Sunday, June 10, 2012

THE SMARTEST TOY IN THE BOX


ANOTHER OCCUPY SPIN-OFF STORY

Temecula, CA – All my friends who have talked to me in the last few months and many of the stories here recently have a reference back to Occupy LA. Spending time up in LA because of that political event is so far the third most singular incident in my life, behind my cat’s resurrection, and Burning Man. OLA opened a new doorway in my life and I continue to reap many benefits/blessings from that experience. Sometimes this means a people story, sometimes an event story. This time out OLA leads to a toy story, in fact, to the Arizer Solo, known commercially as a diffuser but recognized in my circles as a ‘vape’.

A vape or vaporizer is the recommended medicinal way to utilize the therapeutically beneficial ingredients of cannabis/pot. In a 2001 study testing a device called the M1 Volatizer®, the researchers found that “it is possible vaporize medically active THC by heating marijuana to a temperature short of the point of combustion, thereby eliminating or substantially reducing harmful smoke toxins that are normally present in marijuana smoke”. The M1 Volatizer, produced THC at a temperature of 365 degrees Fahrenheit (185 degrees Celsius), while completely eliminating three measured combustion products, benzene, toluene and naphthalene. Carbon monoxide and smoke tars were also reduced, but not quantified.

While up in LA during OLA and looking for a part-time ‘day job’ out of camp, I chanced upon a place called The Vapor Spot through its distinctive neon logo lighting. Venturing inside, the store’s owner, JJ, gave me the fifty-cent tour of the chrome and glass digs. Looking at the scores of bottled aromatherapy scents my attention was drawn to the group of vaporizers displayed close by. A few of them were familiar, like the Volcano brand. Almost before I could say anything, JJ pulled out one of the models and said, “We just got this model in and it is the simplest to operate; just two parts, the body and the glass straw.”

JJ was more than just a salesperson however. He gave me the name of his doctor who signed off on his recommendation, his address and a few tips about the clinics. He also promised that when I got my ‘rec’ he would show me the vapor bar in back, a place for MMJ patients to experience the vape scene. Seven months later I returned with my paperwork and what I had saved up for the Arizer Solo. This is my product review.

The Arizer Solo portable vaporizer is the newest handheld vaporizer to hit the market. Instead of using butane or alkaline batteries, the Arizer Solo Vaporizer features a high quality lithium ion battery that’s capable of providing the user with over 3 hours of continuous use. It features an LED temperature control system that allows the user to adjust the vaporizing temperature accordingly.  The Arizer Solo Vaporizer is very easy to operate and is capable of reaching vaporizing temperatures within 2 minutes! It does not feature a fan and is not a forced air system as the kind that fills a balloon. Just a simple, light, steady, pull on the high quality borosilicate glass straw provides the ultimate vaporizing experience.

And what is the vaporizing experience? Every pot smoker knows the taste of the first rip from a brand new glass pipe, bong, or bubbler. Turn that taste up by a factor of ten, remove the ‘cough to get off’ dynamic, and enjoy the chilliest buzz in your life. This is a Pierce Brosnan style buzz, not a debilitating blast to the dome ala a blunt. Like sipping Sherry rather than beer through a hose, though each have their place and groups. The Arizer Solo is more for individual or intimate use and a separate auto 12 volt charger is available. Standing just a little over four inches high with a diameter under 2” [think the first Red Bull cans], one could see having a romantic picnic in the park, passing the Solo back and forth like a drink can with no one the wiser given that you are not leaving a telltale cloud of distinctive pot smoke wafting into the air.

The 2012 Edition (Model M-107) is the newest version and the model I selected was the silver with black insert, “the Tuxedo” – JJ. Operation is simple. Depressing both front panel arrow buttons causes a blue bottom panel light to flash. When it flashes a second time you can release the arrow buttons, getting a quick read-out of remaining battery life. After this the top [Level 7] yellow temperature light will flash once before the Idle [bottom blue] light reappears in a steady glow. The Solo is ready to have the temperature set. The up and down arrow buttons are for this purpose. Once the desired level is set and heating is indicated by the flashing red oblong LED between the buttons, you just wait for the yellow pin dots to reach the level set. When the red light goes out you are ready to go. Pushing the arrow buttons together again will turn the unit off but should you have a brain fart, the Solo will self-deactivate after 12 minutes conserving battery life. It also comes in an all black model.

Here are the available temperature levels along with the average warm up times:

    Level 1-50°C / 122°F (15 sec)
    Level 2-185°C / 365°F (1 min)
    Level 3-190°C / 374°F (1 min 10)
    Level 4-195°C / 383°F (1 min 30 sec)
    Level 5-200°C / 393°F (1 min 50 sec)
    Level 6-205°C / 401°F (2 min 10 sec)
    Level 7-210°C / 410°F (2 min 30 sec)

Though the above study sites the temperature of 365°F I found that level 3 at 374°F (190°C) to be the best suited for my brand of aromatherapy. An important note: turn the unit on and allow to heat up one cycle BEFORE you insert the glass straw the first time. Also DO NOT touch the bottom of the glass straw which goes into the unit when the unit first shuts off. That section is very hot so allow a minute or two before disengaging from the Solo. Removal of spent residue, which should be tan to brown in color [mine resembles golden tobacco], should be then promptly carried out and not left inside the glass straw to dry out. Also a grinder is essential.

You can order this product online but if at all possible, the hands-on tutoring session and a visit to the vapor bar in the back are worth the trip to the shop. Tell JJ that PT sent you. Check out all the various models and styles of vaporizers as there are a number in various price ranges. Be warned, once you start vaping, ‘smoking’ weed can taste like butt crack, be harsh, and get you super baked because your tolerance goes down with vaping.

Medically you can feel any aches and pains melt away in your limbs with the first and second inhale of vapor, as you get used to the full rich taste of whatever you are vaping. For my friend who wondered about this high tech swerve being kosher, Gen 1:29-30 says that the herbs are given to man for his consumption “for meat”. This also translates as ‘to ingest’. Aside from the fact that the only ‘drug’ that comes from a herb is pot/cannabis, meaning all other drugs no matter the delivery system are non-kosher, ingesting cannabis no matter how [eating, smoking, vaping, anointing or absorption through the pores] seems to pass muster as far as the bible says. Reducing the tars and other residue created from combustion while retaining the good stuff including first pipe usage taste every load which lasts for about an average of 7-12 draws (hits), seems the perfect hookup for a MMJ patient but maybe not for the average recreational party-stoner.

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