ˈdau̇n-stem | Noun

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.”

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.