The Ultimate Stoner-gadget: The Volcano Herb Vaporizer
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The Ultimate Stoner-gadget: The Volcano Herb Vaporizer

Vancouver : Canada | Aug 21, 2010 at 10:00 PM PDT
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Volcano retails for around $550 US but better deals can be found on eBay and other discount sites.

Whether in Vancouver or Toronto, without a doubt the Storz & Bickel Volcano Digit is the king of vapourizers. There's no smoke, and no carcinogens. Just sweet, sweet, vapor that is so efficient that your herbs will be 3-4 times more effective... making you 3-4 times less effective. It’s the ultimate stoner gadget that attracts both our love of high-end tech toys like XBox360, iPhone, etc., and blazing. Stoner tourists of the world flock to Canadian lounges in search of the new product. When the Volcano classic showed, getting loaded on vapor went next generation by allowing stoners an opportunity to vaporize THC with a twist of a dial. A great advancement of the digital readout, thermostat, and auto shut-off adds precision, and a slight scientific element to extraction that potheads seem to love. This expensive German engineering enjoys low-grade ganja as well as high-grade kush. The true beauty of owning a vaporizer is its ability to extract the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavinoids from any cannabis plant matter - be it leaf, trim, stock or bud. You know we need a vapor lounge in every city with a Volcano on every table when you blaze bud smokes a half-quarter from bong hoots and still isn’t high enough, when you can barely finish the third bag from a half-gram from the Volcano.

But take that toke, because the longer the vapor is left, the more THC it loses as it condenses on the surface of the bag.

The Basics of Boiling and Evaporation

The Volcano is a relatively simple device to use and is expertly crafted with fine German engineering to make it pretty much idiot proof to operate. The temperature dial can be set to whatever level you like, although the experts say they always turn it to the highest setting to maximum extraction. The red button on the bottom turns the machine on and off while the green button is pushed when you are ready to force hot air through the herbs of your choice. The center control light will turn on when the heating element is off and shut off to signal that the desired temperature has been reached. The filling chamber has a screen on the bottom to hold the herbs into place. Once you have put the desired amount in, the screen set is placed on top and forms a seal. Then the closed filing chamber is placed on top of the Volcano. The grooved top fits snuggled into the bottom of the chamber, making it pretty much impossible to place it incorrectly. The valve comes attached to the large plastic bag which will fill up and hold the vapors. Experts say that you can leave the vapors in the bag for an hour or two before inhaling them. The unit also comes with more bags that can be easily changed every few months. The bags that come with the unit will last for 2-3 years with heavy usage and more bags can be bought on the company's website. The valve snaps into place on top of the filing chamber. Then you press the green button which forces the hot air through the herb and send the vapors up into the bag, which inflates in a matter similar to a Jiffy Pop bag. Once the bag is full you use the clips on the side of the valve to disconnect it from the filling chamber. Those same clips snap the bag into the mouth piece which forms a seal and keeps the vapor inside the bag. You just have to press your lips against the mouthpiece and the valve is opened allowing you to inhale all that vapor-y goodness. Another friend of a friend moved with his Volcano and after a few years of solid use decided to open it up and clean it out. According to him, they pretty much keep themselves clean; you only have to rub a few spots with rubbing alcohol.

The Storz & Bickel


Worth the price? Considering it lasts for years, it’s simple to use, and you use a considerable amount less of herb than bongs or pipes, you save money.

Getting The Best From Wet

Any scraps you can find go a lot further in a Volcano than a joint or a bong. Many people report doubling their weed's distance by using a Vaporizer - that little bit can go a long way. No matter if your scrounging for pot during a dry season, or using stems that you payed almost nothing for, the Volcano Digit produces potent, tasty vapor every time.

Don't worry about the manicure. Stem. Leaf. White succulent THC-laden angel hairs. It's all ganja goodness in the Volcano when boiled correctly. Begin chopping your uncured nug to create a resinous mound of finely diced green ganja. Then place this sticky, wet, never-gonna-burn lump of ganja carcass into a Volcano Digit canister for a vape sesh.

By boiling this fresh weed just for flavinoids (280°F - 300°F) once, sometimes twice, the results will be dramatically better than attempting to blast the THC free from the nug (410°F – 425°F). This lower heat creates a very steamy, moist bag with the vape something akin to eating celery, a little bit of flavor, but clearly lacking in cannabis calories. Way better than the old-timer-toker method of actually putting it on low heat in their oven. After one or two low flavinoid runs, you are able to empty the canister and roll a jay or do bong hits with the bud now compressed into a disc. But it's way better to simply bring the temp up into THC firing range on the Vaporizer. Skipping the initial boil with just picked by going straight to THC range produces celery results with subtle hints of psycho-activity on the first few bags, before petering out completely.

