Much of the world is accustomed to consuming cannabis without adding tobacco in the mix, but many of us were raised in cultures which consider this the norm. There are various reasons for this, from the preference for hash, to saving money, or more commonly, force of habit. Those who consume cannabis infrequently don’t need to worry about tobacco quite as much, but especially for regular/daily tokers removing this substance from the equation can make a huge difference to your health, and your psychological well-being, surprisingly.
The next step for people who reach this stage is to consider smoking pure cannabis joints. I tried this myself and it just didn’t cut it. I found it was a harsher smoking experience, and the waste was incredible. I could motor through so much more cannabis than usual, and with today’s prices that can make all the difference.
So even if you don’t consume tobacco, there’s still room for improvement both in terms of the experience and cost-saving. That leaves us with examining the alternative methods of ingestion; edibles, topical oils, and vaporisation being the most common. In my experience most regular cannabis users don’t use edibles or topical applications simply because they’re not convenient enough. There’s not the same level of immediate satisfaction when consumed, and far more preparation is required.
Vaporisation then becomes the focus of this article. I’ve used vaporisers for a number of years, with mixed results. I find that most portables don’t pack the sort of hit I want, and so I’ve gone back to the classic Volcano. This delivers a controlled, efficient, smooth means of consuming cannabis, which makes the most of the product. What could be consumed in 10 minutes in a joint can be comfortably stretched to last entire days when using the Volcano. These machines aren’t cheap to begin with, but you’ll never have to buy papers or tobacco ever again, and any serious toker would save a large amount of money by not having to purchase so much greenery. After a couple of ounces the machine has paid for itself.
I don’t have to worry about neighbours smelling anything, or people coming to my flat unexpectedly, as there’s practically zero aroma produced, and nothing which doesn’t dissipate within a matter of seconds. Nobody would guess you were consuming cannabis, and that alone makes the experience so much more enjoyable. Who wants an excuse for paranoia when getting high?
Why Should I Care?
- HEALTH – remove the big carcinogen and lung irritant, leaving just the anti-tumour, lung relaxant cannabis
- MONEY – save money by not requiring as much to get high
- PLEASURE – enjoy the pure high that comes from isolating cannabis away from tobacco, a substance which your body rejects
- CONTROL – helps you consume only when you want, and not out of habit
- CHOICE – choose the precise nature of your high – energetic, relaxed, both?
Tobacco is one of the most addictive and dangerous plants consumed by humans. By adding it to your regular spliffs you’re truly creating something which has the potential to do you serious damage, and create a bona fide physical addiction. That’s not to mention the effect it has on teeth, breath, and personal hygiene in general.
Over 5 million people die each year due to tobacco-related illnesses. Zero have died in the history of cannabis consumption. While the government doesn’t acknowledge this in law, it makes sense for us to respect the facts and make better decisions. It’s actually psychologically more enjoyable to consume cannabis when you don’t feel guilty about your use. The psyche of the ‘healthy toker’ makes a welcome appearance when you switch to vapour.
Typically I’d add around 0.3g of cannabis to a spliff/pure joint, and find that I could stretch that to last a few hours at best. If I put that amount in the Volcano I could comfortably make that last me the entire day, which would normally require 2 or 3 spliffs if I were smoking it. So we’re looking at a saving of 2/3 of the cost. This is the equivalent of buying 10g of cannabis and getting 20g free, each and every time you use your vaporiser. Add that to the savings on tobacco and papers and you can see how the initial investment soon becomes a bargain, and indeed, a huge money-saver.
Vaporising provides an unparalleled experience. I liken consuming cannabis in this way to having a surgically-administered, full-flavoured dose delivered directly to your system. It’s incredibly smooth, tastes purely of the strain, and doesn’t bring with it the immediate uneasy/fidgety feeling you get when consuming tobacco. Your body rejects the toxic substance, and so getting high is also beset by an initial feeling of discomfort until the weed kicks-in. It’s a genuine pleasure to consume cannabis via a vaporiser, and it really does make you realise how it could be considered medicinal when taken using such a method. The isolation of cannabis, smoothly administered, is something to behold.
When tobacco is removed from the equation there’s a definite reduction in cannabis consumption. As enjoyable as it is, once you remove the physically addictive substance you’ll be a lot more selective about when you smoke, and how much you consume. Your sessions will be based on really wanting to get high, rather than doing it as a matter of course and habit. Most combined cannabis/tobacco users don’t notice this habituation until they move over to smoking pure or vaporising.
If you use a vaporiser with temperature control you can choose the type of high you receive. Typically THC and the more ‘energetic’ side of cannabis can be unleashed at lower temperatures than other cannabinoids, and so you can start vaporising at low temperatures early in the day, and move up until you’re on the more relaxed/sedated side of things when it’s later at night. Or you can of course immediately set it to high and consume everything at once. It’s something impossible with smoking, and allows for an experience tailored to the individual and their current mindset.
For more information on the boiling point of cannabinoids and terpenes, please see this guide. Even if you have an indica you can eek out a sativa-like experience, and vice-versa. Also, if you purchase one of the portable vaporisers you can consume cannabis wherever you are – in no smoking areas, on public transport, in the cinema… you name it!
Which vaporisers are worth considering?
It comes down to personal choice and suitability. At the moment the Volcano is considered the best home system by most users, but the newer, cheaper offering by the same manufacturer, the Plenty, will be more suitable for those on a restricted budget. We’re still talking $300, but hopefully having read this article you’ll see that for most regular users this initial outlay will be recouped many times over. For those looking for a stealth/mobile unit, I’d suggest trying the Arizer Solo if you want by far the best quality vapour, or the Magic Flight Launch Box for those on a budget. But really try for the Solo, as it’s so much better. Even better than the Volcano, in my opinion.
The machine I have my eye on has yet to be released in Europe, but all beta testing indicates it’s better than the Volcano. Keep checking the VapeXhale website to find out when The Cloud vaporiser will be available. Here’s a nice preview of what it looks like and how well it works. Please also do your own research on some of the most popular vaporisation websites. My favourite is F*ck Combustion.
So you have the theory, and indeed a lot of evidence as to why it’s better in practice, but giving up tobacco/combustion can be very difficult for most people. Those of us who proselytise about the wonders of vaping generally had to go through a fair amount of internal struggle, lapses back to smoking, and initially being unhappy with the high associated with pure cannabis consumption. This isn’t a sign that you have a peculiar weakness, or that vaping isn’t for you, but rather you just haven’t got to the stage of accepting that you aren’t missing out on anything but feeding a tobacco addiction. The high isn’t weaker, it’s just devoid of the effects of the far less enjoyable substance, and the brain notices that something is different.
It can take weeks, months, or even years to completely switch over to using a vaporiser as your standard means of consumption, but the battle is worth it, and ultimately you feel a happier and healthier person knowing that you’re doing the right thing, and after a while you’ll call yourself crazy for ever having bothered with our old enemy tobacco.