ANATOMY OF A BONG: Vitae Glass Guide | VITAE Glass

Anatomy of a bong

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A bong is an apparatus because unlike regular pipes, the smoke process undergoes water filtration for refreshing smokes. Bongs come in many variations with different materials like glass, wood, acrylic, metal, silicone, and more. Inside these different bongs are an array of parts & accessories that complement your experience.

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned smoker, to help you further understand how a bong works, we have lined up the various components and their functionality:


Of all the different materials mentioned earlier, glass bongs are renowned because they don’t compromise on the taste of your herbs and are easier to clean than other materials. Other materials have limited options when it comes to percolators, but in the glass world, there is a wide range of percolators with different filtration capabilities. Many high-quality bongs are made of "borosilicate" glass and engineered by top scientific glassblowers. So, if you want a bong that provides excellent flavor and functionality, a glass bong will be the optimal choice for you. 



The base is the foundation of a bong, and every bong has a base chamber. It fills with water and is where smoke first enters the apparatus. The most common base shapes are beakers, round bases, and straight-tubes. 

The chambers also come in different sizes. Some are small for quicker hits while others have a large chamber so you can fill them with more smoke, resulting in bigger hits.




The joint is the part that connects your base to your bowl/downstem. If there is a downstem, this is where it goes. Some bongs do not have a downstem; in those cases, a bowl will go directly in the joint instead.

Depending on the design of your apparatus, joints can be male or female ended. A female joint will only accept a male bowl, and a male joint will only accept a female bowl. All our joints are 14mm female, so be sure to match it with the appropriately sized bowls.

Note: Check with us if you are unsure.




A downstem is an essential part of your apparatus, as a downstem links your bowl and the water in the main chamber of your bong. Basic downstems usually have a slit at the end of a glass straw for bubbling to occur.

There are also other variations to a downstem that further enhance bubbling and cooling of your smoke.

Note: Depending on your VITAE Glass design, some downstems are not removable. Check with us if you are unsure.



Bowl/Cone Piece

Bowls come in many shapes, designs, and sizes, but they all serve the same function, and that is to hold your herb. Once your herb has been ground, load it into your bowl and insert it into your joint/downstem to be lit up and enjoyed.

The most common sizes are 10mm, 14mm, and 18mm, and these come with either a male or female joint. VITAE Glass bowls come in 14mm with a male joint, are simple to hold and clean, and provide minimal drag.

Note: The correct size is 14.5 mm and 18.8 mm. However, for simplicity’s sake, they are commonly referred to as 14 mm, 18mm, or 19mm (if you round up). A male bowl is only compatible with a female joint and vice versa. Check with us if you are unsure.




The percolator is where the magic happens. A percolator directs smoke to travel through your water to filter and deliver three critical functions: cooling, moisturizing, and filtration.

Simply put, with a percolator your smoke is more refreshing and less harsh. Having multiple percolators would further enhance the process. There is a myriad of designs when it comes to percolators, each design producing different bubbling and filtration. Some percolators have many small holes/openings to create the most bubble and filtration. Some have fewer but larger holes/openings to allow for a smoother draw and better airflow. There is no particular favorite—it’s entirely up to personal preference. We recommend you throw different percolators into the mix and try them out to find your desired choice!



Ash Catcher

True to its name, this part of the bong catches ash and gunk. It is typically attached to a downstem before you put on a bowl or cone piece. It is highly recommended for regular smokers, as the gunk builds up in there and it is easier to clean than a whole bong. Certain ash catchers have a percolator built in too, so if you’re looking for extra filtration, these percolated ash catchers are the way to go.



Splash Guard/Ice Catcher

Typically found in bongs with multiple percolations, a splash guard’s function is two-pronged. First, it prevents water from getting to the mouthpiece and second, it acts as an ice catcher that allows you the option of holding ice for even cooler smokes.



Mouth Piece

The mouthpiece is the final part of the apparatus and is where you inhale your smoke. In most bongs, mouthpieces are straight with a flat finish. These are the most common styles amongst traditional bongs. However, with more artists coming into this field, there are a whole bunch of different styles nowadays. 





Connector Ring

The connector rings attach the pieces together and it gives you an entirely different smoking experience by interchanging between different bases, percolators and mouthpieces. The rings also give you an elegant look to match it with your furniture. For every two pieces of glass mods, you would require one ring. 


Designed with cleaning in mind, the cleaning caps connects onto the glass and seals it for an effortless and spill free clean. Primarily used for cleaning, they can also be used if you are traveling too. If you would like to have your bong ready to go, you can preload your pieces with water beforehand. The caps keep your collection dry while in transit. With every piece, comes its own cleaning cap/s. 


These cleaning plugs are used to plug up your joints and mouthpieces to create an airtight seal for easy cleaning. Simply insert the plugs into the appropriate openings and you’re ready to go. There are many aftermarket caps out there which you can purchase for around $10-15.

These come standard in all our featured sets


Congratulations, you have now mastered the anatomy of VITAE Glass. 

With VITAE, every piece is interchangeable so test it out and have fun. Remember, the possibilities are endless.

Looking for a smoother, durable, and healthier bong? VITAE Glass is perfect for you. It is designed especially for daily and busy smokers.

VITAE Glass Build a bong

Check out our other blogs:

How to remove a stuck downstem

Best things to do while stoned

How to Clean a Bong Like A Pro

All Other Blogs

Martin is the Co-Founder of VITAE Glass. He is a CBD strains fanatic and loves to be in the ocean and mountains whenever he can.

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