Bong vs. Vaporizer: which is better?
Bongs, vaporizers, blunts and joints – every stoner has their preference. We've already looked at the age-old battle of bongs vs joints, and today we’re looking at the differences between bongs and vaporizers. In this blog article we explain the advantages of bongs and the advantages of vaporizers and compare them to see which is better.
Why is there a difference in effect when smoking bongs and vaporizers?
Before answering this question, it needs to be said that there is a huge difference between the way bongs and vaporizers work. In a bong, you simply light the herb in the bowl, and you try to inhale everything at once. A vaporizer, on the other hand, does not burn the herbs: it heats the weed (either directly or by heating the air passing through it) without actually burning or combusting it. So "smoking a vaporizer" is not really a thing, actually, because there is no real smoke!
Bong vs Vaporizer– different high
As a result of this completely different method of heating the weed and getting the cannabinoids into your body, the effect you feel will when using a vaporizer will be different to the effect of smoking a bong. Both a bong and a vaporizer are usually used for consuming pure herbs, without mixing tobacco, so that doesn't make a difference.
So, what is the difference in effect between bongs and vaporizers? When smoking a bong, you usually take one or two big hits and then you put it away. All of the weed (smoke) gets into your body very quickly. Depending on your style of vaporizer, this may or may not be the same. A Volcano Vaporizer, for example, has a big balloon that fills itself with smoke, which you can then inhale. This is similar to a bong, because you inhale a lot of cannabinoids in a short period of time. But many vaporizers are designed to be smoked more like a shisha (hookah) or a joint, giving you a few minutes to take multiple draws before it shuts itself off. So in most cases, a bong hits faster and harder, because you inhale so much in a very short time.
But after it hits you, the effect will also be different. Although you're using the same substance, the different way of getting it into your body does affect the effect on your mind and body. When you burn (good) weed in a bong, it often feels very overwhelming and you get a high that can be somewhat clear, but it most cases it will feel heavy and unforgiving. A vaporizer gives you a very different feeling: even if you are smoking (or vaping, actually) high grade cannabis, the effect is often much more clear, less heavy (although still very effective) and less overwhelming. This could be explained partially by the fact that terpenes stay much more intact when you vape your weed instead of smoking, and recent studies have shown that also the terpenes (the things that give your weed its taste and aroma) can affect the high.
Advantages of Bongs
For many people, a bong is the only true way of smoking cannabis. The sure-fire way to get absolutely blazed out of your mind is here to stay, and the stoner culture is impossible to imagine without bongs. A bong has a few obvious advantages over vaporizers. You don’t need to charge the batteries or make sure you have electricity (yes, we know, there are also vaporizers that do not require any electricity, but most do). Another big advantage is that cleaning a bong is usually much easier than cleaning a vaporizer, because you can't simply soak a vaporizer in hot water or flush it with a cleaning solution (unless you want to destroy it forever). Also, although bongs might break if you drop them, there are no electrical components that can fail unexpectedly. So IF(!) you treat a bong properly and carefully, it is normally more reliable. And, many bongs are much cheaper than vaporizers, although this is not a very fair comparison because there are cheap vaporizers and expensive bongs as well. But overall, vaporizers are more expensive than bongs.
Advantages of Vaporizers
Is it healthier to use a vaporizer instead of a bong?
The biggest and most obvious advantage of a vaporizer is that there is no combustion, and therefore no real smoke. This means: no toxic fumes because you're burning a plant, and no tar or other crap that gets into your lungs! Many people who need to stop smoking (cigarettes or joints) switch to vaporizers to save their lungs. There is no doubt about is: a vaporizer is safer for your lungs than a bong (even though a good bong also filters out many unwanted particles, such as tar, making it a fairly clean way to smoke).
Another BIG advantage of vaporizers over bongs is that a vaporizers keeps your teeth much cleaner, because there is no smoke involved. So, if you're in bed after brushing your teeth and you don't want to get your teeth dirty again, simply leave the bong aside and take a hit from the vaporizer! Some bongs have a special design that filters the smoke more than once. These bongs also filter out more tar and other harmful substances from the smoke. Percolator bongs are also very popular. A good example with great value for money is our 'Black Leaf' Straight Ice Bong with 4-Arm Percolator.
Many people also ask us whether a bong or vaporizer is better for wax or dabs. Our answer: The only real way to smoke concentrates is to use an oil bong (dab rig); but this is 2022, and nothing is impossible! There are special vaporizers for wax or dabs (such as the "dab straw" or the DynaVap with DynaCoil for concentrates), but you can also use many dry herb vaporizers to vape concentrates by using vape wool!
Using a bong together with a vaporizer
Wait, what? Why would you use a bong together with a vaporizer? Vaporizing is a healthy alternative to smoking that is becoming increasingly popular among stoners. Vaping is cleaner, purer and tastier than regular smoke, vapour does not come without disadvantages. It is, in fact, quite dry and relatively hot, and causes the bronchi and windpipe to become irritated in some people. Especially when using butane vaporizers (vaporizers powered by a butane flame instead of a battery). Luckily, there’s a solution: use your vaporizer with a bong, adding a water filtration system to your vaporizer. This will moisturize and cool down the vapour before it reaches your throat, transforming every hit into a wonderfully smooth experience. Click here to read more about using vaporizers with a bong.
Bong or vaporizer for the first time?
Many people who smoke weed for the first time wonder whether it’s better to smoke a bong or use a vaporizer for the first time. If you’ve never smoked weed before, just be sure to take it easy. It doesn’t really matter whether you smoke a bong or vaporizer the first time you try weed, what matters is the dose. Just take a very small toke, wait a few minutes and see how it goes. If you think you can handle more, then take another draw. Be careful, because cannabis can creep up quite slow and hit you late and unexpected. Smoking too much the first time isn’t dangerous, but it can be very uncomfortable. Having said that, it's usually a little easier to carefully dose with your vaporizer than it is with your bong. But then again, if you've never smoked a bong before, you probably won't be able to take a huge bong hit anyway without coughing your lungs out!
We have made a selection of the best vaporizers in the world: check them out here!
What do you prefer; bong, vaporizer, or a joint? Or perhaps blunts or pipes?