I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: the leader in dry herb vaporizing hasn’t changed in decades.
Having started development in 1996, the Volcano received its first patent in 1998 before initially launching in Europe in 2000. Invented by Markus Storz, who eventually joined Jurgen Bickel in 2002 to create the brand we know and love today, the Volcano entered the American scene in 2003 with the addition of 110v outlets. Although it’s been innovated several times over the years—from a digital dial system, to a hybrid whip / balloon system, to adding concentrate vaping capabilities—but the Volcano Classic still remains S&B’s flagship product, the leader in vaping technology since its creation. Finally, after releasing several new colors over the past few years, the Volcano will come in a color befitting of its place in the industry—GOLD.
What makes the Volcano different is it’s combination of convection heating and vacuum technology, which pumps in fresh filtered air while heating your dry herb. The hot air passes over the nugs (or concentrates if you’re using the hybrid) into a large plastic bag that fills up with vapor. Once filled, the user releases the bag from the device, and you’re able to inhale your tasty vapor on the go, unlike most devices which require you to stay next to the heating component throughout the whole experience. While I wouldn’t recommend taking these bags out on the road (they’re not THAT fragile, but the wind tosses the bag all over the place), there’s plenty of smoke collected inside the chamber so you can comfortably sit down and enjoy a show or some music without having to keep an eye on your device the whole time. The produced vapor is in my experience the single best way to taste the terp profile of your flowers, and unlike vape pens, you’re going to feel the effects of your goods from the first bag.
While this device is without question the best plant material vaporizer that exists on the market today, the Gold Edition has taken the unit to new heights—not only providing the best experience, but looking damn good in the process!
What’s In The Box
When you’re paying for top quality products, part of the experience is top quality accessories, and Storz and Bickel hold nothing back when it comes to making sure you’re ready to rock. Inside the box you’ll of course find your vaporizer, bags, and user manual, but S&B doesn’t stop there—they included ALL the bells and whistles. Also in the box is a grinder, cleaning tools, many extra valves and bags in case you happen to damage the original ones, as well as screens and clips to keep your device working at maximum efficiency for years to come.
Using The Volcano
While this thing is super user friendly once you’ve got the swing of it, there is a slight learning curve to setting it up. Thankfully I’d used one of these devices before so set up was quick and easy for me, but if it’s your first time trying the device I would definitely recommend heading over to S&B’s YouTube page for some super helpful videos on how to use your device, clean it, and tips and tricks to maximize your experience. Although I’m confident anyone will be able to figure out how to pull it out of the box and plug it in, there’s a bit of minutia you’re going to want to understand before you turn it on. For one, the mouthpiece and the heating component are two separate parts, and while it’s super easy to pull the mouthpiece off for filling, you’ll probably want to hear from an expert that you are indeed supposed to pull the black part off the orange part in order to fill the bag before you do it yourself. Once you’ve gotten the tutorial down it’s off to the races!
Now, given that this device lets you control your heat settings, I often like to start the process on a low heat setting to ensure I’m getting the most of the terp profile in my initial inhales. I typically start out around level 3, run two bags, pop it up to level 5, run two more, and then finish off the bowl with two bags at the 7th level. This helps make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck out of the material you put inside the device, and also get the full breadth of the Volcano experience. You see, on the lower settings it’s much more about flavor, while on the higher ones it’s about smoke intake. Your first few low-temp bags will probably be close to see through because of the concentration of the smoke, but rest assured by that 4th or 5th bag you’re going to see some pretty dense smoke filling the bag. It’s important to remember though that you don’t want to overfill the bag, or overheat the plant matter too much. Rushing to the highest setting won’t waste your buds, but it will significantly cut down the length of your vaporizing experience.
While I’ve been fortunate to try many different devices across the cannabis landscape, there are few devices that stand out as both incredibly effective and timeless. Much like joints, or bongs, the Volcano is in my head one of the most classic devices for consumption, and while there have been many imitators, no one else has come close.
All in this device will cost you about $600 for the Gold Edition, but rest assured, this is just about the best $600 you’ll ever spend in your life. Just like an expensive bong, or some top shelf product, when you go big on the front end you’re able to get much more out of your experience. The Volcano is no different – invest today and benefit forever.
Try it for yourself and let us know what you think on Twitter at @High_Times_Mag & @joncappetta!