Summer officially starts June 21, but many Oregonians have already started their seasonal travels, taking with them cannabis in its many forms. Although it’s illegal—and therefore morally wrong—to consume cannabis in a place that does not have walls or a roof (such as, say, the great outdoors), I predict many of you will do this exact thing.
But like your family, I’m not mad about your choices, just disappointed. If you insist on partaking of the jazz tobacco al fresco, please consider these tools to enhance your experience. You heathen.
As a self-confessed Vape Snob(™), it’s not that I don’t enjoy a fat joint or—provided I don’t have to roll it—blunt. But I try to avoid the harsh smoke that can result in coughing and hacking. If I’m going to smoke, I prefer a hydrated and well-cleansed bong hit.
But I’ve learned that it’s slightly impractical to bring a bong along on a day trip, so I’m all about the collection of mini bubblers from the Colorado artisans at MJ Arsenal. Bubblers are small pipes that use water to cool and clean the smoke, with their size and lack of removable downstem distinguishing them from their larger and more spill-prone cousins.
MJ Arsenal’s little pieces are designed by a company that obviously loves both joints and bongs. And they are adorable. Each piece is thoughtfully designed, aesthetically pleasing, and user-friendly. Add a small amount of cold water, and you can actually plug your rolled joint or blunt into the unit. One model can even handle two joints, so yes please. Another is designed to look like a tank. These are about the size of smoking gear a stoned squirrel or hip Keebler elf would use, and the logo is a discrete, green-haired fairy (see: adorable) whose skirt hemline is the water level indicator. Their Hydra Mini Rig has a quartz banger option, allowing you to take cute little dab hits. And all of the bubblers are sturdy—a good thing when placed into clumsy bear paws such as mine.
Vie makes a portable vaporizer that almost seems to be screaming, “Take me with you!” (When this happens, you know you’re too high.) Vie’s non-screaming vape is very ergonomic, fits great in your hand, and is finished in smooth aluminum in three colors. It’s lightweight, charges via mini-USB, has easy-to-understand controls, and even a couple of advanced options. At $119, it’s a great value.
The Vie can handle both flower and concentrates: You either pack the heating chamber directly for flower only, or use their unique disposable capsule system for both flower and concentrate. The capsules (or pods) are tiny, metal pill-shaped tubes topped with rubber caps, with perforations for flower and smooth walls for concentrates. Load up a capsule, unscrew the dime-sized lid on the bottom of the vape, and drop it in. Set it to one of the four preset temperatures (338, 392, 428, and 482 degrees Fahrenheit). The unit heats up quickly, has lights and a vibrating alert system to signal readiness, uses a discrete and comfortable silicone mouthpiece, and offers the option to change your airflow intake pattern.
Vie’s site explains that the unit is a “conduction vaporizer with a convection element... [heating] the herbs with a conduction system through heat transfer thermodynamics.” It comes with cleaning tools, a concentrate pick, and a sleeve of tiny screens to insert when using flower and forgoing the capsules.
I found it produced varying levels of vapor density and taste, and worked well with either flower or concentrates. With a size and weight far less than that of my phone, I could use it easily while walking. The cost of the disposable capsules is spendy ($44.89 for a pack of 20, or $2.24 each), and the capacity of 0.3 grams per capsule isn’t much (for me)—not to menton it could go pretty quick if you’re sessioning with others. The capsules, while described as disposable, may be reusable if cleaned, but I’m too lazy to have tried. Still, the Vie’s portability and ease of use won me over—it’s road tested and recommended.