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Archive for April, 2011

I often get the feeling that people are intimidated by bongs because they don’t really understand what they are all about so I felt as though I should touch on the subject because the advancements in design and functionality have gone through the roof in the past few years and  I feel there is no greater sign of a sophisticated smoker than a beautifully kept bong. Any chronic will agree that a good clean bong hit is one of the best ways to enjoy cannabis.

So for those stumbling upon this sight by accident, I’ll explain what a bong is. A bong is a water pipe consisting of a neck or smoke chamber, a vase or base that contains water through which smoke is filtered and a down stem and or bowl through which cannabis is burned and then pulled through the water in the base. The resulting effect is a much cleaner, smoother smoke, allowing you to inhale more of what you want and less of what you don’t.

CityBong 450 Circa 1984

Lets start with the basics of choosing a bong. First of all there is no excuse for an acrylic bong. They smoke terrible, they are hard to/don’t clean and they are just plain tacky . If you happen to own one, no disrespect but given the options thats like choosing a CityMan 450 instead of an Iphone 4.

Glass is great and if you buy from a reputable brand such as Roor, Illadelph or Gear here in Vancouver they generally have some thicker 7mm glass options which are nice and solid. My bong has survived more than a couple bumps and knock overs in its time.

Next thing to consider is specific design features. The standard used to be a strict vase or beaker design with a down stem and slide/bowl. The thing is any kid with a bottle and a drill (and a whole lot of patience) can make this themselves. This design is structurally weak because of all the separate parts such a the down stem which will get broken by ice cubes should you choose to enjoy a cooler smoke. Take it from me, I’ve been there.

So, “What is a better design?” you might ask. Well if you’re heading down to your local headshop ask to see what

Code Name : Black Bonga

options they have for glass on glass designs. Glass on glass means that there are no rubber gaskets of any kind. the down stem will be crafted as part of the bong or custom ground to fit smoothly into the vase and the bowl will be custom fitted to the bong, creating a glass on

glass seal. A great example of this is my bong, Code Name : The Black Bonga. Now once you have found that some-bong special out there, there are some accessories and additional features you should consider. The fist being an ice pinch. This is where the neck of the bong is pinched in to hold ice cubes out of the the water where they can bounce around causing damage, or melt quickly and over fill your bong water. This allows the smoke to pass over the ice and cool just before it hits your lips creating a much more enjoyable experience. Next feature is a percolator which acts as an additional chamber through which to filter smoke. The more the smoke and water gets mixed up together the better filtered the end product will be, simple as that. Finally for the Bong aficionado an ash catcher is the icing on the cake. This extra chamber in between your bowl and down stem catches ash and resin before it ever reaches your water, keeping your bong water fresh and clean.

So now that you know what to look for in a bong, its time to go shopping. And for those who have already made the worthwhile investment in a quality bong, lets talk about usage and maintenance.

Ital Hemp Wick

Again just as played out as the acrylic bong, is the burning of your herb with butane lighters. Not only is butane unhealthy to inhale, but it burns at such a high temperature that it is destroying the not just the flavour, but some of the potency of your herb. A much better alternative would be to invest in a spool of hemp wick. Ital hemp wick is made with organic hemp twine and bee’s wax making a perfect low burning, controllable flame to use with your bong.  So grind your weed, pack your bowl and limit the burn to a corner of the bowl in order to conserve your herb. Just like smoking a tobacco pipe there is a technique to efficiently lighting and smoking a bong or pipe of any kind. Start the burn off to an edge and after the initial light allow the cherry to spread across the bowl burning clean and evenly. This technique alone will increase the flavour and reduce the harshness of the smoke and paired with a clean bong and some fresh ice and you can enjoy some of the best smoke of your life.

A clean, cold bong is so worth the limited effort it takes to keep it up. A good little secret that I want to share with you guys is the magic of lemon juice. The addition of lemon juice to your bong water keeps is smelling and tasting fresh longer. In addition the citric acid in the juice helps keep resin from collecting on your glass to fast.

Inevitably though your bong will eventually succumb to resin and grime at which point you should, and will, clean it thoroughly. Depending on your smoking consistency this should be done every 2-4 weeks. The best way to go about doing this is P.S. Culture’s own Home Bong Cleaning Solution! Easily made out of common household products, This mixture will de-resinate your bong and leave it clean, smooth and smelling fresh. No need to buy some expensive bong-specific cleaner, just do it yourself! The best thing about a clean bong is that it is really a work of art. Most bongs are hand crafted by skilled craftsmen and should be displayed as the work of art that they are, so keep them in the best condition to make the best impression on anyone and everyone who comes over to share some fine smoke.

Think about it this way, would you serve scotch in a dirty glass?

P.S. Culture’s Magic Home Bong Cleaning solution!

1 Tbl spoon salt

1 Tbl spoon baking soda

3 ounces  99%Isopropanol Alcohol   (Can be found in the first aid isle of most major drugstores)

Hot Water (For Final Rinse)

Add the 3 main ingredients and shake around in the bong, make sure it washes over all dirty areas. For those hard to reach places such as the inside of your bowl, soak the piece in the leftover solution after the bong is clean, then wipe clean with a q-tip. When the the glass looks clear and any resinous build up is washed clean, add some hot water from the tap and rinse the piece out.

**Be sure to rinse your bong multiple times, including any smaller pieces such as the bowl. If you intend to use the piece immediately after the clean be sure to smell each piece to make sure you have rinsed out any remaining alcohol as inhaling such can be dangerous. If not, let your bong air dry and in doing so any remaining alcohol should evaporate completely.

So I hope you learned something, feel free to post any question or concerns while I leave you with these final words:

“If you’re going to smoke herb do so with sophistication. And when you exhale, always blow your smoke proud.”

~The Culturalist

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