How To Make a Gravity Bong

How To Make a Gravity Bong
Luke Sumpter

Gravity bongs are popular ways to consume cannabis. Here is why: They use less cannabis, get you super high, and are easy to make at home with equipment most people can find in their kitchen, if not the recycling bin. These days there are also many commercial options. That said, there are a few tricks to construction and use.

Gravity bongs, also known as bucket bongs, are a fun, do-it-yourself way to smoke cannabis. They also allow you to get a quick and efficient high. If you do it right, you can ingest as much smoke as you might in two or three bowls from a regular bong but use less cannabis. This is also a great way to conserve the precious herb while getting a really intense high.

Beyond this? They are super easy to make at home with no special equipment.

What is a Gravity Bong?

A gravity bong is just that—a bong that uses gravity and negative pressure to create a chamber full of smoke that can be inhaled by the user. Light the bowl, lift the bong, and inhale while pushing down.

Sometimes they are also referred to as waterfall bongs but they all basically work the same way.

Bongs have been used to consume cannabis since the history of man and cannabis intertwined. The name comes from a Thai version—or “baung” made of bamboo and used to smoke cannabis for literally thousands of years.

Bucket bongs are just special forms of the same. They consist of a larger bucket or even soda bottle that is filled with water and a smaller chamber that uses negative pressure to draw the smoke into it only to be released like a shot into your lungs when you inhale.

There is no one kind of gravity bong. In fact, you can also find commercial options on the market today. But they are very easy to make—if not take a little bit of time to get used to.

This is one efficient way to smoke!

How to make a gravity bong

When Was the Gravity Bong Invented?

The gravity bong emerged in the late 1990s. The goal was to increase the smoking effect with just one hit. Even pre-internet and social media it became an almost instant hit.

Along the way—after all, this is the cannabis community—improvisations and innovations developed by creative users. Some people use soda bottles stacked inside each other. Others use buckets or even drums. Just remember, however, that there is a safety issue when using plastic and aluminium.

There are several urban rumours about who actually came up with the idea. One thing is true; It has evolved over the last couple of decades, particularly when people began to smoke cannabis as part of the counterculture and began to experiment with pipes and bongs.

In 2004, a man by the name of David Daily decided to modernise the entire idea. He created a bottomless glass bottle fitted inside a larger glass base. The bowl that sat on top was designed to hold weed. the down stem was also designed to double as a mouthpiece. It was the first all-glass gravity bong—called the Gravitron.

Does A Gravity Bong Make You Higher?

The short answer to this is yes. It has everything to do with the way it is constructed—namely you are allowing the forces of nature to do a lot of the work for you. You are also able to draw every last molecule of THC out of the bud. As a result, you can get much more smoke into your lungs compared to a normal bong rip. Every stoner should try this method at least once. That said, newbies to cannabis should be careful. Even seasoned stoners find they set sail on a flight of fancy after just one hit.

Gravity Bong vs Regular Bong

How to make a gravity bong

Unlike a regular bong, the smoke in a gravity bong does not pass through water for cooling or filtering. Another consideration when making a gravity bong is the materials you use can make a difference. Many people suggest that you stay away from using plastic bottles simply because of the danger of inhaling burning plastic. This includes increased levels of toxicity in your body due to the chemicals found in plastic which include BPA, cadmium, mercury, and lead. This can also disrupt the endocrine levels in your body along with developmental problems and defects. The same is true of using aluminium cans in your bong construction (of any type). While the evidence is still inconclusive, there have been studies linking aluminium exposure to Alzheimer’s.

Generally, it is better to avoid plastic components if you can. A store-bought bong will deal with this issue for you.

How to Make a Gravity Bong Yourself

How to make a gravity bong

The great thing about this method is that it is easy to make at home, with no special equipment.

What to Use for A Gravity Bong

The easiest way, if you are not concerned about the use of plastic and aluminium foil, is in fact, to use two plastic soda or water bottles, one slightly smaller than another. You can also use a bucket to make for a larger chamber.

Steps To Make a Gravity Bong

Cut the bottom off of the smaller bottle and remove the cap. This will become your inhalation cylinder. Cover the mouthpiece opening with a square of aluminium foil large enough to cover the top completely and be secure on all sides. Then place your thumb over the mouthpiece and gently press down to create an indentation. With a needle, poke small holes in the foil.

Then cut the top off of the second, larger bottle. You could also use a bucket or large pot if you have one. You just need to create a water reservoir that you can easily draw the smaller chamber out of.

Voila. You are done.

To use, gently put some herb in the makeshift aluminium bowl and place this chamber directly in the larger water vessel. Press down as far as you can without losing control of the smaller device. Light the herb and slowly pull the smaller chamber up through the water. You should see smoke fill the smaller chamber. Gently remove the aluminium top with the charred herb, place your mouth over the opening, then slowly push down the smaller bottle and inhale.

You are in for quite a journey!

Steps to make a gravity bong

Why Isn’t My Gravity Bong Working?

No matter how cool all of this sounds, it is easy to get it wrong the first couple of times. Here are a few reasons why the method may not be working for you.

  1. Not enough material in the bowl (herb, dab, or hash). The bowl should be filled at least halfway to the top. While this method is incredibly efficient, you do need a decent amount of weed in the bowl in the first place.
  2. Failing to get enough suction in the smaller chamber. This is a problem that mostly comes from a lack of practice. When you raise the smaller bottle, this creates negative pressure that draws the smoke in. If you raise the smaller bottle too fast, there will be no suction.
  3. Leakage somewhere in the bong. This awesome device works because of two factors—negative pressure and gravity. If there is a leak somewhere in your infrastructure, you will not be able to create a strong suction. Commercial gravity bongs are a bit sturdier than anything you make at home. If you love the method but are tired of DIY quality, you can always find a gravity bong like the Gravitron online.
  4. Letting go of the lighter too soon. If the bowl does not stay lit, there will be no smoke to suck into the vacuum chamber.
  5. Not enough water. This also takes a bit of practice to get right. The water is what creates the negative pressure in the bong. As a rule, you need to fill the larger bucket or bottle almost to the top of the smaller inner bottle. Otherwise, there won’t be enough vacuum.
  6. Blockage in the bowl. There could be several reasons for a blockage, starting with faulty construction. Beyond this, there might be resin build-up in the bowl. Grinding your herb not too fine is also one way to avoid problems with having plant-related blockages.
  7. The bowl is packed too tight. A lot of this is trial and error. Just as you might not have enough herb, you might have also packed what you use too tight. Experiment. Try not to push the cannabis into the bowl but gently rest it in the indentation.
  8. Improper technique. This is all fairly easy to accomplish, but it will take a few tries for the complete beginner to get right. If you are not pressing the smaller chamber down into the water, it will be difficult to suck the smoke into your lungs.
Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter

Luke has worked as a cannabis journalist and health science researcher for the past seven years. Over this time, he’s developed an advanced understanding of endocannabinoid system science, cannabis phytochemistry, and cultivation techniques.