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How To Make Bong Hits Less Harsh: 10 Ways To Keep it Low

By Last updated on May 9, 2024Last updated on May 9, 2024No Comments

Bongs have become commonplace in marijuana smoke circles, but many find them too harsh on the throat and lungs. After all, you wouldn’t want to cough your lungs out while taking a hit, would you?

If you’re a beginner or have a sensitive respiratory system, some irritation is inevitable. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with a harsh smoking experience. Below, we look at some tried and tested ways to make a bong hit less harsh.

10 Ways to Make Bong Hits Less Harsh

Whether you want to impress your buddies (pun intended) by taking bong hits like someone with an iron lung or simply want a smoother smoking experience, here are some ways to make a bong hit less harsh.

1. Add Ice to It

One of the easiest ways to get smoother bong hits is to add ice to the mix. When you take a hit from a non-iced bong, the smoke can be harsh and hot, causing irritation in your throat and lungs.

Ice cools down this smoke, making it easier and smoother to inhale. Also, as the smoke moves through the bong, it also crosses the ice, which absorbs some heat. It might also help filter some impurities, making the smoke less harsh on your throat.

But do note that ice can melt quickly, adding more water to your bong.

2. Pop a Mint

A good old mint gum or mint drops can keep you from coughing while smoking. The cough is often due to a dry throat and mouth, which amplifies the effect of the harsh smoke.

One way to tackle this is by keeping a mint in your mouth. The mint moisturizes your mouth through salivation, reducing your chances of coughing.

3. Use Glycerin Coils

Glycerin coils are a more effective coolant than ice since you can remove them and keep them in the freezer for extended periods. The coil is made with a series of small, narrow tubes filled with glycerin.

When you draw smoke from the bong, it passes through these glycerin coils, cooling the smoke for smoother hits. Since glycerin has a low freezing point and is sweet-tasting, it’s perfect for the job.

4. Use a Percolator

Percolator or perc is a filtration system you can add to a bong for a more comfortable smoking experience. It works by breaking up the smoke into bubbles.

When you attach a percolator to the bong, the smoke enters its chamber and passes through several tubes or small holes. These holes or tubes break the smoke into small bubbles, increasing its surface area for water exposure.

As more smoke comes into contact with water, it cools down significantly. The percolator also helps diffuse the smoke, making it easier to inhale.

You can find quite a few types of percolators in the market with unique functions and designs. The most common types are showerhead, tree, and honeycomb percs.

5. Grind It Up

If you don’t have a grinder, you can go ahead and break up the weed with scissors. But that doesn’t give you the finest burn.

Finely ground weed burns more evenly and slowly compared to poorly ground weed. So, scissors might be the culprit behind harsh hits. Replace them with a grinder, but be careful not to over-grind them since buds may get dusty.

6. Adjust the Water Content

The water level in your bong will affect everything from the temperature of your hit to how much smoke it holds. If there’s not enough water, your bong hit will be hotter and more intense, causing harsher hits.

Ideally, you should fill the down stem with water for a smoother hit. The down stem is the tube extending from the stem to the bowl piece. Fill it with enough water to cover its bottom.

The right amount of water will depend on the size of the bong, but the standard is to fill 1 to 2 inches above the downstem’s bottom.

7. Try Breathing Control

It’s not always the bong – sometimes, it’s just you. If you have poor control over your lungs, a big hit will surely leave you in a coughing fit.

You can prevent this by taking deep breaths while engaging your diaphragm before you take a big hit. Deep breaths will open your lungs, bringing more oxygen into the system. It will allow you to hold the hit better.

Release the smoke slowly and wholly after taking a drag. Coughing occurs when there’s still smoke inside the lungs after you exhale. Tackle this by exhaling completely and deeply.

8. Leave Alcohol Alone

Your body expels alcohol from the bloodstream through several means, and one of them is through the lungs. If there’s alcohol in your body, it will only add to your instinct to exhale. That would make it harder to hold a hit and take it smoothly.

9. Take a Larger Bowl

The bowl size also affects the intensity of the hit as bigger hits require a smaller bowl, and smaller hits come better in a big bowl. A big bowl has more airflow, which means it will take more time for the smoke to move through, resulting in a milder hit.

When removing the bowl, do it slowly to prevent smoke from entering your lungs. Slow detachment allows smoke to flow through the pipe with less force, giving your lungs enough time to process the smoke.

10. Use a Precooler

Just like glycerin coils, precoolers also cool the hit before inhalation. They are nifty attachments for your bong that fit the down stem of the bong. All you have to do is fill the precooler with water and attach it to the down stem.

The precooler will cool the hit as it passes through the bong and filter out harmful residue. The result is a smoother hit that’s easier on your lungs.


Smoking up a bong doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable experience that leaves you gasping for air with every hit. With the tips in this guide, you’re all set to have a smooth, enjoyable session every time.

The Sanctuary Editorial Team

Our writers use a combination of research and personal experiences to eloquently tackle these topics. The research process utilizes multiple levels of information. We reference informal channels for details relating to casual topics such as describing slang or how to create a bong out of fruit. We also examine scientific publishings for up-to-date research. The accuracy of our articles is crucially important to us and they are written with the idea of inclusiveness for readers of all walks of life.