What happens when you drink bong water?

Published Apr 16, 2019 09:00 a.m. ET

When you smoke marijuana by rolling it into a joint, there is a tiny amount that will always be left behind called a roach. It’s considered normal and often even expected that a person might want to save the remainder of their herb to enjoy later because there is still plenty of THC left behind. Those who choose bongs or weed pipes are known to scrape together scraps of cannabis residue that clings to the bowl to smoke during the hardest of times. That thick tarry substance does contain ashes and other plant materials that won’t get you high, but it is held together by a condensed layer of THC that will make you tingle. These two common practices have led many to eye up their bong water as a potential source. This makes sense to the average person since the THC laden smoke would travel through the water on its way to the mouthpiece essentially filtering out some of the cannabinoids along the way.

Is there THC in bong water?

When you smoke marijuana through a bong, the smoke travels through a water chamber before reaching the mouthpiece. All this step does in the process is cool down the smoke and remove any floating ash or plant particles that managed to make it through the screen. Now that isn’t to say that absolutely no cannabinoids will be left behind. However, what does make it into the water to stay is minimal. According to one study that measured the amount of THC in bong water after 1,2,3,4 and 5 bowls showed that a meager .5 mg of THC on average per bowl would end up in the liquid. The other problem with bong water is that it tends to be exposed to light which will also degrade cannabinoids like THC or CBD.

Will drinking bong water get you high?

The answer to this will depend on many things including how much marijuana is smoked through it, how old it is, the quality of the pot, and how much light exposure the water has gone through. Since bong water will only contain minimal amounts of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, it might just have a felt effect for those with a low tolerance to ingesting marijuana or more specifically, the cannabinoid THC. However, the majority of regular or frequent marijuana product consumers probably wouldn’t get stoned from ingesting such a small amount of THC.

Adverse effects of drinking bong water

Though there may be some positive gain to obtain from drinking your pre-used bong water, there are plenty of possible adverse effects that you should be aware of before trying it for yourself. The most common are induced by the pungent smell and taste which includes vomiting, nausea, upset stomach, and dizziness. The second potential issue with drinking old bong water is due to how long these devices sit around. Mold can begin to form, especially once plant matter has entered the water, and it only takes a mere 24 hours for bacteria to appear and start to develop. There are a host of physical ailments that can be caused by drinking contaminated water which is similar to food poisoning in both symptoms and treatment.  

Should you drink bong water?

Though we can surely understand what it is like to be without marijuana, especially when it is used as medicine there are unfortunately very few benefits to drinking bong water. The only positive is that you might be able to get a little bit of a buzz, but the cost could result in you needing other treatments like prescription pharmaceutical medicine or even hospitalization. It tastes and smells terrible, and really should be emptied after every single use to keep a sanitary and functional piece. There is no good reason to drink bong water, so we highly recommend that you dump it down the kitchen sink or into the garden instead just to be safe. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to such questionable contents.

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