Do Bongs Get You Higher?

For a long time, all that mattered to stoners was getting as high as possible as quickly as possible. This resulted in higher potency herb, new smoking devices, and the rise of cannabis concentrates to keep up with those chasing a more powerful high. But the times have changed and there are many 420 enthusiasts who are looking to deepen their experience with the plant in therapeutic and even non-psychoactive ways. However, that doesn’t mean that people aren’t trying to get as high as humanly possible. One of the most popular topics discussed amongst Reddit weed communities is “how to get higher when smoking weed” and “do bongs get you higher.” We’ve got the answers to these questions with sources to back up the claims so you can let all your buddies know during your next smoke sesh.

Does a bong get you more high?

Imagine this, one day you decide to test out a new cannabis strain, so you roll a joint and like its effects and high. The next day you pack a bowl of the same flower and take a few bong rips, but you’re immediately blazed and decide it’s best to chill at the house instead of meeting your mom for lunch. Do bongs get you higher or was that just a fluke? If you own a bong and use various methods of consumption, this scenario may sound familiar. One study from 2022, which looked at 106 cannabis users found that participants who smoked using blunts, joints, vapes, and bongs, reported feeling more high when using a bong. So the answer is yes…and no. Bongs will get you higher, but not because the smoke is more potent than what’s produced from other smoking methods. A 2000 study backs this theory, finding that if the same dry herb is used, bongs will have the exact same potency as smoking a joint.

So then, why does a bong get you more high? While not officially proven, it’s believed that people get higher because of the design of the bong itself. Bongs are a type of water pipe that utilizes water for filtration, aeration, and cooling. The smoke is drawn through the water, which captures and removes large contaminants like hot ash and immediately chills it down prior to being inhaled. This creates smooth bong rips that are comfortable on the throat and lungs, so users can take more massive inhales without coughing. It’s not that the smoke is more potent, it’s that stoners are able to take much larger hits at a time without being uncomfortable.

Do bongs get you higher than joints, pipes, and vapes?

If you use all of these methods, you probably have firsthand experience and understand that each inhale is different depending on the smoking accessory that’s used. Pipes and joints are usually much harsher since they’re completely unfiltered, while bong rips and vape pens produce smoother smoke that inhales like a dream. Published research has helped to clarify if bongs truly get you higher than using other methods.

  • Bong vs joint - A study published in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics found that joint smoke had a much lower ratio of cannabinoids to volume than the vapor from a vaporizer. This confirms the belief that potency is lost by combustion and floats off into the air whenever a joint is lit since nothing is containing the smoke.
  • Bong vs vape - Vaporizers are on the rise since they’re ultra portable and produce amazingly smooth and flavorful vapor, but the vapor quantity of each hit still can’t compare to a massive rip from a big bong. Researchers found that 420 enthusiasts consumed more cannabis when vaping vs when using a bong, but felt higher when taking bong rips.
  • Bong vs pipe - Since smoking pipes are unfiltered and produce similar hits as joints, it’s safe to compare the two. Despite being smaller than bongs, pipes do have interior chambers for smoke to accumulate, though the volume is nowhere near what a water bong can hold. This means pipes produce smaller hits that are a lot harsher than a bong, so three or four hits from a pipe may only equal one average rip from a bong.

How to hit a bong correctly for the most optimal high

How to hit a bong correctly for the most optimal high

To get the most out of a bong, you first must understand the basics of how a bong works. First, a bong bowl, also referred to as a slide, is packed with ground dry herb and inserted into the downstem. When the smoker lights the bowl and inhales through the mouthpiece, it draws air through the bowl and the smoke accumulates within the main chamber of the bong. To inhale the smoke into the lungs and clear the bong, the bowl needs to be removed to create a direct pathway for the air to flow through. The trick to getting as high as possible with each bong rip is to allow as much smoke as possible to gather within the chamber before pulling the bowl. This will ensure you have the biggest hit possible that your bong can provide. To challenge yourself further, purchase a big bong that’s over 2 feet tall (the bigger the better). The larger the interior chamber, the more smoke can accumulate, resulting in massive bong rips and an instant high that will take you to the stratosphere. All in all, the bigger the bong, the bigger the hits, and the more intense the high. And by the way, holding in your bong rips won’t get you higher, it just irritates your lungs and makes you cough.

Is being higher by bong healthier than any other way?

Smoking of any kind can’t be deemed healthy in any sense, but taking bong rips isn’t actually the healthiest or most effective way to smoke weed either according to researchers. When it comes to water pipes and bongs, the water filtration is thought to remove large contaminants like ash that would otherwise be inhaled, which can be the case for joints, blunts, and glass pipes. Studies have shown that vaporizers are actually the healthiest way to smoke weed. Vapes use an internal heating mechanism that doesn’t cause combustion (burning), minimizing the release of harmful byproducts. They also don't require a lighter, which releases noxious butane that can be inhaled by the smoker. A study from 2008 of the famous Storz n Bickel Volcano Vaporizer looked at what was in the vapor it produced and found just 3 pyrolytic compounds, whereas joint smoke contained 111 compounds, 5 of which were carcinogens. A second study comparing the Volcano Vaporizer vs joints found that participants that used the vape had lower carbon monoxide levels than the joint smokers.

How to get higher when smoking weed?

  • Next time you visit the dispensary, ask for cannabis strains with the highest potency and choose something you haven’t tried before. Not all dried herb is the same and low quality flower is prevalent, even at a dispensary. Most of the time, you get what you pay for.
  • Give dabs or edibles a try. Concentrates are roughly three to four times stronger than dry herb and are consumed using a dab rig or dab pen for those who want to puff on the go. If you haven’t tried cannabis concentrates before, start out super slow. A single dab should be no more than the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen.
  • Changing up your method of consumption makes just as big of a difference as switching to higher quality smoking material. Try a big bong that’s over 24 inches tall, a gravity bong, large glass pipes, or vaporizers that don’t use vape carts. This may come at a surprise, but dry herb vapes and dab pens heat up to ideal temperatures and will never overheat your bud, retaining all the tasty, potent resin.
  • Giving your body a rest and a chance to reset is the only proven way to get higher. If smoking has become mundane and it takes a lot to get you high, you probably have built up a tolerance. Try taking a break from cannabis for a week or two or choosing one or two days per week that you won’t consume. This will lower your tolerance level and get you high as ever when you start to smoke again.
  • Some say that eating mangoes will make for a more powerful high. This is because mangoes and cannabis plants both naturally produce the terpene, myrcene that can lengthen psychoactive effects of weed. The jury is out on this one, but it’s not a bad idea to give it a try and eat a healthy snack in the process.

How to get higher when smoking weed?

Now you can stop wondering, “does smoking out of a bong get you higher” and start actually getting blazed. Browse the virtual shelves at our online smoke shop and pick up a brand new big bong, silicone bong, heady glass bong, percolator bong, mini bong, bong bowl, and more!