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Joints vs. Bongs: Which is the Better Way to Smoke Weed?

Higher Mentality Staff



There are debates over joints and bongs. Some people feel the best way to get high is from joints, while others prefer to get high from bongs for acclaimed health reasons.

Debates within the smoke community claim that smoking from a bong traps about 90% of potential toxins and carcinogens which would have ended up in your lungs. 

Before deciding which is better between a joint and a bong, here are few facts you should know to help you decide which is the better way of smoking: a joint or a bong?

Roll it up. Light it up. Smoke it.

Roll it up. Light it up. Smoke it.


Many stoners consider smoking joints the only way to get high on cannabis. Joints, sometimes referred to as blunts or doobies, are a popular way of smoking cannabis.

Benefits of smoking joints

  • Passing a joint hand-to-hand is a part of stoner culture that has come to stay. It can also keep you from getting too high, if that’s what you’re after. 
  • All you need to smoke a joint is a rolling paper, a filter tip, and your hash or flower. You do not need accessories like a bong, pipe, vape cartridges, or dab rigs to smoke a joint.
  • You can make rolling papers from several household items
  • You can smoke a joint on-the-go, unlike a bong.
  • In the case of an emergency, it is easier to dispose of a joint

The downside of smoking a joint

  • Beginners don’t always find rolling joints to be very simple. Rolling joints can be time-consuming for newbies.
  • You waste cannabis if you do not roll your joint correctly, unlike using a bong.

Health risks of smoking a joint

  • Stoners sometimes mix cigarettes with joints to keep the joint burning. This practice increases the health risk of smoking
  • Smoke from joints is hot and damages the cilia and mucous lining of the air passageway.
  • Smoke from joints contains a high amount of toxic and carcinogenic substances, which increases the risks of having cancer.
  • Studies conducted in the University of Texas and Harvard public health schools show that smoke from joints contains acrolein and acetaldehyde. These are substances that are toxic to some types of cells in the lungs. 
  • You inhale ash and other substances that can damage your immune cells when you smoke a joint.

Several studies have shown that smoke from joints contains the same carcinogenic substances found in tobacco smoke. 

Bubble, bubble, blitzed

Bubble, bubble, blitzed


Bongs are water pipes used for smoking cannabis products and tobacco. Bongs, sometimes referred to as bubbler, binger, or billy, are much-loved smoking accessories for their ease of use. 

How do bongs work?

A bong is made up of the following parts:

  • A removable bowl: the bowl is used to load cannabis. A slider type of bowl is a bowl with a down stem.
  • A water container
  • A carb: the carb is a hole through which you clear smoke out of the bong
  • Downstem: The Downstem is a tube that channels smoke to the base of the bong where it is cooled and inhaled through the water.
  • Percolators: Percolators are like diffusers. They help to aerate the smoke and create a larger surface area for the smoke to be cooled by breaking the smoke into smaller bubbles.
  • Ashcatcher/pre-cooler. An ashcatcher is a chamber that traps ash. 
  • The base. The base is the water chamber of the bong. It comes commonly as a bubble or beaker-shaped base.
  • The tube draws out filtered smoke through the mouthpiece

Cannabis in the bowl is lit. Smoke from the bowl passes through the water, gets filtered, and moves through the tube to the lungs through the mouthpiece when you suck on the mouthpiece.

The water filters the off harmful substances, and ash before getting to the pipe and subsequently to your lungs.

Benefits of smoking cannabis from a bong 

  • You get more stoned from a bong rip because you inhale more smoke, deeper into the lungs. When compared with a joint, you get more smoke from the same amount of cannabis burned.
  • More cannabinoids get into your bloodstream from bong smoke.
  • The water in bongs cools off the smoke and gives you a stronger hit. 
  • Smoking cannabis with a bong preserves the aromas and flavors of the strain you’re smoking.
  • Water in bongs filters off about 90% of toxins, carcinogens, and other harmful substances in smoke like ash and tar. This makes smoking from bong safer and healthier compared with smoking a joint. 

Studies have shown that smoke filtered through water reduces the amount of toxic substances. Therefore, without filtration, everything goes in.

The downside of using a bong

  • You have to change the water regularly because the water gets dirty by acting as a filter.
  • Impurities filtered off accumulates in the bong. So, you have to clean the bong regularly.
  • A glass bong can get broken easily
  • Bongs are not discreet enough to move around with in a sneaky fashion

The difference

It is expensive getting a bong, but you can try out a DIY version at home. Also, the various parts of a bong make it complicated, unlike the simplicity and inexpensiveness of smoking a joint.

However, when smoking a joint, you take several small hits from a drag of the joint until it all burns out. When you make a regular short pull at a joint, a small amount of smoke is lost – except when you take a long pull, which is not the best thing to do. But when you smoke from a bong, you burn a small amount of cannabis, and you inhale all of the smoke in one shot. Therefore, the amount of smoke lost when smoking a bong is negligible compared with smoking a joint.

Joints vs. Bongs: Which is the better way to smoke?

Joints vs. Bongs: Which is the better way to smoke?


Joints and bongs all have their advantages and disadvantages. You should decide your smoking preference based on what works well for you and gives you the most satisfaction.

If you’re a health-conscious smoker, a bong would be a preferable choice to make for its health advantages over a joint.

Read our Pipe vs bong article.

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