The gravity bong is the DIY answer to those intricate, Rube Goldberg machine-styled glass pipes with fifty chambers and twenty percolators.
Ah, the gravity bong, a requisite smoking device in every college dorm room’s cannabis accoutrement collection. But for the unfamiliar, what, exactly, is a gravity bong? And more importantly, how can you — a smoker-on-a-budget — make one?
The typical gravity bong is composed of just three parts: a plastic bottle with the bottom cut out, a bowl for your flower, and a container of water large enough to fit the bottle. The bottle is mostly submerged in the water, the bowl is lit, and as the bottle is raised from the water, gravity pulls the water down and out of the bottle (hence the name, gravity bong). As the water exits the bottle, it creates a vacuum, which draws thick, hot smoke into the bottle.
Remove the cap and bowl, place your lips on the top opening, then gently push the bottle back into the water. The smoke will essentially be force-fed into the lungs, resulting in a painful yet intensely intoxicating experience.
Why Use a Gravity Bong?
If this seems like a lot of work just to toke some herb, it is. The entire point of hitting a gravity bong is to get as fucked up as possible — as quickly as possible. It’s also a great way to non-violently haze a sorority or fraternity initiate. (Mostly kidding.)
Mind you, this is not a smoking method for cannabis connoisseurs. A gravity bong’s smoke is super-concentrated (so concentrated it often takes on a yellow or golden hue), so if you’re aiming to experience the subtle flavors or aromatic nuances of your expensive craft weed, this ain’t the way to go. But if you’re on a budget, and want to make the most of your last dime bag, this is a surefire way to get lit.
How to Craft a Gravity Bong: Step 1, Gather Items
To make a gravity bong, you’ll need a few items. They are:
– A plastic bottle with a screw-on cap
– A detachable pipe bowl (aluminum pipes are ideal) or a male bong stem
– Scissors and/or a knife
– A container full of water
– Weed (shake is perfect, since we’re not savoring anything here)
– A lighter
The McGuyvers among you can get creative with some of these items (and I’ll review some alternative ideas further below). Basically, you just need some object that can secure the bowl while using vacuum suction to pull the smoke in from that bowl. This guide will focus on the most generic, simple method for getting it done.
How to Craft a Gravity Bong: Step 2, Assemble the Items
1. Cut off the bottom of the bottle. You only need to remove enough to make it open-ended. The longer the bottle, the more smoke it can hold, so don’t get too scissor-happy.
2. Cut, drill, scrape, or burn a hole through the center of the bottle cap. It should be large enough to securely fit the bowl, but not so large that the bowl can fall through.
3. If the bowl cannot be secured in the cap, consider using putty, gum, or some other malleable substance to seal the gap between the cap and the bowl.
4. Fill a container (a bathtub, a bucket, etc.) with water. The container needs to be large enough to fit the bottle and filled with enough water to submerge it as close to the cap height as possible (any higher is pointless).
Your bottle’s size, as noted earlier, will determine how much smoke you’ll get. Most gravity bongs are made with 2-liter soda bottles, but bottles ranging from 1-gallon milk jugs to 5-gallon Deep Rock water-cooler jugs work just as well. Just ensure the water container can fit whatever bottle you go with (you’ll need something the size of a full-on garbage can to fit a water-cooler jug, for instance).
How to Use a Gravity Bong
Now for the fun part.
1. Ensure the bottle cap + bowl is detached from the bottle. Fill the bowl with weed.
2. Place the uncapped bottle upright into the water container. The water should not reach the top opening of the bottle.
3. Screw the bottle cap + bowl onto the bottle.
4. Light the bowl while slowly pulling the bottle upward. Water flowing out of the bottle’s bottom should draw smoke into the bottle.
5. Keep raising the bottle until it’s almost out of the water – but don’t pull it all the way out. If the bottle is completely removed from the water, the vacuum will vanish, and the smoke may escape.
6. Carefully holding the bottle in position, remove the cap + bowl. Set this aside.
7. Place your lips on the top open end of the bottle.
8. Push the bottle back into the water. As water begins to fill the bottle again, it will force the smoke up and into your lungs. Inhale accordingly.
9. Be careful not to suck up water from the container. It’ll smell and taste like bong water.
10. Exhale while coughing like you just hit weed for the first time.
11. You’re done — and now stoned!