Review: Vapor Genie

With my last post on cannabis paraphernalia being a more expensive combustible review, this week we move towards two words that you normally don’t see together:  inexpensive vaporizer.  When I mean inexpensive, I’m talking the Vapor Genie, a sub-60 dollar vaporizer.  And get this, it works!

We’re going to add another word to those two that don’t go along. Now, say it with me, Inexpensive PORTABLE Vaporizer.  Okay, now that we’ve gotten the formalities out of the way, we can get on with the review.

I’ve got here a classic wood grain, purchased retail for only $55.  It’s a vaporizing pipe.  It looks like a pipe, but not some obvious 420 glass pipe.  It looks not all that different from something you’d seen being smoked in a den, with a snifter of brandy and reading your favorite magazine (like The Art of Mary Jane, hint. Have you subscribed today?) in a wingback chair.  So this wooden pipe has a bowl and a bubble of wood over the bowl.  In that bubble of wood is a ceramic “flame filter.” You unscrew it, and you put your herb in the lower chamber, then screw this upper bubble over it.  You apply flame much as you would to a pipe, heating the chamber, but not the herb.

Don’t get me wrong, you will screw up the first time.  There is a little learning curve to apply just the right amount of heat.  You get a vaporizing effect that you inhale through the pipe as you would a normal tobacco pipe.  The vapor has a range to it, from cool and barely there to hot, burnt-popcorn tasting stuff.  All depends on how hard you hit the flame.  So practice and once you get it right, it’s like riding a bicycle.  You want that happy medium, good vapor efficiency without approaching combustion.  If you blast this thing with a torch lighter, you will ruin it or actually combust your herb, which is not the point of this.  You want to be sure to teach people you are sharing with what to do first so they don’t burn your herb or, worse yet, burn your pipe.

Vapor Genie is available in a myriad of colors along with metal tip models, annew all glass model, and special hand-carved ones.  They range from $55-65.  This is a real vaporizer, just one that has no electronics, and uses a lighter’s flame for heat.  Despite my own misgivings, this thing does perform well and was really good at getting the most out of my herb.  As with just about all vaporizers, you want to grind finely and remember to save your spent herb.  That can be used for butter-making and baking.  Just in time for the holidays!

Pros: Fits in a pocket; Cheap
Cons: Takes practice/learning curve; Combustion occurs if not careful

Bobbie Carson writes about marijuana culture and Mary Jane girls.

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Strains are Like Snowflakes…

If you have never smoked marijuana in your life, or if you have and just never paid attention to exactly what you’ve rolled, you may not realize that cannabis strains are as varied as other types of plants. Growing marijuana, for the serious counterculture horticulturalist, involves nurturing various strains of the plants and harvesting a multitude of buds that yield different results.

When it comes to weed, you simply can’t throw a few seeds in a pot and expect to get high come spring, which is why I have great respect for growers who have the patience for this sort of thing. As you realize the true diversity of cannabis, you’ll note that trying different varieties is almost like going out to taste wine. You know a California Chardonnay will differ from a Virginia Viognier and a Portuguese Port by virtue of color and aroma even before you sip, and the same can apply to marijuana.

Recently I came across a site called iStrainGuide, which details over seventy different types! Did you ever think that many styles of cannabis could exist! I can’t name seven varietals of wine grapes, but if you check out iStrainGuide (and there’s an app for that, too), you’ll see photos of each strain along with information on what effects to expect and how it can be used medicinally.

Of course, what the site won’t tell you is where to get the stuff. If you carry an MJ card, however, and have access to a dispensary you at least can go there more informed.

Bobbie Carson writes about cannabis culture and Mary Jane girls.

