Bubbler vs Bong
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If you are just entering the world of cannabis, you might not know what all of the different smoking utensils or tools are. Two terms that you might hear often are bubbler and bong. That said, although bubblers and bongs are somewhat similar, there are some differences between them.
Today, we want to figure out exactly what both bubblers and bongs are, and what makes these two smoking utensils different from each other, and settle the bubbler versus bong debate once and for all.
Some people may use these terms interchangeably, although this is technically wrong. They might function extremely similarly, but there are functional differences between the two that might determine which one you like more. Let’s figure out whether it is a bubbler or a bong that you want.
- Bongs can be much bigger than bubblers, meaning that bubblers are probably more portable.
- Bongs may produce bigger hits.
- Both make for great smoking utensils!
Weed Bubbler vs Bong: What Are They?
Let’s first go over a basic definition of what both bongs and bubblers are.
A bong is one of the primary weapons that any weed smoker will have in their arsenal. Bongs, otherwise known as water pipes, come in an extraordinarily wide range of colors, styles, sizes, and more. They can be just half a foot tall or several feet long. They can be made out of glass, plastic, silicone, and more or less anything in between.
They may have straight chambers, round chambers, and might even feature various shapes like spirals and zigzags. Although there is great diversity here, there are also a few defining features that most bongs have.
First and foremost, they are designed to stand vertically, with a chamber at the bottom to hold water. There is then a down stem, which is usually removable, and goes from the outside of the bong down to the interior, and below the water line.
A bowl is then fixed into that down stem, which can also sometimes be removable, where the cannabis sits. There tends to be quite a bit of space between the water line and where you put your mouth. This long tube or chamber is designed to collect smoke. Therefore, when the bong is cleared, you could get a massive hit all at once.
We then have the bubblers, which look similar to a bong. However, bubblers also look somewhat similar to pipes. Bubblers are usually made out of glass, although newer ones may also be made out of silicone or plastic. Bubblers are generally fairly small, usually under half a foot in size.
They are designed to be extremely convenient and portable. Bubblers usually consist of a mouthpiece, a bowl, and often a carb. This makes them very similar to a dry pipe that you would smoke your herb out of. However, it is called a bubbler for a reason, and this is because just like with a bong, there is a small water chamber.
One of the biggest differences between a bubbler and a bong is the size, as bongs are usually much larger. Furthermore, bubblers usually have a fixed down stem, and sometimes also a fixed bowl, neither of which can usually be removed, unlike on a bong. A bubbler could almost be seen as a mixture between a dry pipe and a water bong. Bubbler or bong, both are great ways to smoke weed.
History of Bongs and Bubblers
Although you might think that hippies in the 60s and 70s were the first people to use bongs or water pipes, this actually isn’t true at all. Some of the oldest bongs that researchers have found evidence of date back to pre-American history, back to ancient China, Russia, and Africa.
It appears as though bongs and water pipes of all sorts have been around for literally thousands of years. They also seem to be present anywhere people have been known to smoke various herbs such as cannabis or otherwise.
For instance, recent excavations found bongs in Russia that are over 2400 years old, which were used to smoke opium and marijuana. Exactly how they originated is not known, but it is known that bongs and water pipes have been around for an extremely long time.
What’s the Difference Between Bong and Bubbler?
Let’s now do a side-by-side comparison of bongs and bubblers to figure out what makes them similar and what makes them different.
Bongs – What to Know
Let’s first take a closer look at the bongs. In case you need help choosing a bong, check out this guide.
Design and Construction
Although bongs can be small, they are usually around 10 inches to 18 inches in size at least and some can be even taller than that. Bongs usually have a large chamber in the bottom designed to hold water, which could filter out substances from the smoke.
There is then a large chamber or tube that connects the water chamber to the mouthpiece, which is where you put your mouth and suck in air.
This is designed to capture and hold on to smoke until the bong chamber is cleared. Bongs may even have a detachable down stem and pipe, to make cleaning and replacements easy. Here is a perfect example of what a normal bong might look like.
Bongs are traditionally made out of glass, although they can also be made out of plastic or silicone. Silicone bongs are very interesting because manufacturers claim that they’re virtually indestructible.
Bongs are used to smoke cannabis, hash, tobacco, and many other herbs.
The smoke quality from a bong may be very high. That water could help filter out unwanted substances from the smoke, and may help cool it down a little too. The result may be a much smoother smoke. Just remember to change the water regularly.
