By Luke Sumpter

You’ve come across the term “bubbler” before, but have you ever used one? If you’re completely new to this piece of smoking apparatus, you’re about to become well acquainted.

Below, you’re going to discover the history of bubblers and how they compare with bongs. Then, we’ll dive into the pros and cons, how to use them, and how to keep them clean. Let’s go!

An Introduction To Cannabis Bubblers: What Are They?

A fine question indeed, dear smoker! To put it simply, you can effectively look at a bubbler as a hybrid between a pipe and a bong. They’re often bigger than pipes, and they also feature a chamber filled with water that filters the smoke. However, they’re often smaller and more compact than bongs, which means they typically have a lower price tag. Overall, they’re more portable and affordable than bongs but offer more flavorful and smoother hits than a pipe.

Weed Bubbler

A History of Cannabis Bubblers

Humans have used cannabis for a really long time. However, the use of bubblers and other water pipes seems to have emerged relatively recently. Some of the earliest records[1] of water pipes date back to the Qing Dynasty in China during the 17th century. Other records show that populations in the Middle East, Turkey, Asia, Africa, and India have used hookah pipes[2] for centuries. However, the types of bubblers we see used today are strictly contemporary inventions. Crafted from glass and acrylic, they are modern tools used by modern weed smokers.

Weed Bubbler vs Bong: What’s The Difference?

Bubblers and bongs both fall into the category of cannabis paraphernalia. They’re much more similar to each other than blunts, joints, and vapes, but still possess differences that make each a distinct way to consume cannabis. Find out what makes them unique below:

  • Size and portability: Both bongs and bubblers come in a wide range of sizes. However, bongs are typically much bigger than bubblers. Even the most basic of bong designs typically feature a lengthy neck that makes them inconvenient to carry around. In contrast, bubblers are often considerably smaller and therefore more portable. While glass models are more delicate and suitable for coffee tables and cabinets, acrylic and silicone models make good road companions for those who prefer water-filtered hits.
  • Design: Both bubblers and bongs are available in a wide range of styles. Bongs vary from small handheld acrylic and glass models to giant rigs that are essentially desktop when it comes to operation. Some are very basic and purely functional, whereas others are works of art and feature incredibly intricate details. The most basic components of any bong include a bowl, downstem, chamber, neck, carb hole, and mouthpiece. Bubblers share these crucial components, but they are positioned differently. They also feature a wide range of functional and aesthetic diversity; some are shaped much more like traditional pipes, whereas others look just like small bongs.
  • Water filtration: Both weed bubblers and bongs filter cannabis smoke through water to produce smoother hits. However, because bongs are typically larger, they have a larger water-holding capacity. Large amounts of water in a bong chamber make them more adequately suited to filtering much larger hits. Bubblers, on the other hand, can only hold so much water, which means larger hits are sometimes harsher.
  • Smoke quality: Both bubblers and bongs offer a smoother and less harsh smoking experience than many other smoking options, including pipes, joints, and blunts. Many different variables come into play when it comes to the smoke quality of bubblers versus that of bongs, including the model in question and the quality of the flower used. Overall, both bubblers and bongs provide a fairly similar quality of smoke; expect smoother and cooler hits.
  • Ease of use: Bubblers and bongs are easy devices to use; it only takes a couple of smoking sessions to become completely familiar with a particular model. However, small bubbler models are usually the most basic, easier to become accustomed to, and ideal for quick and efficient smoking sessions. Large glass bong rigs, on the flip side, sometimes require the use of a blow torch and feature fiddly glass parts that make them more suited for longer smoking sessions and special occasions.
  • Ease of cleaning: Bubblers are typically easier to clean than bongs. Their short necks mean most pipe cleaning products are up to the task. Their more basic list of components also makes dismantling them and thoroughly scrubbing them down far easier. Compare this to large glass bong rigs, which are often equipped with intricate percolators that are much more fiddly when it comes to cleaning.

Weed Bubbler

What Are The Benefits of Weed Bubblers?

Now that you’re more familiar with the differences and similarities between marijuana bubblers and bongs, let’s take a deep dive into the nature of bubblers. Continue reading to discover the advantages they offer and why some weed users favor them above every other smoking medium:

  • Diversity of designs: The sheer diversity of designs attracts many weed users to the world of bubblers. Walk into any dispensary or head store and you’ll come across a host of models featuring different sizes, shapes, colors, materials, and functions. Just like every marijuana smoker is drawn to a group of particular strains, some are also attracted to particular bubbler designs.
  • Affordable: Bubblers are often fairly budget-friendly, especially when compared to high-end bongs. Weed users can pick up small pipe-shaped bubblers for as little as €10; treat them carefully, and they’ll last you for years. Likewise, much more intricate and larger glass bubblers often clock in at a retail price of around €50.
  • Cool and smooth smoke: Weed bubblers are chiefly used because of how they change the smoking experience. Both joints and blunts produce harsh smoke that can leave users coughing for minutes on end. Bubblers solve this issue by filtering the smoke through water. Not only does it make the smoke slightly smoother, but it improves the flavor and helps the terpene profile shine through. Assess the color of your bubbler water after just a couple of smoking sessions to see what you’ve managed to avoid inhaling!
  • Portability: Bubblers aren’t the most stealthy way to go about smoking cannabis. However, if you want to enjoy water-filtered smoke at the beach or in the forest, they’re your best bet as far as portability goes. Small pipe-shaped bubblers will allow you to bring the benefits of a bong with you almost wherever you go.
  • Social: Much like joints and pipes, bubblers have a nice social element to them. They’re a great piece of kit to take on a camping trip or to a festival. Not only do they look awesome and serve as a conversation starter, but they serve up nice smooth smoke, too!

