Not only are bongs one of the best ways to have a smoke sesh, but most of the ones at the dispensary also look really cool. Even if you do not have the money or the coordination to keep a glass bong intact without breaking it, they are surprisingly easy to make at home.
Gravity bongs are no exception: just a few creative cuts to a couple of empty bottles and some aluminum foil will have your bag of recyclables into your next tool for toking up. They may differ in function to regular bongs, but thankfully, they are not any harder to make or use.
What is a Gravity Bong?
A gravity bong, aka the bucket bong, is one that uses water and gravity to feed the smoke through the mouthpiece as opposed to just cooling it.
Are they Better than Regular Bongs?
Gravity bongs are so simple that you only need three major components outside of the mouthpiece, and one of them is water. Their design makes them comparably easy to the classic ones, they work just as well, so it comes down to your preference of which one you like better.
But, one major difference between them is price. The classics start off cheaper than gravity bongs and while there is no shortage in quality, the high-end models can go up to $600. So if you are looking for a gravity-defying high without applying for bankruptcy, then look no further.
How to Make Gravity Bongs
If you know how to make a regular bong from scratch, chances are you have an idea on how to make a gravity bong. If not, here is a really quick refresher:
Cut 2 holes in a 2-liter bottle: One small one under the mouth and then a bigger one towards the bottom (for the bowl). Take a small tube, like a hollowed marker, wrap some tinfoil around it for both making the bowl and preventing leaks from the downstem. Lastly, take a pin to poke a few holes in your new bowl so that the smoke can get through, then light it up.
The Tool Kit
The homemade bong is always made possible by the plastic bottle (or the plant-based plastic if you have another green thumb), water, a knife and or metal pin and aluminum foil for your makeshift bowl, and you cannot forget your favorite strain.
If you have the exact tool kit for a homemade bong, add a bucket or an extra bottle that is wider than the first one: that is literally all you need. Now that you have it, let’s get cracking (or cutting)!
Step 1: Cut The Bottle(s)
Now what you want to do is cut the bottom third of your first bottle (the smaller one), as this will act as both the chamber and the mouthpiece once it is all said and done. Your larger bottle will need the top third or so cut off so that the bottle can be placed inside while partially submerged in the water (you can delete this step if you are using a bucket instead of a bigger bottle).
If you are familiar with the physics of the bong, you know that the water rests in the base and cools the smoke before you inhale. With a gravity bong, the entire lower half of the rig is the ‘base’ because it is literally a pool of water for the main bottle, aka the ‘tube’.
Step 2: Stab one Bottle Cap
To make the ‘bowl’ of your bong, you start by wrapping the bottle cap in foil, since this will be the actual bowl to keep you from burning and breathing in plastic once you light the weed. You want to cut or poke about 5-6 holes into your makeshift bowl, but you do not want them so big that you end up with more holes than ‘bowl’.
For cutting your holes, a regular pin or a small knife would be your best tool. It is important that you make your half-dozen holes with the foil wrapped on so that the smoke can pass through the bong. If you can, you can add two layers of foil instead of one, so long as your holes poke all the way through the cap to pass through the bong.
You can, however, just wrap your foil on the mouthpiece and push it down, but this might create cutting issues down the line and us ‘butterfingers’ might accidentally slip and drop it in the bottle. So, the easy way to have your bowl is to use the cap as the mold, make your cuts and then take the cap out of the foil to be greeted to your makeshift bowl.
Step 3: Light the ‘Bowl’
Just about any size water bottle will work as the tube, so long as it is smaller than the container holding the water, but a gravity bong works best with a 2-liter bottle to get more smoke and make a bigger bowl now that you have a bigger mouthpiece.
A single 16oz water or soda bottle will work just as well, but the smaller bottles and tiny, eco-friendly caps will not get you as much smoke as you desire. Using a 2-liter bottle not only gets you a lot more smoke per hit, but the bigger mouthpiece makes a bigger bowl.
Now that you have taken out some aggressions on a bottle cap, you are ready to smoke some weed. Pack your bowl with your crushed strain and light it just as you would a regular bong.
Step 4: Submerge and Smoke
Look at you: you made the bowl and a bong setup that literally defines gravity. Who knew science projects could be more fun when there is weed involved? Even better, you see how this is just as easy to make (actually, easier in terms of the number of steps and pieces that make it work,) as a classic at-home water bong.
The only difference between the gravity bong and the former is that as you are lighting the bowl, you want to (very slowly) raise the bottle from being fully submerged and watch the smoke gather and make a bigger cloud as you go.
Make sure that you are not taking the bottle completely out of the water since you will lose all that delicious smoke. This is the same reason that you keep the bowl on the bottle’s mouthpiece until right before you take your hit: and what a hit it is.
Are Gravity Bongs Safe with Plastic Bottles?
Understandably, some do not consider plastic as safe as a glass or ceramic bong since there are microplastics, added chemicals, etc. You can avoid these worries by using the plant-based plastics, but you generally do not run into problems if you keep the temperature of your plastic bottles under 60° Celsius.
For any homemade bong you can make with plastic bottles, the water is usually your best friend: Since the water cools the smoke anyway, it is less likely the end of the bottle you inhale is in the danger zone. Smoking through a superheated plastic is where the toxins start to release, so literally just keep it cool.