How to PROPERLY smoke a Waterpipe / Bong

Picture of How to PROPERLY smoke a Waterpipe / Bong
Disclaimer: Please do not use this instructable to do illegal drugs... actually let me just say this straight: Don't be an idiot, pot is overrated.  This instructable is a guide for tobacco and legal products. I want this to be first so even in the posted description people can see that pot is stupid. 

Smoking from a BONG (a waterpipe for those of you who want to be proper, and don't want to get kicked out of a headshop), is a great healthier (note: still not healthy) way to smoke tobacco and other products than for instance a cigarette... and also increases the effects and taste of what you are smoking. 

I have made my own bongs, and used store bought bongs, and I must say that I get no sentimental value out of using my own bong... and highly suggest just buying a good one from a store (I will include a list of places to buy your products in step 1). So lets get into it...This instructable will cover where to buy your bong and products, the health advantages of smoking out of a bong, and then how to take the perfect hit, plus I will finish up with Bong Etiquette for those of you who smoke with friends. 

PS: I don't really care if you get offended because I called you an idiot if you smoke pot... you are. Its your right if your an American to smoke it, and I will stand up for that right... but unless you have an actual need for it, there are much safer alternatives with better effects.  
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Step 1: Where to Buy Your Products and What To Get

Picture of Where to Buy Your Products and What To Get
As I have said before, especially for someone who is new to smoking from a waterpipe / bong, pay the 20-30 bucks for a bong, its not that much, and it will give you a better understanding into how the contraption works. 

In my opinion, there is only one place to go to get a bong GrassCity they offer bongs in all shapes, sizes, and designs. Assuming you are a new smoker (at least this type of smoker), I would suggest a smaller bong, and a cheap one. Don't start off with the mad scientist or anything. I would highly suggest Molino's Bongs  as they are highly beautiful and low priced.  I would offer other suggestions... but seriously... GrassCity is the place for bongs online. 

You may go to your local headshop they may have better deals there, I live in the bush in Alaska, we don't have headshops locally. 

Tobacco and "Other" 
For Tobacco... I have to send you to your local tobacco store. Thats where you are going to get to smell the different tobaccos and know which one you want to try, or get a little of each. However, if you are like me and don't have that option... a little Google searching led me to THIS GUY who seems to have a good selection, and good prices. 

For other legal herbs and blends... I have to recommend SalviAmigo which has the lowest prices on the internet (find a better deal on my products, I dare you... since I sell them at cost). When it comes to Salvia there is no finer quality than ours either. I also don't sell anything that forms an addiction, and have tested everything to make sure.

This is something that you need to look into for any website selling legal blends, is that they put attention to detail... this is being inhaled into your body, you don't just want the first thing you see... you want the one where you can talk to the owner and get their input (which is why, in part I suggested that first guy, because he seems like an easy person to talk to.. .just by the feel of his site).

Well thats an easy question... Your buying what you want to try... the other nice thing about bongs is the wide variety of flavors you have to choose from (this also applies to traditional pipes as well of course). 
If you were buying from me, I would suggest to you the following package: 
1Gram of Salvia 5X (or 10X)
1 (3Gram) pack of Sence
1 (3Gram) pack of Kratom 

only put a little bit in the bowl, and try each (one a day or one a week or whatever), you will quickly find out which one is your favorite. 

Step 2: Health Advantages of Using A Bong

Picture of Health Advantages of Using A Bong
 Okay I have tried to find unbiased reports on either side about the true health advantages of smoking a pipe vs cigarettes and could not find any truly credible source for any of this, so I am going to have to use explanation on how I understand it, and show you science facts to back up why I feel the way I do. I am in no way saying that using a bong is healthy... its not... when you are absorbing anything into your body that is not food, or water... its not healthy for you.

Some things I am going to define, and variables that we are going to set:
Nicotine  = Hygroscopic + Oily & Miscible with Water

Bong = A cylinder that has a small quantity of water at its base, a carb, a "bowl", and an opening to inhale the smoke as defined by its patent.

Cigarette = Traditional pre-rolled smoking device which contains a filter and tobacco wrapped in a burnable paper. 

