By Emily Ledger
Although cannabis has been found to have some medicinal potential for a variety of conditions, the most popular method of administering the drug – smoking – carries a number of significant health risks. Some consumers believe that cannabis smoke, when passed through water, like in a bong, isn’t as harmful as when inhaled directly from a ‘joint’. But, how true is this?
Though cannabis smoke may not contain as many harmful toxins as tobacco smoke, inhaling it is far from risk-free. Burning any kind of plant matter will always produce a number of chemicals and toxins that are harmful to health. However, there may be ways to reduce the risks. Some believe that smoking cannabis through a bong is one of these ways.
What is a Bong?
Bongs have been crafted by humans for centuries, though modern bongs may look very different from the original ones. The first bongs were crafted from bamboo tubes, compared to the array of manmade materials that form the objects today.
A bong is usually simply made up of a bowl and chamber, though they can be extremely elaborate in form. The function of a bong is to cool and partially filter the cannabis smoke. The bowl is usually filled with water which helps to cool and filter out some chemicals in the smoke. But, the question is, how much is actually filtered through the water?
Well, the water does help to cool down cannabis smoke, making it feel smoother and less irritable in the lungs and airways. However, although smoother smoke may make it feel less harmful, there is little evidence that smoke that has passed through a bong contains significantly less harmful ingredients.
Cannabis smoke can still cause harm to lung tissues and lead to other health complications, even when passed through a bong. In addition, using plastic bongs may carry the risk of inhaling other chemicals such as BPA and phthalates.
To conclude, there is little evidence to support the theory that smoking cannabis through a bong significantly reduces the risks associated with smoke inhalation.