Cannabis, the other name for Marijuana, has been used since ancient times. It is in the oldest written records coming from the Sheng Nung dynasty in 2727 BC.
Marijuana was also used in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, with uses ranging from medicinal, health, to recreation. Some religions even had very high regards to the plant, using it in rituals and special occasions due to the short-lived bliss it brings.
Thousands of years later, cannabis use has continued and spread to different parts of the world. It is now being considered a medicinal herb with advocates pushing for its legalization. In the US, cannabis has been decriminalized in different states since 1973, while medical marijuana was legalized since 1996, with some states even legalizing its recreational use. Whatever the purpose, cannabis, or marijuana, is undeniably staying for good.
Through the years, marijuana use has led to the invention of different apparatuses and devices; from soaking cannabis in hot milk to marinating resin in olive oil. There are many other methods of using the plant and people have continuously desired to make a better and more convenient way to use it. In the latter part of the 1960s, cannabis users in the US learned to use marijuana as rolled cigarettes. From there, the use of glass smoking apparatuses was developed. Derived from these are improved pipes and bongs, and now, vaporizers with more advanced features.
So, how exactly were marijuana vaporizers invented?
The First Years
Although the particularities of the invention of marijuana vaporizers are unclear, there is a lot of available information as to where it originated from and who is responsible for its conception.
One assumption is that the very first version of cannabis vaporizers was the Jamaican pipe, which used water and hot coal to produce vapor out of the herb; however, this claim is not supported in writing.
In the ‘70s, earlier versions of vaporizers using conduction via soldering irons were used. Unfortunately, the plant was commonly burned and carbonized in this process.
Another theory regarding the invention of cannabis vaporizers is when a certain Dr. Lunglife sent a manuscript to High Times magazine in 1989 containing instructions on how to build a vaporization machine with the use of RadioShack parts. In the said article, Dr. Lunglife explained why and how vaporization was safer than smoking it, even when there was still no scientific research to back-up such information.
The text was published in the magazine’s 1989 issue and is now the earliest written record of the promotion of marijuana vaporizers available today.
The mysterious Dr. Lunglife first used a two-step process, which was introduced in the published article. The process involved extracting concentrate oil from cannabis flowers, then brushing the oil onto the thread of a light bulb which served as the heating apparatus. The same person sent a related manuscript to the magazine in December, 1989 with instructions on building a vaporizer that was able to draw vapor directly from the plant instead of extracting black cannabis oil first.
Rise to Fame
In 1993, Eagle Bill, a cannabis activist who advocated the medical uses of marijuana, first experienced vaporizing the plant when a Californian grower used a heating gun to extract the THC by vapor. During this period, the use of heating guns had become quite popular among marijuana users, since it was the same time when the benefits of vaporizing the plant started to spread.
This paved the way for Eagle Bill to enhance the idea and invented the ‘shake and vape’, which was drawn from ancient Egyptian methods of vaporizing marijuana using hot stones to keep the temperature at a certain level. The shake and vape was later known as “Eagle Bill’s peace pipe of the future” and is considered to be one of the most efficient hand-held vaporizers that many medicinal users favor.
Eagle Bill brought his invention to the 7th Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam for everyone to try and thousands were able to experience ‘vaping’ at the said exhibit.
Modern Marijuana Vaporization
Later on, marijuana users were able to discover the forced air system vaporization process, wherein hot air is forced over marijuana using a fan. This meticulous process is the same process used in the Volcano Vaporizer, which became one of the most idyllic marijuana vaporizers in the market since its formal inception in 1996. The only drawback that kept people from buying this type of vaporizer was the price, which started at around $800 a piece, but later on went down when the digital version was released.
The development of marijuana vaporizers has continued since then, with more and more companies investing in the creation of digital, powerful, and more portable devices that marijuana users are now checking out.
At present, there are four types of marijuana vaporizers being used: the Vaporizer Pen, e-cigarette, mechanical vape mod, and the desktop vaporizer.
The Vaporizer Pen is a portable option for any marijuana user who wants to extract the THC out of the plant itself without the harmful materials created by burning. Vape pens make use of glass and metal extraction chambers where the plant is heated up and vaporized. The vapor is then inhaled through a pipe or hose, or collected in an inflatable bag prior to vaping.
The marijuana e-cig works like any other e-cig for vaporizing herbs, wax, or oils, as it uses an atomizer and a battery, and can be reusable or disposable. The manual vape mod is technically a bigger vape pen with higher battery mAhs and variable options, as well as other customizable features, such as the RBA and RDA tanks, coils, and wicks.
Disputes and Scientific Backup on the Benefits of Marijuana Vaporizers
Since its first invention, the benefits of using marijuana vaporizers over joints (rolling dry marijuana herbs in cigarette paper to be burned like regular tobacco) have been a subject of criticism all over the world. This comes on top of the endless debates on whether marijuana itself is a medicinal herb, despite the scientific researches that support such claims.
Vaporizing, in general, has garnered quite some negative remarks from scientists who state that the said process of extracting nicotine from substances still involved the release of lethal material. It should be noted that, while there is no scientific study that proves it is 100% safe; vaping is far less dangerous and harmful than smoking. The mere fact that it does not involve any form of combustion means vaping is saved from the excretion of the many carcinogenic materials that can be found in tobacco and marijuana smoke.
If truth be told, the same scientific studies stating that vaping is not as safe as most people believe it should be are the studies that show the enormous difference between smoking and vaping. The latter is proven to produce, at most, only 1% of the harmful ingredients being emitted by combustion of tobacco and marijuana herbs. To note, this will only happen if the substance is vaporized at a very high temperature.
Then again, who in the world would want to vape using temperatures that give out a burnt and undesirable taste? The very reason why marijuana vaporizers were invented was to get rid of the burnt taste and shun away from detrimental smoke emissions.