The million dollar question: Is smoking from a water pipe better than other methods? It’s a question that’s on many of our readers’ minds, and it’s something we have investigated ourselves to figure out.
The truth is that smoking without filtration may not be the optimal route to go. Many smokers are legitimately worried if lighting up their favorite herbs can cause discomfort to their throat and lungs, so they’ve looked at water pipes as a possible alternative to the more traditional smoking methods.
If you’re looking for a cleaner option, the water pipe can definitely be worth considering. Some studies are showing that glass pipes/water pipes are not as harsh as other methods. Let’s discuss why.
What Is Water Filtration and How Does It Work?
It comes down to this: People believe water pipes are better due to its filtration system. When the dry herb is ignited, it combusts and converts into smoke. This smokes moves through the water pipe's chambers, into the water, and the smoke that enters the user’s mouth is filtered.
The water “traps” carcinogens that come from ash and tar. The molecules in the water binds to these compounds, while the neutral compounds from the herb’s smoke flows up the tube and into the mouthpiece.
A few things happen during this process. The harmful toxins that are common with other smoking methods are basically blocked from entering your mouth. Ash, tar, and even butane emissions (from your lighter) are mostly filtered, providing cleaner, smoother hits.
As the smoke travels through the water, small bubbles are created, which is what cools down the smoke considerably. This is a big benefit for water pipe smoking. The cooler the smoke, the better it is (generally speaking) for your body.
How Safe Is Smoke?
Objectively speaking, cool smoke is safer than hotter, unfiltered smoke. This is clear, and it’s immediately evident as you observe that you’ll cough less when you use a water pipe vs. when you use a joint, for example. Cooler, cleaner smoke won’t irritate the lungs as much as hot, unfiltered smoke, and this provides a better smoking experience.
Now, many believe that all smoke, whether it’s filtered or not, is bad. As to the safety of the smoke, it’ll vary based on the herb you smoke. In some cases, water pipe smoke can have minimal impact on your quality of life,and depending on the herb you smoke, it may have some benefits. That said, we can’t make blanket statements about your body and personal needs, nor can we suggest that water pipe smoke will improve your lung capacity.
However, what we can do is look at what studies have to say about water pipe smoke vs. other smoking methods.
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute 31, 627-635 (1963) published a study that showed water filtration significantly reduces the amount of toxins in the smoke.
This isn’t to claim that smoking a water pipe is the safest thing in the world, nor does it suggest that all toxins are filtered out. But we can conclude that filtered smoke is superior to unfiltered smoke.
Not to mention, a water pipe can provide a better smoking experience. This is subjective, but many people prefer using a water pipe rather than other smoking methods.
Keep The Water Pipe Clean!
It’s absolutely crucial that your water pipe is clean when you smoke from it. Dirty water is teeming with nasty bacteria and toxins that you don't want in your body. Plus, it’ll leave a nasty after taste in your mouth. This defeats the purpose of using the water pipe, so we suggest cleaning the water pipe often. This is painlessly simple if you use our cleaning kits. If you have a water pipe, you'll want to take a look at our water pipe cleaning kit. If you use a dab rig, check out our dab rig cleaning kit.
Your water pipe can possibly be safer than other smoking methods, just make sure you use quality herb and maintain and care for your pipe.