Cannabis Science

What Happens if You Drink Bong Water?

man using a bong

You can thank bong water for a smooth smoking sesh. It eliminates the heat you’d feel in your throat if you smoked a blunt. So as you can see, bong water is pretty useful. But can it be refreshing on a hot summer day? Bong water doesn’t look particularly appetizing. But admit it, you’ve wondered what happens if you drink the bong water. We’re here to satisfy your curiosity, so you don’t need to try it yourself!

Photo: Unsplash

What Happens if You Drink Bong Water?

Bong water isn’t great for plants, but what about people? It turns out it’s not great for us, either. Who would have thought? 

Bong water is simply dirty after it’s used. Just because it is heated doesn’t mean the bacteria is gone or it’s safe to drink. In addition to bacteria, tar, ash, and possibly fungi are present.

So you shouldn’t smoke with a dirty bong, but more on that in another section.

You may wonder what would happen if you drank the bong water. The short answer is that you’re probably going to get sick. With what? It depends. However, you can probably expect to throw up. 

Veriheal says dirty water is a haven for bacteria such as E.coli and Hepatitis A. E.coli can result in gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. 

Hepatitis A, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hepatitis A can result in joint pain, vomiting, and an upset stomach. The CDC confirms that it can be spread through contaminated water and live at room temperature for months. 

Bong Water Consumption Experiences

Reddit users have shared their experiences with bong water, and it’s right along the lines of what we expect. 

One user said, “my friends played a prank on me and gave me bong water as a drink and I was too high to notice. Let’s just say I spent 2 hours in his yard gagging.”

Another user said, “Never drink bong water, I drank all of it last night and threw up like 8 times.”

One user recounted what happened to their friend and said, “My friend drank bong water it was old and gross he ended up having to get his stomach pumped.

Does Drinking Bong Water Get You High?

Absolutely not. It’s a common misconception that bong water will make you high. THC, the cannabinoid responsible for your high, isn’t found in bong water in an activated form that will make you high. Whatever weed remains in the water hasn’t been decarboxylated. Also, THC is not water-soluble. The bottom line is there are no benefits to drinking bong water. 

What Happens If You Smoke With Dirty Water?

So you can’t drink dirty bong water but is it safe to smoke from a bong if the water is dirty?

Consider that inhaling bacteria or fungi is terrible because can make you really sick. A case report chronicled the experience of a 23-year-old man with a fever, difficulty breathing, and coughing up blood. The report said, “He reported smoking marijuana daily for four years using a small water pipe or bong.” He contracted severe Pseudomonas aeruginosa necrotizing pneumonia through the bong. 

Inhaling fungus is another possibility. Veriheal says Aspergillus, which is a fungus that grows on the cannabis plant, can cause problems when heated. When heated, it will break down into mycotoxins which can therefore cause lung disease.

To avoid these problems, you can make sure you keep your bong clean. 

According to Veriheal, having new bong water every time you use it makes sense. They said, “You really can’t change your bong water too often. “

For those who don’t want to change their bong water with each use, Veriheal also said you could just look at the water. They said, “If it looks gross, it probably is, and it’s time for a change.”

In addition, they mentioned that bacteria starts growing in bong water pretty quickly. Bacteria will start growing within a day or two.

You shouldn’t just change the water; you must clean the bong. Veriheal says, “plant matter and smoke gets sucked directly into and through the water at the base of the bong, it will eventually develop a sticky residue coating that becomes dirtier over time.”

You can check out our handy guide if you want to know how to clean your bong


What happens if you drink bong water? Nothing good. Chances are you’ll throw up or just feel sick in general. You should not smoke with dirty bong water either; it can also make you sick. Your best bet is to avoid drinking bong water, change the water after each use and clean your bong thoroughly. 


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].