Do you roll? Or reach for your go-to glass bong and pack a good bowl?
Some cannabis consumers stick to what works for them. They don’t smoke a joint today and rip the bong tomorrow. Other smokers change it up depending on how they feel or what effects they are looking for.
Is one method better than the other? Let’s look at blunts, joints, and bongs. Disclaimer: We aren’t doctors. So always do your own research and cross-reference the science.
Blunt: A cigar or blunt wrap with the tobacco removed and replaced with cannabis.
A lot of our cannabis history is a bit hazy. Many cultures have used cannabis for so many centuries, it’s hard to pinpoint the origin of certain things. Most people agree that the blunt made its way to the United States when Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, and Jamacians, and other Caribbean immigrants came to New York City in the mid-80’s. Smoking blunts, dried tobacco leaves, was popular in Caribbean culture.
Blunts have since made their way into modern American cannabis culture. Seasoned cannabis smokers like blunts because they are bigger than joints, holding 1-2 grams of weed per wrap, which also makes them perfect for social settings.
Lots of smokers love a tightly-rolled wrap, but science has confirmed just how dangerous tobacco can be. Smoking tobacco leads to an increased risk of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and numerous other conditions. Lots of cannabis smokers think they’re in the clear because they don’t smoke cigarettes, but any potential health benefits from cannabis could be null and void when you smoke blunts.
Blunts can also be harsh and hot on the throat and lungs, regardless of the potential health problems they cause. That turns some smokers off. Many blunt wraps are artificially flavored, clouding the taste of good weed. You might also feel cross-effects from combining tobacco and weed, which isn’t everyone’s goal.
Joint: Rolled cannabis cigarettes made from rice, hemp, or other plant paper.
Smoking joints started in Mexico, going back as early as 1856, according to recorded history. Joints eventually became popular in the United States, likely because Mexican immigrants entered the U.S. after the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Mexican immigrants brought their commonly-held, cultural tradition of smoking cannabis recreationally to America, contributing to the racially-fueled War on Drugs.
In terms of health, science says joints might be a little better than blunts, depending on what they’re made of. Let’s get one thing straight: all smoke can be irritating and potentially damaging to the lungs, but studies show cannabis smoke might be less harmful than tobacco. When it comes to joints, opting for a clean, organic paper is important. Pesticides have been found in joint paper and blunt wraps.
Like blunts, joints can be hot and harsh for some smokers. For others, it’s not a problem. Blunts and joints also require you to spend money on wraps and papers before lighting up, if you don’t have a solid stockpile already. Not everyone’s wallet appreciates that.
Bong: A water pipe. Traditionally made from glass, but can also be made from plastic and other materials.
Bongs were introduced in China during the 16th century, but for smoking tobacco. They were made of bamboo. The oldest water pipe found so far is more than 2,400 years old. The bong was made of solid gold. You read that right, a solid gold water pipe. They were used by Scythian tribal chiefs who lived around what’s now known as Russia. Bongs eventually made their way to the Western nations through the Silk Road, a network of trade routes used from 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. The Silk Road connected the East and West.
The use of bongs eventually became mainstream popular in the United States during the 60’s and 70’s, though people could have been smoking them as early as the 40’s because the McFarland-Thai English Dictionary published the word “bong” in 1944. It described a bong as "a bamboo water pipe for smoking kancha, tree, hashish, or the hemp-plant” in the Thai language.
Bongs have an advantage that joints and blunts don’t: the water. The dry, harsh cough is nearly eliminated because of the water. Many smokers think bong rips are cool and light on the lungs compared to joints or blunts. Bongs are thought to filter out some harmful carcinogens because of the water, especially when a percolator is used. If you’re a first-time smoker, be advised that bong rips can hit hard. Take it easy and go slow.
We don’t recommend smoking out of plastic bongs. Heated plastic can emit harmful toxins. Look for a glass bong made with borosilicate glass, a non-porous and durable glass that holds up to the heat. Large bongs can be difficult to clean especially if you have many percolators and sections in them. However, modular ones are much easier to clean. To keep your bong cleaner for longer, we recommend adding an ashcathcer and changing your bong water regularly and wash your bong with warm, soapy water for the most sterile toke.
To find the right modular bong for you, check out VITAE Glass where you can customize and build your own perfect bong.
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