Click to viewThe Volcano is the Ferrari of tobacco and herbal vaporizers. Instead of burning, it atomizes. 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.
Here were our impressions.
Vaporizers are billed as tobacco cessation devices, as well as aromatherapy products for burning various herbal remedies, as well as the type of herb you are thinking of. They work essentially like a hair dryer element, heating herbs and tobacco to a temperature just before the point of combustion thus extracting the active elements but not actually burning the leaves. The absence of burning makes for little to no carcinogens in the inhaled vapor. In fact, the Volcano claims to be over 95% carcinogen free making it the preferred form of marijuana consumption in various Pharmaceutical Science and Medical Marijuana usage studies.
But enough of the boring stuff—how do you use it?
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 we spoke to said 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. Our 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. He told us that most of the crap in there was removed with compressed air, but he needed to hit a few spots with rubbing alcohol to do the trick. Here are the Volcano's finely engineered innards.
The Storz and Bickel Volcano retails for around $550 US but better deals can be found eBay and other discount sites. Our anonymous friend says he obtained his on eBay for around $400 but only after a huge delay, presumable because the sellers were probably too inebriated to put on some clothing and get to the post office.
Worth the price? Hard to say, but damn was it fun to play with...I mean my friend said it was fun to play with. It certainly could not have been any easier to operate and would definitely pay for itself in just a short amount of time for the serious smoker. Another bonus that you can get more extraction from using less actual herbs, so this up front investment could save you money for years to come. One more thing—could you pass the Cheetos?
Volcano Vaporizer [Storz and Bickel]