If you smoke weed long enough you will eventually encounter someone who suggests you can get a righteous buzz from drinking the water in your bong. On a certain level, the idea might seem to make sense. After all, if the water has been in there during a week or so of regular use it must be infused by now with at least some THC. Right? Drinking it would then be the liquid equivalent of edibles. Right? Well… as much as those of us at the Smoking Buddha headshop would like to affirm the idea that you can get a buzz by just tipping back the bong, it’s simply not true. And in this post, we’re going to cover all the reasons why you really don’t want to drink your bong water.

First Things First: What is Bong Water?

If you’re new to bongs you may not know that a bong is a type of water pipe, much like the hookah used throughout much of India and the Middle East for centuries. Both glass pipes operate on the theory that by filtering smoke through water you can eliminate most of the impurities and make the smoke easier on your respiratory system. It’s a good idea and we’re happy to say it works!

By the time the smoke reaches your lungs, it is quantifiably cooler than it would otherwise be and the water has captured detritus from the combustion process, preventing it from winding up in your lungs as well. That’s the good news. The bad news is that some folks reason that if the water is capturing burnt particles from the bowl it must also be capturing at least some THC. And that means that slimy, foul-smelling tank of water must contain stoner gold!

Not So Fast!

Before you go ahead and give into temptation we would urge you to either keep reading or talk to one of the friendly and well-informed employees at our smoke shop in Parker. They’ll be happy to dissuade you from your proposed folly and they’ll even back up their warning with some salient facts, such as:

You will likely get sick if you drink bong water.

If the water in your bong has not been changed in a while it’s going to contain a lot of things you don’t want to be swallowing including mold, fungus, and a variety of microorganisms that took up residence in the tank while you were sleeping. Some of that biological material may have even formed a slippery coating known to chemists as biofilm, which makes drinking bong water like drinking water from a greasy puddle.

If you go ahead and drink it anyway don’t be surprised if you develop diarrhea, a headache, or a skin rash, or if you start vomiting and are unable to keep food down. Because… you know… bong water!

But Wait! What About All That Yummy THC in the Water?

If you’re like Barney from the (classic) Simpsons all that matters is the potential for copping a buzz. Somebody put a cigarette or two out in your beer and spit in it for good measure? No problem. It’s still beer.

Bong water aficionados are cut from pretty much the same cloth. Who cares if there’s a slimy coating on top of the bong water, or if you have to run to the bathroom the second that “water” hits your gut? If there’s THC in the water you might catch a buzz and that’s all that matters.

Well, while those of us here at the Parker pipe shop appreciate such blind enthusiasm the unfortunate reality is that THC is not water-soluble. That means any THC that wound up in the bong water would end up just sticking to the sides of the tank. Therefore, no matter how much bong water you drank you wouldn’t get a buzz because you wouldn’t be consuming any THC.

Researchers have been actually trying for years to make THC water soluble so that doctors can administer it to patients in simple liquid form. But this has proved devilishly difficult to do. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t neglect to clean your bong because you’re waiting for enough THC to accumulate in the water to afford you a bonus buzz. Not gonna happen. Sorry Barney.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Bong

Now that we know there’s no hope of copping a bonus buzz off of your skanky bong water let’s talk about keeping your bong nice and clean. It’s important to remember that the longer you wait to clean your bong the harder it will be. So let’s go through the cleaning process now.

Ready? Got your notepad and a cup of coffee? Alright. Let’s begin.

  • Step One: Don’t drink the bong water! Instead, pour it down the drain or into the toilet.
  • Step Two: Remove all the parts of your bong that can be removed.
  • Step Three: Pour a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol into the bong tank.
  • Step Four: Shake the bong aggressively until the tank is clean, then rinse with soapy water.
  • Step Five: Clean the other components with the same alcohol/water mixture, rinse and let air dry.
  • Step Six: Reassemble your bong when all the pieces are nice and dry.

That’s it! The entire process takes less than a half hour and you’ll end up with a nice clean bong that will deliver a nice clean high that won’t send you to the doctor. You can then put all those ideas about drinking bong water to rest.

For the Record: Who Came Up With The Idea You Could Drink Bong Water?

It’s uncertain who first uttered the sentence “Dude, I’ll bet we’d get toasted if we drank the bong water.” But you can bet that if they followed through on it they lived to regret it. Here at the Smoking Buddha smoke shop, we hear lots of theories about where the idea originated. Some of our favorites are:

  • Bill and/or Ted first uttered this piece of specious wisdom a long time ago in a movie far, far away.
  • A member of the Grateful Dead suggested it as a joke from the stage during a concert in Germany and it just kinda took off.
  • Somebody did it when they were really wasted and actually thought it enhanced their buzz. They then told their friends who told their friends etc, etc…

The Bottom Line

From all of us at your local smoke shop here in the beautiful city of Parker: please don’t EVER drink your bong water! You won’t get high, you’ll probably get sick and you’ll regret the moment the thought ever entered your head.