Everyone has heard of a joint. But this is just one method of getting the cannabis medicine into your system. The truth is there are dozens of very creative ways to consume cannabis and some can be really quite innovative.
Medical marijuana can be eaten, vaporized, taken as capsules, tinctures and sprays, but many still opt to smoke it or inhale it. Many people who prefer to smoke their medical marijuana will do so by utilizing water pipes, also known as bongs. Bongs work by passing the smoke through water inside a chamber, thus removing toxins and particulates that may be harmful if inhaled. The water also helps to cool down the smoke, which makes it easier to inhale without irritating your airways.
There are many types of bongs on the market. They come in all shapes and sizes and colors. They can be made of glass, acrylic, bamboo, or ceramic. You can find a simple entry-level bong for as little as $10. But you can also splurge and find some premium models that can cost upwards of $1000 or more.
The Benefits of Bongs
When you smoke any substance, whether tobacco or cannabis, the burning of it produces a harmful compounds, some of which are linked to cancer. These include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), such as benzopyrene. While there aren’t many studies involving marijuana, studies involving tobacco have found that water pipes can trap as much as 90% of certain toxins.
A 1991 study found that passing marijuana smoke through water removed substances called cytotoxins, which are known to impair immune cells. This suggests that water filtration may be beneficial for smokers with immunodeficiencies, such as patients with HIV/AIDS.
Bongs are also relatively easy to use and maintain compared to vaporizes, which tend to be more technologically-advanced.
The Disadvantages of Bongs
Though they are few, there are some drawbacks to bongs. One is that they seem to trap more THC than unfiltered devices.
It has been reported that water pipes produce smoke with a lower cannabinoid:tar ratio than unfiltered joints. Specifically, water pipes seem to eliminate more tar than unfiltered joints, but more THC as well.
Even though water pipes are better than regular pipes at filtering smoke, they are likely not as effective as vaporizers when it comes to protecting the lungs. Vaporizers are able to avoid combustion altogether by heating marijuana at a cooler temperature.
Regardless of what device is used, marijuana smoke has been shown to irritate the airways which, in some cases, can lead to minor lung problems.
note: The above post contains from information provided by The National Center for Biotechnology. Information may be edited for content and length.