Ask a Stoner

Dear Stoner: What's the best way to vaporize?

Dear Stoner: Last week you talked about vaporizers and vape pens. What kind do you recommend?
Eager Edgar

Dear Edgar: It really depends on whether you want a desktop vaporizer or a portable vaporizer, and how much dinero you're willing to drop. Vapes are like tattoos — good ones aren't cheap, and cheap ones aren't good. If you've got the money — and we're talking several hundred dollars here — the ExtremeQ is the way to go. It uses a convection fan that fills up a large plastic bag with vapor, and compared to competitors, the ExtremeQ has better digital-temperature settings and a sleeker, more modern design.

If you don't like the idea of filling up what is essentially a turkey-cooking bag with vapor but still want to have a solid home unit, stepping it down to whip-style vaporizers like Da Buddha and the Silver Surfer would be a wise decision. From personal experience, I think the hands-down best all-around home vaporizer is Colorado's own Silver Surfer. I've had mine for nearly a decade, and it still runs like a champ — mostly because of the simple design. Herb is put in the bowl of the glass wand, which is then held up close to a glowing-orange ceramic heating element. When you inhale, hot air is pulled over the herb, which vaporizes the THC and terpenes without igniting the plant material itself. There are also special attachments for hash and hash oil, though I put the concentrates in a wad of cotton and vape it at low temperatures (the cotton acts as a screen and won't ignite or brown if you're vaping below 400 degrees). Since I bought mine, they've made them all with glass-on-glass fittings, so you simply plug the wand into the heating element, sit back and relax. There are also ice attachments and bubblers, though I just feed the rubber hose into the downstem of my favorite 18mm piece and go to town.

As for handheld vaporizers, I have yet to find a portable flower vaporizer worth the time and pocket space to purchase — and that has a lot to do with the fact that vaporizing concentrates with e-vapes is much, much easier and more discreet. At the top of my list is the wax/shatter-vaping Cloud, specifically for the gold-top heating element that seems to provide a great hit every time. If raw hash oil is too much for you, try the pre-loaded vape pens that dilute the hash in glycol to lower the viscosity. My favorite right now is the O.Pen Vape manual pen with no buttons, which you operate simply by inhaling. The cartridges run you about $20 to $30 and have several days' worth of hidden, discreet tokage packed inside. You can usually pick up the vape, pen and charger in package deals for $70 or less.

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William Breathes
Contact: William Breathes