The world of smoking herb is beautiful, and much of it is attributed to the various tools designed to optimize each session.
But whether you’re a beginner toker or an adept user, it’s easy to confuse a mini dab, a water glass pipe, a hammer bubbler, and a bubbler pipe. And knowing which device to use to transform your experience can feel daunting.
This guide will walk you through one of the most popular choices for smoking dry herbs: A bubbler. This unique piece combines the characteristics of an ordinary pipe with filtration to lessen the harshness of the smoke.
We’ll cover how to use a bubbler, what it’s made of, what kind of smoking experience to expect, and the best ways to take care of your piece to ensure a clean smoke every time.
What Is a Bubbler?
You’ve heard of it before…but what is a bubbler, exactly?
A bubbler is a smoking tool that utilizes a small pool of water in a chamber to percolate and cool the smoke before the user inhales it.
Depending on the type, a bubbler is designed to help filter the harsh smoke from regular flower, vape pens, pipes, and blunts so that inhalation is smoother and cooler.
When you place your mouth on the mouthpiece and inhale, the air passes through the water, producing bubbles that help deliver a clean hit. The bubbler will filter out the impurities and let clean smoke into the tube and your lungs. Remember to release your finger off the rush for a wholesome and complete smoke puff.
(If you’ve never used a bubbler before, you’ll need more than the surface-level how-to — so later, we’ll go through the step-by-step guide to loading your bubbler and inhaling it correctly.)
Common Elements of Glass Bubblers
The design of a bubbler pipe combines different principles and aesthetic elements for a clean experience, so each plays a significant role in prepping and filtering the smoke until it reaches your lungs. Check out this breakdown to understand what makes the bubbler pipe tick.
You inhale through the mouthpiece to let the filtered smoke into the lungs. It enables you to create a locked connection with the lips and prevent smoke from escaping.
You’ll find different variations based on the positioning of other parts to streamline the passage of the smoke into the lungs: Some have tapered, round, or straight ends to increase or reduce the pressure when inhaling.
The cone-shaped bowl is where you’ll place the herb (or blunt or pen) before you light it. You can grind the herb before placing it in the bowl or use it in its raw form — whichever is your preference.
Quick tip: Ground herb is always easier to burn when deciding between fine or thick herb pieces since it pulls more air when lit. Larger, whole pieces may struggle to get burnt, resulting in a less-than-ideal inhale. Consider buying a grinder to create finer herb.
The downstem connects the mouthpiece to the water chamber. It allows smoke to slowly and effectively move into the water and your lungs. It’s a small yet essential piece that directs the flow of the smoke as you inhale.
A carb is a small hole you can cover with your thumb as you smoke. It helps control the airflow — and in turn, the amount of smoke — while you’re inhaling.
The water chamber filters out particles and toxins, giving you a cleaner hit into your lungs. Clean smoke has fewer effects on your lungs and gives you a cooler smoking sensation, especially for beginners.
Look at the side of your bubbler to accurately measure how much water you should place in the chamber. The water should be a little over the downstem (the tube connecting the bowl to the bottom of the chamber).
Water Level Shown on MJ Arsenal Packaging
The chamber caters to the water filtration part, so you have to fill in the correct amount to create an effective bubbling. Always use the length of your downstem as a reliable reference.
How to Smoke with a Bubbler
Smoking with a bubbler requires a certain understanding of each part and how to use it — otherwise, you may waste precious flower and have to start over again. Here’s how to smoke with a bubbler.
Step #1: Prepare the Bubbler
Cleaning your bubbler removes any grit or dirt in the tool, helping avoid contamination within the tool. Your best bet is to invest in an ISO Station, which keeps all your cleaning gear in one spot.
Step #2: Fill the Water Chamber
Fill the water chamber, so the water level sits slightly above the bottom of the downstem. If you can’t see the water level, you may need to go through some trial and error until you find that sweet spot.
Quick tip: If you taste the water while inhaling, there’s too much, and you need to remove some. On the other hand, if the bubbler doesn’t produce bubbles or a bubbling sound, then there’s too little water, and you should add more.
Step #3: Grind the Flower
Next, grind the flower to enhance its combustion. Use a grinder, if need be, to get the finest texture.
(If you grind too finely, you may need to purchase bowl screens, which prevent minuscule pieces from falling into the chamber.)
Quick tip: If you’re using a bubbler pipe instead, you’ll need to place your blunt in the holder accordingly. Remember that there are different styles, so you’ll want to purchase a bubbler to meet your usage needs.
Step #4: Light the Herb
Place the herb into the borosilicate glass bowl. Fire up the herb and start inhaling it to enhance its burning. Remember: The stronger you inhale, the stronger the burn and the stronger the hit.
Step #5: Inhale Away
As you inhale through the mouthpiece, the fire and smoke get drawn into the water chamber. The water chamber filters the smoke before it gets to your system.
Make sure you breathe in as deeply as you’re comfortable with — luckily, the bubbler will cool the hit so you won’t get that afterburn feeling in your throat or chest.
4 Types of Popular Bubblers
Different versions of bubblers in the market will give you different tastes and enjoyment. Choosing the right tool for your leisure goes a long way in enhancing your smoking experience.
Classic Herb Bubblers
You can place dry flower directly into a regular, classic bubbler’s bowl and use it similarly to a traditional bong. The plus with using a bubbler is that they’re smaller and, therefore, easier to transport.
Classic bubblers have an ideal design with a built-in, fixed bowl and carb that helps you control the airflow so that you can manipulate how big of a hit you want each and every time.
If you’re tired of burning your chest every time you smoke a blunt, you need a blunt bubbler.
A blunt bubbler — also called a bubbler pipe — is unique because they have a built-in stem holder, which is perfect for blunts of any size. You can easily cool down each inhale from your rolled blunt.
Vape bubblers allow you to transform your handy vape pen into a bubbler experience with optimal filtration effects.
Thanks to the custom receiver accessory that fits into all vape cartridges, this piece can enhance your vaping experience with built-in water filtration and cooling so that each vape hit is smooth and cool.
Want to step it up a notch? Double the fun with the dubbler!
The dubbler is a unique piece unlike any other bubbler: It has two blunt bubblers, which you can use to increase the amount of smoke you’re inhaling at once.
Bubblers are incredible little tools that help cool smoke so that you don’t need to deal with that harsh after-effect that sometimes comes with blunts, pens, and glass pipes.
And now it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. MJ Arsenal has a wide selection of styles and colors for you — including blunt bubblers, double bubblers, and classic bubblers — so there’s never been a better time to buy and try.