Top 12 bong water alternatives to make weed taste better
You can't beat water in a bong, but even the best things need changing up from time to time. Here we offer 12 alternatives to bong water, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Whether you want subtle hits or ones packed with flavour, we've got you covered.
For a refreshing smoke, there are bong water alternatives to make your experience even better. Some of them are so good you might even want to drink your bong water (don't!).
The standard filtering liquid for bongs is tap water, which is said to remove some of the toxins found in cannabis smoke while simultaneously providing a smoother smoking experience by cooling the smoke. But there are many more liquids than just water in the world!
So, how do you decide which are worth trying? To help get you started, here are our top 12 bong water alternatives!
How To Make Weed Taste Better: 12 Bong Water Alternatives
Standard bong water is hard to beat when it comes to reliability, especially since you can just draw it from the tap. But there are alternatives available if you want to change it up from time to time, or if you want to improve the flavour of some low-quality weed.
1. Ice water
Many users swear by ice water as an exceptional alternative to room temperature water, and we agree. Next time you smoke, add plenty of ice cubes to your water—or to a dedicated ice notch if your bong is outfitted with one—for a super chilled smoking experience. Improving filtration and flavour, it makes for a much smoother experience, without influencing the flavours of the terpenes. Alternatively, you can just use some very cold water. This has the benefit of not melting and spilling out of your downpipe!
Pros of ice water
- Makes for an ultra-smooth smoke
- Enhances natural flavours
- Removes harshness
- Colder water helps to trap particles, thereby improving filtration
- Great for weed that already tastes great
Cons of ice water
- Ice cubes will melt quickly and can make a mess
- Cold water won’t stay cold for long, and will need replacing to maintain its effects
- There are some anecdotal accounts of ice bongs causing respiratory problems
2. Hot tea
Tea is another popular alternative to regular bong water, and we think it offers a nice spin on the traditional smoking experience. The heat of the tea makes for rich, aromatic hits. While the flavours aren’t very apparent on the taste buds, the nose is treated to a sensory cascade. A great thing about tea is that there are almost infinite varieties, so there’s plenty of scope to play around and find some delicious aromas.
Pros of hot tea
- Helps to make hits smoother
- Adds delicious aromas to your smoke
- Massive variety
Cons of hot tea
- The steam from boiling tea can hurt the throat and lungs
- Hot water can break or damage a bong
- Hot water could release some bad flavours in a dirty bong
- Spilling a bong full of hot tea could burn you
3. Iced tea
Like the idea of using tea, but don’t fancy filling your bong with boiling water? Well, why not cool it and indulge in some delicious iced tea instead? Whether you make it yourself or buy it ready-made, using iced tea in your bong is a certain way to achieve a refreshing smoke. If you want to improve the flavour, you’re best off choosing fruitier iced teas with a strong smell. Black teas won’t pass on many flavours, whereas aromatic herbal ones will really flood the olfactory system, bringing a cacophony of scents along with your weed’s terpenes!
Pros of iced tea
- Cool tea makes for a smooth smoke
- No risk to your bong or skin
- Lots of variety
Cons of iced tea
- Won’t stay cool for very long
- Some options won’t improve the flavour much
4. Infused water
Many stoners swear by infusing their bong water with everything from mint leaves to essential oils, and we suggest you give it a shot. Here are some popular ingredients used to infuse bong water:
- Mint leaves
- Citrus peels (such as orange and lemon)
- Essential oils like peppermint and tea tree
When you’re ready to smoke, add the infused water into your bong with some ice cubes. You can also smoke with hot infused water, although the experience is pretty similar to that of using tea.
Pros of infused water
- Allows the use of natural, organic products
- Highly refreshing and clean aroma
- Can be done hot or cold
- Looks cool
- Has as much variety as your imagination
- You can make some extra and drink it alongside your smoke
Cons of infused water
- Can take a while to make
- Flavours may not be particularly strong
5. Fruit-flavoured water
Adding fruit flavouring to your bong water definitely adds a robust hit to your smoking experience. You can opt for a tropical vibe, or go more in the direction of berries and forest fruits—it’s up to you!
Pros of fruit-flavoured water
- Strong flavours
- Wide variety of options
Cons of fruit-flavoured water
- High sugar content can mean a lot of cleaning
- The strong flavours may conflict with the general bong flavours, especially if it’s dirty
- Depending on the flavouring, it could taste artificial
6. Cranberry juice
This is another great option for those looking to add some fruity notes to their bong-smoking experience. While the flavours are somewhat subtle, those with keen taste buds should be able to pick up on the tart, crisp cranberry notes. You can add cranberry juice to your bong at room temperature, or, just like with water, mix it with ice for a cooling effect.
