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Gravity Bongs: Elevate your Smoking Experience

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In the vast universe of cannabis consumption methods, gravity bongs have carved a niche, offering an experience that’s both potent and unique. But what exactly is a gravity bong? How does it work, and more importantly, how can you ensure a safe and enjoyable session? As the cannabis landscape evolves, so does the curiosity of enthusiasts eager to explore different ways to elevate their experience. Whether you’re a seasoned smoker or a novice, understanding the intricacies of gravity bongs is essential. Authored by Josiah Lamp, the esteemed proprietor of the Union Square Lamp Company—a beacon of quality and expertise in the world of cannabis accessories—this article delves deep into the world of gravity bongs. From their mechanism to health precautions, we aim to provide a comprehensive guide that not only educates but also ensures you’re well-equipped for your next gravity bong adventure. Dive in and let’s demystify the gravity bong experience together.

What is a Gravity Bong?

A gravity bong, often referred to as a “waterfall bong” or “bucket bong,” is a unique method of consuming cannabis that utilizes the principles of water pressure and air displacement. Originating from innovative cannabis enthusiasts seeking a potent smoking experience, the gravity bong has since become a cultural icon in the world of cannabis consumption. 

At its core, a gravity bong is a simple device, often homemade, that uses water and air to draw smoke into a chamber, which is then inhaled by the user. The appeal of the gravity bong lies in its ability to produce a concentrated and intense hit, making it a favorite among seasoned smokers. However, its potency is not for the faint-hearted, and first-time users are advised to approach with caution.

While the concept of the gravity bong has been around for decades, it has seen a resurgence in popularity, especially with the advent of legalization and the growing interest in diverse consumption methods. At the Union Square Lamp Company, we recognize the cultural significance and the intrigue surrounding gravity bongs, and we’re here to shed light on this fascinating method of consumption.

How Does a Gravity Bong Work?

The mechanism behind a gravity bong is both intriguing and straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of its operation:

  • Setup: A gravity bong typically consists of two main components: a larger container filled with water and a smaller container (often a bottle) with the bottom cut off. The smaller container also has a bowl on top, where the cannabis is placed.
  • Ignition: With the smaller container submerged in the water, the cannabis in the bowl is lit.
  • Lift & Fill: As the cannabis burns, the user slowly lifts the smaller container. This action creates a vacuum, causing the water to fall out of the smaller container and air to be drawn in, pulling the smoke from the burning cannabis into the chamber.
  • Inhalation: Once the smaller container is filled with smoke, the bowl is removed, and the user pushes the container back into the water while inhaling from the top. This action forces the smoke out of the container and into the user’s lungs, delivering a potent hit.

The science behind the gravity bong is rooted in the principles of physics, particularly the relationship between water and air pressure. As the water exits the smaller container, it creates a negative pressure, drawing the smoke in. When the user pushes the container back into the water, positive pressure forces the smoke out, ensuring an efficient and powerful delivery.

While the gravity bong offers a unique and intense experience, it’s essential to use safe and non-toxic materials when constructing or using one. At the Union Square Lamp Company, we prioritize safety and quality, ensuring that our customers are well-informed and equipped for the best possible experience.

Gravity Bong Side View
Diagram of How a Gravity Bong Works

Materials Needed to Make a Gravity Bong

In order to make a gravity bong, you will need the following materials:

  • A bottle to use as the chamber piece; glass bottles because smoking out of plastic for prolonged periods can be harmful. However, for one-time use, a two-litter plastic soda bottle is very popular and convenient.
  • A bucket or larger bottle that can hold the smaller bottle almost entirely submerged upright.
  • Tin foil or mesh screen
  • A drill or a hot needle to make a hole in the plastic bottles.
  • Scissors or a blade to cut the plastic bottle (if needed)
  • Tape or glue to seal the plastic bottles

You can find these materials at most home improvement stores, or you can also find them online at websites like Amazon. You can also use recycle plastic bottle you have at home.

Be aware that cutting and drilling plastic bottles may generate plastic dust which is toxic, so it is important to work in a well-ventilated area and to use a mask or respirator if possible.

Materials for a Gravity Bong
Materials for a Gravity Bong

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Step-by-Step Instructions to Make a Gravity Bong

Making a gravity bong can be a bit tricky, but with these step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to make your own gravity bong in no time.

