Marijuana product review: The Purple Haze Vaporizer not an argument for future of plastics
Every now and then local companies drop off their medical marijuana-related products at the Westword offices. Enough, actually, that we decided it would be a good idea to kick off a quasi-regular product review to showcase our Colorado Stoner MacGyvers.
Purple Haze Herbal Vaporizer Retail price: $159.00 www.purplehazevaporizer.com
The Denver-based Purple Haze Vaporizer company dropped off its flagship model last week at the Westword office for yours truly to review. I must preface this by saying I am all about local companies making their mark in the smoking world: Companies like Silver Surfer, Incredibowl and numerous talented glass blowers have thrived in Colorado, selling top-notch products across the world. That said, I was a bit confused when I unboxed the pipe at home and it looked like it was still in the product-testing phase. The premise behind the device -- as with all vaporizers -- is to pass hot air over the herb to vaporize the active chemicals without burning the plant material. The Purple Haze does this through a light saber-looking wand that contains an aluminum heating element surrounded by a narrow glass tube.
The tube is docked with a glass bowl, not unlike lighting a regular bowl with a lighter. The LED lights inside the wand change from red to purple to blue as you draw on the pipe, indicating it is cooling down. In theory, this is a great idea. But the execution clearly needs to be reworked. The device is touted as being "much like the old classic steamroller of the '70s," which is dead-on considering every steamroller that I can remember was a MacGyver-stoner creation constructed of flimsy household materials, and didn't last longer than a week. The thin acrylic tubing that made up the actual pipe of the vaporizer wasn't even sanded down and left my chin and lip raw after only a few hits. I like how it uses a glass bowl, but the heat of the material against the plastic is worrisome to me. I realize that glass might be harder to work with, but in this case it would be preferable -- especially for the price tag.
I got a few decent rips, though, and liked how the piece was a bit more like smoking a bowl than other vaporizers on the market. I really liked how it burned hash, too, with the little bowl being the perfect size for a few tenths of a gram to sit on a bed of herb. Still, finding the appropriate temperature required adjusting a dial inside the wand that is impossible to reach without a special tool provided. If you are like me and burn concentrates as well as raw plant material, having easy access to a temperature control would be more functional.
My suggestions: I think the company is on to a great idea with just the wand itself, and could see a broader application to be used on any bowl if it tinkered around. Still, to justify the price, I think the plastic casing needs to be substituted with glass and the aluminum heating element with a ceramic one. Otherwise, ditching the acrylic for an all-glass piece wouldn't be a bad move.
Get the Marijuana Newsletter
Stay informed of the latest marijuana news and views with updates about dispensaries, strains, products, changes to the law, and special offers in your area.