Vaporization has been unanimously considered the healthiest, safest way to consume cannabis for a decade. The original “box vape” was developed by Vaporbrothers in 1999 but it wasn’t until the mid-2000s when the Storz & Bickel Volcano became popular that people began to take vaporization seriously. Since then, a series of revelations about medical marijuana have driven some major advancements in vapor technology leading to wide range of options being available to the consumer today. Here are a few of the more important ways that vapor technology has changed for the better:
Though there had been many attempts before, it wasn’t until a few years ago that we began to see truly portable, efficient dry-herb vaporizers make their way on to the market (thanks to a wider availability of lithium-ion batteries). Products like the Pax the Mighty (made by the same makers as the Volcano) and the Magic Flight Box have proven to be popular solutions for people looking to take vapor hits on the go. Both the Pax and the Mighty offer similar, high quality experiences but the Mighty offers a full-convection experience (only hot air comes in contact with the herb) making it bulkier.
With the popularity of convection vaporizers like the Volcano, it was only a matter of time before people become concerned with how airflow affected vapor flavor and strength. The electronics inside vaporizers (especially cheaper, Chinese-made models) let off small amounts of potentially toxic gas as the resins used for manufacture heat-up and degrade. Though most vaporizer companies ignore this in their design, the company 7th Floor from Colorado makes their vaporizers with heating element completely isolated from the electronics offering the cleanest, most efficient airflow possible. Da Budda and Silver Surfer vapes are each made 100% in the U.S.A., can be custom designed, and feature a little hand-blown glass art making each one of a kind. They have a unit that’s been running constantly for almost 6 years that’s still going strong.
Dynamic Temperature Control
We know terpenes and other volatile compounds in cannabis have beneficial medicinal entourage effects so it’s only natural that a vaporizer would directly address a way to obtain the maximum benefits from these compounds. Many people set their vaporizers to a single temperature but in order to coax out the maximum number of terpenes without damaging them, it requires a dynamic range of temperatures… enter the Firefly. This vape uses a unique ‘dynamic convection’ heating system allowing the user to experience a full profile of volatiles through slow, controlled heating. Not unlike performing a “frequency sweep” to determine the acoustics of a room, this could very well represent a practical way for consumers to analyze marijuana similar to how we appreciate wine.
As technology becomes cheaper and more integrated and marijuana use becomes more mainstream, we’re bound to see even more advancements in vapor technology. Until then, there are plenty of comprehensive options available to even the most discerning smoker… combustion is so 2000’s!