Does Using a Water Pipe Improve Your Health Overall?
hat tip Glassheads
feature image courtesy of Garrett Bussey
With health crazes happening in all types of markets, some consumers are wondering if smoking from a water pipe or bubbler is really any healthier than smoking directly from paper. Being concerned with what you are ingesting and finding alternatives for everyday products is an admirable venture. We should always practice healthy lifestyle choices, especially since we have the information and research to make it easy. The answer to the question on bong healthiness is that it depends. It really depends on what you’re comparing a bong to, but usually it is safer than other methods of smoking.
Anatomy of a Water Pipe
It's simple really, the shape and the fact that it uses water for filtration. Some hand pipes now include water as well (called a bubbler), but for now we’ll focus our attention on standard water pipes. Typically, it will include a bowl, a downstem, a base, and a mouthpiece. The bowl is where the user places their product to light. The smoke then travels through the downstem into the base where the water is. After filtrating through the water, the smoke will rise up into the neck, and the user will inhale it through the mouthpiece. Some water pipes have percolators or other additions on the inside for extra filtration. (shown Typhoon Joystick Water Pipe.)
The water is the key component in what makes water pipes safer than other smoking methods. When the smoke travels through the water, some of the more harmful chemicals will filter out of the smoke and be left behind in the water. It’s why your water always looks nasty at the end of a session. Of course, water won’t perfectly filter out everything, but you end up with far fewer toxins in your smoke this way than conventional smoking. Don’t worry, the chemicals you actually want to ingest aren’t filtered out by the water since they don’t react with water that way.
Safety of Water Pipes vs Other Methods
When used properly, it will be safer than smoking from rolled paper every time. Depending on the paper you use, you could also be inhaling glue and other toxins from the paper along with the carcinogenic chemicals released when product is burned. As far as filtration, you could add filters to your rolled product, but they still might not cool the smoke as much as the water in a glass piece will.
For water pipes versus vaporizers, vaporizers may be slightly healthier because they don’t actually burn the product, so no carcinogenic chemicals are released. Vaporizers are coming a long way, and many can even vaporize concentrates and oils just like dabbing rigs. The materials used in the vaporizer itself need examination, however. Some vaporizers use cheap materials that are reactive when heated, so you may need research the different brands and materials (plastic, metal coils, etc.) they use before definitively saying a vaporizer is healthier. Obviously, glass bongs don’t contribute any toxins to the smoke, so glass is usually regarded as the safest material. (shown: 5th Degree Vaporizer Pen Kit.)
Tips and Tricks
Here are a few points to remember for creating the healthiest smoking experience with water:
> Clean out the water after every use.
> Invest in pieces made of high-quality materials to avoid toxins.
> Choose extra filtration components to better “clean” your smoke
> Smoke only high-quality and verified product
Perhaps leave a comment in Reply below, and tell us what you think. We are definitely listening. ~ Kim