You reach over to your bong to pack a bowl only to be treated by water that has turned a murky brown and is beginning to smell. No problem you'll just throw it out and put some new clean water, but where to throw the bong water? You're feeling lazy so you look over at your houseplant and shrug to yourself 'Why not'. But then the thought hits you, "Is bong water good for plants?".
Weed is a plant after all. Surely bong water is good for plants and recycling it will be eco-friendly. But is there truth behind this urban myth?
This blog will unpack what lurks in used bong water and if watering plants with it is a good idea.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Understanding Bong Water
Water is used for the filtration of cannabis smoke. As you draw on the mouthpiece, smoke travels through the water cooling it down before reaching your lungs. But what happens to the water during this process?
Firstly, it absorbs many of the combustion byproducts found in smoke. These include toxins like tar and ash which are harmful to both humans and plants alike.
In addition to these impurities, there's also an accumulation of resin over time. This sticky substance is another waste product from smoking that makes its way into bong water.
Over time the color of the water changes and becomes what we know as “bong water.”
Components of Dirty Bong Water
Bong water is a cocktail of various elements. Some of these include:
- THC and CBD: Although found in very small qualities, these cannabinoids are present within dirty bong water.
- Tar and Ash: By-products of the combustion process, these substances cause the water's discoloration.
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): These carcinogenic substances are produced during the burning of cannabis plants.
- Other Harmful Toxins: These include naphthalene, acrylamide, acrylonitrile, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide.
Is Bong Water Good For Plants?
While bong water does contain natural plant material and cannabinoids, there are also harmful toxins, such as tar and bacteria, that could damage your plant's health. Therefore, bong water is not good for plants.
Cannabis might be a plant, but when you smoke it through a bong, harmful substances get mixed into the water. The used bong water contains toxic compounds which are not good for any type of plant.
Research has shown these toxins stunt growth and may even kill plants over time . So while there's some truth to cannabis being beneficial for soil due to its nutrient-rich composition when composted properly, this does not apply to used bong water.
And just in case you were wondering, you should definitely not be drinking dirty bong water.
The Potential Harm of Bong Water to Plants
Besides tar and ash residue from smoked cannabis, your leftover bong water could also contain mold if left uncleaned—a big no-no for plants.
Used bongs don't offer nutritious hydration for your plants; it's harmful in the following ways.
- Presence of Harmful Substances: Bong water contains PAHs, naphthalene, acrylamide, acrylonitrile, and other toxins that are harmful to both humans and plants. These toxins come from the smoke produced when cannabis is burned.
- Bacterial Contamination: The stagnant water in a bong can attract fungi and bacteria. This makes the bong water a breeding ground for harmful germs.
- Acidity: Bong water tends to be on the acidic end of the pH scale due to the filtration of acidic compounds like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
The Toxicity Issue
Bong water collects residues from cannabis smoked, leading to harmful toxins in the liquid. When this contaminated water reaches your plant's root system, these toxins can impede growth and even kill them over time.
Dangerous pH Levels
Apart from toxicity issues, bong water often has a higher pH level that could create acidic soil conditions leading to poor plant health and growth. Regular exposure to such high-pH liquids could damage your plant’s roots or cause nutrient lockout—preventing essential nutrient absorption by the plants.
Poor Nutrient Content
Despite containing some organic matter which may initially seem advantageous for fertilization purposes; compared with traditional fertilizer solutions or regular clean water use, research has shown that bong water offers no significant benefits but instead introduces potential harm to your plants wellbeing .
Comparative Analysis of Bong Water and Regular Water for Plants
Bong water has harmful substances such as tar and ash which can clog a plant's root system. This hampers their ability to absorb necessary nutrients from the soil. It also affects pH levels making it difficult for your green friends to thrive. Studies show that regular fresh water is more suitable due to its neutral pH balance to water plants .
In contrast, normal tap or rainwater contains dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium that help plants grow healthily. Plus, they're free of toxins found in bong water.
The Nutrient Comparison Between Bong Water And Regular Tap Water:
|Regular Tap/ Rainwater
|No essentials nutrients
|Dissolved minerals (calcium & magnesium)
|Neutral balance at around 7.0
|Tar, ash, potential carcinogens
|None when sourced correctly
Although one may assume bongs' water filtration process could enrich the water with useful compounds, it instead fills them with substances harmful to plants. Regular tap or rainwater is always a safer bet when it comes to watering your plants.
Safe Disposal Methods for Bong Water
Pour It Down The Drain
The easiest way to dispose of used bong water is by pouring bong water down your sink or toilet. Before disposing of the bong water, double-check that there's nothing in it that could block your pipes.
Solid Waste Disposal
If your bong water contains larger pieces of debris like ash or leftover herb particles, use a sieve to separate them first. Once separated, wrap these solids in biodegradable paper and throw them away with your regular trash. These larger pieces of plant material can also be thrown onto the compost pile.
FAQs Is Bong Water Good for Plants
Can I water my plants with bong water?
No, you shouldn't. Bong water contains toxins and chemicals that can harm your plants' health.
How do you dispose of bong water?
You should dump it down the toilet or sink. Make sure to rinse out your bong after to get rid of any residue.
Is bong water bad for the environment?
Besides being unpleasantly smelly, used bong water isn't directly harmful to the environment if disposed of properly.
How long does it take for bacteria to grow in bong water?
In stagnant conditions like a dirty, uncleaned bong with decomposing plant matter, bacteria can start growing within 24 hours.
The Bottom Line: Is Bong Water Good for Plants?
Is bong water good for plants? Absolutely not. We've learned that this substance is far from a green thumb's secret weapon.
While the idea may seem appealing, the potential harm outweighs any perceived benefits. The toxins, bacteria, and acidic nature of bong water could be detrimental to your plant's health.
The safest way to dispose of bong water is to pour it down the drain and run plenty of clean water after it. This will help dilute the toxins and prevent them from causing damage to your plumbing system.