Bong Bowls, What’s the Difference?

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Bong Bowls: Rubber Grommet vs. Glass-on-Glass

There was a day when most people didn’t care about what type of bong bowl they had. But the days of the cannabis connoisseur are upon us. Consumers are becoming picky, and we at Mary Jane’s House of Grass believe that to be a good thing! We want you to be picky, because that means you’re getting the best, safest, and most effective cannabis experience possible. After all, cannabis is all about enjoying life and having a good time!

So what are the two categories of bong bowls? What are the differences between the two? And most importantly, why does it matter to you as the consumer?

The Two Types

The two main categories in bong bowls are rubber grommet (also called slide bowls) and glass-on-glass. Rubber grommets are exactly like they sound. They’ll usually have an o-ring around the base of the bowl, which fits into the down stem to form a seal between the bowl and the bong itself. A glass-on-glass bowl will have a frosted glass “joint” that fits snugly into the down stem, without the need for an o-ring or other seal. It’s just the glass of the bowl joining to the glass of the bong.

These two types are both effective in creating a seal between the bowl and the bong. However, they each have their own benefits and detriments. So let’s examine the differences, and determine which type would be the best fit for you!

Rubber Grommet

Rubber grommet bowls, also called slide bowls, are generally going to be less expensive than glass-on-glass. This is because they tend to be thinner, and they do not need to be exactly the right size, since their seal comes from the rubber grommet or o-ring. Using this type of bowl is makes it easier to slide out of the down stem, making for a quicker, easier clearing of the smoke from the chamber. Whereas a glass-on-glass bowl will use friction to keep it sealed and secure, a rubber grommet bowl does not create any friction. It just “slides”.

There are definite downsides to grommet bowls. In fact, for most connoisseurs, the downsides will outweigh the upsides. Most importantly, because there is no friction locking the bowl down in place, a fair amount of airflow gets through, which means your hits will not be as efficient or strong. It also means the bowl can fall out much easier. If you’re like us, you’ve had the occasional “butt bump” of the bong, and sent the bowl crashing to the ground, stamping your ticket back to Mary Jane’s for a new one. Second, grommet bongs are usually more difficult to clean. The reason is that the down stem is attached via the grommet. Many people struggle to take it out, and even end up breaking their bong in the process, sometimes causing injury from broken glass. Not fun when you’re trying to get high!

Glass-On-Glass

Glass-on-glass bowls are the more popular choice for the cannabis connoisseur, because they form a nearly perfect seal at the joint. Whereas grommets simply sit on top of their joint, glass-on-glass bowl joints “hug” each other, forming a seal from friction. This means that the bong will be airtight in all the right places, making it easier and much more efficient to take a hit. The friction seal also makes it much harder for the bowl to slip out accidentally.

Another nice thing about glass-on-glass bowls is that they are a more ubiquitous option on the cannabis market. They are very common, and come in standard sizes of 10mm, 14mm, and 19mm. You should be able to walk into any headshop on the planet and find dozens of options for each size. And the best part is that you’ll usually find the more extravagant, beautiful designs for glass-on-glass bowls. This is for two reasons which we’ve already mentioned. 1) Glass blowers want their product to be effective and efficient as well as beautiful, and 2) Glass blowers don’t want their bowls to easily fall out of their bong (think of how hard they worked on that piece!!!).

The biggest downside to a glass-on-glass bowl is, ironically, one of its biggest upsides. The fact that the joint creates a tight seal based on friction also means that it’s not as easily maneuverable, and can get stuck when you’re trying to pull it out. It can create a tug-o-war match with your bong, and end in you ripping the bowl out and sending your weed flying across the room!

The Verdict

There’s no perfect answer for which type of bowl to buy. Many times, it will depend on which bong you already own, or which bong catches your eye in the store. However, we recommend that you take the type of bowl into account when looking for a bong, and consider these pros and cons, and decide which one will work best for you. Most importantly, when you don’t know the answer, ask your friendly budtenders at Mary Jane’s House of Grass! We’re always looking to help. It’s what makes us smile! At the end of the day, though, we want you to walk out with something that makes you happy.

It’s your world. We’re just living in it!

-Budtender Matt

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