Connect with us

Education

The Dangers of Dirty Bong Water

Bongs, we can all agree, are pretty great. As the smoke percolates through the water, it becomes much less harsh on your throat and lungs without losing any of that great taste. Plus, you can take much bigger tokes out of a bong than you can out of a r…

Published

on

Bongs, we can all agree, are pretty great. As the smoke percolates through the water, it becomes much less harsh on your throat and lungs without losing any of that great taste. Plus, you can take much bigger tokes out of a bong than you can out of a regular pipe, allowing for faster uptake and quicker onset of effects. For that last reason, the cleaning and maintenance of your bong can get forgotten for a couple days or weeks or months (or longer). This is totally understandable. There are few cannabis consumers who get more motivated to clean after a couple of deep rips, however, many agree that cleaning out a bong always seems like a big hassle. Believe it or not though, cleaning your bong and keeping it filled with fresh water are both necessary tasks to maintain a healthy smoke session.

Why You Should Clean Your Bong

Cleaning out your bong after every use is pretty important, so you should find motivation to do so wherever you can. At the very least, cannabis consumers should try to dump out and change the water every night after the last bowl is torched, or at least before you go to sleep every night.

Ripping a bong

Not only is smoking out of dirty bong water unsanitary, but it also can be dangerous.

You may be asking “Is there really any harm between smoking through fresh water and some well-seasoned bong water? So what if I’m losing some of the flavor of the weed and it tastes like an abandoned dirt basement? It’s my choice as an American to smoke my bong however I choose!” Technically, you are right on that last point. If you choose to smoke out of dirty bong water, the state has no authority to compel you to do otherwise.

The fact remains that smoking out of dirty bong water is pretty unsanitary and anyone you’re smoking with would probably prefer not to. 

Plus, letting your bong water get too well-seasoned just makes cleaning up worse if and when a bong spill occurs. We’ve all been through that at least once, usually your roommate Travis’ fault, and no one wants to repeat it. That stink spreads across the floor or sinking into the carpet and hangs around like a dank ghost for weeks. But besides all that, dirty bong water can pose a health risk to those who enjoy partaking in their relatively harmless weed. 

Health Risks of Dirty Bong Water

Let’s put it this way: dirty, stagnant water is not necessarily bad. If you’ve ever been to a pond on a sunny day, you may have noticed that plenty of creatures love it. Look at all the bacteria, mold, pond scum, and algae that are thriving in there. Clearly they’re having a blast. And look at all the bugs and amphibians that are eating them up. They don’t think it’s gross at all in there. For humans though, unless you’re dying of thirst, pond water is probably the last thing you’d would want in your body as odds are it will make you sick.

Bong sitting on table

Dirty bong water can be a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses and more. photo credit

“Wait a minute, are you saying dirty bong water is as bad as pond water?” No, but it’s still closer than you should be comfortable with. The next time you leave your bong water out for more than a day, take a look inside the tube. You may see a film that’s formed across the surface of the water. This is known as a biofilm, and it’s bad news for your body. Basically, what you’re looking at is a tiny bio dome. Except, instead of creating a tiny bubble for a tiny Paulie Shore to cause some tiny trouble, it’s a protective breeding ground for bacteria, viruses, yeasts, and other microorganisms. 

Think about it this way, if you take the time to wash your hands in order to keep pathogens away from your mouth, why would you then give them a direct invitation into your lungs? Bacteria like Strep and E. coli – as well as fungi like black mildew – can thrive in dirty bong water. Once inhaled they can cause strep throat, pneumonia, emphysema, or worse. The more times you smoke out of the same water, the more chance these pathogens have to reproduce and spread into your body.

The Importance of a Clean Bong

If you’re pressed for time or are so couch locked that any effort would be too much, as mentioned before you should at minimum pour out the bong water, leave your piece tipped upside down to dry, and then refill it with fresh water. A biofilm can form in any leftover water that has been used to filter cannabis smoke, and any pathogens that grow there can remain in the water when you refill your bong, giving them more chances to enter your throat and lungs. For the best taste, nicest presentation, and healthiest option, cleaning your bong is the best option. Check out our video below to see how it’s done:

So, to summarize: For the best and most health-conscious cannabis experience, pour out your bong and leave it to dry after every use. Be sure to fill it with cold, preferably filtered water before you partake. It’s best to clean out your bong at least once a week. This will prevent any pathogens from growing in it that might head into your lungs and make you sick. Besides, who really wants to smoke out of a dirty bong? You’re taking the time to choose the best bud, why ruin the taste? Your lungs and your friends will thank you for it. 


