There’s more than a few reasons people love bongs – the clean, cool smoke from percolators, the milky rips, and even the artistry of many glass pieces. But who knew you could make the experience even more interesting?
Water plays a crucial role in using a bong. It’s what catches excess herb and ash, invisible impurities from smoke, and brings smoke down to a comfortable temperature for the lungs. The practical nature of using water is tried and true, but there's nothing wrong with having some fun with it! Whatever the reason is that you consume cannabis, it’s meant to be a good time, and a change of flavors can be a fun new element to add to the experience. Most cannabis-users love the flavor of pure bud, but combining it with other pleasant flavors can be truly top-notch.
A general rule of thumb with all of these unconventional bong liquids is to maintain cleanliness. Whatever you do, do not allow juices or wine sit in your bong for more than a few hours! Especially when the liquid contains any amount of sugar, it’s wise to only use it for a couple bowls before thoroughly cleaning any residue from your piece. There’s no sense in causing staining to your glass, or even letting mold develop just for a tasty sesh. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s go over our top 8 bong water alternatives. You may just find an unexpected new favorite!
#1 – CRANBERRY JUICE
The first thing that comes to mind when most people think of alternatives to bong water is fruit juice, especially cranberry. Cranberry juice adds a strong and distinctive fruity flavor to smoke that almost anyone would enjoy. Any fruit juice of your preference will work here, but it’s generally best to use a low-sugar option to hopefully make the cleaning process easier. Other great juices to use in a bong are grapefruit and pomegranate, thanks to their intense fruitiness, and lower-sugar options.
#2 – CITRUS JUICE IN WATER
Adding a generous squeeze of lemon, lime, or grapefruit to fresh water is a simple way to add a fresh twist to your hit, without bogging down your bong with sugar. The bright, zesty flavor of any citrus fruit is guaranteed to complement most strains of cannabis wonderfully, making this a foolproof addition.
#3 – WARM OR ICED WATER
If you don’t want to bother with foreign liquids in your piece and the in-depth cleanings that come with it, play around with the temperature of your water. Some bongs have an ice pinch or ice catcher for smoke to travel up through ice cubes, but mixing some ice directly into your water can be even more effective for cooling your hits down. On the other hand, warm water can lend additional smoothness to your hits in a completely different way! The warmth will coat your throat, which can be just as soothing as a super chilled hit. After you try out both – what’s your preference? Warm or chilled smoke?
#4 – WARM OR ICED TEA
Both hot and iced tea deliver two very different experiences, both equally pleasant. Each of these will offer the light flavor and aroma of whichever type of tea you use. Black tea will lend a malty, smoky, and earthy flavor, while green tea will provide a fresh and grassy flavor. Just like the warm water discussed previously, the warmth will coat your throat to smooth out each hit. Iced tea, on the other hand, will provide a cool hit that anybody would love with pleasant tea aromatics.
#5 – WINE
Admittedly, this is one of the more… adventurous options on this list. While it certainly won’t be everyone’s fancy, wine-lovers may appreciate the unique punch a low-alcohol wine can add to their bong rips. Flavor profiles and aromas in wine range from deep and fruity to crisp and bright, depending on if it’s red or white. Keep in mind to never use beverages with a higher alcohol content than wine for this purpose – we suggest to keep the percentage equal to or below 10%. Liquors, for example, release toxic fumes that can be harmful to health. Not only that, but due to THC being alcohol-soluble, there is a chance it may lower the THC you are consuming. While this isn’t a practical everyday option, it sure is a fun experiment!
#6 – COCONUT WATER
Did someone say tropical vibes? A low-sugar coconut water is a unique bong water alternative that will add the pleasant flavor and aroma of coconut to your hits. Coconut water does a fantastic job moisturizing and purifying smoke, while adding irresistible flavor to the mix. Make sure to pop it in your bong straight from the fridge, and you’ll be in tropical ganja bliss in no time.
#7 – HERBS & FRUIT PEELS
Here’s another great bong water addition that keeps it simple, but makes an impact. I mean, how could you go wrong with adding more herbs to your herb? Fresh mint leaves are our #1 pick for herbed water, as it lends a naturally refreshing kick to your hits. Other great options include rosemary, lemongrass, citrus peels, sliced ginger root, lavender and sliced cucumber (which pairs wonderfully with mint). For best results, steep herbs in water for a few hours in the fridge, so the water really takes on the flavor. We suggest avoiding herbs on the savory side such as parsley, cilantro, and oregano. I mean, unless that's your thing.
#8 – SPARKLING WATER
Another sugar-free option to switch up your next sesh! Swap your regular water for sparkling water/club soda for an effervescent twist on a bong rip. Some smokers even theorize that the bubbly nature of carbonated water increases the effectiveness of water filtration, as it may create more smoke bubbles traveling through the water, hence increasing the surface area of smoke-water contact. Practically, though, this one's just a fun experiment.
So, there you have it! Our top 8 favorite bong water alternatives. No, we’re not suggesting you ditch water and only use juice or tea in your bongs – good ol’ H2O will always reign supreme for clean and cool smoke. But a fun experiment here and there can keep your smoking routine fun and interesting. Just be sure to adopt great cleanliness habits with your piece if you try any of these, and you’re good to go. Have you tried anything other than plain water in your bongs? What’s your favorite alternative? Sound off in the comments below!
by Vanessa Matthews