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A Brief History Of Bongs & Smoking Accessories
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A Brief History Of Bongs & Smoking Accessories

Posted: November 24, 2021

Bongs are arguably one of the most effective ways in which to smoke CBD herb, for tobacco use or the substance of your choice. This article will explain what a bong is, how it can be used and some history of bongs.

Bongs have been used for thousands of years and continue to be used today. Many smokers of tobacco, the hemp plant and legal dry herb use bongs because of the ease of use, lack of mess and efficacy of the device. Bongs are typically water pipes from which smoke is drawn and inhaled.

There are many wonderful types of bong available to you today. Whether you are looking for a day-to-day bong or a novelty item to pull out at your coffee morning or house party then look no further. We at ICE headshop have over a decade of expertise with all types of smoking accessories and equipment, browse our store today to find the perfect smoking solution for you.

What is a bong?

The word bong comes from the Thai word, "buang", which refers to the bamboo bongs that were commonly found throughout Asia.

A bong can be best described as a vase-like water pipe used for inhaling smoke into the lungs. Usually, the smoking mix is loaded into the bowl (the conical-shaped end piece that is attached to the pipe), lit and then smoke is drawn down the pipe, through the water in the chamber and inhaled by the user via a mouthpiece at the top.

Bongs have a few main components which are:

  • The bong chamber - This is the part of a bong that looks most like a vase or bottle. The chamber is the part of the bong that holds the water, pipes, smoke and the mouthpiece.  The pipe can be found fixed to the chamber or as a removable pipe and many bong chambers have an additional hole called the 'rush hole'.
  • The pipe - This is the part of the bong which takes the smoke from the bowl through the water and into the main chamber where the smoke collects. As mentioned before (and usually found in glass bongs), some pipes come permanently attached while others are secured with a rubber grommet or washer which makes it easier to remove and clean.
  • The bowl - The bowl is the part where you will pack your legal dry herbs of choice or smoking tobacco, ready for lighting up. Some bowls even double up as the 'rush hole' and are lifted up off of the bong in order to clear space for clean air to flow into the bong vase which, in turn, helps you to take a whopper of a hit in very little time.
  • The rush hole - Also known as a carb, shot hole, carburettor or choke is the part of the bong responsible for accelerating the smoke into your lungs. When the rush hole is used (by removing the finger from blocking the air) it bypasses the pipe and water to let fresh air into the chamber. Then all of the smoke drawn by your mouth into the chamber is skyrocketed into your lungs. As we mentioned before this can be done on certain bongs by removing the bowl off of the bong or pipe to allow this surge of air.
  • The mouthpiece - You guessed it! This is the place where you put your mouth! Ordinarily found at the top of the chamber, the mouthpiece is used by creating a seal inside with your lips before beginning to inhale.  As you gain experience by using or shopping for bongs you will notice that these can vary quite a lot, normally because of novelty bong shapes and designs that have elaborate and intuitive ergonomics.

These are the basic components that are essential to almost all 'traditional' or 'generic' bong designs. You will, however, discover that there is a baffling array of bongs that can be used in many different ways. If you are reading this we can assume you are not yet an expert so starting with a traditional or basic bong design will be the easiest and best introduction into the world of bong smoking.

The earliest bongs

As you may know, herbs like cannabis and tobacco have been used for thousands of years for medicinal, shamanic, religious, ceremonial and recreational purposes, so it comes as no surprise that the bong industry has been around a very long time too. The earliest recorded bong is over 2400 years old, is made of solid gold and was used by the Scythian tribe of Russia. Ancient bongs have also been found in Ethiopia as well as central Asia, the Silk Road and many other locations around the globe. It is fair to say that these smoking devices have stood the test of time because they are very effective smoking tools.

You have probably seen another type of bong called the sheesha or hookah. These are also types of water pipe used for smoking and were invented in 16th century India. Hookah pipes, in the past, were used by noblemen and high society to smoke tobacco. Nowadays you can pop down to your local sheesha bar to have a cup of tea and smoke on flavoured tobaccos or molasses purely for relaxation and enjoyment.

What we can say for sure is that bong-like smoking devices were used thousands of years ago to smoke cannabis and tobacco and are now found all over the globe!

The popularity of bongs and smoking accessories

Bong smoking has been and continues to be to this day a popular smoking method. Smoking a bong makes very little mess, is quick and simple and really gives a substantial hit...fast!

New and innovative bong designs, as well as other kinds of smoking accessories, are a staple of smokers worldwide. What is interesting is that, although the traditional "water pipe bong" is still the mainstay and go-to for regular bong smokers, many new smoking accessories like "dab-rigs", "vapourisers" and "volcano bags" prove to be popular with (and held in high regard by) these very same connoisseurs.

What is important is that you are smoking a product that suits you and that you are doing it with equipment that matches your smoking tolerance and tobacco usage. As an example: If you are going to take your very first bong hit, we would recommend a smoking product that isn't too powerful and a bong that isn't 2ft tall with a triple chamber. Always start small, remember, there is no need to rush your smoking progression, these things improve with time. Take a long browse at all of the accessories that are on offer and pick something that best matches your individual requirements and abilities.

Bongs today

Nowadays there is a bong or smoking accessory for every occasion. Artisan bong makers create elaborately designed bongs from glass, plastic and ceramics and continue to push the limits of what is possible. For the most enjoyable smoking experience there are a few things to consider:

  • Size - Choose a bong that reflects your smoking ability. If you are new to bong smoking then you should be aware that it can produce quite a powerful hit. Start with a small bong and as your skills grow so can your bong collection.
  • Design - There are many beautiful and ornate bongs out there to behold. You can select your bong from hundreds of different styles and types. If you aren't ready to display yours as a table centrepiece then a simple, functional and classic bong will do the trick.
  • Material - Experienced bong users tend to lean toward a glass or ceramic bong, mostly because of the cooling properties these materials display. Plastic and silicone bongs come in many colours and shapes but are less sustainable, although if you want to buy a product that will endure some throwing around then plastic or silicon proves to last longer. Glass bongs may not survive your backpack or a festival so these make the best ornamental and for at-home use pieces.


Best bongs for sale

Our extensive range of new and most popular products, including bongs, pipes and vaporisers is almost unrivalled. At ICE Headshop we stock a wide variety of equipment for your smoking session, here are some examples of our top products:

Bounce Silicon Skittle 18cm

Hold on to your herbs, this bong will send you starbound in no time. This classically styled silicone bong is available in beautiful colours such as; Plum, Watermelon and Banana. Perfect for on the road or as an at-home mantlepiece bong.

C1 SCI-FI Shake

This beautiful little number not only looks like a milkshake but doubles up as both a bong and a dab rig. Made of glass, this U.S.A made bong is of high quality and is perfect for both experts and beginners alike!

Shop bongs online

Here at ICE Headshop we have a team of industry experts ready to help you with any questions and queries you may have about our products as well as advise and guide you through your shopping experience. We use discreet packaging and offer free delivery when you spend over £35. We also offer further discounts on bulk orders and a points system for each purchase.

Don't hesitate to get in touch today on 01626 903102. Alternatively, you can email us with your order or enquiry at [email protected] and we'll be in touch.

Disclaimer: Please note that you must be 18 years or older to purchase CBD products. All claims and effects of CBD have been regulated by the MHRA since 2016 and distributors require a license from the MHRA to make any medical claims. Claims are opinion based and non-scientific, and while we may discuss the opinions people share, they are not our own. Our CBD is not intended to treat, cure or prevent disease. Although we can advocate its calming & healthy properties it is in no way intended for medicinal use.