The New Weed Order

by Jacob Barnes

Imagine a world where pot was entirely legal and anyone and everyone could smoke in peace. What changes would happen if we were to enter this alternate and devoutly-to-be-wished reality? What new adventures, attitudes, ideas and beliefs would come into play in a society where peace, love and understanding were the buzz words of the day, as opposed to aggression, greed and hate? If there’s one thing weed smokers like to do, it is to offer conjecture, and forthwith is an explanation of the “Weed-Venture” we would find ourselves on if we woke up tomorrow, like George Bailey in “It’s A Wonderful Life” to find that all 420 laws had never been written in the first place.

For starters, let’s think about how much crime would cease to exist. The criminal marijuana industry is a multi-billion dollar enterprise, enforced through acts of violence at times so shocking it is amazing to conceive of the fact that these murders, rapes and more are being done in the service of distributing ganja. In our new weed-ality, these criminals have given up the green trade and focused on the white powders. It is not our place to judge those who use heroin or cocaine, but it is our duty to inform them that they are playing with fire, as these substances, in contrast to marijuana, are unlikely to produce no harmful side effects.

In the New Weed Order, these substances have been legalized but are dispensed with a decisive system of checks and balances such that the more harmful outcomes, such as heart disease, liver failure, outright addiction and death by overdose become a thing of the past.

But enough about death – let’s talk about sex, baby, let’s talk about you and me. So much of our conventional attitudes toward sex are caused by the repressive images and teachings we encounter in our childhood, at school, at home, and at houses of worship. Minds get locked into patterns, into plans that demand that WE MUST BE NORMAL (not NORML, just to be sure).

It’s A Green World After All

With marijuana free to unlock the minds of parent, preacher and principal alike, the status quo would inevitably be upended and the strict Puritan values that have turned us into a nation of basement sinners and hypocrites would be thrown out the window in favor of free love. Why do you think so many people have had sex in the mud at rock festivals? Their inhibitions were loosened by the mind opening properties of cannabis.

With pot in our imagined reality now available to all, we’d be talking about the mother of all love-ins, sexual liaisons unfettered by outmoded notions of appropriateness blossoming on every street corner, cats and dogs living together, a bacchanal that would do Hieronymous Bosch proud.

No longer would we walk the streets as if each of us bore an invisible scarlet “A” denoting that the pleasures of the flesh are at odds with the moral necessities of existence. Freeing our minds and following with our asses (and our other naughty bits), the whole system of sexual mores that has served to repress us for generations would melt away in a haze of pot vapor that would finally let us breathe freely as sexual beings.

The only beings more painfully repressive than the enforcers of sexual codes are the warmongers, who keep us in a sustained state of conflict, fighting needless battles and sacrificing needless lives. Their power-mad dreams would be abated by the wafting clouds of pot smoke that would sail through the halls of every seat of power from the White House to the Kremlin. Can you imagine a War on Terror in a world without fear, self-liberated through the antidote of MaryJane inspired peace, love, harmony and understanding.

Our educational system would undergo an overhaul of mammoth proportions, as students would no longer be subjected to the “standard curriculum” designed to re-enforce the notion that we are a free people, molded in the image of our founding Fathers, when in fact we live one step shy of being in a police state. Let that MaryJane cloud pour into our school faculty meetings and watch a radically re-organized and infinitely more positive approach to instructing the youth of America (and the world).

These “pipe” dreams need not be dismissed as idle fantasizing. The first step toward a world of united sentient beings celebrating the present moment with the facilitator of marijuana as a means to see the beauty of things can begin with stepping up to the ballot box and casting a vote for legalization.

For now, we remain in the Matrix, a reality pulled over us to blind us from the dark truth that the government (or at least the more sinister factions therein) would prefer to keep its hands tightly on the reins of power, outlawing the upright while celebrating the vicious. May the coming good times arrive right quick. May we sing from the hill tops a freedom song of mental liberation and frolic in the valley of unabashed freedom, not just freedom to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but also to the parallel goal of the pursuit of one-mind individualized society in which each and every member can be exactly who he or she wants to be thanks to the green. This can’t come a moment too soon.

Jacob Barnes writes for The Art of Mary Jane Magazine, the magazine dedicated to cannabis culture and marijuana culture.