Step 1: Gather your materials

Make sure you have all the necessary materials before you begin. You will need two bottles as listed above, aluminum foil or a bowl piece, a drill or a hot needle, scissors or a blade, and tape or glue.

Step 2: Cut off the bottom of the the small bottle

Using scissors or a blade, carefully cut the bottom off the small plastic bottle. Be sure to leave the cap on the top of the bottle.

Step 3: Make the bowl

Using a drill or a hot needle, make a hole in the center of the cap of the small bottle. The hole should be large enough to fit the aluminum foil or mesh screen, but not so large that the marijuana falls through. A Glass bowl piece can also be used if the hole is large enough. 

If there are any gaps around the edges of the bowl, use tape or glue to seal them. This will help prevent smoke from escaping and ensure a tighter pull when using the gravity bong.

Step 5: Fill the the larger bottle with water

Fill the bucket or container with water so that the chamber bottle is almost completely submerged when upright.

Then, insert the small bottle (bowl-side up) in to the water.

Step 6: Use the gravity bong

see detailed instructions below

Infographic on How to Make and Use a Gravity Bong
Infographic on How to Make and Use a Gravity Bong

How to Use a Gravity Bong

Now that you’ve made your own gravity bong, it’s time to learn how to use it properly. Here’s a step-by-step guide for getting the most out of your gravity bong experience:

Step 1: Fill the bowl

Pack your desired amount of cannabis into the bowl of the small bottle. Be sure to pack it tightly, but not too tightly, to ensure an even burn.

Leave the cap lightly screwed on – it will be removed to inhale the smoke!

Step 2: Light the bowl

With the smaller, chamber bottle submerged in the water, use a lighter or matches to light the cannabis in the bowl. As it burns, smoke will begin to fill the small bottle.

Step 3: Lift the bottle

Slowly lift the large bottle out of the water while inhaling through the top of the large bottle. As you lift the large bottle, the water level in the bottle will drop, creating a vacuum that pulls smoke into the bottle.

Step 5: Take the hit

When the large bottle is full of smoke, remove the small bottle from the large bottle and inhale the smoke from the large bottle. The hit can be very intense, so it’s important to inhale slowly and be prepared for a large amount of smoke.

Gravity Bong in Use
Gravity Bong in Use

Health and Safety Precautions of Gravity Bongs

Using a gravity bong can be an exhilarating experience, but it’s crucial to prioritize health and safety. Here are some essential precautions and considerations to keep in mind:

  • Material Safety: Many homemade gravity bongs utilize plastic bottles. However, when plastic is exposed to heat, it can release harmful chemicals like BPA and phthalates, which can be inhaled along with the smoke. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, BPA can affect the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and children. It’s advisable to use glass or stainless steel components when constructing or purchasing a gravity bong. 
  • Potency Awareness: Gravity bongs can deliver a much more potent hit than other smoking methods. This concentrated intake can lead to intense effects, especially for novice users. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that while a fatal overdose is unlikely, overconsumption can lead to extreme confusion, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and more.
  • Hygiene: Regularly clean your gravity bong. Residue build-up can harbor bacteria and mold, leading to potential respiratory issues. The American Lung Association emphasizes the importance of avoiding mold exposure, as it can lead to lung infections, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems.
  • Safe Environment: Given the potency of hits from a gravity bong, ensure you’re in a safe and comfortable environment when using one. Avoid operating heavy machinery or driving after use.

Gravity Bong Cleaning and Maintenance

Most Gravity Bongs are intended for single use, which is why many are made from cheap plastic and other disposable materials. However, if you have a glass bottle gravity bong, here are some basic tips to keep it clean:

  • Use clean water every time you smoke
  • Use a clean glass bowl or fresh foil every time
  • Clean the glass with isopropyl alcohol and hot water


In conclusion, a gravity bong is a unique and intense way to smoke marijuana. It uses the principles of gravity to pull smoke into the bottle, creating a powerful and satisfying hit.

One of the benefits of using a gravity bong is that it can be a more efficient way to consume marijuana, as it can create a very potent hit, allowing users to get the desired effects with less marijuana. Another benefit is that it is easy and cheap to make a gravity bong, as long as you have the right materials and follow the instructions properly.

In any case, whether you’re an experienced smoker looking for a new way to get high or a novice curious about this unique smoking method, it’s important to use caution and to follow the instructions properly.

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