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Water Pipe Smoking: All You Need To Know

We are all familiar with water pipes. The presence of water pipes and water infrastructure have increased the quality of living for millions of people, allowing access to clean water whenever it is needed.

Just kidding, not those water pipes. You’re here to find out more about water pipe smoking, our favorite method of smoking here at MOB Hookah.

When you hear the term “water pipe” outside of smoking context, you may not know exactly what it means, what qualifies as a water pipe, let alone why we have water pipes in the first place.

If you want to know more about water pipe smoking, you have come to the right place. We are going to break down the essential information you need to know, as well as share some of our expertly curated tips. 

Kepe reading for the MOB Hookah guide to water pipe smoking.

What Is a Water Pipe?

The only question that seems appropriate to start off this guide is to tell you what a water pipe is. 

A water pipe is simply a type of pipe for smoking that uses water as a filtration system for the smoke.

That’s really all there is to it. The two most common types of water pipes are hookahs and bongs. 

A hookah, as you may already know, is an Indian and Middle Eastern style water pipe, which is a relatively complex water pipe with several different parts: a bowl, stem, downstem, vase, hoses, etc., as well as being decorated with intricate ornamentation. 

Bongs on the other hand tend to be far less complex, with the stem and vase being one piece, with a downstem and bowl. 

The other major difference between a bong and a hookah is that bongs are typically lit with direct flame, whereas hookahs use burning coals to provide the heat source to produce smoke.

How Does a Water Pipe Work?

For some people, watching a water pipe in action can be a very entertaining experience. It is a lot of fun to watch the smoke bubble through the water and eventually get sucked away. But part of what makes them so fun to watch is that many people simply don’t quite understand how they work, and are mesmerized by the magic.

If you want to know exactly what is going on in your water pipe, then this is for you. If, however, you want to keep the magic of not knowing, skip ahead — we get it, not all fans of the smoke are fans of the science!

The science behind a water pipe is actually relatively simple. Let’s start by thinking about a bong, since it is a slightly easier concept to grasp.  

Your typical bong is in the shape of a beaker, with a stem leading down to a wider base at the bottom, which is filled with water. At the side of the water base, there is another spout opening out, where you place the downstem, which goes into the water, and a bowl, which you pack with whatever you are smoking.

You then place your mouth over the stem opening, blocking air from that entryway, and light the bowl, sucking air in, which burns what you are smoking, and brings the smoke into the base. 

It goes through the downstem where it enters the water, and bubbles up through the water into the base and stem. You then pull the bowl out, which allows you to breathe the smoke into your lungs with air from the downstem.

A hookah works much the same way. You suck in through the hose, which is attached to the base above the water line, which pulls air around the coals on the top of your bowl, which creates smoke, which goes through the stem, into the downstem, and into the water base, where it is then sucked right in through the hose into your lungs. 

What Can You Smoke From a Water Pipe?

You can actually smoke quite a lot of things from a water pipe as it turns out. But there are limitations to what you can and cannot smoke from a hookah versus a bong.

When you are smoking from a hookah, your options are pretty limitless. The most traditional and standard choice is to smoke shisha, a special type of tobacco made especially for hookah smoking that is flavored with glycerin, molasses, and flavorings.

You can also smoke cannabis from a hookah as well, and it is very common for people who do smoke cannabis from their hookahs to do so with a mixture of shisha tobacco and cannabis flower. 

You can also smoke non-nicotine shisha mixtures from a hookah as well.

From a bong, you can also smoke both tobacco and cannabis, but you cannot smoke shisha. Shisha is specially made and formulated for use in a hookah and cannot be properly smoked from anything else because of its consistency, moisture, and ingredients. 

You can smoke anything from a bong that can be smoked, with the exception of shisha tobacco. 

Since hookah relies on heat rather than flame to produce smoke, it can be difficult to smoke other substances that aren’t mixed into the shisha. 

A bong, on the other hand, simply relies on a flame to light the smoked material, which allows it to be a little more versatile.

Why Smoke From a Water Pipe?

So by this point, you are probably wondering — why smoke from a water pipe at all? Is it really all that special? Well, there are a few answers.

One of the main reasons water pipes (particularly hookahs) were invented, was in an attempt to make a pipe that would filter smoke better to decrease adverse health effects of smoking.

While filtering through water may not filter out much, it does help to cool the smoke that enters your lungs, which can prevent some of the burn-related damage to lung tissue.

Another benefit of smoking from a water pipe is the ability to smoke shisha. Shisha tobacco is a delicious and tasty treat that so many people love and hold close to cultural connection, but it’s only smokable through a water pipe.

And lastly, people smoke from water pipes because they find them to just be more fun and enjoyable than other methods. If you have never smoked from a water pipe, give it a try at your local hookah lounge, you may just find your new favorite method of smoking.

And if you need a hookah or any hookah equipment to give water pipes a try, check out all we have to offer at MOB Hookah. From full hookahs to bowls to hoses to shisha and so much more, we’ve got you covered for all of your hookah needs.

Water Pipe Smoking: The Takeaways

The two most common types of water pipes you will find are bongs and hookahs. 

Bongs tend to be less complicated than hookahs, and have been smoked for thousands of years across Asia and the Middle east.

Hookahs have been smoked for hundreds of years and come to us from India and the Middle East.

Both bongs and hookahs work by pulling smoke into a base filled with water, where the smoke is then filtered before entering the smoker's lungs, which helps to cool the smoke.

You can smoke tobacco, cannabis, and more from water pipes. Keep in mind, however, that shisha tobacco can only be smoked from a hookah.

If you are looking to give water pipe smoking a try, check out all of our amazing hookahs, shisha, and accessories at MOB Hookah to ensure that you have the best experience imaginable.

And don’t forget to keep checking back here at our blog for more reviews, how-to’s, and all-info-hookah. 



Can You Smoke Weed Out of a Hookah? | Wikileaf

What Is Shisha Smoking? | Young Scot

Is hookah bad for you? | Medical News Today

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