The word “bong” derives from the Thai culture. Initially used as “baung,” it referred to an equivalent of the modern cylindrical smoking pipe—a round bamboo tube. China, being one of the first civilizations to use cannabis, resorted to bongs a long time ago, presumably during the Ming Dynasty. Other sources highlight their use in ancient Africa where some tribes used the main principles of modern water pipes’ structure to build earthen bongs.
Some archeologists have even found two specimens made of pure gold in the area of modern Russia. The scholars estimated that these bongs dated back to 2400 years ago and had been used not only for cannabis but for opium as well. The Scythia tribe is believed to have smoked cannabis filtered through the water pipes before battles.
In ancient times, bongs were closely related to hookahs that were used for both cannabis and tobacco consuming.
Through the history, bongs were made from different materials, such as wood, bamboo, plastic, and ceramics. Modern water pipes are mainly made from glass and are treated like pieces of art and come in different shapes and sizes. At the same time, they remain highly functional.
Nowadays, the main and most noticeable producers of bongs are Boom Felazi, Hi Si, Honey Supply, Illadelph, Empire Glassworks, and Pulse Glass. All of them create unique designs and are passionate about the industry’s progress. Their innovations combine style with functionality. You can read more about them in our next article.