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Cannabis may be ingested in a plethora of possibilities, but the most common route of administration is still via smoking or inhaling the drug. Cannabis goods are usually smoked (with or without tobacco) through either a pipe or as a cigarette (often referred to as a ‘joint’). The pipes come in a vast array of sizes and forms but often have long stems or include a ‘hookah-type’ water filtration system (i.e., water pipe) and are referred to as a ‘bong’. When a water pipe is utilized, cannabis smoke is cooled by the water in an attempt to reduce its harshness and temperature, which may scald the throat (Booth, 2003).

Little studies have been conducted into the specific harms connected with smoking cannabis via a water pipe or bong. Few studies examining cannabis use, aside from those regarding the medical utilization of the drug, have differentiated involving the various ways of delivery (i.e., smoking via joints or water pipes, ingesting in food) and little is known regarding distinct administration routes, their relationship to drug use patterns, and related harms.

Recently, we have seen a resurgence in popularity in using hookahs or ‘shisha’ to smoke shops near me, particularly flavoured tobacco products. The ancient Middle Eastern water pipe has become widely smoked across the world, particularly by students and adolescents. Because of the use of healthy-sounding fruit flavouring as well as the social way it is usually used (i.e., in restaurants and cafes), it is usually thought to be a ‘safer’ substitute for cigarettes. As a result of this recent popularity, there has been an escalating level of research conducted examining the harms associated with the aid of the shisha.

This bulletin will examine the origin from the water pipe and what we know about the harms related to smoking cannabis using a bong, particularly when compared to other routes of administration. Because the scientific studies are limited in this region, an study of the present evidence regarding the harms related to water pipe cigarette smoking is included along with consideration of how this info can be used in cannabis prevention activities.

Origins in the water pipe – Using water in a smoking apparatus is ancient, with Persian hookahs or ‘narghiles’ illustrative samples of early smoking water pipes (Erickson, Jarvie & Miller, 1977). In their 1997 US patent for the ‘improved smoking water pipe or bong’, the authors describe the procedure the following – “… smoke through the substance being combusted is directed by way of a tube discharging below the surface water in a potlike container before passing therefrom by way of a second tube to the mouth from the smoker.”

In which the water pipe actually originated is unclear, although there is increasing evidence to suggest that bongs were first used to smoke cannabis in Africa. Based on the archaeological evidence available at the time of writing, Phillips (1983) hypothesised that cannabis was smoked in water pipes in eastern and southern Africa before the creation of tobacco. He believed that the invention in Ethiopia of water pipe bowls, “definitely linked to the smoking of cannabis”, tends bqlsqo confirm speculation of your African origin in the water pipe. Others believe they originated in China or Persia, but in these cases the instruments were believed to be used to smoke tobacco.

The phrase ‘bong’ is an adaptation of the Thai word baung, which identifies a cylindrical pipe or tube cut from bamboo. One of many earliest recorded uses from the word inside the West is in the McFarland Thai-English Dictionary, published in 1944, which describes one of the meanings of ‘bong’ inside the Thai language as, “a bamboo water pipe for smoking kancha, tree, hashish, or perhaps the hemp-plant.” Erickson and colleagues (1977) believe that it is this version which includes probably influenced the design of the modern devices that incorporate a “general cylindrical tubular construction”, with tubes of plastic as well as other modern materials replacing the hollow bamboo stem which was used in the past. Their description of methods this sort of water pipe works is as follows:

“The oriental bong, further, provides method for using atmospheric air to dilute the smoke before inhalation, in addition to provided oxygen for your combustion producing the smoke. Thus, an air admitting orifice continues to be provided venting the smoke chamber formed within the bamboo stem over the water in the bottom in the stem. The orifice is finger controllable, to ensure that air may in the desire in the smoker be either excluded or admitted directly to the smoke chamber so as to dilute the smoke therein.”

A bong utilized to smoke cannabis is comparable to a conventional hookah both in construction and performance, except it is usually smaller and much more portable. The hole within the stem described above, often referred to as the ‘carburator’, ‘shotty’ or simply just ‘hole’, is generally kept covered through the smoking process, then opened to permit the smoke to get drawn into the respiratory system in an attempt to maximise the impact.

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