Ever wonder what is going down inside your bong when you take a hit? All that water getting tossed around, smoke being pulled through it, and finally air to clear it out. Does the water actually do anything to the smoke? Well, sort of. There’s a lot going on when you take a hit from your bong, more than you may realize. This post will give you the facts about water filtration and smoke, as well as some myths you may have fell for.
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What Happens With The Smoke?
Whenever you take a hit of cannabis, many different chemical compounds can be found within that smoke. Some of which you want (like THC, CBD, and terpenes), but some (like harsh smoke, ash, and tar) are what you do not want. Unfortunately, you cannot inhale marijuana smoke without some sort of harmful compound being smoked as well. Water-filtration, however, has been said to reduce the harm that is inhaled; but is this true?
Not sure what tar is? Well, tar refers to hundreds of toxic chemical compounds that are found within smoke. These tar compounds can be found in many types of smoke, including cannabis and tobacco smoke. Whenever plant materials are combusted (a.k.a. weed is smoked), various compounds are created in the process, and inhaled into the lungs through smoke. Unless you are eating or drinking your weed, this process is inevitable. But can filtered smoke possibly reduce the toxins and harmful compounds when cannabis is combusted?
How Water Can Affect Smoke
Smoke that passes through water goes through many stages. Chemical compounds in both the water and smoke are being traded, trapped, and removed. Some compounds get added in with the cannabis smoke, while many compounds become trapped in the water and never get inhaled. But which are which?
First, the things you didn’t want to be removed. Water filtration does in fact cause small amounts of THC to become trapped and not pass through the water. Although, the majority of the THC will pass through. The amount of THC that does pass through remains unchanged. Even with this, water-filtered cannabis smoke is richer in THC compared to unfiltered smoke, due to the fact that other compounds were removed allowing for THC to become more dominant.
On a good note, most of the cannabinoids (besides THC), as well as terpenes, remain intact and can pass through the water. This is because cannabinoids and terpenes have little to no water solubility, which is why compounds that have higher solubility are removed first.
Now, the stuff you wanted to be removed. Studies done on water filtration and cannabis smoke have shown that the filtration prevents chemical compounds responsible for slower spontaneous activity from passing through. Water filtration also reduces the carcinogenic potential to the user. While cannabis has never directly caused cancer, some scientists believe the potential is still there. Many of these carcinogens become trapped in the water, and remain there. This means that if this water was ingested, the carcinogenic potential would be as well (so don’t drink bong water!).
Water filtration has also been proven to remove substances that are toxic to major defense cells in the lungs (known as alveolar macrophages) that support the immune system. A scientific study backed this by showing that unfiltered smoke reduced the alveolar macrophages’ capability to kill bacteria, while filtered smoke did not. These results point to the fact that water-filtered smoke does not harm the immune system as much as unfiltered smoke does.
Last, but not least, water filtration can also remove any plant material and particulate matter (such as ash). This means no scooby snacks in your hits! No need to worry about small bits of weed or ash getting inhaled or in your mouth, as the water will catch that stuff for you. The water also cools down the smoke as it passes through, allowing for smoother hits altogether.
Is It Worth It?
After reading all of those facts, are you tired yet? Or did you just skip over that last section so you can read the beneficial stuff? No worries, here’s the benefits of using water filtration when smoking. Or, better yet, is it even worth it?
Due to the fact that water filtration removes some of the THC content in the smoke inhaled, you may need to smoke more weed in order to reach a desired level of high. Unfiltered smoke will get you a stronger high, and faster, ultimately meaning unfiltered smoke is more efficient for your weed. On the contrary, water-filtered smoke is healthier. If you read the section above, then you know why. If you didn’t, then go back and read, cause I’m not summing it up here.
Have you ever noticed how bong water turns brown after many uses? And if you use it enough, it will become black. Well, this is not the water coloring itself just for fun. No. This is visual evidence that water filtration “cleans” cannabis smoke. You surely wouldn’t want that brown stuff, or whatever creates the brown stuff, to go into your lungs instead. Using water-filtration can remove tar and save your lungs from inhaling most of it.
With my last point being said, always use new bong water. The more you reuse bong water, the less chance you have of proper filtration working. Also, keep your bong clean! The toxic compounds and tar that get trapped in the water do not magically disappear. They stay inside the water, and inside your bong. This is why dirty bongs go from clear-looking to brown and black. Keep it clean to keep it healthy.
That’s all for this post. Does it convince you to use water filtration more when you smoke? I hope it does, for the sake of your own health. Keep it clean, and keep it healthy. Thanks for reading!