Call them what you will: bongs, straight shooters, bubblers, hookahs, calabash, corn-cob, hubble-bubble, whatever. A bong is a brilliant bit of kit and has been in use, in one form or another, for hundreds (possibly thousands) of years. The name comes from baung, the Thai word for “cylindrical wooden tube”. That is a fair description, though these days there are many types of bongs and waterpipes available in various materials such as plastic, glass, ceramic, bamboo and even paper bongs are available to buy or to make. Recycler Bongs
What is a Bong?
Typically used for consuming the cannabis herb, a bong is a long tube, sealed at one end, with usually two or three openings. One opening is at the end of the tube for the mouth, one is for the bowl where the herbs are burned, and the other is a “speed-hole”, or the hole covered and uncovered to allow the chamber to fill with smoke and then be emptied.
The herb is placed into the bowl, usually on top of a gauze or plug of tobacco and set alight. The user then places their mouth over the end and inhales, burning the herb as s/he does so. This pulls the smoke into the chamber of the bong, where it can be bubbled through water, ice or whatever else you can think of to cool down the smoke. Once the herb supply is exhausted or the chamber is full, the bowl is lifted away, or the speed-hole uncovered, allowing the user to inhale the smoke contained therein.
This is usually accompanied by a fit of coughing as bongs can be harsh things to inhale from.