A bong is a device used to inhale smoke or vapour that uses a downpipe to filter the smoke or vapour through water before being inhaled.

In popular culture, images of bongs have been used to represent or symbolise cannabis, and sometimes ‘stoner’ culture globally. Bongs have been used for centuries by indigenous cultures as a tool to inhale the smoke and vapour from burning natural and herbal substances in traditional medicine practices. 


What is a bong?


Bongs serve as filtration devices for inhaling cannabis or other herbal substances. At one end, cannabis is placed in a bowl and ignited (or heated to a specific temperature for vaporisation). The resulting smoke or vapour travels down a tube connecting the bowl to the water-filled base of the bong. When the user inhales from the mouthpiece, the smoke or vapour is cooled and filteres through the bong water, creating a concentrated cloud that is less harsh than when unfiltered, which is then inhaled. 


What does a bong look like?


Thanks to the global expansion of legal recreational and medical cannabis markets, there's a variety of bong styles to choose from - different shapes, sizes, textures, and designs for patients and consumers. Bongs are typically crafted from glass or sturdy plastic, featuring a water-filled base, a stem with a bowl for igniting or heating the herbal product, and a mouthpiece for inhaling.

Are bongs legal in the UK?


It is not illegal to simply possess cannabis paraphernalia like bongs or pipes, but using them to consume or administer cannabis that has been set alight is a criminal offence. Medical cannabis should never be smoked, as the health risks outweigh any potential benefits. However, bongs can be used for other herbal products or substances that are legal to consume, or as a vaporiser for medical cannabis flower or oil. 

Can I administer medical cannabis using a bong?


Under no circumstances should prescribed medical cannabis be ignited. In the UK, it is a criminal offence to smoke cannabis, regardless of whether it has been prescribed by your doctor to treat a diagnosed health condition. 

When used as a vaporiser for cannabis based therapeutic products like dried cannabis flower or medical cannabis CBD and THC oil, bongs can be a safe and effective method of consumption. However, it is important to note that not all medical cannabis products are suitable for vaporisation. 

If you would like to learn more about medical cannabis in the UK, Releaf is here to help.