How often do you clean your bong? Share tips and techniques for proper water pipe maintenance in the comments below.

Continue Reading

Education

Q-Tipping and Quartz Banger Care: Step-by-Step Guide

If you’ve spent a bunch of money on your quartz banger – or even if you haven’t – it’s important to keep it nice and clean. Not only does keeping your banger clean help it look nicer in the long run, they’ll stay in good shape longer and improve the fl…

Published

on

If you’ve spent a bunch of money on your quartz banger – or even if you haven’t – it’s important to keep it nice and clean. Not only does keeping your banger clean help it look nicer in the long run, they’ll stay in good shape longer and improve the flavor of your dab. To keep your banger looking shiny and new, you’ll need to get in the habit of Q-Tip tech, the process of cleaning your nail or banger with a Q-Tip (or any cotton swab) after every use to maintain the freshness of the nail. The real trick to keeping your banger clean is to Q-tip immediately after a dab is taken, while the nail is still warm.

Ad

Banger Care Essentials: What You’ll Need

Before we dig in on the supplies you’ll need to keep your banger clean, there are some items out there that might seem like a good idea but nonetheless should not be used. That includes bleach, or products that contain sulfuric, acetic, and gluconic acid. Be sure to avoid abrasive cleaning tools. They won’t help and will ultimately end up scratching your banger. A cotton swab will more than suffice, especially if you clean your banger from the get-go.

Q-tips and isopropyl alcohol

isopropyl alcohol and standard Q-tips are the most effective for keeping your banger clean.

You’ll need a few simple supplies to keep your banger in top shape: clean cotton swabs and ISO (isopropyl alcohol). Of course, there are more advanced products and accessories (such as ISO pumps and cleaning stations) but for now we’ll stick to the basics. Now that you’ve gathered your supplies, here’s a step-by-step look at how to Q-Tip your banger. 

Steps for Q-tipping your Banger

  • Take a dab. Remember that low temp dabs do not burn off as many cannabinoids as high temp dabs and make for a smoother and more flavorful hit. Low temp dabs also help extend the life of your banger
  • Let your banger cool long enough so that the puddle is solid but can still be lifted away, which takes about 30 seconds to a minute
  • Take a cotton swab and use it to absorb/remove the residue. Don’t forget to pay attention to the corners and the creases
  • Dip the other side of the cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol (ISO) and use it to wipe away any extra residue and clean the banger
  • Using a dry cotton swab, wipe off any extra alcohol (you can also wait for the ISO to evaporate)
  • Repeat after each dab

Cotton swabs can be found pretty much anywhere, but isopropyl alcohol has become a little trickier to find given some supply chain constraints due to COVID-19. However, players in the cannabis industry have repeatedly proven themselves to be innovative in meeting consumer demand, and at least one company has created ISO-Snaps. These cotton swabs are preloaded with ISO in the swab’s shaft. By snapping the swab, ISO is released into the shaft for one-step Q-Tip tech, making it uber convenient, especially when on the go.

Alternatives to Q-tips and Cotton Swabs

As simple as it is to clean your banger with a cotton swab, they do carry some negative environmental ramifications. Our oceans are full of more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic from human waste which can kill marine life and carry pollutants to humans through ocean currents. Cotton swabs are among the tiniest of those pieces but they still have an impact because many brands use plastic for the rods instead of something biodegradable, like paper or wood.

The Humble Co.'s cotton swaps

The Humble Co. offers a great sustainable option for cotton swabs. photo credit

When picking a cotton swab to clean your banger, actual Q-Tips are among the better choices for the environment because they are made of sustainably sourced bonded paper that can be composted and eventually biodegrade. Another sustainable cotton swab option comes from the Humble Co. Featuring organic cotton tips and a rod made from bamboo, they are fair trade, biodegradable, and are packaged in recyclable paper. 

Dab nails do wear out over time. but by keeping your banger consistently clean, you’ll be able to prolong its life and have more flavorful experiences. And remember that it is possible to keep your bangers clean and make thoughtful choices that lessen your environmental impact. Just don’t put that cotton swab in your ear! It says not to right on the package.


Do you have any additional tips for Q-tipping your banger and keeping your quartz fresh? Share them in the comments below!

