The benefits and drawbacks of using joints vs bongs

Published Jun 6, 2019 01:18 p.m. ET
Credit: Anton Shelepov

Whether you enjoy smoking marijuana products for recreational reasons or prefer using cannabinoids to self-medicate, chances are you will be smoking it at least occasionally. It’s just the easiest, more affordable, and most accessible option that over 75% of cannabis consumers use at least occasionally. Now not everyone will put a whole lot of thought into the differences between smoking a joint and using a bong, and most would give an entirely different answer then the next person if you asked which one was better. Some circles simply refuse the topic, since it’s been highly debated from all angles with science, common sense, and personal experiences motivating preferences. Here, we won’t try to convince you that either one is better than the next. Instead, we will try to explain how they are different by listing the benefits and drawbacks of both smoking devices.

The benefits and drawbacks of using a joint

Cons:
1. Takes practice to perfect
When rolling a joint, the dry herb should always be loosely packed so that the air can flow freely, but not too loose or you will risk it falling apart. They should also be as even as possible to burn smoothly which is challenging for some people to achieve.

2. Wastes some marijuana product
Every single time you stop inhaling from a joint, the smoke will begin to flow up into the air essentially wasting the product. The only time this is avoidable is if you have the lung capacity to take long and deep hauls, but that is an incredibly rare skill.

3. Takes almost twice as much cannabis on average than a typical bong bowl
Though some bongs do come equipped with massive bowls, they don’t require any specific amount of cannabis to function. A joint on the other hand must be filled with around 0.5 grams of marijuana to result in a pinner style roll.

Pros:
1. Smaller hits
Joints are meant to be puffed away on, so there is no need or pressure to inhale a substantial amount of smoke at any one time. This allows for smoother, more enjoyable tokes that are easier on the throat and lungs.

2. Multiple hits
Joints are known for their ability to bring people together because they are one of the most natural things to share in a group. Even a small joint can be enough for three or four people to get high and socialize around.

3. Cheaper
The average cost of a pack of rolling papers is around 5% of the price of a low-quality bong.

4. Easier to travel with
Joints are compact, discreet, and easy to take on the move without fear of something breaking.

The benefits and drawbacks of using a bong

Cons:
1. Fewer hits
Bongs are often used in a group setting but designed in a way that is meant to burn up all the cannabis in the bowl in one single hit. This means consistently packing and brewing which can get tedious depending on the setting. Therefore, for the most part, bongs are typically used with only one or two people at a time.

2. More expensive
A low-quality bong rings in at a relatively affordable $20-$30 average, but not everyone has that much money to spend when the need for a smoking device arises.

3. Harder to travel with
Since bongs are put under extreme amounts of heat, they tend to be made of breakable materials like glass or quartz which are fragile, and not ideal for any sort of travel.

Pros:
1. More substantial hits
Some bong bowls are made to hold up to an entire gram of marijuana at one time, and they are designed to burn all of it up in one single toke. Since the smoke is stored in the chamber, hardly any of it is released into the air or wasted, and the user gets a massive hit in one inhalation.

2. Easy to use
Joints take the ability and skill that not everyone is capable of, but bongs are designed to be user friendly even for the most inexperienced. A quick fill with water and cannabis and all that’s needed to finish is a lighter.

3. Requires less marijuana
Though as we mentioned, a bong bowl can often hold more than you would want to put in it, they also give you the option of inhaling a small pre-measured dose in one inhalation without affecting how well the device works.

4. Cooling chamber
A bong comes equipped with a water fillable cooling chamber which filters the smoke, making it smoother and more enjoyable throughout the whole experience.

Joint vs bong which one is the healthier option?

Another highly debated weed question is which one is healthier? You can argue the different angles all you want, but when it comes right down to it, which one is going to be easier on the body? Well, unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot of scientific research into the difference between these two possible health effects. However, we do know that a bong runs all the smoke through a main cooling chamber which filters out any ash, particles, and much of the resin that would otherwise enter your lungs. Of the two options here, the bong is the higher-class way to go, but which one is better will depend entirely on your own preferences as a consumer.

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