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What’s Living In Your Bong Water?

Changing the water in your bong can be a pain. When you reach for your bong, you want to smoke it. So what do you do when that awful odor develops when your bong water sits for too long?

It turns out that the odor isn’t just weedy residue. That icky stink comes from all kinds of bacteria and viruses that are lurking in the chamber—and that is stuff you should definitely not be inhaling.

What’s Living In Your Bong Water?

Ever noticed that shiny slime that develops on the top of stagnant water? That right there is visual evidence of microbes at work. It's called biofilm, and it’s a protective layer that microbes build to increase their chances of survival and reproduction.

Some microbes found in bong water samples include pathogens (harmful bacteria or viruses) like E. coli, hepatitis A, and aspergillus. Strep bacteria are also common and giardia, all of which are not good for your health.

Why Is it Dangerous to Smoke With Dirty Bong Water?

If you thought all these pathogens would burn off in the smoking process, think again. Many pathogens, especially spores, can survive under 165℉ and thrive in warm, moist conditions—like room-temperature bong water.

Even when you light up, the water in the bong doesn’t get anywhere close to hot enough to kill those pathogens. That means you are potentially inhaling any number of harmful microbes.

Pneumonia, strep throat, and other respiratory infections can occur from smoking with dirty bong water. Giardia can cause intestinal disturbances (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.), but perhaps the scariest of all is aspergillosis. 

When aspergillus spores are inhaled, they can take root in the lung and establish a serious fungal infection. Not only are these difficult to eradicate, but they can pose long-term health problems, especially associated with the lungs.

Dirty Water Can Affect The Smoking Experience

All of the scary health issues aside, smoking from a bong with dirty water can affect your marijuana experience. Similar to how you wouldn’t drink or bathe in dirty water, you should avoid smoking through dirty water to keep your experience as fresh and tasty as possible.

Dirty bong water will affect the flavor of your weed, which would be an outright shame after investing intop-quality herb. Clean water ensures you will taste those delicious terpenes and not leave your mouth tasting like you’ve licked a dirty bathtub.

Perhaps indirectly, dirty bong water can take away from the enjoyment of a sesh by being super stinky. Have you ever smelled rank, old bong water? It’s repulsive, especially when you want to be smelling the beautiful fragrances of your aromatic bud.

Keep It Fresh, Keep It Safe

Smoking from a bong can be a smooth and fresh way to enjoy marijuana. Some people even enjoy using fizzy or flavored waters in their bongs to kick it up another notch. However, if this tickles your fancy, be sure not to use anything sugary (like juice, soda, or alcohol), as it will make your bong very difficult to clean. 

Whatever you use, be sure to change your bong water often and give your bong agood clean as often as you can manage. And in case it hasn’t been made apparent: never ever ever ever EVER drink bong water. Ever. Okay? Good. 


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