The Downsides of Weed Bubblers

Cannabis bubblers have a heap of advantages. However, as with every other method of smoking weed, they aren’t perfect. Before adding a bubbler to your collection, consider the key downsides to this method of cannabis consumption:

  • Maintenance: Joints and blunts require zero maintenance; you literally inhale them and dispose of the roach at the end of the session. In contrast, a good bubbler will last you years if looked after well. However, to keep them clean and running properly, you’ll need to regularly clean them. Not only is this hygiene, but it’ll stop the taste of tar from contaminating those precious terpene profiles.
  • Lack of customisation: Many bubblers out there are made up of one or two solid pieces of glass. While this makes them cheap, it drastically reduces the cool and personal customisation options that users have with larger and more expensive bongs.

The Different Types of Weed Bubblers

You almost know everything worth knowing about cannabis bubblers! Before we dive into how to use them, let’s cover some of the different types you can expect to see on store shelves:

  • Silicone: This is becoming an increasingly popular material among cannabis users. While bubbler enthusiasts often have a glass piece for home use, many have a silicone option that they take on the road. They’re colorful, functional, and don’t smash!
  • Glass: Glass certainly reigns supreme when it comes to materials. Sure, it can and does break. But nothing beats the sleek and shiny aesthetic of a glass piece sitting on the coffee table before you.
  • Hammer: These types of bubblers represent—you guessed it—a hammer! The stem and mouthpiece form the “handle”, whereas the bowl, chamber, and downstem make up the “head”. They look unusual and eye-catching and are easy to use and clean.
  • Sidecar: These bubblers are certainly unique! They’re similar in structure to the hammer design mentioned above, although the bowl and chamber are offset to the side. This creates an asymmetrical and attractive aesthetic.
  • Sherlock: if you like to burn weed while sitting by the fireside and conversing with friends, then you need one of these. Reminiscent of the Sherlock tobacco pipe, they have a certain esteem to them. This design often has a larger chamber than others available.
  • Mini: These bubblers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. However, they’re unified in their small sizes! If you value stealth and portability, you should certainly explore this option.

Weed Bubbler Parts

How To Use a Cannabis Bubbler

Right then, you’re almost a font of bubbler knowledge. There are only a couple more areas we need to cover before you can claim that title! Next up, we’re going to walk you through the easy step-by-step of using a cannabis bubbler:

  1. Let the water flow: Start by filling your chamber with water. The level should rise above the bottom of the downstem without overflowing.
  2. Grind your bud: Process your weed by throwing it in a grinder. This will help it burn evenly and prevent any from going to waste.
  3. Load the bowl: Place a metal pipe screen in your bowl to prevent any weed from getting sucked through the downstem. Then, fill your bowl with ground herb.
  4. Light and inhale: Bring the mouthpiece to your lips and cover the carb hole. Apply a flame to the bowl and inhale. After filling the chamber, release your finger from the carb hole and clear the smoke.
  5. Enjoy: That’s all there is to it! Keep hitting that thing until you hit your sweet spot. Then, sit back and enjoy!

How To Clean and Maintain Your Weed Bubbler

After using your bubbler a couple of times, you’ll need to give it a thorough clean to make sure it’s enjoyable and hygienic to use in the future. Follow the easy steps below to maintain your bubbler.

Before you get started, make sure you have the following items to hand:

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Coarse salt
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Ziplock bags

Now that you have the necessary gear, follow these simple steps:

  1. Prepare your bubbler: Start by disassembling your bubbler if it has any removable parts. These could include the bowl and downstem.
  2. Rinse: Next, give each compost a good rinse with lukewarm water to remove any loose bits of grime.
  3. Soak: Fill a ziplock bag with lukewarm water, a splash of isopropyl alcohol, and a teaspoon of coarse salt. Place your bubbler and any separate pieces inside. Seal the bag and let your piece soak for 30 minutes.
  4. Shake: After 30 minutes, gently shake the bag to agitate any loose grime.
  5. Scrub: Get in there with a pipe cleaner and scrub away any clinging residue in those hard-to-reach places.
  6. Rinse: Remove your bubbler and any pieces from the bag and give them a thorough rinse with lukewarm water.
  7. Reassemble: Let your bubbler and any pieces dry out and reassemble if necessary.

Smoking Weed Bubbler

Add A Cannabis Bubbler To Your Collection

Congratulations, you now know more about bubblers than any of your friends. But what will you do with this knowledge? Perhaps you’ve made up your mind and bubblers aren’t for you—that’s fine! If, however, you’ve just found your new favorite way of smoking weed, it’s time to find your perfect piece. Once in your possession, refer back to this article to put it to use and keep it clean!

External Resources:
  1. Water Pipe | British Museum
  2. Hookah: Background, history and health consequences
This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.

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