Cannabis Science

Why Do Bongs Get You Higher?

why do bongs get you higher

There are so many ways to consume weed. You can vape, use a blunt, eat an edible or even use cannabis cream. One of the popular options is using a bong or bubbler. If you aren’t familiar, a bong is just a water pipe that you can use to smoke cannabis. Some stoners swear by using bongs or bubblers because they believe it gets them higher. Is it true? If it is, why do bongs get you higher?

Photo: Unsplash

How Do Bongs Work?

Bongs are pretty simple. You put your ground up cannabis in the smoking bowl and fill the base of the bong with water. When you light your weed, you use your mouth to create a suction around the mouthpiece and inhale. When you inhale, the water at the bottom of the bong will start bubbling. The smoke from your lit weed will come up through the water and chamber. Then you inhale to ingest the smoke. 

There are many types of bongs and not all bongs are the same but the mechanism is similar for all of them. 

Why Do Bongs Get You Higher?

Many Reddit users claim that bubblers get you higher, and that may be true!

According to Mitch Earleywine, professor of psychology at the State University of New York in Albany, bongs make the smoke smoother to ingest. Therefore, you’re able to take bigger hits than usual and get more powerful highs. Mic says, “the bigger the bong, the bigger the hit.”

Healthline said something similar, “bongs are basically a way to get more smoke into your lungs while also making that smoke more pleasant to inhale.”

It’s believed that bongs allow more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) through but that’s not the case according to a study done in 2000. The study concluded that more THC didn’t pass through the bong than a joint. Mic also mentioned that it’s possible that the bong may block some of the THC. 

Is Smoking Weed from a Bong Healthier?

Not necessarily. There is a general belief that bongs are automatically better for your health than blunts because it filters smoke through water and you aren’t burning rolling papers but the research doesn’t support this view. 

Sure, smoke may be easier to deal with from a bong but it’s still smoke. According to Healthline, using both bongs and blunts exposes you to carcinogens from smoke. Healthline says, “Smoking marijuana, whether via doobie or bong, can harm lung tissues and cause scarring and damage to your small blood vessels.”

However, using a blunt won’t expose you to BPA and phthalates which are found in plastic bongs. BPA and phthalates can cause adverse effects. You can opt for glass or BPA-free food grade silicone bubbler though.

On the other hand, a study showed that people who use bongs are more likely to experience cannabis dependency. The study showed that 54.4% of bong users had cannabis dependence in contrast to 25% of those that used blunts. 

In an attempt to explain this, the study said, “The link between bong use and cannabis dependence may reflect the fact that bong use contributes to dependence and (or) that dependence leads to using stronger methods, such as bongs”.

Finally, be careful about sharing either blunts or bongs. Healthline mentioned incidents of people getting necrotizing pneumonia and pulmonary tuberculosis from bong use. You could also get strep throat, COVID-19, or other diseases from sharing.

If you are using a bong, there are ways to keep it clean. Check out our guide on how to clean a bong both with and without alcohol here.


Bongs get you higher because you tend to inhale a lot more smoke than with other methods. However, bongs are not necessarily healthier than blunts. While bubblers may have more cons than blunts, it’s really a personal choice as to which one you want to use. Remember that if smoke scares you, there are so many other ways to consume cannabis.


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].