Breaking Down Dry Pipes & Water Pipes
Every seasoned smoker has their own special formula of herb and pipe combo when it comes to delivering an optimum drag and exceptional session.
One critical part of every smoker’s kit is the perfect pipe. But not everyone has the time to experiment in order to find the right setup for the perfect smoking experience.
Luckily for you, we’re here to help you out. In this guide, we’re laying out the pros and cons of water pipes vs dry pipes so you can make an informed decision for yourself as to what might be best given your preferences, tastes and goals.
Read on to get the lowdown, and enjoy responsibly!
There’s no doubt that water pipes are known for being less harsh to smoke with than dry pipes. This naturally makes them a popular choice amongst many devoted smokers, and it also makes the water pipe a great option for beginners too.
Once your herb combusts into smoke, a water pipe naturally filters, but also acts to cool the smoke before entering your lungs, resulting in a smoother hit that is easier on the lungs and results in less coughing. This cooling process also slightly modifies the concentration of “active” compounds in your herb and can influence the type of “high” (where legal) or other effects that you may experience.
The water in a water pipe has been proven to filter out potentially harmful toxins. While there is some contention as to the percentage of toxic compounds filtered out with water, one thing is for certain, and that is that any form of filtration is better than any non-filtered alternatives (such as a dry pipe).
But this benefit isn’t all just conjecture, there are in fact a number of studies demonstrating that smoking from a water bong is better for your health than smoking from a dry pipe.
University of Texas Study: found that marijuana smoke passed through water removed both acetaldehyde and acrolein both of which are highly toxic to your lungs
Journal of the National Cancer Institute: demonstrated that water filtration reduces both the number and quantity of toxic substances when smoke is passed through it.
To get optimum results, make sure you clean the water each time you use your pipe and keep it clean too. If you want an even smoother hit, look for a percolator which divides the water, such as those found in a Zig Zag bong.
Adaptability and Choices
The ability for users to get creative with their water pipes means that there really is a water pipe out there to suit anyone and any preference. The versatility offered by the different attachments available allows the user to experiment and create the perfect setup to elevate their smoking experience to the next level. They’re more cost effective too, being available at a wide range of price points, allowing you to start basic and upgrade as needed or necessary
Water Pipes - Something for Everyone
With so many different shapes of water pipe available, let’s take a closer look at some of the different types of bongs on the market.
Straight Tube Bong
An excellent choice for anyone who is new to smoking with a bong, the straight tube bong is both simple and easy to use. This design has a sleek and ‘classic’ look, they’re easy to clean, and clear much more quickly than some other types of bongs, allowing you to take a larger hit.
Zig Zag Bong (Zong)
An understandably popular choice, this design is so-called due to their easily identified zig zag shape. A Zig Zag bong can have one or more curves and they provide a few key benefits to the smoker besides simply looking great! For example, the Zig Zag shape acts as a splash guard to prevent water rising through the chamber and into your mouth. This means you can really put your feet up and enjoy a relaxing session without worrying about splashing water where it doesn’t belong.
Another popular choice, the beaker looks like it belongs in a science lab. These bongs offer a number of perks. The Beaker Bong’s heavy bottom makes it more stable than other water pipes, meaning it can better withstand inadvertent bumping without toppling over. The wider base also generates lots of smoke for those that enjoy a deep intense pull as they clear the chamber.
Recycler bongs look pretty technical compared to other setups. This is largely due to the added filtration support they provide. Which also means they deliver an incredibly smooth hit that won’t have you coughing up a lung. Also known as multi-chamber bongs, these bongs filter the smoke multiple times before it makes its way to your mouth for inhalation. Thus making this design a clear choice for anyone looking for a really smooth hit, or for those with sensitive lungs.
Percolator (or ‘bubbler’) bongs come in a range of shapes and sizes. These bongs also possess superior smoke filtering powers, usually coming equipped with a minimum of two percolators. These bongs spread the smoke across a larger surface area, allowing it to cool much faster, providing a silky smooth pull and less harsh inhalation. They also look pretty awesome, as you can watch the smoke swirl along and travel inside the pieces.
Bubblers - The Best of Both Worlds!
A pocket bubbler is a great choice for anyone wanting the compact and discreteness of a dry pipe, coupled with the benefits of a bong. A bubbler is very similar to a bong in that they essentially deliver the same things, with the added convenience of portability. Bubblers are slightly larger than a glass pipe but are still really easy to carry around. Unlike a dry pipe, a bubbler contains water, making it the perfect choice for anyone wanting to smoke ‘on-the-go’.
Water Pipes - The Drawbacks
Of course, despite the many benefits of the much-loved water pipe, they can have their drawbacks too depending on what you need. The sometimes complex shape and structure of a water pipe (especially those with many attachments) can make it harder to clean. This can affect the ability of the water to filter out toxins. Some bongs can also be less discreet and less practical than dry pipes due to their size. Finally, glass water pipes are fragile and can be prone to spillages!
Dry Pipes - Benefits and Drawbacks
Perhaps the biggest benefit of a dry pipe is their simple design. A dry pipe offers an authentic smoking experience that is convenient and often more discreet than that of a water pipe. A dry pipe is also typically easier to carry, easy to use, more affordable and easier to clean than a water pipe.
Although the simplistic design of a dry pipe can be a benefit, it can also negatively impact on the smoker’s experience. The lack of filtration means that the smoke from a dry pipe can contain harmful toxins. The smoke from a dry pipe can also be harsher on the throat.
Ultimately, the choice between a water pipe and a dry pipe is down to the preference of the smoker. For newer smokers, we recommend you purchase a basic bong and start from there. You’ll soon find yourself exploring the many other options at your fingertips!
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