What is the Purpose of a Water Pipe?

Posted by Jamie Pope on May 13, 2021

What is the Purpose of a Water Pipe?

What is the Purpose of a Water Pipe?

“To get the fattest rips out there!” …. The End.

Just kidding! Seriously, when smoking from a water pipe it could be hard to tell why some people prefer water pipes over papers and hand pipes. They’re more expensive, bigger in size, and a huge responsibility to worry about breaking.

Before we get all doomsday - owning a water pipe is actually one of the best investments you could make for your smoking experience!

So why is that so? Why do people prefer water pipes? What is the purpose of a water pipe?

Don’t worry! Cloud 9 Smoke Co has got you covered on everything you need to know about the purpose of a water pipe. That way, if you were a skeptic at first, you’ll be a full believer after this article. ;)

Let’s dive in!

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How Do Water Pipes Work?

A Quick Touch on Anatomy

Before we get down to the actual function of water pipes - here’s a quick breakdown of their anatomy so you can have an idea of what these terms are and what they do!

How Does a Water Pipe Work? A Comprehensive Guide

*Sourced from article.*

  • Mouthpiece: This mouthpiece of a water pipe is where you’ll place your mouth into to suck and inhale the smoke.
  • Neck: The neck of a water pipe is the part of the water pipe where your smoke will travel to before, and during, your finale inhale.
  • Ice Pinch: The ice pinch in a water pipe is the part that keeps ice from entering the base of your water pipe. That way all fragile components will be protected, and you’ll have a refreshing smoke sesh!
  • Percolator: A percolator is the piece in your water pipe that is responsible for diffusing and filtrating your smoke to keep it smooth on it’s way to the dome.
  • Slide: A slide is the part of a water pipe that you use to pack and light your herb.
  • Joint Piece: The joint piece of your water pipe connects the slide to the downstem of your water pipe, and the downstem to the base. This allows for a smooth flow of smoke to go from the outside of the water pipe to the inside.
  • Downstem: The downstem is the part of your water pipe that works with the joint piece and slide to transport smoke into the base of your water pipe.
  • Base: The base is the part of a water pipe that holds most, if not all, of the water inside your water pipe. The base keeps your water pipe sturdy while giving your smoke the space to filtrate and diffuse!

Water Pipes’ Function

Okay now that you have your water pipe anatomy notes, let’s get down to how these amazing glass pipes work!

The process of a water pipes’ function begins with the mouthpiece. When you place your mouth into the mouthpiece and begin to suck, you’re creating a vacuum inside the water pipe between your mouth and the water.

Think of it like you’re taking the final suck from your soda at the movie theatre. You know how that final suck is mainly air with a little bit of soda in the mix? The vacuum inside your water pipe is working the same way!

As you begin to light the herb in your slide, the smoke begins to flow through your water pipe’s downstem into the base of your water pipe. This is when the fun begins to start!

Since water has a greater weight than water, the water in your glass water pipe will stay at the bottom of your water pipe as your smoke will rise. As you’re sucking the smoke from the slide into the water pipe, the smoke will rise (aka percolate) through the water into the rest of your water pipe.

Percolation in your water pipe adds a lot of valuable assets to your smoking experience. To name one, the percolation filters and cools your smoke to reduce throat irritation!

As the smoke passes through the water inside the base of your water pipe, the water acts as a filter that removes and traps undesirable products such as tar and ash. Once you feel like there’s enough smoke in your water pipe, you can remove your slide and inhale your smoke. Success!

This all a concise explanation of how water pipes function. If we were to include the entirety of it, there could be a Part 2, Part 3, and potentially a Part 4 of this article. Just kidding! It’d be a little shorter than that, but that’s not what we’re covering here.

The Chemistry of Water Pipes

You heard that right! There’s a science, and in this case chemistry, behind water pipes. So what is happening, chemically, inside a water pipe? Let’s break it down!

In reality, quite a few things are happening inside your water pipe. It all begins by lighting your dry herb. As you light your dry herb, the herb begins to combust and a smoke stream is produced containing all the benefits we could ever want! Except, there’s a lot of things we don’t want, including ash, very hot smoke, and tar.

When we say ‘tar,’ think of it as a catch-all for all the harmful byproducts that are produced by the combustion of dry herb. Just like tobacco smoke, dry herb smoke contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs - talk about a mouthful!) that you don’t want in your lungs.

Don’t get scared yet! There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Did you know that there’s research with evidence that shows that tobacco smokers who use a water pipe have a much lower incidence of cancer than those who smoke from papers and hand pipes?

Rest assured, there’s a lot of good filtration going on inside a water pipe!

Water pipes have the ability to immediately cool the smoke by passing the smoke through water, resulting in a smoother hit. The water, as mentioned earlier, filters out any ash that could blow into your mouth or airways. There’s also an amount of tar filtration occurring; that’s why the walls of your water pipe get dark and sticky after a handful of seshes!

Though there is a lot of research and collaboration on exactly how much filtration goes on in water pipes, we won’t bore you with all the details. Just know that there’s a lot of care behind the craftsmanship behind water pipes and their percolators!

So, are Water Pipes Better for Your Lungs?

Before we dive into this topic, know that whenever you’re smoking anything it isn’t safe or healthy. Inhaling combusted material always comes with exposure to harmful byproducts. However, water pipes do a great job of reducing the amount of byproducts, tar, and ash we’re exposed to!

Did you know that because water pipes introduce aeration and filtration (contact with air and water) to our smoke, water pipes are able to filter and diffuse our smoke at a minimum of four times before it reaches our lungs? If you think that’s interesting, you should also know that it has been found that water pipes were able to eliminate both acrolein and acetaldehyde (very harmful toxins to our lungs) entirely from smoke!

To make matters healthier when smoking from a water pipe, use a hemp wick to light your dry herb. Hemp wicks reduce the amount of flint exposure and butane exposure your lungs will experience while smoking dry herb. Talk about knocking out harmful byproducts - done by you!

If your water pipe has an ice pinch, load your water pipe with ice to keep things on the healthy side. Ice will diffuse the temperature of your smoke significantly, so your throat and lungs won’t be as irritated after the inhale!

You can also add a percolator ash catcher to trap fallen ash particles and dry herb before they find their way into your water pipe! Percolator ash catchers also give your smoke immediate contact with air and water, and it will give your smoke an additional filtration process before entering your water pipe.

Learn more about the health-side of water pipes in this article!

The Purpose of a Water Pipe - Defined

A water pipe’s purpose is to keep our smoking experience at its top potential! Because water pipes have the ability to contain water and percolators, a water pipe’s purpose is to filtrate, cool, and diffuse our smoke to a smooth consistency with a reduced amount of harmful byproducts.

Sounds pretty legit, right? You definitely need to introduce a water pipe into your smoking experience! Grab one of the best water pipes to buy online from Cloud 9 Smoke Co to make your smoking experience the best of the best.

Happy toking! 

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