New cannabis Seedfinder—find your match!

By Luke Sumpter


Chances are, you go through a routine before hitting your favourite rig. You grind up your preferred herb, insert a clean screen, place your lighter and other tools in their usual place, and fill up your piece with fresh bong water. But are you missing something big? Do you ever consider the temperature of bong smoke? While some cannabis users are perfectly happy hitting bongs with room-temperature water, others tout the benefits of ice catcher bongs.

These devices harness the cooling effect of ice to deliver smooth hits that go down a treat—throat and lung irritation be gone! However, if you look in the right corner of the internet, you’ll find anecdotal accounts of people claiming to experience lung infections and other conditions after hitting an ice bong. So, should you use an ice bong? Do they really cause lung problems? Is it worth the risk? Find out everything you need to know about ice bongs below.

What Are Ice Bongs

Ice bongs are exactly as they sound; they’re rigs that use ice alongside water to create cooler and smoother hits. You might not realise it, but every time you ignite your lighter, you’re wielding a flame that reaches a temperature of almost 2,000°C. This serious heat instantly combusts the herb or hash present in your bowl and creates a plume of piping hot smoke.

Whereas blunts, joints, and pipes deliver a hot and often harsh hit of smoke, bongs that use room-temperature or cold water offset this effect somewhat. Ice bongs take things one step further by placing ice cubes in the smoke path. As the smoke rushes past the ice, the temperature of the gas decreases before it enters the mouth, throat, and lungs. The result? A cooler and buttery-smooth hit that causes less irritation, discomfort, and coughing.

  • Ice Bong Designs

The cannabis space is packed with innovation. Naturally, this means there are plenty of ice bong options available. If your existing bong has a normal neck with a wide mouthpiece and uptake that leads down to the chamber, unobstructed, you can simply drop a few ice cubes into the bong water below.

However, inventive minds have created specialised ice catcher bongs designed to house ice separately from the main chamber. These models vary widely in size, shape, and configuration—but they all share one thing in common: small indents known as ice catchers in the uptake.

These structures usually sit at the bottom of the uptake, just above the chamber, and serve to prevent ice from falling into the water below. This creates a two-stage process; the smoke first filters through the bong water, before entering the ice catchment area where it swiftly drops in temperature.

Ice Bong Designs

Benefits of Ice Catcher Bongs

So, why bother with an ice catcher bong? Is it really worth the fuss ensuring you have a fresh batch of ice cubes ready to go before each smoking session? Check out the main benefits below to see what you think.

Benefits
Smoother Hits
You Can Take Bigger Rips
Superior Taste
Prevents Splashes
Looks Awesome
Seasonal Appeal
  • Smoother Hits

As the smoke travels around the ice, it rapidly cools. This results in hits that feel better in the mouth, throat, and lungs. Overall, ice catcher bongs provide a smooth, enjoyable smoking experience.

  • You Can Take Bigger Rips

Smoother smoke means bigger rips (and less coughing). You’ll find you’re able to pack big bowls and inhale larger hits with less discomfort. If you want to get higher, faster, consider packing your bong with ice to help those cannabinoids and terpenes go down.

  • Superior Taste

Many proponents of ice bongs choose this method for the taste. Cooler smoke helps the terpene profile of each unique variety shine through. Without the hot smoke, it feels as though the taste buds are more receptive to floral, earthy, fruity, sweet, and grassy terpenes.

  • Prevents Splashes

We’ve all been there. Whether you’ve nudged your bong a bit too heavily or tilted it at the wrong angle, bong water on the coffee table or carpet never fails to disrupt an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable smoking session. Ice won’t prevent all spills, but a column of frozen water in the uptake will prevent small splashes that would otherwise fly out of the mouthpiece.

  • Looks Awesome

Ice catcher bongs simply look good. Something about a tower of ice wrapped in glass makes for a stunning centrepiece during a smoking session. The sight only becomes more impressive as the cannabinoids keep flowing.