Pros and Cons
Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of using a bong.
- Bongs may have have more features than bubblers, such as extra percolators.
- Bongs can be big, so you may get a lot of smoke with each hit.
- Bongs often have removable and replaceable down stems and bowls, which would make cleaning and possible replacements easy.
- Bongs may be big, and if you use them often, cleaning could become tedious.
- Bongs may be rather expensive.
- Bongs may be heavy and difficult to transport.
Bubblers – What to Know
Let’s now take a closer look at bubblers.
Design and Construction
Bubblers tend to be fairly small, usually no bigger than 6 inches in size. They also are usually made with just one piece, which means that the down stem and the bowls are not removable. They might look similar to a bong, but they’re much smaller, thinner, and more compact. Here’s a really cool double-chamber bubbler worth checking out. Two very popular products from another brand include this Marley Natural Black Walnut Bubbler and this UPC Fumed Glass Bubbler.
Bubblers are usually always made out of glass, although they can also sometimes be made out of silicone or plastic.
Bubblers may be used to smoke cannabis flowers, but are often also used for dabbing. This means that concentrates such as wax and shatter can be smoked or vaped using a bubbler with the correct attachments.
Bubblers have much lower smoke quality because there’s not as much water to filter out the unwanted substances or to cool the smoke down. Therefore, smoking out of the bubbler could feel a bit harsher than smoking out of a bong.
Pros and Cons
Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of bubblers.
- Bubblers can be very small which could make them easy to transport.
- Bubbles may be quite artistic in nature and can be aesthetically appealing.
- Bubbles tend to be fairly reasonably priced.
- Because of the limited water, they may not be as smooth as bongs.
- Because of their small size, bubblers may not give you very big hits.
Bong vs Bubbler High
People often wonder whether they will get higher from a bong or a bubbler. The answer to that you could get much higher from a bong than from a bubbler.
This is one of the major upsides for bongs in the bubbler vs bong debate. This is because a bong often has a bigger bowl, so you may be able to smoke more weed at once. Furthermore, bongs have very big chambers where smoke collects, so you could get huge hits at once, and that may hit you really hard. Some bubblers could only produce very small hits.
Bong vs Bubbler Taste
Due to the amount of water in a bong, it’s possibly better at filtration, but this also means that it might remove some more of the flavor than a bubbler does. With a bubbler, you may be able to taste the flavor a bit more.
Bong vs Bubbler Cost
Generally speaking, due to the size and greater amount of material required for a bong, we would usually say that a bong is the far more expensive of the two. However, in recent times, there have been some very high-end and intricately designed bubblers that can cost a great deal of money.
So, which one of these is more expensive really depends on the exact models in question. There are both bongs and bubblers that you can get for as little as $10, with others costing thousands.
Are Bongs and Bubblers Trustworthy?
In the grand scheme of things, bongs and bubblers are no more trustworthy than smoking any other dried herbs like tobacco. Bubblers and bongs have some water that may filter out some chemicals. That said, inhaling any kind of smoke generally isn’t great for your lungs.
Are Bongs and Bubblers Legal?
This is a bit of a gray area. Technically speaking, it is not illegal to buy or possess a bong according to federal law in the United States, but it is illegal to sell or import them. Bongs and bubblers are technically considered to be drug paraphernalia under federal law.
However, individual states can and do consider drug paraphernalia, such as bongs, to be illegal. This is not the case with all states, but with some.
Now, there is a huge caveat here. If the bongs and bubblers are being sold for the purposes of medical use or for use with tobacco, not with cannabis or Delta-9 THC, then they are considered legal.
Final Thoughts: Bubbler Pipe vs Bong
Both bubblers and bongs can be great smoking utensils. If you’ve never tried either of them, we recommend trying both, comparing them, and seeing which one works best for you. They could change the game completely and make smoking a brand new experience for you.
Where to Buy Bongs and Bubblers Online
If you want to buy bubblers and bongs online, check out these great online glass stores:
- Smoke Cartel
- Phoenix Star Glass
- Nothing Impossible
- Session Goods
- Everything 4:20
- Green Goddess Supply
Here are all the bongs and bubblers featured in this article, sorted by price:
Hearst Newspapers participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission when you click links in this content. Our professional curators independently research and recommend products and services, with no newsroom involvement. Merchants can pay for a sponsored listing and may choose to rewrite their summary. When that happens, we label the listing as “Sponsored” and highlight it in grey to differentiate the merchant-provided content from our writing.