Cannabis might be ingested in a number of ways, but the most famous route of administration is still via smoking or inhaling the drug. Cannabis items are usually smoked (with or without tobacco) through a pipe or in the form of a cigarette (often referred to as a ‘joint’). The pipes come in a wide array of sizes and forms but frequently have long stems or incorporate a ‘hookah-type’ water filtration system (i.e., water pipe) and are referred to as a ‘bong’. When a water pipe is utilized, cannabis smoke is cooled by the water in an attempt to reduce its harshness and temperature, which may scald the throat (Booth, 2003).
Little studies have been conducted to the specific harms connected with smoking cannabis via a water pipe or bong. Few studies examining cannabis use, besides those relating to the medical use of the drug, have differentiated involving the various strategies for delivery (i.e., smoking via joints or water pipes, ingesting in food) and little is known regarding distinct administration routes, their relationship to drug use patterns, and related harms.
Recently, we have seen a resurgence in popularity in the usage of hookahs or ‘shisha’ to smoke shop, particularly flavoured cigarettes and tobacco products. The traditional Middle Eastern water pipe has become widely smoked across the world, particularly by students and teenagers. Because of the use of healthy-sounding fruit flavouring and the social way it will always be used (i.e., in restaurants and cafes), it is often regarded as a ‘safer’ substitute for cigarettes. As a result of this recent popularity, there has been a growing amount of research conducted examining the harms associated with the use of the shisha.
This bulletin will examine the foundation from the water pipe and what we understand about the harms related to smoking cannabis by way of a bong, particularly in comparison with other routes of administration. Since the research is limited in this region, an examination of the existing evidence regarding the harms related to water pipe cigarette smoking is included in addition to consideration of how this info can be used in cannabis prevention activities.
Origins in the water pipe – The use of water in a smoking apparatus is ancient, with Persian hookahs or ‘narghiles’ illustrative types of early smoking water pipes (Erickson, Jarvie & Miller, 1977). Inside their 1997 US patent to have an ‘improved smoking water pipe or bong’, the authors describe this process as follows – “… smoke from your substance being combusted is directed through a tube discharging below the surface water in a potlike container before passing therefrom by way of a second tube for the mouth of the smoker.”
In which the water pipe actually originated is unclear, although there is increasing evidence to advise that bongs were first utilized to smoke cannabis in Africa. Based on the archaeological evidence available during writing, Phillips (1983) hypothesised that cannabis was smoked in water pipes in eastern and southern Africa before the development of tobacco. He considered that the discovery in Ethiopia water pipe bowls, “definitely related to the smoking of cannabis”, tends bqlsqo confirm speculation of your African origin of the water pipe. Others believe they originated in China or Persia, but in such cases the instruments were believed to be employed to smoke tobacco.
The term ‘bong’ is surely an adaptation from the Thai word baung, which describes a cylindrical pipe or tube cut from bamboo. One of the earliest recorded uses from the word inside the West is incorporated in the McFarland Thai-English Dictionary, published in 1944, which describes among the meanings of ‘bong’ within the Thai language as, “a bamboo water pipe for smoking kancha, tree, hashish, or the hemp-plant.” Erickson and colleagues (1977) believe that it must be this version that has probably influenced the appearance of the current devices that include a “general cylindrical tubular construction”, with tubes of plastic and other modern materials replacing the hollow bamboo stem which had been used in the past. Their description of methods this sort of water pipe works is just as follows:
“The oriental bong, further, provides method for using atmospheric air to dilute the smoke before inhalation, as well as provided oxygen for your combustion producing the smoke. Thus, an air admitting orifice has become provided venting the smoke chamber formed inside the bamboo stem higher than the water in the bottom from the stem. The orifice is finger controllable, to ensure that air may at the desire of the smoker be either excluded or admitted directly to the smoke chamber in order to dilute the smoke therein.”
A bong utilized to smoke cannabis is comparable to a conventional hookah in both construction and function, except it is almost always smaller and more portable. The hole within the stem described above, often referred to as the ‘carburator’, ‘shotty’ or simply just ‘hole’, is usually kept covered throughout the smoking process, then opened to permit the smoke to be drawn into the respiratory system in an effort to maximise the impact.