickly. Even a cheap gravity bong bought from a store will be constructed of sturdier materials — usually glass or ceramic — meaning it will resist heat and flame and withstand good use. Store-bought gravity bongs also tend to be flashier and prettier. Some come in relaxed or colorful designs to add flair to your high.
You can also make a homemade gravity bong to see if you like it and invest in a professional piece later. Since there's minimal investment to make your own, it's a great way to try before you buy.
How to make your gravity bong
It's easy to make your geeb piece. If you are interested in physics, you might find it a fun experiment. It takes a few minutes and some basic supplies.
What you'll need:
A large bottle or bucket
A smaller bottle, such as a water bottle with a lid
Some aluminum foil or the bowl from another piece
Something sharp like a box cutter or scissors
Cut a hole in the bottom of the smaller bottle large enough for water to flow through easily. Cut the top to make a makeshift bucket using a giant bottle for the lower half.
Poke a hole in the lid of the smaller bottle with your box cutter or scissors, or melt a hole with a lighter or something similar. If you're using a bowl from another bong, the hole should be large enough to fit it snugly.
Remove the lid and prep the bowl. Either insert the one you have or make one by wrapping the cap in foil and poking some small holes through it with a toothpick.
Fill your larger container with water and submerge the smaller bottle. Put the cap back on once it's complete.
Add your flower and light it. Pull gently on the bottle, allowing the water to flow out the bottom and the smoke to fill the vacated space. Don't lift the bottle fully out of the water, or smoke may escape out the hole in the bottom.
When you're ready to inhale, remove the lid or bowl and push the bottle back into the water while inhaling through the bottle's mouth. As the bottle refills with water, it quickly pushes the smoke out and into your lungs. If you don't inhale all the smoke immediately, put the cap back on to keep it in the bottle until you're ready. Be careful not to push it further into the water, or it may force the smoke out through the bowl.
Alternative to gravity bongs
If you decide gravity bongs aren't for you, there are several other ways to get your cannabis fix. Other smoking methods include pipes, standard bongs, joints, or dry herb vapes. Each has pros and cons. For example, bongs usually produce smoother smoke but are more expensive. Pipes don't filter the smoke as well, but they're often much more affordable and sometimes come in fantastic shapes or designs.
You can make or buy edibles or tinctures if you don't want to smoke weed. You can find pretty easy recipes that use essential household ingredients. Store-bought edibles include gummies, hard candies, chocolates, baked goods, and beverages, to name a few. They come in varying strengths, so know your tolerance before chowing down.
How to use gravity bongs socially and safely
The concentration and amount of smoke a grav bong produces makes it ideal for social smoking. One pull creates more than enough to go around. However, sharing your piece with too many people is an excellent way to spread bacteria and viruses. A swappable silicone mouthpiece for your gravity bong can help you avoid sharing germs with your friends. The MooseLabs MouthPeace also uses special carbon filters that cut out much of the gunk in smoke, such as resin and tar, without restricting airflow. You'll get smoother smoke that's easier on your lungs.
Are gravity bongs illegal?
Yes and no. At the federal level, marijuana and its paraphernalia are still criminalized. However, many states have legalized cannabis and its accessories, so you should be fine if you live in one of those states. If you're unsure, seek the advice of a legal professional before buying or making one.
Is a gravity bong better than a bong?
Neither is necessarily better than the other. It just depends on the type and strength of high you want. Gravity bongs are great for an experienced, high-tolerance smoker because they allow you to take significant hits of concentrated smoke all at once, getting you higher faster. But for new smokers, the high produced may be too intense. A regular bong might be "better" for them.
What is the safest gravity bong?
Glass gravity bongs are generally considered the safest because they are heat-resistant and won't break down while smoking. But materials like plastic may produce harmful chemicals when heated and mixed with your smoke.
What type of bong hits the smoothest?
Generally, the more filtered the smoke is, the smoother the hit. For example, bongs that filter the smoke through water produce a smoother hit than those that draw smoke directly from the burning flower to your mouth, such as pipes or joints. However, you can make any hit smoother by adding filtration, such as a MooseLabs MouthPeace or MouthPeace Mini. These can attach to a variety of smoking implements. The carbon filter cuts out harsh components of the smoke, such as resin, tar, and other contaminants, so all that reaches your lungs is the good part.
What is the cleanest bong to smoke out of?
Filtration doesn't only make the smoke smoother. It also makes it cleaner. Again, filtering through water or a carbon filter will produce a cleaner smoke than one that goes straight from the flower to your lungs.
What bong won't break?
Just about any bong is at risk of breaking eventually. Certain materials, such as metal or silicone, are less breakable than others versus glass or ceramic. However, any material breaks down over time. Your best bet to make your piece last is to take proper care of it:
Store it somewhere secure.
Clean it regularly
Handle with care