How to Smoke Out of a Bong: The Complete Beginner’s Guide

posted by Chris Valentine

Approximately 13 percent of American adults (that’s one in eight people) currently use cannabis on a regular basis.

Are you part of this group? Are you looking to expand your methods of consumption?

For those who want to branch out from joints and vapes, a bong is a good alternative, especially when you’re looking to get high from the comfort of your own home. A bong often yields a better hit and is less harsh than some other options.

If you’re not sure how to smoke out of a bong, keep reading. Everything you need to know is explained down below.

Choosing the Right Bong

Walking into a smoke shop or scanning an online store for the right bong can be overwhelming. If you’re not sure what type of bong you want to use, here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

Herb vs. Concentrates

One of the first things you need to consider when buying a bog is what kind of cannabis product you’re going to be using with it. Are you going to pack it with dry herb, or do you plan on using cannabis concentrates?

For most beginners, a dry herb is going to be less harsh and more forgiving. Cannabis concentrates are, well, concentrated and they take some getting used to.

If you’re using dry herb, you’ll need a bong that features a bowl and a larger stem with either a 90-degree or 45-degree angle. If you’re using cannabis concentrates, you’ll need a nail with a 90-degree angle stem to heat the concentrate.

Size Matters

Consider the size of your bong, too. If you’re going to be using it exclusively from home, you can buy one as large as you wish. A smaller or medium-sized one is a better option if you plan on taking it with you to parties or gatherings at friends’ houses.

So Does Material

Think about the material your bong is made from as well. Glass is generally the best option for a bong. It’s harder to damage (as long as your bong is made from high-quality glass) and easier to clean.

Glass bongs are more expensive than other options like acrylic, plastic, and ceramic, though.

Don’t be Cheap

A large glass bong will set you back a pretty penny. However, it might be worth it in the long run.

If you buy a cheap bong, you might end up having to replace it sooner than you’d like. In many cases, it’s better to invest more upfront and get a bong that will stand the test of time.

Bong Basics

Once you’ve found the right bong for you, it’s time to master the basics. The following tips will teach you the basics of preparing, using, and cleaning your bong:


When preparing your bong, the first step is to fill it with water. Use fresh water and add enough so that you submerge a portion of the stem (about 3-7 centimeters works well in most cases).

Once you’ve filled the bong, go ahead and pack it. Break down your dry herb with a grinder and pack it into the bowl. Pack enough for everyone who’s going to be using the bong, but make sure you don’t cram too much into the bowl.

If you’re using cannabis concentrates, take a small amount of the concentrated material (a crumb-sized amount will be plenty) and place it on the nail.


Now, it’s time to go ahead and use your bong. Use a lighter or torch to heat up your dry herb or concentrate.

Don’t hold the heat on it for too long (you don’t want it to burn). A few seconds should be fine.

Once you’ve heated it up, go ahead and place your mouth inside the mouthpiece (not around it) and inhale while covering the carb hole. After you’ve drawn as much smoke as you want into the chamber, go ahead and inhale.


It’s important to clean your bong after every use.

Not only is this a good practice from a hygiene standpoint, but it’ll also help your bong to last longer. It’ll ensure that you have a good experience every time you use it, too, and you won’t have to worry about any bad tastes lingering.

Clean your bong with water, a paper towel, and some rubbing alcohol to disinfect and get rid of any stubborn spots. Let it dry in an open area, too.

Bonus Tips for First-Timers

If your first time using a bong is going to be in a group and you want to make sure you avoid any faux pas, this section if for you. Keep these bonus tips for first-timers in mind and you won’t have to deal with anyone making comments like, “you’re using my bubbler bong the wrong way.”

Stay Hydrated

It’s normal to cough a lot or have a dry mouth when using a bong. To avoid feeling uncomfortable when this happens, make sure you’ve had some water to drink beforehand, and drink some more afterward.

Start Small

Remember, you get to control how much cannabis you consume when using a bong. If you’re nervous, start small. You can always take in more later on.

Always Clear the Bong

It’s considered good manners to clear the bong (this is why it’s important not to pull more smoke than you can handle). Clearing the bong ensures that the next person doesn’t get a stale hit.

Only Light Part of the Bowl

When lighting the bowl, try to only light one part of it. This helps you avoid burning up your herb and leaving a gross taste for the next person.

You Know How to Smoke Out of a Bong — What’s Next?

Figuring out how to smoke out of a bong might seem complicated at first. With a little practice, though, it’ll get easier and you’ll become a pro before you know it.

As long as you remember the tips outlined above, you’ll have no trouble mastering the basics of bong usage.

Do you want to learn more about cannabis consumption or other tools besides bongs that you might want to use? If so, check out some of our other smoking-related articles today.

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