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    Dr. Paddo - Tuesday 26 July 2022

    What happens to THC when you smoke weed with a bong?

    One of the ways you can smoke weed is through a bong. However, the smoke does pass through a water reservoir. This is positive, because the water filters the smoke, so that fewer harmful particles end up in your throat. But many smokers wonder if THC isn't also left behind, making their weed less potent. We can reassure you that the power of cannabis is hardly diminished by using a bong. In this blog, we explain how to use a bong or water pipe exactly works and what happens to the THC.

    Why is there water in a bong?

    When using a bong to smoke, first fill it with water. In the bong head or bowl you put your smoking material, for example cannabis. When you then light the bong and take a puff, the smoke will pass through the cold water. The water has two functions: on the one hand, it cools the smoke, making it less hot and sharp. In addition, the water will also have a purifying effect. All kinds of small particles from the smoke (soluble and insoluble) remain behind. This makes the smoke a bit purer, and smoking will irritate your throat and lungs less.

    What happens to THC when you smoke a bong?

    In principle, it is true that some THC remains in the bong when you smoke weed. However, these are very small (negligible) quantities. In fact, using a hookah is more efficient than smoking a joint. When smoking a joint, much more THC is lost due to the combustion of the weed. Smoking with a bong therefore has hardly any influence on the amount of THC, and therefore not on your high.


    Do you want to know exactly what happens to the THC when you use a bong? We explain that below. First of all, the answer to this question partly depends on how much THC your weed contains. Let's assume a strain with 10% THC. That means that 1 gram of cannabis contains 100 mg of THC. We also have to take into account the amount of weed that goes into the bong and how much water fits in the chamber of the bong. This is also important, because only a limited amount of THC can be dissolved in a liter of water.


    Temperature and atmospheric pressure also play a role. Unfortunately, you cannot measure this yourself, but for this example we assume 100 degrees and 80% atmospheric pressure.

    A calculation example: How much THC remains in the water?

    If you want to use a bong and want to know what happens to the THC, we can make a calculation example for that. Suppose you smoke weed with 30% THC. If you take a big appetite, you will smoke 1 gram of cannabis. In that case, 300 mg of THC enters your body per puff. Enough to get nice and high.

    THC, temperature and atmospheric pressure

    You cannot endlessly dissolve THC in water. It turns out that 1 liter of water contains at most 2.8 mg THC solved, and that is only the case if the temperature of the water is 23 degrees. If it is higher, less THC can be dissolved in it. Therefore, when you put 500 ml of water in the chamber, there will be at most 1.4 mg of THC, which means that you will inhale more than 298 mg of THC.


    But that only applies if the water temperature is 23 degrees. In a bong, however, the temperature is much higher, around 100 degrees. THC is less soluble at higher temperatures. At 23 degrees, THC is a solid, while at 100 degrees it is a gas. Gases are less able to dissolve, especially if the temperature is high.


    In addition, the atmospheric pressure also works in our favor. When you take a drag from your bong, the atmospheric pressure in the room drops. This drops down to around 80% of normal pressure. This allows more gas to escape from the water. This phenomenon is caused by the need to avoid creating a vacuum in the chamber. This also reduces the amount of THC remaining in the water.

    Smoking weed with a bong: no consequences for your high

    Were you afraid that valuable THC would remain in your bong? Now you know exactly what happens to THC when you use a bong: the amounts that remain in the water are negligibly small. In reality, less than 1% of your THC remains in the water. If you start from the previous calculation example, you get 299 mg of THC with a single pull. So don't worry about getting high if you smoke with a bong: you will certainly not notice this minimal loss of this special cannabinoid!

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