  • Seasonal Appeal

While hitting a chilly ice catcher bong in the middle of winter might not sound appealing, the opposite becomes true in the hot summer months. Do you really want to puff on warm smoke during the middle of a heat wave? Or would you rather wrap your hands around a chilly tower of glass while getting baked?

Cons of Ice Catcher Bongs

Are you drawn to the idea of ice catcher bongs? We don’t blame you. They offer something different. However, like everything in life, they also come with their downsides. Before we get into the main controversy surrounding this smoking technique, let’s look at some of their minor downsides.

Cons
Preparation
Time Limit
Additional Cost
  • Preparation

Ice bongs require more prep than their standard counterparts. Setting up a normal bong involves pouring some clean water into the chamber and then sparking up. In contrast, you’ll need to make sure you have a tray of ice cubes ready to go when using an ice catcher bong. If you plan on using one regularly, we recommend preparing another tray at the end of each smoking session.

  • Time Limit

How long do you like to smoke for? If you and your friends often find yourself hitting bowls for hours at a time, you’ll need more than one tray of ice ready for action. The column in an ice catcher can only cool hot smoke for so long before melting and flowing down into the chamber below.

  • Additional Cost

If any of your pieces have a wide mouthpiece and chamber, there’s nothing stopping you from dropping ice cubes straight into a rig you already own. However, if you want the full ice catcher bong experience, you’ll need to invest in a rig with indents that will keep ice cubes in the uptake.

How to Use Ice Catcher Bongs

Ice Catcher Bong Controversy

We can’t tout the benefits of ice catcher bongs without getting into the potential risks. But the science around the dangers of ice bongs remains murky and almost non-existent. Several anecdotal accounts on internet forums tell tales of people developing lung issues after using ice bongs.

Some posts claim that ice shards from fresh cubes can end up in the lungs, causing bronchitis and even pneumonia. While inhaling water is a known cause of pneumonia, no research exists to show a correlation between ice catcher bong use and lung pathologies (and we’re not likely to see such research any time soon).

If you have pre-existing lung issues or immune system disorders, it’s probably best to give ice catcher bongs a miss. You could also speak to your physician before doing so, but we understand this isn’t something most people are willing to disclose.

How to Use Ice Catcher Bongs

How do you use an ice catcher bong? Are they much different from standard rigs? Let us take you through the simple step-by-step process.

1. Prep your ice: Place an ice cube tray in the freezer at least a few hours before your session.

2. Load the uptake: At the beginning of the session, add ice cubes into the uptake, filling it to several centimetres below the cusp of the mouthpiece.

3. Pack your bowl: Process your weed as you normally would when using a standard bong.

4. Let the ice melt slightly: The reports involving inhaled ice shards have led some users to let the ice melt slightly before proceeding; wait until the cubes develop a smooth, frost-free exterior.

5. Hit and enjoy: Fire up your bowl and enjoy smoother and cooler hits.

How to Use Ice Catcher Bongs

Tips to Optimise Your Ice Catcher Bong Experience

Do you want to take your ice catcher bong experience to another level? The tips below will make that easy to accomplish.

  • Use a vape alongside: Some vaporizers have water pipe adapters that enable them to slot into bong bowls. If you want to add even more smoothness to the experience, use a compatible vape and experience terpene profiles like never before.
  • Develop an ice stash: If you start to become a keen ice catcher bong user, we suggest getting serious about your ice supply. Get several trays in your freezer that you can use at different points throughout the day, and replenish each tray at the end of every smoking session so you never run out. Perhaps consider freezing flavoured water, lemonade, or tea to make your hits more flavourful.
  • Keep the room cool: Want your ice column to last longer? Turn on a fan or switch on your air conditioning to prevent the ice from melting too quickly.
  • Play around with ice cube moulds: Ice cubes do the job, but why not get creative and add even more beauty to the experience? We suggest heart-shaped, fruit-shaped, or even cannabis leaf-shaped ice cube moulds.

With that, just experiment, and you can’t go wrong. Enjoying an ice bong is a time-tested stoner tradition, and after reading this article, we think it’s easy to see why!