Pros of cranberry juice
- Subtle but tasty flavours
- Acidity can help to clean debris from your bong
- Cool colours
Cons of cranberry juice
- Acidity could release dirty flavours from your bong
- Subtle flavours may not be enough for some people
Using Gatorade instead of regular bong water is extremely popular, especially in the US. Similar to cranberry juice, the flavours are understated and generally tend to come through while exhaling. Remember that Gatorade contains quite a bit of sugar, so be sure to clean your bong well after every session if you decide to use it.
Pros of gatorade
- Subtle but tasty flavours
- A novel option
- Can look pretty cool
Cons of gatorade
- High sugar content can make cleaning annoying
- Can be hard to find outside the US
- Flavours may not be that strong
Adding wine to your bong is a hot topic. Some people are worried about inhaling alcohol fumes, and they have good reason to be. Inhaling fumes from strong alcohol (such as spirits) can be dangerous and extremely toxic. However, given wine’s relatively low alcohol content, it poses a much lower risk than high-proof spirits such as, say, vodka.
Pros of wine
- Certainly a novel alternative to bong water
- Large variety
- Choice of carbonated and non-carbonated options
Cons of wine
- Fumes can be undesirable
- More expensive option
- If not cleaned immediately, wine could dirty and stain your bong
9. Snow or crushed ice
This is one of the simplest bong water replacements out there. If it snows where you live, head outside, pick up a few big handfuls of clean snow, and pack them into your bong for ultra-smooth hits. If it doesn’t snow where you live, you can use finely crushed ice instead. You may struggle to draw smoke through the ice or snow due to its consistency. If this bothers you, we suggest adding a tiny bit of water or waiting a few minutes in order for it to melt.
Pros of snow/crushed ice
- Cool, smooth hits
- Free (if you’re using snow)
- Fun and festive
Cons of snow/crushed ice
- Can be very hard to pull smoke through
- Will melt fairly quickly
- Requires access to snow!
This is worth trying if you want to add some fresh, fruit-driven flavours to your bong hits. Again, fruit juices contain a lot of natural sugar, so clean your bong thoroughly to keep it from getting sticky and deteriorating. You can go for something classic, like orange or apple, or something more decadent, such as pomegranate or cherry.
Pros of juice
- Strong fruity flavours
- Lots of variety
- You can drink some as you go (not from the bong!)
Cons of juice
- Sugar can be hard to clean
- The flavours might not complement the general bong stench
11. Sparkling water
This is one of our personal favourites. We suggest using naturally flavoured sparkling waters (not to be confused with sodas), as the flavours will be subtle and clean. The carbonation in the water alters the texture of the smoke, which seems to bubble and fizz in the mouth a little as you inhale.
Pros of sparkling water
- Changes the texture of the smoke, making for interesting hits
- Can be flavourless or flavoursome
- Can be cold or room temperature
Cons of sparkling water
- The smoke texture might not be to your liking
- Can irritate the throat a little
For a truly refreshing (perhaps overly refreshing) smoke, why not try some mouthwash? There are alcohol-free mouthwashes available too, if that suits you better. Whether this method sounds good or not is up for debate—some will certainly find it to be too much. However, there’s no denying that it will inject potent aromas and a bit of extra kick into each of your hits. And it’ll no doubt give your bong a good freshening up too!
Pros of mouthwash
- Potent flavour
- Helps to start “cleaning” your bong
- Will leave a fresh taste in your mouth
Cons of mouthwash
- Potent flavour (see above)
- Flavours may not mix so well with the smell of a bong
How To Clean Your Bong
Bongs get dirty after frequent use, and will eventually require a good clean. Even using regular water, they will get dirty—but when using fruit juice or wine, things can get particularly sticky.
There are several home remedies that smokers use to cure their bongs of dirt and filth. One of these is to simply pour hot water (consider adding lemon juice and/or vinegar) into the bong and let it sit for a while. Once cool, pour out the water and scrub the sides clean with pipe cleaners.
Others really go in with multiple rounds of alcohol and Epsom salt washes—it all depends on the state of your bong.
How Often To Change Bong Water (Or Alternatives)
Knowing when to change bong water is pretty intuitive. Here are some signs you should swap it out:
- Significant discolouration
- Pungent stink
- Bad taste
- Mould growth (by now you’ve been pushing it anyway!)
- Resin buildup
Though each of us has a different tolerance for how dirty we can deal with, regularly changing the liquid in your bong will make smoking much better and cleaning much easier.
Can Bong Water Make You Sick?
Yes, for sure. Although drinking bong water isn’t likely to make you properly ill, it would be impressive if you managed to hold it down. Bongs work by capturing the worst of the particles in smoke. If you drink it, these will then sit in your stomach and certainly wreak some havoc. Plus, if you’ve never tried even a sip, bong water tastes absolutely terrible!