Dry Bud

There's a fine balance between just-right and too dry. Dry pot often creates the problem of more smoke bellowing out of the bong than hitting the lungs. This smokers nuisance is eliminated with the Volcano. When vaporizing dry, THC-laden weed, it is important not to go too hot, as the risk of flash boiling is very high. This eliminates taste, flavor and ultimately THC. Not too mention, it could cause coughing. A well-produced bag will create very little to no after-hack. Being careful your bone-dry bud doesn't blow through the screen, drop the temp into the 350°F – 370°F range, and inhale your vapor without the leaf grit in your mouth or bad taste in your throat. If the vape is passable in opaqueness, taste, and high, chances are awesome subsequent efforts will turn out fantastic at that temperature.

From Bubble Bag to Volcano

Goopy hashish may liquefy into your screen or leak out of the canister bottom, gumming up the Volcano's heating element. When vaping honey oil or similarly tasty substances, use the oil screen. The one that looks like a plate scrubber. This device also works wonders when it comes to sampling just-finished full melt hashish. Who can possibly wait two days for a few grams of ganja goodness to harden? Use the oil screen and you can cut down cannabis congealing time to nothing. Afghani #1 made delicious vapo bubble hash ten minutes after it'd been made. Just drain excess water from the just-made bubble then dump the lump on the oil screen. For fresh bubble, low heat is best, but high heat is needed when working with pressed black hash. When ground right, on high heat, hashish is delicious with an extra silky smooth taste. The grind is very important as too chunky produces poor results. It takes a real hash master to work their Volcano Digit professionally to achieve amazing results every time.

Getting Rid of Roach Taste

Brushing teeth. Downing a beverage or eating food. Nothing will eliminate the raunchy taste that comes from vaped roaches. Nothing! It's worst than bonghitting with roaches. Way worse, as the taste has been enhanced. Instead of lingering shortly, it's like a roach party in your mouth. For the sake of experimentation, eighteen roaches were unrolled. The paper discarded and the remaining roach reefer then ground into a fine powder. Do not put paper in your Volcano!

Stem And Other Pot Particle Matter

Can you get high off branches? Conventional weed wisdom says no. Or at least it's says it's not worth it. Try placing your stalk collection directly in the Volcano by stripping off the outer fiber, then busting open the stems, scooping out the innards then grinding everything (with the orange Storz & Bickel grinder) to get results. Blast it with high heat!

It tasted better than roaches, but containing very little happiness. Two rounds produced traditional, but very, very light bags. For crystal (kief) keepers empty your source directly into the rocket. Do not over-boil! Crystal is tenderer than bone-dry, requiring very little heat. Anything in the 360°F – 385°F is plentiful for sweet results. A heavy bag is very possible in this temp range, but cranking it higher doesn't produce better results.

Crystal can be mixed with batch or previously vaporized herb to avoid blowing through the Volcano screen.

Becoming A Vapor Pro

Practicing pothead opaqueness is the best way in determining when your weed is pooched. Turn the bag sideways. Hold up to your glazed-over eyes. Not being able to see through the bag is a good thing. Seeing through the bag is bad.

Having several mounds to vape allows experimenting on the first run before settling in for a serious session at the right temperature. Increase your pothead professionalism by observing whether increasing the temperature by an increment would produce better results - an excellent method of developing interpersonal stoner skills.

Vapor Poo

Is that tobacco? No, the byproduct of vaporization is usually brown, with some yellowish/greeb hues, and looks like tobacco.

Some THC and many of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant that may not be vaporizable are still be present in the brown left-overs. By making weed oil, cooking into butter, you can extract these left-over cannabinoids into amazing products.

Can you smoke that? Although you clearly can burn the brown vapor leftovers, and you may even gain a mild psychoactive effect, the head ache, negative health effects and gross taste leave this option as a last resort for someone seeking a high. What about the Resin? When scraped off, the resin buildup within a vaporizer is unlike anything found in your bong or pipe. It is pure, heat extracted cannabinoids which can also be re-vaporized or smoked for a potent effect. Extra juice anyone?

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Volcano Vaporizer
Simple to use!
nogodspliff is based in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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