It’s a common misconception that bongs and portable vaporizers live in relative harmony, but in reality, they’re at massive odds. We’re going to break down the pros and cons of each method so you can make an informed decision – whether you want to just have some fun on the weekends or purchase a new habit.
What is the difference between bongs and vapes?
The first thing we want to talk about is how vapes differ from bongs. Portable vaporizers like vape pens are small, pen-like devices with replaceable cartridges filled with liquid nicotine (or marijuana oil for medical use). When inhaled, the materials are heated by a coil into an aerosol that can be breathed out of your lungs without any smoke or tar. Many people judge them on their looks, but they’re not much different from a vape pen than a cigarette.
The other method of using marijuana in the form of a marijuana cigarette, is known as a bong. Bongs are large cylindrical water pipes with a bowl attached to the top and lined with perforated rubber or metal screens that allow smoke to travel through the water before it passes through either end, then releasing it into the air. Their popularity skyrocketed in the early 2000s thanks to well-respected music stars like Snoop Dogg – and they’re still popular today considering that many people (including us) enjoy smoking out of them (we see you, Elon Musk).
While bongs and vapes have many differences, they’re not completely opposite either. Many people use bongs in an attempt to achieve the same effects, like getting a faster buzz from a longer session. Vapes are also used for this purpose and the larger volume of water vapor produced by a bong can really put you in the mood to get down.
They’re also both portable devices that could be called travel companions, and they’re both fairly easy to use: Bongs are simple devices that require no setup; you take a hit off them once and they’re ready to roll. This is where the two methods differ, and one is better than the other.
Advantages and disadvantages of portable vaporizers and bongs
The first argument against bongs is that they’re not portable. Someone could very easily take a hit out of your bong and may accidentally get high. Vapes on the other hand, are small enough for people to carry. If you’ve ever been in a panic situation, the last thing you want to worry about is having to put down your beloved vape because you left it charging overnight at work or forgot where you left it in the car. Vapes are also considerably easier to use; all it takes is inserting a cartridge or oil cartridge into your device and pressing the button once for every inhale to vaporize it. Bongs are clunky and require more than one hit to take in the same amount of smoke. The bowl, which is the part where you put your bud, has to be packed, or else you’ll end up wasting a lot of your smoke. To add another layer of complexity, if you don’t have enough marijuana in the bowl for a hit, you can actually ruin your bong by causing it to crack. Vapes aren’t going anywhere and won’t crack like a bong if it’s not filled enough; they’re made with tough materials that will last for years without any issues.
Another argument for vapes is their health benefits. A study by Dr. Muhimbili in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania found that “nicotine [from vapes] could play a role in the reduction of obesity and weight gain.” Bongs, on the other hand, are known for causing major issues with lung capacity, even leading to emphysema, because of how much smoke you have to take in and how hot it is. Not only will taking huge hits catch up to you eventually at the doctor’s office (which can be hard if you want to keep your medical marijuana use on the down low), but it can lead to something far more serious like cancer or heart disease. It’s not worth the risk; vaping is better for your lungs and your body.
Another key difference between the two is that with bongs, you must heat it up before you light it up.
This can be problematic because the smoke can get caught in the bowl, or a stray spark could cause an explosion. Vapes are easy to use from the beginning and won’t blow up on you. Vape pens are also relatively portable compared to bongs, which are usually fairly large and heavy (and usually made of glass).
One advantage that bongs have over vapes is that they’re more versatile in terms of materials. Bongs can be made of glass, metal, or plastic. Vape pens, on the other hand, have to be either metal or plastic. You can get vapes that can vaporize water (similar to a water pipe); you can also get integrated vaporizers that are specifically designed to vaporize oils and e-liquids like nicotine in the case of e-cigarettes. You usually don’t find people using bongs because they’re too bulky for traveling purposes; but vape pens are portable enough that you could take them with you to class, work, or just use one during your downtime at home if they’re battery powered. They’re not just portable though; vapes are also more stylish than bongs. Vapes look like the sort of thing Steve Jobs and Elon Musk would have been happy to have on their desks. Bongs are large, ugly, and unattractive (unless you’re into taking bong rips).
Still not sure which way is right for you? We recommend going with a vape pen.
Vape pens are small, convenient to use, and don’t leave leaks in the bathroom. We even recommend smartphones because they’re easy to carry around (especially with a case) without taking up much space or adding weight. You can also take a hit off the charger and leave your phone right there without having to worry about carrying it around with you. Vape pens also tend to be more affordable than bongs, although bongs can be made cheaply as well if you’re willing to compromise on quality (like you would with a cheap glass pipe).
There you have it! I hope you have a clear idea of the differences between bongs and portable vape pens. Good vibes!