Bongs vs Vapes vs Joints vs Bowls

Written by Lucy. Posted in Articles, DIY, New to Weed, Toking Safely


Published on July 10, 2012 with 4 Comments

Bong vs vaporizer vs bowl vs joint, pros and cons
There’s always posts about which one is better and recently one came up saying bongs make the tar pure, or something like that. I will clear this discussion up in this thread.


– Reduces heat damage to the throat and lungs because the water cools the smoke.

– Filters some tar and water-soluble impurities in the smoke, but not too much.

– Smoother smoke

– Some THC gets lost into the water so the user has to smoke more to get the desired effects. This means that even though some tar gets filtered out, you smoke more from a bong so the thc to tar ratio isn’t so good.

– Cleaning required

– Can’t hide or swallow (or can you?) if a cop comes around

– Depending on the size of the piece, it might be difficult to pass around in a group.

My opinion
– Bongs are fun to use

– The sound is awesome

– The smoother smoke is worth it, especially when you add ice cubes or snow


– Conserves weed

– Does not cause damage to the lungs, except for minor heat damage maybe

– Studies have shown that the THC concentration in the vapor is not as much as previously predicted (90% or whatever), but other cannabinoids from the marijuana plant get vaporized. This results in a different high, discussed under neutral.

– Expensive

– Usually bulky and awkward to use with a group of people.

– Requires electricity, be it batteries or a wall socket.

– The high is different. It is less paranoid and more of a brain-dead couch-lock high because THC is responsible for the ‘up’/paranoia. Vapor contains more cannabinoids than and less THC than the other methods.

– Many people hate the taste of the vapor

My opinion
– Unless my aim is to conserve weed, I will probably never buy one.

– I don’t like the taste of the vapor. I think it kills the experience of smoking.

– The high seems like a waste of time to me. You sit and stare at things for hours. My friend who uses the Volcano said: “I just sit on the couch and stare out my window, the high is like ‘blaaaaaaaaah'”, but he swears by his vaporizer. Best $500 he ever spent, he says.


– No rolling, no setting up, just pack and toke.

– Easy to pass around in a group.

– Causes major heat damage to the lungs. Even joints are ‘filtered’ because the smoke has to go through the rest of the joint before into your mouth.

– THC gets stuck on the inside walls of the bowl as the smoke moves (resin), you have to smoke a LITTLE more depending on how long the smoke has to travel to your mouth.

– If a cop comes around, they are hard to hide.

My opinion
– I think they are fun to use and easy to pass around.

– I like the fact that you can just toke and put it away easily when you’re done, with no further cleaning required, as with a bong.

– I like to roll a blunt and and stick it in the bowl. This helps with heat damage, and the ‘bowl’ now stays lit and slowly burns.

– Bowls are good if you’re smoking alone, because it conserves weed. The smoke doesn’t go into the air in-between hits, as with a joint.


– Studies show that the THC to tar ratio of a joint is the best overall out of all the other methods.

– The smoke having to travel through the remaining weed is a sort of filter. This reduces damage to the lungs caused by heat, and the THC/resin gets stuck to the remaining weed, as opposed to the sides of a bowl, or the water of a bong.

– Easy to hide/get rid of fast.

– Small enough to pass around and carry with you.

– Rolling paper is available in many places.

– Flavored rolling paper/blunt wraps available.

– Rolling can be tedious, especially if you did not check the weather and you did not roll beforehand (i.e, rolling in the park and it starts to rain or get windy.)

– If you’re alone, some THC will be wasted because the joint will continue to burn while you’re taking your hit. In a group this doesn’t happen because the joint is constantly going around.

– Paper costs money, and you have to buy more eventually.

My opinion
– Overall I prefer joints because I like to roll and I’m extremely lazy (when sober) and don’t like to clean up.

Please read: Studies have shown that by holding hits in longer, you do not get higher.

Most people think they are getting higher but if you hold your breath, you will feel light headed and dizzy due to lack of oxygen going to your brain. This has nothing to do with marijuana and not only will it kill some brain cells, it will damage your lungs. No matter what method of smoking (obviously lung damage doesn’t apply to cooking weed) you choose, the best thing you can do is to not hold hits in for too long.


This information is mostly from the book Understanding Marijuana, by Professor Mitch Earleywine and from

Hope this cleared things up. Please inform me if I have given any misinformation, or of anything to append. Happy tokin’ — and stay healthy.


Share this Article


There are currently 4 Comments on Bongs vs Vapes vs Joints vs Bowls. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. Sounds good man!

  2. I like bubblers because they are like a mini bong

  3. I completely agree with the last bit you posted. I’ve been holding my hits for five secods plus going on 5 years. I just started holding my hits for a second or two and I get just as high. Though I do disagree with you on that remark about brain damage. That’s foolish. You need to hold your breath for three minutes or so before permanent brain damage occurs.

  4. I found this quite helpful. All the information I want in one place! I have been debating buying a vape for some time but after reading this I am definitely going to wait. I prefer bongs and joints and this info just sealed the deal for me to keep using what I like best. Thanks!

Leave a Comment