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Vapor Bong: The Coolest Way to Smoke

Cloud Evo VapeXale Vapor Bong
VapeXhale Cloud EVO™

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Vapor Bong: The Coolest Way to Smoke

Compared with the camaraderie of smoking marijuana, vaporizing can seem somewhat sterile and impersonal. A vapor bong, on the other hand, is a lot more like burning a bowl in a water pipe with your buddies.

Many cannabis connoisseurs are turning to using a vapor bong as a potentially healthier, tastier and more economical means of consumption. With a vaporizer, THC and other cannabinoids are converted to vapor just as they are during combustion, but at lower temperatures that the user can control.

Bee-high.com estimates that the starting temperatures for combustion range up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. During a puff, a study has shown that combustion temps reach 1,470-1,650 F. In contrast, the “ignition” temperature of vaporizers corresponds to the boiling points for cannabinoids: starting around 314 F (for THC delta 9) up to about 428 F for tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).

Even though vaporizing temperatures are lower than smoking, some people complain that the vapor can be harsh and dry on the throat. Many vaporists are former (or concurrent) smokers who are familiar with using a glass bong or bubbler to cool down and moisturize their smoke and filter out minute particles. Some of them are combining the benefits of vaporizing with a water filtration device.

How does a Vapor bong work?

Vapor bongs work a lot like combustion bongs. The main difference is that a vaporizer replaces the herb bowl and the cannabinoids are released more gradually, depending on the temperature you choose. With a little ingenuity and a couple of inexpensive parts, virtually any vaporizer can be mated with a bong.

Water pipe adapters (WPA) are standardized at 14.4 mm and 18.8mm (usually referred to simply as 14mm and 18mm) and are typically ground glass for a tight seal. With whip vapes, for instance, just replace the mouthpiece with a WPA that fits your bong and voilà, vapor bong.

The standard for today’s bongs and bubblers is the borosilicate glass used to make laboratory equipment like beakers, but optimized for water pipes with a sometimes dazzling array of percolator slits. These can range from a few simple slits in a down stem to elaborate disks, matrixes, showerheads, honeycombs and more.

When the user inhales, the percolator slits under the waterline create tiny bubbles of cannabis vapor that disperse throughout the water and rise to the surface, where they form a vapor “cloud,” often referred to as “white-walling” the bubbler. The water filters out particulates and cools and moisturizes the vapor. The more percolation, the cooler the vapor. The temperature of the water also matters. Warm water results in vapor that feels more humid and soothing on the throat.

Downsides

As an oil, cannabinoids are not soluble in water, though some oil condenses on the inside of the bong. A study from the 1990s suggested that some THC might be lost in the water, but other studies have contradicted those claims. Until more definitive evidence is produced, we’re left with what we know anecdotally – most people can’t tell much of a difference.

Setting up a Vapor bong

Some vaporizers seem to be designed with a water tool in mind, such as the VapeXhale Cloud EVO. VapeXhale sells specialized glass water tools called hydratubes that sit atop the vaporizer, but you can also invert the vaporizer on top of traditional bubblers.

The three most popular herb vaporizers from 7th Floor — Silver Surfer (SS), Da Buddha (DB) and especially the Life Saber (LS) — as well as the Arizer Extreme Q (EQ) also work extremely well with bubblers and bongs. With the SS, DB and EQ vaporizers, you simply replace the mouthpiece at the end of the whip tubing with a glass-on-glass (GonG) water pipe adapter and connect it to your bong. The direct draw LS vaporizer connects directly to your water tool using a water pipe adapter.

Log vaporizers like the Underdog, E-nano and Heat Island are also excellent performers with water tools, especially if you enjoy a few tasty yet potent hits from minute amounts of herb. Many portable vaporizers have custom adapters available for pairing with a glass bubbler. A good option is the butane-powered Lotus.

What’s the right Vapor bong for you?

Since vaporizers start off at temperatures that are hundreds of degrees lower than combustion, elaborate percolation or ice chambers that cool the vapor aren’t as necessary as they are with smoking. As vaporizers catch on, percolators will be valued less for their functionality than for their aesthetics and social prestige, said Travis Lachner, CEO of Bee-High. People love to whitewall their bongs and bubblers, and combustion creates more visible “clouds” than vaporizing. As vapor bonging catches on, Lachner envisions smaller bongs with less percolation for the best functionality and visual aesthetics.

Have you ever tried a vapor bong? Share your experience in the comments.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Bob

    July 9, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    I made a bong out of a water bottle, a piece of clear plastic tubing, some plumbers tape, a rubber band, and a metal adapter for the tubing (used as a connector to my vaping pen). I just position the pen’s mouthpiece in the metal adapter, press the pen’s power button, and inhale. I use a REL pen and cartridge. It produces wonderful thick, dense clouds of smoke.

    The bong is tall and thin. The water bottle is the refillable kind people carry with them. The water fills it a little more than half full. When I inhale I see the smoke filling the tube. I hear the bubbles, then, after a bit, stop inhaling. The smoke in the bong above the water is so dense I cannot see the plastic tubing in it. And this is after I took the first hit. I draw again, this time without firing up the pen. The hit is as strong as the first one. The third hit is nearly the same.

    So with the bong I’m getting three hits off a single initial draw on the pen. Life is good.

    I’m a baby boomer, a senior citizen. I live in Oregon, where medical and recreational pot are legal. I hadn’t smoked pot in decades but tried it again after legalization and am very happy I did. The problem is, after not smoking for so long, I cough and hack when I smoke. It happens with every brand of pen I’ve tried. Running the smoke through the water bong helps, but doesn’t eliminate, my coughing – although combined with the technique of keeping the smoke in my mouth instead of just doing a deep, full inhale, it does nearly eliminate the deep hacking coughs.

  2. Brett. Twente MD

    August 8, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I need a smoke after work

  3. Brett

    August 8, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I love my bong

  4. Rex

    May 3, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I accidentally happened to have a filled ice bong next to me when I was playing with my new SSV . If the bong and the vaporizer had eyes they would have been making them at each other. Well, you know how these things happen, pretty soon part A fit into part B etc.

    It probably was the best toke I ever had, until the next one.

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