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Why You Should Use Hot Water In A Bong

Why You Should Use Hot Water In A Bong

Typically, bongs are filled with cold tap water, which filters the smoke, cools it down considerably and provides strong, yet smooth hits. Many people like to make their bong water as cold as possible, by adding ice cubes to it. There’s also the popular ‘ice catcher’ – a compartment filled with ice, which the smoke goes through right after it is filtered by the water, cooling it down even further in the process.

So, the colder the water in a bong is, the better, right? Well, not necessarily!

Browse a few forum discussions on the perfect water temperature and you’ll be surprised to see a lot of people mentioning the benefits of warm or even very hot water.

Why Is Hot Water In A Bong Better?

As it turns out, using hot water is often praised for the smooth and non-harsh hits it delivers. People also claim that it produces hits that are very easy on the throat and lungs, presumably because of the higher water vapor content of the smoke. And a few even claim that a bong filled with hot water will make you higher and will waste less THC.

The opinion that hot water produces a more smooth and less harsh hit seems almost universal across people who’ve tried it. Whether or not it will get you higher and waste less THC is very debatable and there is still no definite answer. Another controversial question is whether or not hot water leads to more ‘gunk’ accumulating in the bong – some people claim that a bong that has been used with hot water is more difficult to clean, while others report exactly the opposite.

Obviously, there is only one way to find out if you like your bong water hot or cold – give it a try and see which one you prefer! But in case you are wondering what you can expect, we’ll try to give you some predictions and expand on how the temperature of the water in a bong might influence the quality of the smoke.

Why Is Smoke Filtered By Hot Water Different?

At first glance, it may seem like the only difference between hot and cold water is how much it cools down the smoke as it bubbles through. However, the physical processes which occur in a bong are much more complex than a simple heat exchange.

Here are some of the possible variables, influenced by the temperature of the water, which may ultimately affect the quality of the smoke:

Water Viscosity

The warmer the water is, the less viscous, or more ‘liquid’ it is. The lower the viscosity, the smaller the bubbles that form during smoking will be. This means that warmer water will produce a higher number of smaller bubbles, while cold water will produce a lower number of larger bubbles.

Ultimately, this means that warmer water will expose the smoke to a larger area of water, filtering it more. This partly explains the increased ‘smoothness’ of the hit. The molecules of warmer water move faster, ‘scraping’ more of the smoke away in the process, which further increases the filtration rate.


Obviously, warmer water makes the smoke more humid. This affects the resulting particle size of the smoke – in physics, this is a complex process known as gas-particle partitioning. This may somehow influence how the smoke feels in your throat and lungs and may also explain why it is less harsh when having gone through hot, rather than cold water. Of course, more humid smoke will also not dry out your throat as much.

Crystallization of THC

People sometimes claim that the cold water in a bong crystallizes the THC while using hot water keeps the THC in a liquid droplet form. This is a complex issue to explore, but indeed, according to at least one source, 9-THC has a melting point of 147 (64 ), which is an easily achievable water temperature for a bong.

It’s possible that the solidification of THC after the smoke has left the water, rather than in it, may alter the quality of the smoke and decrease the amount of THC being trapped, and ultimately – wasted in the water. It’s also possible that the exact opposite will be the case – the higher filtration rate of warmer water may actually reduce the THC content of the smoke.

Keep in mind that it’s not clear how those variables influence the actual smoking experience or THC delivery – as far as we are aware, there currently isn’t any reliable scientific data to confirm whether or not the temperature of bong water influences the THC content or that of the other smoke constituents that may be responsible for the different harshness or feel of the smoke.

But it’s worth experimenting with different water temperatures and seeing what you enjoy most. Keep in mind that hot water should only be used with glass or ceramic bongs – acrylic or plastic bongs should only be filled with cold water.

6 comments on Why You Should Use Hot Water In A Bong
  • Ethan W
    Ethan W

    I learned in Chemistry that gasses dissolve better at colder temperatures and higher pressures, so a cold bong could theoretically hold more smoke at once than a warm bong, but this may make cold hoots rougher but stronger

    September 05, 2022
  • Nyquil

    I just learned about this from a tik tok, so I tried it. It was so smooth. I’m still in shock. Highly recommended

    March 23, 2022
  • Dutch

    Did you ever wonder why you cough from an ice bong? The cold hit expands when it gets into your warm lungs. I’ve found that if you get a nasty hit using hot water, it’s cause your bong is dirty. I’m 67. Started smoking weed in 1969. (I’ve smoked a few bongs)

    February 28, 2022
  • Andy Lu
    Andy Lu

    So, I’ve tried this in the past. I’ve always had my scientific wonders about using hot water… Now I’m back here because I want to find the smoothest smoke. I recently had nose surgery, so I had to take a couple weeks off smoking. I’ve been smoking for 20+ years, so this time off my lungs were like, “HALLELUJAAAH!!! We’re free!!! lets dig our selves out!”. I’ve been coughing up nasty nasty stuff lately, so its got me thinking… I should quit smoking. My lungs feel great right now. So I broke out the old vaporizer, the arizer q tower. I run turkey bags through my bong, its how I’ve always done it. Or straight whip from device to bong. After having my first puff after almost 2 weeks, my throat and lungs were on fire. So I was set on finding how to get the smoothest hits. I think I’m sold on the hot water in the bong now. I’ve done it twice today, the hits were smooth, and didn’t burn as much in the throat and lungs like they normally would. I’m a cougher too, I definitely coughed slightly less than I thought I should have.

    The process I take for using hot water is… 12" Gear bong. You can fill 8" of ice with the ice catcher. I found a hexagonal ice cube tray on amazon and the ice cubes fit perfectly inside the bong, almost like thats what they were made for. So fill the Ice in the bong, don’t put hot water in the bong until you are ready to use it right away, the hot water will melt the ice, so thats why you want to fill it as late as possible. Run the hot water on the tap until its as hot as you think its going to get, then use that to fill the bong.

    Honestly this is the only way I will be smoking from now on. I honestly think its smoother, and it just make the thc hit you harder. Because after 4 full lungs from 1 turkey bag, I was on the moon. And I’ve ALWAYS thought that vaping doesn’t get you as high as taking a normal bong rip. But this time I was GONZO! And I’m just smoking AAA Tuna, its nice but nothing crazy.

    February 28, 2022
  • Nadia Ellis
    Nadia Ellis

    honestly i disagree, I hit my bong with very warm water and it was terrible it tasted like; as if you were to chew bud. it was so harsh on my lungs i wanted to puke. i then filled my bong with very cold water, and it didn’t taste weird, it had had not one bad taste. it also didn’t make me choke for like 5-ever. it felt good on my lungs and felt great coming out.

    February 16, 2022
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