With the rise in vaporizer use over the last few years a new debate has been sparked among smokers: vape vs. bong, which is better?
Vaporizers have seen a huge popularity spike in the last few years as portable units have been able to closely mimic the vapor production and flavor of larger desktop versions, but most smokers still have a soft spot for one of the most iconic pieces of weed culture, the bong. Bongs have a special place in most smokers’ hearts, from the first time you nervously try and use the slide to the satisfying sound of a well-cleared hit, it makes sense that bongs have lasted so long in weed culture. With the advent of new vaporizer technologies, will the bong still hold such significance in the coming years?
SMOKING WEED, WITHOUT THE SMOKE
One of the biggest differences between vapes vs. bongs is the smoke production. Bongs deliver huge hits of smoke all at once with water filtration and intricate percolators helping to smooth out the usually harsh inhales, making it easier for users to take in large amounts at one time. While there is something nostalgic about taking a chug of smoke from a bong, the overall health impacts are potentially more detrimental compared to vaporizers.
Vaporizers can give users the same effects as a bong, without any smoke being consumed. By heating weed just under the point of combustion, you’re able to get only the most essential compounds you need to feel high without any extra plant matter being burned. We’ve all had that one friend who keeps a bowl packed too long and is basically smoking ash, with vaporizers that is never an issue as the material is never burned in the first place, making it much easier to avoid the dreaded “ash blast” that can come about when taking one too many hits from a bong.
WELCOME TO FLAVORTOWN
Aside from the psychoactive effects, vaporizers can unleash a fuller flavor profile of your strain, something a little more difficult to do with bongs. A bong constructed from inert borosilicate glass will definitely give you some flavor from your strain, but due to the combustion taking place the only time you’ll experience maximum flavor is when taking “green” hits. As you get towards the end of a bowl most of the flavor of your weed is lost having been burned up during your session.
Vaporizers do a better job of “holding onto” your weed’s flavor. Different tastes can come out at different temperatures so vaporizers can also actually expand your strain’s flavor profile throughout your sessions. This is a category where vaporizers clearly trump bongs, if you’re a flavor obsessed weed smoker and haven’t tried a vaporizer yet, you’re in for a nice surprise. In the vape vs. bong debate, this feels like a sizeable tipping point for vaporizers.
EASE OF USE
Both vaporizers and bongs have a similar intimidation factor when you use one for the first time. Some people need an extra set of hands to help fully understand how to take a hit from a bong, and if you’ve ever used a higher-end vaporizer it can be confusing to figure out different heat settings and modes. Smokers who consider themselves “mechanical thinkers” will take to a bong like a fish to water, and users who find themselves more tech-savvy will enjoy the modern vibes of vaporizers.
One plus bongs have in this category is the consistency of operation across the board. Think about it this way: a bong, is a bong, is a bong. From a $10 beaker to a $600 straight tube, the operation will pretty much be the same. Vaporizers, on the other hand, have a wide array of heat settings, session modes, controls, and extra features. This is great if you’re a more specialized weed enthusiast, but for those who only need large clouds and quick effects, bongs take this category.
VAPE VS. BONG: THE FINAL VERDICT
In all honesty, I think bongs come away with the victory on this one due to their legacy and staying power. As soon as you say “bong”, smokers know exactly what you mean. If you tell someone you vape they may assume you enjoy e-juice cloud chasing competitions as opposed to just more flavor from your weed. Is this to say one is necessarily “better” than the other? Not at all. Bong users will use vapes, and vaporizer users might have a trusty old bong at home they still go back to sometimes for a nostalgia smoke, and at the end of the day as long as your device gets the job done, it’s a win.