A long piece glass that serves as a connector between the bowl and the body of a bong or water pipe. The downstem facilitates a suction pressure that draws the smoke down through the mouthpiece as you inhale. They can be removable or fixed to the glass piece. A diffused downstem is equipped with a diffuser that aerates the smoke and provides a smoother hit. 

My bong downstem looks like a mini water tube slide.

She chose a downstem customized with a diffuser to attach to her ceramic bong.

bong downstem Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

What is a downstem?

The downstem is an elongated tube that connects the bowl to the water source in a bong or water pipe. 

How does a downstem work?

A downstem allows the smoke from burning cannabis to travel smoothly from the bowl to the base of a bong or water pipe. From there, the water bubbles as the user inhales the hit. 

What is a downstem diffuser?

A downstem diffuser is a modified type of downstem attachment with open slits on one end. The slits work to break up the smoke differently than with a regular downstem, producing smaller bubbles and resulting in a cooling effect for a smoother hit. 

Common downstem sizes

Downstems generally come in standard sizes for glass joints:

  • 10 mm
  • 14 mm
  • 18 mm

Where to buy a downstem

Downstems and other glass attachments may be purchased online or any place that sells cannabis accessories. 

How do you get a stuck downstem out?

If the downstem gets stuck in your bong, first try flushing it out with cold water. If that fails, you can use rubbing alcohol and a set of tweezers. Pour the alcohol down the tube and then grip the downstem with the tweezers to pull out. 

How do you clean a downstem bowl?

Alcohol will also come in handy to clean a downstem bowl that has become clogged or simply needs freshening. First, remove the downstem bowl and fill with alcohol and a spoonful of salt. Then, place the downstem bowl in a plastic bag, completely submerging with alcohol. Seal the bag and let it sit for a couple of hours before rinsing and drying completely. Your downstem bowl will then be fresh and ready to use. 

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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on June 18, 2021.