What Is a Gravity Bong? How Does It Work?

Man packing bowl, gravity bong iStock / vladans

Tucked in between the more common daily-use methods of cannabis consumption is the gravity bong, a college classic meant to get you significantly higher than usual. There are a few variations, and most can be concocted from home items like plastic bottles, scissors, and buckets. The idea is to pull smoke through the plastic bottle, using submersion into a bucket of water or expulsion of water straight from the bottle to create a vacuum that pulls smoke into the user’s lungs.

One hit can deliver a full bowl’s worth of weed, so light users should exercise caution or sit this one out. The gravity bong will undoubtedly get you way higher than a joint or bowl ever could, because none of the material is wasted in between hits. When you fill the bowl and light the weed, you are going to smoke all of the material in one go. And you are going to get really, really high doing so.

There are a few different ways to craft and use a gravity bong, and all probably originated from some genius kid’s plan to get as zonked as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible. The bucket gravity bong and waterfall gravity bong are the most common types of gravity bong, and both rely on physics to deliver a massive hit.

The Bucket Gravity Bong

You’re probably more likely to see creative pot smokers using the bucket gravity bong method than the waterfall one, listed below. The bucket gravity bong is easy to assemble and requires less clean up than the waterfall bong.

The bucket gravity bong is assembled by filling a bucket almost all the way with water, leaving about an inch from the top. The size of the bucket can vary, depending on what is laying around and how extreme you want the experience to be.

A hole big enough to fit a bowl stem is then drilled into the cap of a plastic bottle, and the stem inserted. A variety of bottle sizes can be used, but a two-liter bottle is typically the most common.

The bottom of the plastic bottle is then carefully cut off in a straight manner. At this point, the bong is almost ready to go. The plastic bottle is submerged in the bucket of water, with the opening and just a bit of the bottle exposed. The bowl part is inserted into the hole in the cap, and the desired amount of cannabis is inserted in the bowl.

Remember, the gravity bong gets you significantly more high than other methods of consumption, so the bowl should be packed with careful consideration.

Once everything is in place, the bowl gets lit and the water bottle is slowly and carefully pulled out of the water. This requires a steady and controlled hand, as the bottle must not be pulled entirely out of the water, lest you lose all of the smoke at once.

The last step is where the magic happens. The bottle cap with the bowl piece is removed, and quickly replaced with the user’s mouth around the bottle. Slowly, the bottle is submerged back into the water, which pushes a high concentration of smooth smoke into the user’s lungs.

The Waterfall Gravity Bong

Victoria Falls, Zambia-Zimbabwe border

iStock / EdoTealdi

The waterfall version of a gravity bong works similarly to the bucket gravity bong. The assembly and materials for the waterfall version are almost the same as the bucket version as well, with a few changes towards the end of the process.

The first difference is in the preparation of the plastic bottle. Just like the bucket gravity bong, a hole is drilled through the cap as a means to insert the bowl. Instead of cutting the entire bottom of the water bottle off like in the bucket bong, the waterfall gravity bong requires just a small hole in the center of the bottom of the bottle. You’ll want to make sure that the hole is small enough to be plugged by one of your fingers.

That is about it for the assembly of the waterfall bong. The bowl will need to be placed in the hole of the bottle cap, just like with the bucket bong, and packed with the desired amount of marijuana.

After the bowl is packed and set aside, a finger is placed over the bottom hole and the plastic bottle is filled almost to the top with water. The finger plugging the hole is essential to keep the water in place for when it’s time to hit, so be sure to carefully screw the cap back on with one hand.

When it’s all ready to go, and the cap with the packed bowl is screwed back on, it the waterfall gravity bong is ready for the big finale. Now you can light the bud, and remove your finger from the hole at the bottom of the bottle. This will force the water to drain, while pulling the smoke up into the bottle. After all the water has drained, the cap is unscrewed and the user takes a hit from the opening of the bottle.

What’s extra fun about the waterfall bong is people can get real messy with it. If it is being used indoors, it’s best to stand over a sink or bathtub, but outdoor use means freedom to go wild with the final part of using the waterfall bong.

Why Use a Gravity Bong?

Gravity bongs are a fun party trick, and an effective way to switch things up and get more bang from your bud. If you’ve been feeling bored with your cannabis consumption, building a gravity bong could be a fun way to switch up your routine and mindset.

The main reason to use a gravity bong is for its ability to get you extra high. You’ll waste less marijuana using a gravity bong, and can inhale a whole bowl’s worth in one go. This can make for a big, harsh hit that should be taken with caution if you’re not a seasoned toker. Adding some cold water to the mix can help create a smoother, milkier smoke.

If you’re looking to spice up your smoke sesh, consider assembling a gravity bong to switch things up.

What Is a Gravity Bong? How Does It Work? was last modified: by
Macey Wolfer
About Macey Wolfer
Macey is a freelance writer recently moved to Seattle, Washington. When she’s not writing articles, she is playing bass in her band or at a show. She also enjoys making poems and short stories, and helping friends with their creative projects.