In the gentle glow of a lit joint cradled between my fingertips, I've often found solace. This ritual, as ageless as the march of time, extends beyond mere cannabis consumption —it's a practice deeply interwoven into my Latino identity, where I live and grew to love weed, where our penchant for smoking marijuana (and not hash) in cigar form has been handed down through generations.
For many moons, I delighted in this act. The gratifying crunch of semi-dried leaves, the precision involved in crafting the perfect joint and the therapeutic inhalation of an almost sacred smoke —both fiery and calming — were parts of an experience I cherished. Yet, relentless advance of time and technology have introduced a new player on this stage: the vaporizer.
What Are Cannabis Vaporizers?
Vaporizers come in an array of shapes, sizes and capabilities. At their essence, these devices warm your chosen form of cannabis —be it dry herb, concentrates or extracts— to a precise temperature: High enough to draw out the cannabinoids and terpenes, yet restrained enough to avoid combustion.
The outcome? The absence of smoke, which is replaced by a fragrant puff of vapor.
From Disappointment To Intrigue
My fondness for the traditional joint notwithstanding, I found myself progressively intrigued by the realm of vaporizers.
However, initially, their mechanical aesthetics felt foreign and detached; my preliminary encounters with these devices were largely underwhelming. They bore no resemblance to the experience of smoking. Unlike a nicotine vape, these vaporizers (not the infamous vape pens, mind you, but vape devices) failed to produce the dense, smoke-like cloud I yearned for. The vapor was almost imperceptible.
Jon Cappetta, the vice president of content at High Times Magazine, succinctly captured this sentiment: "The problem is most devices just don't get hot enough to vape the weed in an enjoyable way. They’re mostly like ovens where you gotta suck out all the nonsense as it burns off for two seconds of actual weed taste near the end."
But my perception began to pivot when I came across brands like DynaVap, Zenco, PuffCo, Storz & Brickel, Pax, Focus and Ispire. They weren't simply attempting to mimic the joint-smoking experience; they were its next evolutionary step.
What Makes A Good Vaporizer Actually Good
"First off, the device needs to be intuitive. I’m a seasoned professional when it comes to cannabis consumption, but I always try to take the purview of a newbie when I try a device," Rachelle Gordon, editor of GreenState, weighed in. "If it’s not clear how it works or the instructions are not thorough, that’s a negative in my mind. Second, the device needs to perform adequately. It needs to offer a smooth yet powerful draw, a good battery life if it’s electronic, and relatively quick charging."
Let's break it down: vaporizers are primarily classified into dry herb and concentrate/extract vaporizers.
Dry herb vaporizers, true to their name, are tailored for ground cannabis flower, simulating the experience of smoking a traditional joint, but without the throaty harshness and with an added sense of "clean" flavor. Concentrate vaporizers, on the other hand, are designed for cannabis extracts like wax, shatter or oil – basically, dabs. These potent substances offer a smoother, more flavor-intense vapor compared to their dry herb counterparts.
On my odyssey through the nebulous cosmos of cannabis consumption, I've been enchanted by both types of vaporizers. From the DynaVap —a dry herb vaporizer whose analog design and "click" mechanism signaling the optimal temperature of the herb offered a tactile feedback I found missing in other vapes— to the Zenco —a concentrate vaporizer that delivered an unparalleled flavor odyssey and form factor where the terpenes of the cannabis extract seemed to orchestrate, crafting a symphony of flavors absent in the harsh smoke of a joint— I invite you to join me on this voyage into the universe of vaporizers.
Whether you're a traditional joint smoker like myself, curious about this innovative mode of consumption or a seasoned vape enthusiast on the hunt for your next premium device, it's time to buckle up. The future of cannabis consumption has arrived; and it's smokeless.
Dynavap: The Subtle Symphony Of The Click
Stepping into the artful domain of minimalistic vaping, the DynaVap makes a powerful statement. As economist, IT project manager and harm reduction activist Patricio Liddle expressed, "Like many of the finer things in life, mastering the art of vaping with a battery-free vaporizer takes time and perseverance."
Engineered elegantly into a pen-like form, this resilient vaporizer is crafted from sturdy stainless steel, with a unique cap that resonates a distinctive "click." Liddle, a dedicated DynaVap user for almost three years, finds this auditory feature to be a precise indicator; it signals when the cap achieves the optimal temperature for vaporizing dry herb, playing an instrumental role in various vaping outcomes.
Liddle explained, "When you heat the cap at low temperatures, you get an outstanding flavor and a high THC extraction that is quite discreet and produces a volatile fragrance that rapidly dissolves in the air." However, Liddle also noted that a shift in heating technique can transform the entire experience.
"On the other hand," he continued, "higher temperatures will make you exhale a more dense cloud and a full extraction of all that the strain has to offer."
DynaVap's flame-powered devices embody the allure of traditional smoking rituals within the technological world of vaping. They shun batteries and electronic components in favor of the rugged simplicity of manual heating, a process that can deliver diverse results when applying different intensities or angles with your torch.
Moreover, Liddle stated, the DynaVap has allowed him to rediscover his favorite cannabis strains, revealing that "combustion not only causes the worst harms associated with the use of cannabis but also burns the majority of our precious terpenes, cannabinoids, aromas, and flavors that took so much effort to cultivate."
This pen-like vape device is also a champion in cannabis conservation. Liddle shared that for a single session, he uses "about a third of what I usually use to roll a joint," leading to considerable savings on his cannabis stash. He also applauded the device's user-friendly features such as easy cleaning and minimal odor residue. "Not having to worry about battery chargers," he commented, "the fact that it leaves almost no odor on your breath or hands and being able to use the after-vaping toasted buds for cooking are big pluses."
Written by Javier Hasse