Toxins = Unwanted particles entering the body. By definition, tobacco and other blends would also be "toxins" but since they are desired, they will not fall under the scope. Will be included as a toxin. 

Lets compare cigarettes to bongs:

Considering there are 499 different additives in cigarettes, let me just say "Click Me To See Them All" and I will give you a few of the major ones:

* Benzene (A fuel additive)
* Formaldehyde (Embalming Fluid - yum)
* Ammonia (Cleaning Stuff)
* Acetone (Nail Polish Remover... and I can't recall, but isn't that the contaminate that makes you forget stuff??)
* Tar (actually this one ISN'T what they put on the ground... however, think about how tar works for coating a road, it also does that to your lungs)
* Arsenic (Rat Poison)
* Carbon Monoxide (exhaust fumes)
* Hydrogen Cyanide (MY favorite... for you history buffs, you will recall this is the gas that was pumped into the execution chambers in the Nazi Germany death camps) 

Now how much of this is naturally occurring?

Well by smoking tobacco in a bong you are still going to get:
* Tar (ew) 
* Carbon Monoxide (theres that oxygen stealer again)

However, most of those other things will all be gone. Another thing that isn't very fun about cigarettes is that their filters even contain bad stuff... like GLASS PARTICLES. 

Even better yet, tobacco will not infuse with the water as said before, but the tar will.. so by using a water filtration system in smoking (ie a BONG) you will lose a lot of the harmful effects of the cigarettes. (Please note: I have no doubt that there are other contaminates still in the smoke when inhaling it, however, I could not find any decent source on the matter. However, I do know that a majority of those contaminates are added to cigarettes so by switching to a bong you lose most of them, and that the water acts as a far better filter for them than a traditional cigarette filter) 

So to sum up:
You do not get as much particulates in the smoke you inhale when using a bong.

Step 3: Taking The Perfect Hit

Sweet, so we now have bought our stuff, we know our health facts, and we want to do this... 
Lets set everything up this way you have the best experience possible, this is mainly for getting high as opposed to smoking tobacco, you still want to make the most out of any smoking experience you have... if you are just smoking to get it over with... why bother smoking?

First clean up the area, you don't want to trip over anything... also a clean room makes you feel a lot less stressful and when you get your high, it will be 10X more relaxing. Take this from a guy who lives his life as a professional slob. The same goes for tobacco, its supposed to make you feel good and calm. You don't want things that mess that up. 

Next choose your bong... most of you guys will only have one bong, so this is a null fact for you. However, for others of you who have invested in a few types of bongs this is the time for you to choose what you want. If you are doing something potent like salvia, I would suggest something small and something that wont break (or was cheap if it does break) because you may (and probably will) drop it. If you are doing something like sence you want a nice big chamber so you can really get a good "Monster Hit" . 

Now for the rest we need to take a look at how bongs actually work so bear with me, but its ASCII time:
....................|                |....................
....................|  mouth  |....................
....................|  piece   |....................
....................|               |....................
Carb------>0               |....\   /<-------Bowl
....................|               |.....U...........
................../   Smoke   \../  /<--------Stem
.............../    Chamber / /\..............
..............|~~~~~~~~.~/ /~|.............
..............|  Water   o  / /     |.............
..............|            O   / /      |..............
..............|           O  / /        |..............
..............|                           |..............

Basically you load the tobacco or product into the bowl, typically filling it up, don't pack it tight, just take a pinch of whatever you are smoking and put it in there. The carb is what keeps the vacuum in the smoke chamber and forces air through the bowl/stem (forcing smoke into the chamber) when its plugged. 

Now most people will tell you that the key to a perfect hit, is ice cold water (or in some cases, just ice) I personally am not a fan of it, and have found that ice water makes me cough harder, and just makes the whole hit less appealing. I use scolding hot water in my bong, and I fill my bong well above the bottom of the stem, not as much because it adds to the filtration (which it does) but because it makes that deep bubbling sound that makes my high so much more enjoyable.

