What is the downstem for a bong?

The downstem or diffuser is the small cylindrical piece that you mount the bowl on. The bowl, of course, is the part of the bong that you place your dried plant materials in. Whether you’re smoking marijuana or dried tobacco, it doesn’t matter.

You put that plant material in the bowl and light it up. The downstem facilitates the sucking of air from the bowl through the bottom chamber of the bong and directly into your lungs. That’s how a bong works in basic terms.

Of course, there are a lot of innovations to this. You can be using a bong that has a distinct shape to facilitate more air and smoke volume. You can also put ice or water at the bottom part of the bong. Maybe it can even look like a beaker.

Best Bong Downstems

G-Spot Glass Chillum Downstem

Diameter: 14.5 mm has 30 mm Diameter, 18.8 mm has 35 mm diameter

Length: 25 cm / 9.8 inches

Material: Glass

Buy The G-Spot Glass Chillum Downstem!

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G-Spot Glass Downstem

Length: 25 cm / 9.8 inches

Material: Glass

Buy The G-Spot Glass Downstem!

Buy Now

Best Bong Diffusers

Roor Glass Pear Diffuser

Length: Different Range Of Lengths Available!

Material: Glass

Buy The Roor Pearl Diffuser!

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GlassCity Vortex Diffuser

Length: Different Range Of Lengths Available!

Material: Glass

Buy The GlassCity Vortex Diffuser!

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GlassCity Inside-Cut Diffuser

Length: Different Range Of Lengths Available!

Material: Glass

Buy The GlassCity Inside-Cut 4-Arm Diffuser!

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The downstem has a very basic job. It is intended to be pulled out to free up the vacuum so all that smoke that you just created through a vacuum rush into the deep inner and sensitive recesses of your lungs.

That’s where the fun magic happens but the stem as you can tell plays a pivotal role. It performs a job that isn’t as basic as that of a bowl. A bowl’s job is very straightforward: it is to hold the weed as you burn it.

The stem is more critical because if you are unable to pull the stem properly, the vacuum doesn’t get cleared up. You’re sucking and sucking, and the smoke doesn’t get to your lungs fast enough.

You’re doing this to get high. I hope that much is obvious. Nothing gets in the way of your high than a lot of that smoke lingering in the bong because it’s inefficiently designed. That’s how crucial the downstem is.

You have to make sure that you pick the very best product. There are many different options out there and it’s very easy to get confused. What do you look for when you are looking for the right downstem.?

Here are just some key factors that you should pay attention to. I am not going to mention brands and models or specific products. I’m not going to recommend a particular make.

Instead, I’m going to direct your attention to the factors that you should use when selecting this type of product because it is quite important. It plays a very big role in how pleasant and positive your marijuana bong experience will be.

Pick the right size

The first thing that you have to focus on is the size of the downstem or diffuser. There are many bongs on the market. There are girly bongs, ice bongs. They’re even lava lamps and percolator types. The only limit is once imagination and creativity.

The global marijuana market is so huge that it accommodates a very large array of bong designs. If you can think of it, somebody in China probably made it. It’s that simple. With that said, you have to pay attention to the size of the stem.

I wish I could tell you that this is standardized kind of like your wall socket at home. Have you ever noticed that regardless of the device that you plug in there or whatever kind of plug that you use, it’s going to fit?

It’s because it’s standardized. If you go to the hardware store, you’re not going to get a non-standard socket unless you put in a custom order. That’s just the way it is. That doesn’t exist in bongs.

Some downstems and diffusers are very big. Some are smaller. You have to pick the right size. You have to make sure that you look at the documentation that your bong originally shipped with regarding its downstem size.

This is non-negotiable. You can screw up the rest of the factors that I’m going to share with you below but do not mess this one up.

Material type

The great thing about downstems is that they come in a wide range of materials, from glass to silicone, to metal. Glass is very classy, elegant, sophisticated, but unfortunately expensive and fragile.

Silicone is very practical, durable, and not all that expensive but a lot of people frown upon it. Don’t forget metal. Although metal has been kind of declining recently, it’s still a force to contend with as far as the marijuana device market goes.

You don’t want to overlook metal if that’s your thing. What’s important to keep in mind when it comes to materials is the price, durability, and ease of cleaning.

Ease of operation

When you buy a diffuser or downstem, please understand that you’re going to put it in your bong. Once you’ve used your bong several times, you’re going to take it out so you can clean out your bong. That way it doesn’t develop nasty smells.

You also guard against the growth of nasty microbes and other organic life in the water or inner chamber of your bong. This is basic marijuana device maintenance.

To make this all happen and to maximize your comfort and convenience, the downstem must be easy to take out and easy to replace.

You really cannot assume that this is going to happen because if you pick the wrong size, or if you pick the wrong design, you’re going to have a tough time on your hands.


Make no mistake. When you are using a bong, sometimes it feels like you’re playing a musical instrument. If you play saxophone, you know that you’re blowing on that thing and eventually, you’re going to have to clean it. There’s a part that you have to replace.

The same applies to the bong. Eventually, the stem has to be replaced because you’re constantly putting it in, taking it out, and putting it back in as you change bowls and as you clean up your water and otherwise maintain your bong.

It is for lack of a better word, a wear-and-tear item. It makes sense in this context to pick an item that isn’t all that expensive to replace. You have to look at your bong in terms of the total cost of ownership.

A lot of people laugh at this idea because the total cost of ownership is the kind of concept you apply to when you’re buying a car or some sort of fancy equipment in the office or your place of work.

It’s usually not something that you would associate with devices that used to consume marijuana or tobacco. This is true because you’re spending your hard-earned dollars here.

It really would be a shame to let go of some of that money when you don’t need to, so look for the total cost of ownership.