There is a huge controversy in the Stoner community between bowls vs. bongs.
Some people prefer hand pipes because they are easier to use, while others prefer water pipes because they are smoother, and provide a more intense experience.
In this guide, we break down the pros and cons of each, and try to get to the bottom of this epic rivalry. In this guide, we will cover:
- How Bowls Work
- How Bongs Work
- Which Gets You Higher?
- Which is Healthier?
- Which is Better?
Why Some Stoners Prefer Bowls
Bowls come in all different shapes and sizes. Generally, bowls are smaller in size which may make them more common than their companion bongs.
They can be discreetly hidden a lot easier than a bong whether that is stored in the glove box of your car or in a shoebox in your closet.
Bowls can break easily if dropped because they are normally made out of glass but some are made out unique materials.
There are many types of hand pipes, and some are made out of wood, stone, or even magnets surprisingly.
Understanding how bowls work can be great because they can even be made out of household items. If you are too nervous about being caught with an actual piece then you can create a makeshift one out of food at your house.
Apples are great and easy to cut into so I would say these are the best. But once you are out of apples, POTatoes can also work they are just a little harder to cut into.
How Bowls Work
Bowls consist of three holes that are all connected through one airway. Typically, there are two holes close together and a third separate hole, which is the mouthpiece, a safe distance apart from the other two.
The biggest hole is where the herb is packed. Having a large bowl pack can be beneficial if you smoke with other people so you do not have to keep repacking it.
The other hole near the bowl pack is known as the “rush”. This hole is to be covered once the bowl is lit and you have started inhaling. This makes it so all of the smoke goes to the mouthpiece.
Once you have filled the bowl with smoke the rush is the be released and with one last inhale the bowl is cleared forcing all of the smoke towards you.
These pieces are a lot more convenient and can be great if you only take one or two hits while going somewhere.
Advantages of Bowls
- Bowls are easy to carry and conceal
- They are less expensive than bongs
- If smoked right, they can be very efficient on marijuana usage
Disadvantages of Bowls
- They can clog much easier than bongs
- Bowls can be very difficult to clean compared to bowls
- If you smoke them often, they can burn your throat
- Bowls do not filter out many chemicals from the smoke when compared to bongs
Learn More: If you want to learn more about hand pipes (bowls), check out these comprehensive resources:
Why Some People Prefer Bongs
Bongs comes in all shapes and sizes as well. These pieces can be small and handheld or can need two people just to smoke them cause they are so big. Small vs. big bongs is another controversy in the Stoner community.
The material that makes up bongs is usually glass but they do have silicone bongs for all of you clumsy people out there that can’t stop breaking them. In fact, there are also ceramic, metal, and acrylic bongs as well.
Holding a big bong is like holding a baby, you have to be extremely careful. Odds are that large bong is an expensive bong and the owner will not allow you to hold another nice piece if you manage to break it.
Bongs are similar in how they work with bowls with the bowl pack and rush effect except it involves a few more steps.
Bongs vs. Bowls – What’s the Difference?
Bongs are great because they are much bigger than bowls so you can take bigger hits. Due to their size, they can be harder to hide and more inconvenient.
You have a lot more freedom to customize your bong than your bowl. You can buy different designs and sizes for you bowl packs. Having options is always great so get creative when purchasing these pieces and get one for every occasion.
You can purchase percolators for your bong which filter the smoke even more than the standard water filtration. These percs attach in place of the slide and act as another barrier the smoke needs to go through.
Bongs are more complex than your standard bowl because of all of the moving pieces. They are more expensive, but if you are a routine smoker they can be a great way to smoke.
How Bongs Work
A bong has a glass tube at the top which is the mouthpiece that flows into a beaker that is filled with water. Water is optional, some people use orange juice is they are feeling fruity in the morning.
The water in the beaker is used to cool down the smoke the user is inhaling. This allows the smoker to “milk” (fill the bong with smoke) the bong for longer to make for a bigger rip.
