In an age where xeriscaping is an emerging trend and terms like “Severe drought conditions” or “Every drop counts” circulate like wildfire,  Californians are no strangers to times of water scarcity. Some of us take water frugality to be of the utmost importance; we take shorter showers, stop watering our lawns, fix leaky faucets, hand wash our cars, flush toilets less, and so on. It can even be so extreme that any wasted or discarded useful water can feel like an act against the environment. Some people change their entire home’s landscaping to “eliminate the need for supplemental water from irrigation,” i.e., xeriscaping. With that being said, it is easy to see why a Californian-stoner might feel guilty about dumping their old bong water out and begin to search for utilization of the discarded water; because, after all, “every drop counts.”

My initial thought was that bong water has decomposing plant matter in it so wouldn’t that make it great to water your plants with? Plus, I hear and read things all the time about the magical medicinal properties of cannabis, so could bong water be good for me to drink too? Can you get high from drinking old bong water?

This article seeks to acquire the truth regarding utilization and usefulness of old bong water through the practices of testing, observation, and independent research.


Bong Water
Your stock-standard, one-month-old, bong water in a glass.

Basic Information on Bong Water

As with any standing body of water that contains biodegrading gunk, mold begins to grow in order to decompose the material. One website states that “These are living microorganisms, which have made your bong home. They thrive off the residue left there after prolonged use,” and, after a while, something that is known as “Biofilm” is created.

The Montana State University Center for Biofilm Research states that “Biofilms grow virtually everywhere, in almost any environment where there is a combination of moisture, nutrients, and a surface.” Yet, even though biofilm is a naturally occurring process, the bacterial spores can actually break off and cause you to become sick. Because of this, it is important to change your bong water regularly.


Drinking shadow
Is it a good idea to drink bong water?

Can you Drink your Bong Water?

Trust me, DO NOT DRINK YOUR OLD BONG WATER. If this is not evident enough, just go on YouTube and watch any of the countless trending bong water drinking videos and see for yourself. Unfortunately, I have no video to share here, so you will just have to take my word for it or do additional outside investigation… Or you could just go smell your bong and see if you’d ever truly consider drinking it.

Furthermore, when conducting research on this topic, I found a largely believed misconception that drinking your old bong will actually get you high. This is definitely not true. Not only does marijuana need to undergo a process known as decarboxylation (which requires heat) in order to get you high, it just seems like basic knowledge that ingesting cannabis ashes probably isn’t going to have the euphoric effect typically associated with pot use.

One user going by the name “Led Zeppelin” on Grasscity.com, an unreliable open forum site where individuals can chat about weed related topics, states that the leftover weed in your bong is “50 parts carcinogens to one part cannabis.” While I cannot find a reliable source to lend credibility to this claim, I think his statement can still ring true in the regard that old weed particulates in your bong harbor not only harmful carcinogens, but also mold and bacteria as well.


Watered plant
Can you water your plants with bong water?

Again, bad news here too because old bong water probably isn’t the best thing to be watering your plants with. Not only is the high bacterial and mold content bad for plants, old bong water usually has an acidic pH balance and, according to the gardening website plantea.com, water that is too acidic or too basic can “lock” some nutrients up and make them unavailable to the plant. This can be observed if you’ve ever watered your house plant using tap water that has been treated with fluoride or calcium; eventually, the plant will wilt and die.

My independent research was pretty conclusive on this topic. Everywhere I searched it said that plants should be given: fresh, clean water, lots of sunlight, occasionally some fertilizer, and rich soil. By no means am I a phytologist, an arborist, or some other kind of plant scientist; but it seems simply logical that dumping old bong water on your plants will not be helpful for their growth.

It can be noted that on the website thcfarmer.com, one forum user has reported dumping his old bong water on a pine tree in his yard for “years… with no ill effects to the tree.” Take note that this is yet another unreliable source of information because it was posted on a public forum with no credible evidence supplied. But it makes me wonder if trees are less likely to be harmed by old bong water than other types of plant species.


After all that, are really any practical uses for old bong water? Truthfully, it was difficult to find any real evidence that using your old bong water for anything would be beneficial. One idea that I was able to derive was to add your old bong water to your compost pile. I cannot think of why this would be harmful to either you or the compost.

So, unfortunately, that is where I will leave it. In conclusion, I was unable to find any real, credible evidence or data that suggests you should do anything other than dump your old bong water down the drain. If you know of any practical uses for old bong water please write them in the comments below and we can discuss! Otherwise, I suppose the main take away here is thus: do not feel bad dumping your old bong water down the drain, that is logistically the best way to dispose of it.




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