Anybody who has used a pipe or bong will want to know that a more practical, convenient, and portable alternative is available in the form of a bubbler. This device is often compared to the bong, especially since they both use water to produce cool hits. It is smaller and less complicated though. It has a mouthpiece that the bubbler stem connects to the bowl, where the cannabis is placed and lit.
A bubbler has a water chamber as well, just like the bong. On bubblers, the bowl is smaller and is typically ideal for less than a cup (or two fluid ounces at the most) of water. On a bong, the bowl is bigger and can hold around a minimum of around eight fluid ounces or one cup of water.
Additionally, the bubbler stem is not removable while the down stem and other parts of a bong can be interchanged or removed. The stem is also shorter compared to that of the bong.
Regardless of its differences with the bong, the bubbler is a good option, particularly for beginners or first-time users. It’s easy to use, so getting that relaxing, refreshing, and satisfying cannabis smoking experience is quite a simple thing to do.
Before getting your own bubbler, it’s important to get a better, more comprehensive understanding of what it is and how it works.
What Is a Bubbler Stem?
A bubbler is composed of just one glass piece that holds everything—the mouthpiece, water chamber, stem, and bowl. A bubbler stem is pipe-like and is responsible for connecting the mouthpiece to the water chamber. The smoke that creates the bubbles comes from the water chamber through the stem.
One of the characteristics that set bubblers apart from regular pipes is the use of water filtration to provide smooth and satisfying hits. This is partly responsible for the less harsh effect that bubblers have on your lungs. The percolation process allows the water to be filtered, which means the unpleasant aftertaste of smoking is isolated and removed. You won’t have to worry about ingesting or inhaling ash and toxins when using bubblers.
A bubbler pipe is a handheld device that’s easy to carry around.
Understanding the Different Parts of a Bubbler
The bubbler consists of several parts or accessories. The bubbler stem is just one of them. Here are the essential parts that you should familiarize before purchasing the compact device:
- Mouthpiece – This is positioned at the top part of the tube that is used for inhaling the smoke.
- Water chamber – This is located in the bottom part of the bubbler and is used for placing and holding water. Water chambers are often modestly sized.
- Bubbler stem – This is the part of the device that allows the smoke to get to the water.
- Bowl – This part is connected to the stem, and it is where you will place your cannabis or weed.
Like some varieties of bongs, some bubblers come with percolators. These accessories are additional chambers that are used to cool the smoke from your device even more.
If you want more efficient smoke clearing, bubblers equipped with carb holes will make this possible for you.
Different Styles and Designs of Bubblers
Bubblers come in different varieties. They can be identified according to the materials that were used to make them or their size and physical appearance. Below are the most common types of bubblers you’ll find in the market.
- Glass – This is the most common material used for bubblers. Glass bubblers are stylish, clean, shiny, and sleek. Although glass can break, glass bubblers are of the highest quality and are durable.
- Silicone – This is a relatively new alternative for cannabis smokers. Silicone bubblers are unique, functional, colorful, and stylish. They’re also more durable. Silicone bubblers are typically portable, which means you can bring them with you even on long-distance travel.
- The Mini – Mini bubblers are smaller in size compared to other bubblers. These cannabis smoking devices are ideal for those who want to be discreet. They come in various designs, (small) sizes, and shapes.
- Hammer – The Hammer takes on the physical appearance of a typical hammer. Its mouthpiece and stem are the handles. The Hammer’s head is the device’s downstem. These bubblers are easy to maintain and clean. They are eye-catching as well.
- Sidecar – Sidecar bubblers are creative masterpieces. They often take on an asymmetrical design. Their structure is comparable with that of the Hammer bubbler except for the fact that their water chamber and bowl are positioned on the side.
- Sherlock – The Sherlock is ideal for those who use their bubblers while exchanging stories with friends. These bubblers are similar to tobacco pipes. They have a distinct design, and their chambers are bigger than those of the other bubbler pipe
How to Use a Bubbler Stem
As previously mentioned, a bubbler stem produces the bubbles that make the cannabis smoking experience less harsh and unique. But how does this happen? How does water filtration take place? To find the answers to these, you’ll need to know how to use a bubbler pipe.
- Clean Your Device First
Before using your bubbler, make sure that you have thoroughly cleaned it. This will help ensure that your device is free of dust and other particles that might have gotten stuck on it. Without proper cleaning and maintenance, all the accumulated dust can affect the flavor and may even lead to health problems, especially when mold, bacteria, and byproducts start to build up.
To clean bubblers, you can use isopropyl alcohol, a towel, pipe cleaner, or Q-tips (if you don’t have a cleaner), and table salt. Remove all the debris and particles from your device and pour out all the water left inside.
Pour the alcohol into the bubbler (the amount of which is similar to how much water you will use when smoking). The bubbler stem should be submerged halfway through. Add salt that’s equal to half of the amount of isopropyl alcohol you poured in. Mix the two and then clean your device. Allow the solution to soak for several hours before shaking the device. Make sure that you cover the carb hole (if the model you’re using has one) before shaking.
If debris remains stuck to your device, use the pipe cleaner or Q-tip to clean them off.
Pour out the solution once it turns dirty (or dirtiest) and rinse your bubbler pipe using water. Make sure to remove the alcohol smell. Use a clean towel to wipe off the exterior part of your device. Let it dry for half an hour or so before you start using it.
For daily users, bubblers should be cleaned once a week. For those who use the device only a few times in one month, the device needs cleaning once every month.
- Pour Water into the Water Chamber
After cleaning your device, you can now pour water into the water chamber. If you want smoother and cooler hits, use the coldest water you can find.
- Prepare Your Cannabis
Once the water is in the chamber, you should start preparing your cannabis. Get the strain that you want or prefer to use, grind it, and then load it all into the bowl. To prevent cannabis pieces from falling into the chamber (and the water), load it with the help of a pipe screen.
Pack the herbs into the bowl, start with some light packing, and then keep pushing with your thumb as you go along so that it becomes tighter. Don’t push it too hard though so you can leave some room for proper airflow.
- Light Up Your Herb
After packing your chamber, look for the carb hole (if your device has one) and then block it off with your thumb. While your finger is blocking the hole, light your bowl and start filling the chamber with smoke before you begin inhaling. Make sure that the bubbler is in your mouth as you cover the carb hole, light your cannabis, and pull in the smoke from the bowl and straight into the water. This will produce bubbles, an action that helps filter and cool the smoke.
Where to Find Bubbler Stems
Bubbler stems are easily available from your favorite glass bubbler pipe suppliers. Bubblers have their stems attached to them, but there are instances when the stem breaks, especially if you are using a glass bubbler pipe. This is why most suppliers have bubble stem replacements for accessories.
Hitoki, for example, has the Saber Bubbler, which is a laser-type bubbler pipe that comes with a bubbler stem. Its Saber Bubbler Bundle is one of its bestsellers. The bundle comes with the bubbling device, the Saber, a charging cable (USB), a poker, and a ceramic loading chamber. You can accessorize your Saber with a glass bubbler water pipe attachment.
The Saber bubbler is easy to attach and comes with an adapter. It is portable and compact, so you’ll be able to smoke discreetly when you want to.
The bubbler is the more portable and compact, sleek and stylish alternative to regular bongs and pipes. They’re simple and easy to use. Best of all, they use water filtration that allows water to cool for a safer, less harsh, fuller, and more satisfying hit.