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Collegian | Sophia Sirokman

(Graphic Illustration By Sophia Sirkoman | The Collegian)

Head to Head: Reefer Madness round 1 — ways to smoke

March 9, 2022

Bongs are the choice of the sophisticate

Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Only one superior method of cannabis consumption incorporates all four elements: the humble bong.

A water pipe, much like a nice vase or lamp, both serves a necessary function and has the ability to enhance any living room’s personality. A bong is simply a vase built for a different kind of flower.

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Like all vases, there is no uniform size, shape or color. It’s an opportunity to let your personality shine through and show your houseguests that you’re a person of discerning taste. They can be as simple as a gourd-like shape or complex like the Truffula Trees from the Dr. Seuss universe. This is one tree the Lorax will never let be chopped down. 

A decent bong is generally a larger investment than a fine pipe, but so many worthwhile things are. Buying a bicycle feels nice, especially if you need a way to work, but buying a car for the first time is a life milestone. You can tell your children the story of purchasing your first ever bong and regale them with tales of all the prestige TV you and your friends watched alongside it. Tell that same story with a pipe, and they probably won’t respect you. 

Bongs can seriously cut down on burning throats since the smoke goes through water before passing your lips. Plus, you can throw some ice in there and really cool down the experience, something that could only be otherwise achieved by putting a pipe in the freezer for several hours. You can also experiment with different liquids, like tea or juice, though never milk. Trust us.

There is a benefit to bong water, however ridiculous that may sound. Less ash can be inhaled than with a pipe because it falls into the water rather than being slurped back with a pipe. You have to ensure you don’t drink the water, but it is ultimately your friend.

Bongs have more components than pipes, which does make them more breakable, but they’re also more interchangeable. If your bowl breaks, you can buy another one and keep going. Try doing that with a busted pipe. Congratulations, you played yourself. 

It is true that bongs have more components to clean and do require more maintenance. However, there is no saving you from maintenance. We need to keep up our bodies, our cars, our minds – really everything worth using requires some TLC once in a while. For the dishwasher-owning life-hacker, try tossing the empty bong on the bottom rack after you rinse it out. Letting it go for longer will require more strenuous cleaning, but the same is true of pipes.

No other piece of glassware has the aesthetic, function and audacity of a bong. Accept no substitutes.

Reach Grayson Acri at cannabis@collegian.com or on Twitter @guy1376. 

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Pipes bring convenience that can’t be beat

For centuries, presidents, literary legends and college students alike have relied on one device: the pipe. Since bongs were introduced after the pipe was first invented by Egyptians in 2000 B.C., the debate between pipe and bong has raged on. ​​No matter where you fall on the spectrum, there is no denying the simplicity and ease synonymous with pipe smoking. 

Foremost, pipes are small devices usually made from glass, bone or the cob of corn that can fit discreetly in most places, notably the pant pocket. Contrasting the clunky, obvious nature of smoking a bong in public, pipe smokers are able to enjoy cannabis in a way that is both easy and respectful to potential onlookers. Pipe users relish in their ability to not only discreetly store and use their pipe but take it with them wherever they go, making the pipe an incredible asset for bud-smokers on the go.

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Pipes are also less conspicuous for the closeted stoner, as a pipe can allow you to disguise yourself as a sophisticated tobacco smoker; meanwhile, bongs are known for one thing and one thing only. Loud and proud, baby.

Whether you are considering purchasing a bong or already own one, please know it will inevitably break — probably in an unexpected, messy and costly fashion. While you might get used to the smell of bacteria and mildew-infused bong water, pipe smokers can avoid this situation altogether.

Both bongs and pipes are commonly made from glass, though bongs are typically far easier to break and more expensive to fix. For pipes, the quality of glass is something of a nonfactor because the size of the smoking device enables it to withstand accidental pressure or impact. 

Plus, glass is but one of many materials that pipe stems can be made from — wood, metal, ceramic and basically anything that can withstand heat could be crafted into a pipe. This is a good thing for pipe users because if they ever need to replace their device, the cheapest option (usually between $10 and $15) is still a quality investment. Remember, the cheaper the bong, the thinner the glass and the easier it is to break. If you’re buying for the first time or replacing your bong, expect to shell out at least $60 for a decent quality piece. 

If you find yourself in the frustrating scenario of having weed and nothing to smoke it out of, a pipe can be fashioned out of virtually anything from an apple to a soda can. Yes, most of your stoner friends have a bong, but even they can’t deny the reliability, effectiveness and accessibility of a pipe. There’s a reason ancient civilizations have been using pipes to get stoned since 2000 B.C. It’s because it works every time.

Reach Elizabeth White at cannabis@collegian.com or on Twitter @lihhhhhz. 

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