A bong is a type of water pipe utilized for smoking cannabis or other herbal substances, including tobacco. Its purpose is to filter the smoke through water, creating larger and smoother hits while avoiding harsh ones. To enhance the cooling effect, some bong users add ice cubes. The structure of a bong typically includes a bubbled base that holds water, featuring an angled hole where a downstem is inserted with a bowl for placing the cannabis. This design allows the smoke to pass through the water in the base, then rise through the downstem, and finally ascend through the mouthpiece, reaching the lungs of the smoker.
The precise origin of the bong is a subject of ongoing debate, but historical records suggest that it dates back many centuries and may have originated in Thailand, China, or Africa. Regardless of its exact beginnings, bongs have evolved into numerous designs, ranging from simple and functional to incredibly intricate with various colors and patterns.