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volcano-vaporizer

Recreational marijuana is now legal in Colorado. When does the next plane leave?

Those of us living elsewhere can only turn bud-green with envy and window-shop all the cool or silly products coming out. Not only do the new policies allow people to consume the formerly controversial herb, but also gives an opportunity to purchase cannabis seeds and grow a new botanical centerpiece. Old tokers are amazed to see that the basic pipe-and-papers technology of our youth has morphed into a plethora of high-tech smoking devices. Some of these may not last, but others may give birth to devices that will get us high into the future.

Some of us know (not me, of course) that one of the great bummers of smoking weed is that you tend to lose things. Small objects vanish from your hands and pockets, leaving you grasping for lint when you’d rather have a light. At the very least, you’ve got to have the smoking implement and the fire device in the same place, or you ain’t tokin’.

The invasion is just beginning

Since the flower-power past, there have been a few pipes combining a lighter with the pipe. Examples can be seen in photos and album covers from as far back as the Summer of Love, but they have always been obscure curiosities. Now this idea is making a comeback with devices like the Wickie Pipe and Lighter Combo, a single unit with the business end of the lighter mounted in exactly the right place above the bowl. This is cool, but it’s not much easier keeping track of one thing than two. If you lose it, you’re still sucking lint.

Making the smoke more palatable is a worthy cause to which some pipe designers have dedicated themselves with admirable zeal. Glass bubblers are sometimes combined with cooling air intake to provide the smoothest toke possible. Bongs are still popular, as are hookahs.

Science has created another approach to the task: the vaporizer. This relies on the fact that THC evaporates at 374 degrees, whereas most plant matter will not burn until it hits 450 or 500. This means that the active ingredient in marijuana evaporates before that harsh plant tissue burns. Vaporizers heat the weed to 374, at which time the THC evaporates and the user inhales the vapor. The unburned plant matter can then be discarded. This limits the amount of particulate matter consumed and supposedly makes the smoke smoother, though some of us have had mixed results with these devices.

Old-school principals

Some pipes simply look cool. Science geeks are often smokers, so we are seeing the emergence of objects like the Kargo Beaker Base waterpipe. This works by the old-school principal, but looks like a beaker from your school science lab. Other models from the same company resemble old-style Bunsen burners or distillery jars.

A veritable space armada of UFO pipes and similar items are cruising onto the radar screen. Whoever gets the Star Wars franchise is going to have a field day.

The invasion is just beginning! Folding pipes, bubblers, windjammers and more are coming our way. Getting high hasn’t been this much fun since Nehru jackets were in.

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