Drinking bong water and the dangers to your health 2023

drinking bong water

Many urban legends are circling around, one of them being that drinking bong water might make you high. 


And look, I get it. We’ve all been there; you’re high as a kite, and you may think, “I bet if I drink that I’ll get higher”.


Good news: there is THC left over in your bong’s water chamber.


Bad news: there’s not much in the water, it’s actually in the tar that is coating your glass.


Even though there is a trace amount of THC left in your bong’s water chamber you may want to read this article before you decide to start drinking your bong water.

Your bong water barely has THC

In a study done by NOMRL, the research found that THC and other cannabinoids are not water soluble, meaning THC passes through the water chamber in your bong during inhalation and does not mix with the water.


Tar and resin on the other hand are water soluble, and because cannabinoids are sticky in nature, a small amount of THC will bind to the tar in your bong water (usually in the downstem or the water chamber’s glass wall).


Most of the THC that was filtered through the water chamber of your bong, will not be floating in the bong water but instead be bonded to the resin that is coating the interior of your glass bong.


When you see all the brown and black resin that is staining your glass, that is where the majority of THC actually binds to during the water filtration process.


There is however a trace amount of THC floating in your water, so just how much bong water do you have to drink in order to get high? You may not like the answer. 

You would need to drink 10 cups

can you drink bong water

Donald Land, chief scientific officer at Steep Hill cannabis testing labs says “If you stirred a gram of pure THC into a liter of water, only 3 milligrams would dissolve and the rest would float on the top”.


While most of the THC is stuck in the tar and resin in your water chamber, there is not enough THC in the water to produce any psychoactive effects.


This would require you to drink quite a bit of bong water just to feel even the tiniest bit of psychoactive effects. We are talking about 2.5 liters which is 10 cups of bong water.

Does drinking bong water get you high?

You probably figured out by now drinking the water in your bong will not get you high because there is just not enough THC there in the first place.


Neither THC nor CBD is water-soluble, so there is essentially zero chance of getting any psychoactive benefits from drinking the water from your smoking device.


Bongs are usually placed in UV light areas such as your kitchen or living room. UV light is the single biggest factor for degrading cannabinoids like THC and CBD. So what little THC is bound to the tar in your water chamber, will be degraded every day significantly from the lights in your house.


It doesn’t matter if it’s water that comes from a water pipe, dab rig, bubbler, or hammer bubbler, all water used as a filtration medium has zero chances of giving you any psychoactive effects.


Remember you would need about 10 cups of bong water to even begin to feel anything, and no cannabis smoking device holds 10 cups of water.

Effects of drinking bong water

does drinking bong get you high

Bong water typically contains impurities such as ash, resin, and smaller leaf particles that pass through the downstem into the water chamber.


In addition, the water in your bong is essentially stagnant water. Standing water is dangerous as it provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mold.  The moist and idle environment works like an incubator promoting the growth of parasites as well.


While it may seem like a fun dare between friends to drink that dirty resin-filled water, it’s important to know the risk.

You can jeopardize lung health

Drinking bong water is as bad an idea as reusing it, especially if a cloudy top layer is forming in your device. This murky biofilm might contain dangerous pathogens such as E. Coli, Strep, and black mildew. 


You could quickly end up nauseous, vomiting, and dizzy. Therefore, cleaning your bong is a must since all the bacteria present in the bong water could get into your lungs and create an infection. In addition, the harmful pathogens that flourish in your bong water might cause serious health issues such as strep throat, pneumonia, and emphysema. 


Flavobacterium is another pathogen that likes to thrive in stagnant water and can cause severe respiratory infections. That is not something you want to introduce to your lungs, so change the water, clean your precious bong accordingly, and of course, steer clear from ingesting any amount of bong water.


Moreover, there is also pseudomonas aeruginosa, a type of bacteria that thrives in bong water and puts you at serious risk of developing instant pneumonia.

Stomach complications and headaches

As already said, an unkept water pipe makes an ideal home and breeding ground for many kinds of dangerous pathogens like bacteria, fungi, and mold. In addition to serious respiratory infections, drinking dirty bong water might make you feel light-headed and dizzy, following severe headaches that could turn into a head-splitting migraine. 


Nasty mold spores might even cause general malaise, blurred vision, dizziness, and allergic reactions. Also, there might be a parasite in your dirty bong water called Giardia lamblia. This one is pretty serious since it can cause intestinal problems such as nausea, diarrhea, cramps, and gas. But unfortunately, there is more. 


Did you know that hepatitis A also lives in stagnant, impure water? This virus causes a severe infection that can lead to jaundice, dark urine, stomach pain, fever, chills, and nausea. So, I implore you – don’t drink bong water!

You most likely will vomit

Stagnant water is an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria and other nasty things that could damage your lungs and throat. So, if you decide to drink your dirty bong water, you could easily disrupt your stomach lining and digestive system. This could lead to intense vomiting. And you don’t need to even drink an excessive amount of the water; even a tiny amount is enough for you to get an extremely painful urge to purge. 


The effect of drinking dirty bong water is similar to food poisoning. In case you weren’t aware, mold takes a mere 24 hours to appear in your bong. So even if you somehow escape it, the taste and smell of that disgusting water might make you projectile puke, literally. 


Also, vomiting from bong water might result in hurting your lungs and throat twice as much.

What is really in your bong water?

what happens if you drink bong water

Along with residual herbs, just like water in a puddle, stagnant bong water is packed with all kinds of harmful bacteria, microbes, yeast, and fungi. The gross fact is these can literally accumulate within a matter of hours.


Dangerous tiny creatures can take many shapes and forms and can have adverse side effects on your body, so if you’re looking to steer clear of any complications, don’t drink your bong water. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve learned about all the dangers that lurk in that dirty bong water, I am fairly optimistic you will not listen to the advice from the dude that swears by his life he got high as a kite drinking bong water. No human can get high drinking bong water; it is a bad, bad idea that could get you into serious trouble.


Vomiting, pneumonia, dizziness, and severe headaches are just a few of the side effects you can experience if you decide to drink that disgusting water-infested biofilm. 


Not only should you never, ever drink bong water, but a clean bong should also be a crucial part of your every bong experience. I cannot stress this enough. 


My advice? Clean your bong regularly, with care and patience. You can use regular kitchen items such as rubbing alcohol, sea salt, and plain towels. Make sure to use fresh water each time you’re smoking. That way, you will have a smoother and healthier experience and keep your precious apparatus last way longer. If you’re looking to get higher, why not just smoke some more weed?

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