You are probably aware of water pipes, may have seen a few in action, and might have even tried one. Water pipes are a simple but amazing creation, so you may wish to know more about these smoking devices. This guide explains everything you need to know about water pipes.
What Is a Water Pipe?
A water pipe is a smoking device using the universal solvent as a filtration and cooling medium. Unlike cigarettes, cigars, and tobacco wrapped in rolling papers, a water pipe does not require you to burn a substance and directly inhale its hot smoke. Instead, a water pipe filters the smoke through water, also cooling it naturally in the process, and you draw much cleaner puffs.
Types of Water Pipe
Any smoking device resembling a pipe that uses water to filter and cool smoke can be classified as a water pipe. However, there are only two types of water pipe prevalent in our society today.
The first is hookah, which is the oldest variety of water pipe that has been continuously used for almost half a millennium now. The second type of water pipe is a bong. Both these varieties are popular with their fair share of fans and critics. So, let’s understand how these water pipes work.
Differences Between Hookah and Bong
A hookah is a grander water pipe compared to a bong. While a simple bong has fewer parts, it can become a complex smoking tool with advanced or special features. The two water pipes don’t just look and feel different. How they work and what you can smoke are different, too.
A hookah has a base, often referred to as a vase, to hold water. A stem is mounted on the base with a bowl atop. This bowl hosts the substance you will smoke using the hookah through a hose. Hookahs have essential accessories, such as charcoal or coal, tray, aluminum foil or heat management device, tongs, and cleaning brushes.
A simple bong is a beaker-shaped pipe with a water chamber. One part of the pipe has a bowl connected through a downstem. The opening at the top of the pipe is essentially the mouthpiece through which you draw the smoke. You put the substance you wish to smoke on the bowl, light it up, draw the smoke through the water, and enjoy the puffs from the bong’s mouthpiece.
The fundamental difference between hookahs and bongs is the heat source. A hookah uses convection heat. You do not burn the substance you want to smoke. Instead, you light charcoal and place the pieces atop the bowl using a foil or heat management device. The hot charcoal heats the shisha tobacco inside the bowl, thus producing hot smoke.
This hot smoke travels down the stem to the base containing water. You take puffs through the hose to draw the cooler and filtered smoke flows out of the hookah’s base. Thus, you are not burning or igniting the smoking material, nor are you directly inhaling any smoke or vapor.
A bong uses flame to burn the smoking substance. You literally ignite or light the substance using a torch. The substance burns and hot smoke gets cooled and filtered through the water in the base of the bong’s pipe or beaker. You draw the smoke through the mouthpiece.
What Can You Smoke With a Water Pipe?
You can smoke shisha tobacco using a hookah. A bong is compatible with waxes, oils, buds, and concentrates. You cannot smoke waxes, oils, or concentrates using hookahs. However, you can use cannabis or their flowers in a hookah, especially when mixed with shisha tobacco.There are hundreds of shisha tobacco flavors for hookahs. These can contain varying amounts of nicotine. Also, you may choose a shisha tobacco flavor that has no nicotine. Shisha flavors contain tobacco leaves, molasses, glycerin, and honey, in some cases. The flavors are usually extracts of fruits, herbs, and other delicious ingredients.
The waxes, oils, and concentrates used in bongs have plenty of varieties, too. However, there aren’t as many as shisha tobacco flavors. Also, you cannot smoke shisha tobacco using bongs.
Should You Choose a Hookah or Bong?
Choose a bong if you want to smoke concentrates, oils, and waxes. In contrast, get a hookah if you wish to smoke shisha tobacco flavors. Remember, you do not burn a shisha tobacco flavor in a hookah, so there is no combustion. Thus, the smoke may be a little healthier. However, a bong also uses water filtration, so the smoke is not necessarily unclean or unpleasant.From another perspective, a bong is more convenient than a hookah. Most bongs are smaller than hookahs, so you can carry them around. A hookah is a substantial stationary setup. Also, you need charcoal and foils or a heat management device, among other essentials.