5 minutes read
What is a Bubbler and How to Use One
You’ve heard a lot about bubblers. You know they are often the preferred method of enjoying cannabis. But with the vast selection of innovative and performance-minded glassware on the market, you may be a little intimidated.
We’re here to help you overcome any fears or misunderstandings you may have about how to use and get the most out of your bubbler.
Introduction to your Bubbler
Bubblers are a great smoking device for both novices and regular smokers. They provide a number of benefits that can’t’ be had through other means. For example, as compared to conventional smoking methods such as joints or blunts, bubblers are easier to prepare for use and require no specialized packing and rolling skills to get it just right. They also provide superior filtration and cooling, making each pull of your bud smooth and easy on the lungs. No more coughing fits.
Bubblers come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors and designs. Despite these variations, the general principle of how they work is quite similar. This guide will show you how to use a bubbler as well as how to maintain it so you can get the most of each smoke session.
Bubblers vs. Bongs
Some people get bubblers and bongs mixed up, which is an easy thing to do since they’re both glass pieces. Bubblers are a lot like bongs as they both require water. However, bubblers have elements that resemble a pipe more than a bong since they both have a short stem and a carb hole. Bubblers are generally small in size and can’t usually be taken apart for cleaning.
Benefits of Having a Bubbler
If you’re still on the fence about investing in a new bubbler, we hope to convince you otherwise. With bubblers, you get the best of both worlds. You can enjoy a nice, smooth hit that isn’t harsh on your lungs, while still having the convenience of being able to travel with it on the go.
They’re also incredibly easy to use. So whether you’re a newbie to smoking or a toking connoisseur, they are a perfect addition to your collection. In short, bubblers are a must-have because they are light, durable, easy to use, and provide superior filtration and cooling.
How to Use a Bubbler Step-by-Step
The good news is that using a bubbler isn’t difficult. Before you know it you’ll be enjoying cool, refreshing and invigorating or relaxing smoking sessions in no time.
In order to get started, you’ll need the same basic accessories similar to those you’d have handy if you were smoking via any other method. You’ll need a lighter, grinder (if you have one), and of course some good cannabis.
Fill Your Bubbler With Water
First up, you need to fill up your bubbler with water. We suggest good distilled drinking water or water with lower mineral content for the best experience. That said, out of the tap will do as well.
But how much water should you add? Not too much, and not too little.
If you fill up your bubbler with too much water, you could end up inhaling some of it while smoking which can lead to uncomfortable coughing. On the other side of the spectrum, if you skimp on water, you could end up with a hotter, harsher, less filtered hit that burns your lungs and you don’t want that to happen either.
As a good rule of thumb, we suggest that you make sure that half of the stem is submerged in water. Also, make sure to always use ice-cold water to fill your bubbler with. You’ll thank us later. There is a reason why so many food and beverage processing plants use “cold filtering” processes.
Grind Your Weed and Pack the Bowl
There is a bit of an art and science to this, but its really easy and you’ll no doubt find a personal preference after a few tries. Too fine and your cannabis might get packed too tight, reducing airflow. Too coarse of a grind and you lose out on optimal surface area for a consistent, even and smooth burn.
Finely-ground cannabis may also slip through the bowl pack and you’ll end up wasting your weed. Once your cannabis has been broken down to your licking, pinch a good amount and gently pack it into the bowl. Again, do this gently. Too tight and you’ll restrict airflow. Too loose and you’ll get too fast of a burn and may waste more bud.
Take a Rip from your Bubbler and Enjoy!
Now that you have a good understanding of the basics on how to use a bubbler, it's time for the fun part.
Place your mouth on the mouthpiece and make an airtight seal with your lips. Cover the carb hole with your index finger and grab your lighter or torch. Light the bowl. Keep the torch evenly covering your cannabis and inhale until the weed becomes “cherried”. Once there is enough smoke in the bubbler, take your index finger off the carb hole and inhale the hit.
That’s all there is to it! You’ve now successfully set up and used a bubbler for (probably) your first time.
How to Clean your Bubbler
See: Cleaning Gear
As great as bubblers are, there are some drawbacks to consider. For example, bubblers require a little more up-keep and maintenance. Failure to regularly clean your bubbler can lead to off-flavors, harsher rips, and can pose a health hazard from the buildup of tar, resin, byproducts from your torch, bacteria and even mold.
Although they can’t be disassembled like a bong, they can still be thoroughly cleaned.
Follow the steps below to keep your bubbler in tip-top shape and ready for any occasion…
What You’ll Need
Thankfully, cleaning your bubbler won’t break the bank. All you’ll need is isopropyl alcohol (try to aim for at least 90%), table salt, a pipe cleaner, and a towel. If you don’t have pipe cleaners handy, you can always substitute with q-tips as an alternative.
Prep Your Bubbler
Dump out all of the old water from your bubbler. This stuff can get pretty “funky’ after a while so try not to splash any up on your face or clothing.
You’ll also want to make sure that any loose debris is out of the bubbler before thoroughly cleaning it. Keep in mind that you may need to rinse your bubbler with water a few times to get all of the gunk out. When you’re done rinsing, gently tap your bubbler on a hard surface to loosen up any clinging debris and expel it with another rinse.
Grab Your Alcohol and Salt
Fill up your bubbler with alcohol, aiming for the same amount of water you’d use for smoking, making sure the stem is half-way submerged. You want to shoot for a 2:1 ratio when adding your salt, meaning the salt amount should be half of what the alcohol is. Once you have your salt and alcohol mixed, it’s time to clean.
If your bong has caked-on resin, let the alcohol and salt solution soak for a couple of hours before cleaning. This should dissolve and break up any hard to remove spots.
Shake it Up Like a Polaroid
Place your index finger over the carb hole to prevent splashing and shake your bubbler. The salt and alcohol mix will start to exfoliate the inside by scraping off debris and resin. The solution will start to get dirtier as you shake which means its working. Keep shaking until your bubbler starts to look clean.
Use pipe cleaners to clean out the resin that is still stuck to your bubbler. This should take care of those hard-to-reach spots and clean any remaining dirt.
Rinse and Dry
Now that your bubbler is squeaky clean, it’s time to rinse it out. Dump out the cleaning solution and rinse your bubbler thoroughly with water until the smell of alcohol is gone. This is important because you don’t want to smoke any alcohol or table salt! After you’re done rinsing, use a towel to wipe the outside of your bubbler to remove any leftover dirt or resin. Let your bubbler dry out for at least a half-hour before using it again.
How Often You Should Clean Your Bubbler?
It really depends on how often you smoke. If you’re a heavy smoker smoking at least once per day, you should fill your bubbler with fresh water daily and aim to clean it once a week. This is important if you want to get the most of your bubbler and not taste resin every time you take a hit. However, if you’re a mild smoker and only have a smoke sesh a few times a month, you should thoroughly clean your bubbler at least once a month.
Closing Thoughts on Using a Bubbler
Bubblers are a popular and easy way to enjoy any strain of cannabis. They come in a broad range of styles, designs and options to suit any personal preference or need. Their versatility and performance has made them a staple accessory among cannabis users around the globe. If this is your first venture into bubblers, we hope that you found our guide useful. And if you’re in the market for high quality, innovative bubblers at fair prices, don’t forget to check out the selection at Hemper.co.
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