So after you have filled up your bong with scolding hot water, you have packed your bowl, its time to take the hit. Hold the bowl in one hand (or between your legs) with your thumb on the carb and hold your lighter in the other hand....
ProTip: Inhale as much as you can (sipping air when you don't think you can take any more in), and then exhale as much as you can... do this 3 times before you light your bowl... lighting your bowl right at the end of that last exhale
....Now light your tobacco or product and start inhaling... what you are doing is forming a vacuum within the bong, and the air is being forced in through the bowl and stem... this allows the in-flowing O2 to start burning the tobacco or product and forces smoke down the stem and into the water. Breath in for about 2 seconds (its really up to you on how big or small of a hit you want), and then release your finger (thumb?) off the carb and allow air to flood the bong and release the smoke into the smoke chamber from the water. Now use the rest of your air to inhale all of that and hold it in for as long as you can... then release it. If there was any smoke left in the chamber (pansy) put your hand over the bong to try and keep it there, and then take a second hit off that smoke.
Also if you are smoking alone, you may want to take the end of your lighter and put out the ember in your bowl to save your product for later, if you are smoking with someone, you may now pass your bong to the next person and allow them to gawk at how you are a "master ripper". 

Using scolding hot water also encourages you to change out the water in your bong frequently because clean bong water is both good hygienically, and just is a good thing to have - we will discuss it more in etiquette.

Step 4: Etiquette and Tips

Picture of Etiquette and Tips
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First I would like to provide you with some tips that will make your smoking experience even better:

*Part of the reason that people use ice in their bongs is not as much to cool down the smoke, but it is to provide a solid for the smoke to come in contact with, allowing the tar and particulates to get stuck on. However, having ice in scolding hot water makes... well the ice go away, and the scolding hot water... not scold.  So I thought back to my aquaculture days and remembered the biofilter balls that we would put in our filtration system. If you drop a few of these into your bong water... they should collect a lot of the contaminates and leave the stuff you want... This is just a theory. 

* Another great reason to only use scolding hot water, is that it keeps you in the good habit of changing out your bong water. If you don't change out your bong water, it gets smelly, gross, AND becomes ineffective at filtering out contaminates (its like a air purifier- you need to change the filters or it becomes an expensive fan) 

* Don't Exhale into the bong... If you have to get more breath cover the top of the bong and make it quick... if you exhale... you break two things: 1) you killed the vacuum and 2) think about it for a second, if air comes in to the tub and down into water when you are inhaling... then whats going to happen when you exhale? the water is going to go back up the tube...  Your friends will not be happy.

* Open a window, I don't care if you live by yourself, when you have company over they do not want to smell your tobacco, or your product... they want to smell clean air. This goes especially to those of you who have room/house mates.

* NEVER EVER EVER knock the bong over, especially if you are at someone else' location. This will create a stain, and smell that wont go away for a while. You will be the jerk face of the night if you knock the bong over. A few of my friends play the game where: If you knock the bong over, you buy rounds for everyone.  I don't drink, and have only smoke with a friend once... I don't have to worry about it.

* Be sure to finish your bowl... and clear the chamber... the next person doesn't want your left overs typically... and they surely do NOT want your stale smoke.  When you finish the bowl you should hear a snapping sound. You will be done then.

Remember that smoking is not healthy, and nicotine (by bong or any other way) is still addiction forming. An addiction to nicotine is one of the worst forms of addictions out there. I would highly suggest staying away from it. If you are battling nicotine addiction, you are more than welcome to send me a message and I will get you set up on one of my products waiving your 6month fee, and doing whatever I can to help you... not to replace one vice with another, but to get you off something that your body is physically addicted to, and convert you over to something you just want. Giving up a psychological addiction is much easier. I am also willing to provide numbers, and websites to anyone suffering from any kind of addiction. I know too many people who have addictions that I wish they would quit, that I am willing to help anyone who asks. 

Alternative highs can be fun, they do not cause physical addictions but please be aware of the psychological risks as well.. and remember that there is NO "SAFE" way to smoke, just some ways are better than others. Thats why I provided this guide... because smoking a bong is a nice alternative to traditional smoking, and its a fun thing to do with family and friend.

:) Go have fun!