Continue Reading

Education

Growing Marijuana in Space: Microgravity’s Effect on Plants

Cannabis has been used for ritual, medicine, enjoyment, and industrial applications like paper, textiles, and ropes for literal millennia, and as more states allow for legal medicinal and adult-use markets, industry players have created ever more innov…

Published

on

Cannabis has been used for ritual, medicine, enjoyment, and industrial applications like paper, textiles, and ropes for literal millennia, and as more states allow for legal medicinal and adult-use markets, industry players have created ever more innovative technologies and products that propel a booming cannabis marketplace.

One company experimenting in cannabis growth technologies is Kentucky-based Space Tango, a “leader in the commercialization of space through R&D, bioengineering, and manufacturing in microgravity.” The company, in partnership with Atalo Holdings and Anavil Market, is conducting experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) to learn how cannabis grows in space

So far, the company has conducted eight missions and 88 experiments on hemp – cannabis’ non-intoxicating and legal cousin – aboard the ISS. The primary challenge of growing any plant is space is microgravity, which NASA describes as the “condition in which people or objects appear to be weightless.” Simple enough, but what exactly does that mean for growing cannabis in space, and how do those findings make their way back to Earth?

Ad

Is it Possible for Marijuana to Grow in Space and Microgravity?

Cannabis is a plant that requires certain stresses – both positive and negative – to grow into robust and efficacious plants. Some stressors that are necessary to healthy growth are air circulation, plant training, and the appropriate humidity and temperature.

Space

Researchers are currently studying the effects of microgravity on hemp and cannabis. photo credit

But negative stressors play a role, too; if there are interruptions in the light cycle, or humidity and temperature are too high or low, cannabis crops could be ruined. But finding the necessary balance between the positive and negative is a delicate process.

Current Research into Growing Weed in Space

Space Tango founder Kris Kimel is a former NASA engineer, whose theory begins with the idea that growing hemp in microgravity could be less stressful for the plant. Thus far, the startup has set up two micro laboratories in microwave-sized clean labs to conduct experiments on the ISS, using microwave-sized clean labs to conduct experiments.

Kimel hopes that by eliminating stress from the hemp growing process in a microgravity environment that they will learn how to bring those lessons quite literally back to Earth. This could potentially provide a better, more predictable, and efficient method for growing cannabis.

Dr. Joe Chappell, who serves on the Space Tango Science Advisory team speaks from experience, having actually conducted microgravity research on plants aboard the ISS. “When plants are stressed, they pull from a genetic reservoir to produce compounds that allow them to adapt and survive,” he said in a press release. “Understanding how plants react in an environment where the traditional stress of gravity is removed can provide new insights into how adaptations come about and how researchers might take advantage of such changes for the discovery of new characteristics, traits, biomedical applications, and efficacy.”

Space and Plants

As research advances, we are closer every day to the possibility of marijuana grown in space. photo credit

Kimel said that the company is focused in particular on how microgravity may affect the growth of hemp-derived CBD, a market expected to be worth $1.8 billion by 2022. For the time being, the experiments are being conducted on hemp (made legal in the U.S. by the 2018 Farm Bill), but as more legal markets open up via legislation or voter initiatives, applying the lessons learned from growing in microgravity could be applied to expanding legal marijuana markets as well.

Ad

What’s Next for Space Hemp and Growing Weed in Low Gravity?

Though Space Tango is the first to grow hemp in space, they’re not the first to send cannabis beyond Earth’s atmosphere. A 2017 publicity stunt from near space exploration company Sent Into Space launched the Thin Mint GSC strain up to 118,000 feet. Upon its fall back to Earth, the weed was sold to a dispensary in Arizona. Luckily, the lessons learned from the Space Tango experiments could eventually benefit cannabis consumers across the country or even the world, and not just one dispensary.


What do you think about growing cannabis in space? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo Credit: NASA (license)

Continue Reading

Article

2020: A Record Year For Cannabis Studies

The cannabis plant is arguably the most dynamic plant on earth. It can be used for medical purposes, it can be converted into fuel, and it can be made into countless types of textiles. In many ways it would be easier to come up with a list of things th…

Published

on

The cannabis plant is arguably the most dynamic plant on earth. It can be used for medical purposes, it can be converted into fuel, and it can be made into countless types of textiles. In many ways it would be easier to come up with a list of things that the cannabis plant cannot do versus compiling a list of everything that it can do. The cannabis plant’s versatility has been on display for many…

Continue Reading

Trending