How to properly hit a bong

Jonny Rhein

(Randi Mattox | Collegian)

So you’ve never hit a bong before.

That’s totally fine. You have come to the right place. Hitting a bong can be intimidating at first: Where do I start? What’s the right amount of smoke? Am I going to die? I will answer all of those questions in this guide.


Here is how to properly hit a bong:

  1. Finding the perfect fit.

Bongs come in all shapes and sizes. You have the zig-zag shape (or zong), bongs with an ice catcher for a nice, cool hit, hookahs, the homemade gravity bong, mini bongs called bubblers, etc. For our purposes, we will stick with the standard bong, although they all pretty much work the same way.

2. The Five Elements

Water, fire, weed, bong, stem.

First, you want to fill the bong with enough water so a decent portion of the stem is submerged. If you want to get crazy, I have heard of people using a different substance other than water for a more pleasant taste, such as pineapple juice. Give it a shot; it couldn’t hurt.

The stem should conveniently fit in the hole provided on the outside of the base of the bong. You can pack it with weed before you insert it or while it’s in the bong; it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you pack the correct amount for the number of people in your circle. If you are smoking by yourself, that’s cool too. No one is judging you. You do you.

3. Hitting the bong

a) Remember, you are in complete control. You have the power to determine the amount of smoke that will build up in the chamber. There is no standard limit; it is all personal preference.

The first part of this process involves no inhalation. Once you have the bowl lit, put your entire mouth inside of the opening on the top of the bong. In other words, DO NOT put your mouth around the opening. You are not trying to eat the bong. Now suck (I repeat, do not inhale yet.) If the bowl cherries, water bubbles and smoke rises, you are doing something right.

b) Once you have the desired amount of smoke in the chamber, you are ready to inhale. Pull the stem out of the hole and inhale until the smoke has exited the bong and entered your lungs. If you feel like you cannot finish it, no worries. You can take two inhales if you want, but the second one might taste a little stale.


You’re doing great! We’re so proud of you!”

4. The aftermath.

Depending on how big of a hit you just took, this could be smooth or terribly rough. Hold it in for as long as you can to get the most out of your hit. Exhale. Now, you may experience a satisfying head rush, lightheadedness, an intense coughing fit, anxiety, pacing around the room, the desire to go back in time to right before you took that stupid, huge hit or all of the above.

No matter how your experience goes, everything will be fine. No one has ever died from a marijuana overdose and chances are you will not be the first.

Have fun, and know your limits!

Collegian reporter Jonny Rhein can be reached at or on Twitter @jonnyrhein.