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Bo(n)g Water

By Elizabeth Lane at Pot Lucky: A Weed Sommelier Podcast


A bad habit that weed consumers have is laziness out of convenience. It is infinitely easier not to do something than to do something. With heat, light, and visible organic material, bong water is a hospitable breeding ground for fungal entities, general nastiness, and beetlesque boogeymen.


Water was collected from two water pipes every other day for two weeks. The first week the water wasn’t changed. The second week the water was changed daily. Water samples were collected every two days from the downstem opening and then swabbed on gelatine Petri dishes with lids and left in a warm room in a closed box. Both water pipes were cleaned as thoughroughly as possible with Mile High Cleaner and dish soap between before each week. Many common mold samples were found, some with shocking smells and colors. Both bongs were determined to be poorly designed for easy cleaning. The box was checked every other day for growth. This project was designed for people to do at home with common objects.


Results determined through speciation by Mike Esposito of MCR labs indicate a variety of potential vectors for fungal organisms to make their way into bong water. Organisms such as C. coatesiae and E. nigrum were likely introduced to bong water via inhalation of potentially contaminated cannabis through the water supply. The remaining organisms found on samples may have also been introduced via the cannabis vector, though it is also possible they were introduced to the bong water through airborne sources or from the mouth and hands of a cannabis consumer in preparation and operation of the bong. R. mucilaginosa found on the control sample could have been introduced in various ways, as it is an exceptionally common fungal organism found in almost all environments.

Testing results indicate a plethora of fungal organisms that may be introduced to bong water through routine use. It is suggested that bong water is exchanged frequently, especially for immunocompromised cannabis users.


People can be stupefyingly yucky. Regular maintenance, including soap or another cleanser, is an often neglected but important part of being a responsible bong owner.

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