At the point where the beaker meets the mouthpiece tube, there is a slide that is attached to the bowl pack of the piece. This piece acts the same as the rush hole on a bowl. Most of the time, this is called a diffused downstem. While inhaling, light the bong and fill it with smoke. Once the bong is filled with smoke pull the slide out and take one last breath to clear the piece of smoke and finish your hit.
Advantages of Bongs
- Bongs give a much more intense high with much less marijuana
- Bongs filter out around 95% of carcinogens and particulate from marijuana smoke
- Bongs offer a very smooth smoking experience
- Bongs can be upgraded with additional pieces such as percolators, screens, slides, etc…
- Bongs are very easy to clean
Disadvantages of Bongs
- Bongs are much more expensive than bowls
- Bongs break very easily if you are not careful
- Bongs can be very hard to transport and hide
Learn More: To learn even more about bongs, check out these helpful resources we’ve made:
- Best Bongs Under $100
- Comparing the Different Types of Bongs
- Top Bong Brands 2019
- 16 Water Pipe FAQs
- Buyer’s Guide to Finding the Right Bong
Which Gets You Higher: Bongs or Bowls?
At the end of the day, all Stoners really care about is which piece gets the job done better.
Both pieces can get the job done, but due to the size difference bongs take the win on this one. One giant rip of a bong can turn you into a space cadet.
Bowls can get you to that point too, but it takes a lot more hits because the pieces are so much smaller. You may use the same amount of herb to get to that point but the bong will take much fewer hits to get you there.
Although you can take a gigantic rip of a bong and go to Mars, it is completely up to you. Bongs and bowls both give you the control of how big of a hit you want to take.
You can take a huge hit before you watch a movie or play video games, or take a smaller hit if you have to go to a social gathering and compose yourself.
That is the true greatness of these pieces, you can control how high you are going to get.
Which Is Healthier?
Smoking, in general, is not a healthy habit to develop. But if you are going to do it, you might as well pick the healthier option.
Both bongs and bowls are better for you than smoking blunts or wraps but bongs seem to be better for you than bowls.
The safest way to get stoned is using edibles because it takes the smoking out of it while still providing a pleasant experience. Consuming edibles provides the longest high, sometimes lasting up to four hours.
Vaporizers are also a safer alternative than bongs or bowls that seem to be taking the weed industry by storm. Due to the discrete amount of smoke and scent they produce they have become very popular.
Vapes are a simple way to get high in public that does not leave you smelling like weed. They come in all shapes and sizes so browse around and find out what works for you.
We first recommend using edibles to get stoned but if you are one to not enjoy the body high or edibles just do not seem to get the job done then we recommend using a bong.
Like we stated earlier, bongs and bowls are both similar in a sense the main difference is the water and percolators that act as a filtration system for the smoke.
Bongs provide users with cleaner hits of smoke, making them less harsh on your lungs, throat, and mouth. If you are a pothead and smoke all of the time we highly recommend using a bong with a few percolators so you have a safer smoking experience.
Although bongs might be a little healthier, it is nice to change things up every once in a while to keep things fresh.
Bongs vs. Bowls – Which is Better
Based on the criteria, bongs seem to be the superior way to smoke.
They do tend to get you higher because they are larger and can be healthier for you than bowls because of their filtration system.
However, it is all about how these pieces are used and personal preference. Everyone’s smoking circumstances are different so we recommend trying out a little bit of everything and see what works for you.
When Are Bowls Better?
Bowls are best for Stoners who are on-the-go. Sometimes you just don’t have time to fill up a bong, or the space to not look conspicuous while smoking one.
Other times, you may be enjoying an experience like a hike or walk, which makes it tough and dangerous to smoke a huge water pipe.
In these scenarios, we recommend bowls because they are easy to setup, and easy to conceal and put away quickly.
When Are Bongs Better?
Bongs are better for a more relaxed setting, such as a party or get together.
They are also a great daily smoker for someone who can casually smoke at home when they get home from work.
There are some travel bongs out there, such as the Roll Uh Bowl, which are virtually indestructible. For any Stoner who does not want to give up bongs or their on-the-go lifestyle, this is the best compromise.
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