There are many ways to enjoy a sunny Amsterdam Sunday morning, but walking around the city’s largest woodland, flower hunting with a couple of charming hippies is among the nicest. Read more
The modern era of herbal vaporizing owes its existence in large part to the tireless efforts of one Frank William Wood – better known as Eagle Bill.
Bill not only invented several forms of vaporizers (including the 10 gallon jar model he displayed at fairs, cups and shows for dramatic effect), with his championing of the technique he single-handedly put this “safe and effective alternative to smoking” on the map in the years before his death in 2005. Read more
That’s the theory at least – and it was working well, until a family tragedy forced me back to the UK for three weeks. I had to leave behind my vaporizer and had run out of Dutch Spirit, so I became re-hooked on smoking roll ups with pure tobacco.
I was back in Holland for only a couple of weeks before the school holidays began and I was off to France for a week with my kids. Again, no vape with me but I did get hold of another couple of packs of Dutch Spirit, which I smoked on and off. But staying with a cigarette smoker and with no weed around, I quickly slipped back into being a 100% tobacco smoker.
And that, my friends, is more or less how it ended. Back in Amsterdam I struggled to pick up the vape habit. My always rather lukewarm enthusiasm for quitting smoking evaporated as my life became a complicated struggle.
The experiment, so pregnant with possibility, had failed, for me, for now. I handed over the Verdamper to the next blogger wanting to give it a trial run and resigned myself to being a tobacco joint smoker for the foreseeable future.
A vape is an aid to quitting tobacco, but…
My conclusion: yes, a vaporizer can be a useful tool in the difficult process of quitting smoking tobacco while remaining a marihuana enthusiast. But you need to really want to quit tobacco – and this time around, I just don’t think I wanted it enough.
There is something uniquely satisfying about the consumption of tobacco joints: the rolling, the sharing, the double nicotine-THC hit firing off those dopamine receptors, the contemplative exhalation.
Yes, I know these are probably the words of a nicotine addict (as opposed to a cannabis addict, which I strongly suspect does not exist), but anyone who’s been there knows what I’m talking about.
PS: I’ll be back, probably with a pocket vape
As a postscript, I had a couple of blasts on the Magic Flight Box portable vape at a party recently and really liked it. Pocket-sized, operating immediately with a simple-to-use battery heated coil, and a tiny inhalation tube (so very little cannabinoid loss from condensation).
It’s perfect for the in-home and outdoor vaper on the move. I loved it, and when I can afford the 40 bucks or so, I’ll be giving this experiment another whack.
So until the next time I indulge in an experiment with vape expectations, I hereby sign off. Thanks for reading!
The new week progressed much as the previous one had ended; smoking less but still smoking nonetheless. Time to review what I’ve learned so far?
I had been told that the Volcano bag gave the vapor an aftertaste, and I’m afraid that’s true. Not horribly, but there is a slight taste. It is also rather dry on the throat compared with the water-cooled vapor from a Verdamper, my only other vaporizer reference point.
Judging by the pop culture references (for instance, a Volcano features in the cult US comedy and Ted Danson vehicle Bored to Death, now in its 3rd season), I can see that this wonder of German engineering is a bit of a status symbol in the US. If you’ve got the space (and no curious kids wondering what it is), a Volcano does make a cool centrepiece and a novel talking point. And it is still a social way to indulge.
But I had been finding myself wistfully thinking of the coffee shop in central Amsterdam that’s smoke free and stocked entirely with Verdamper vaporizers. I never got as far as cycling into town specifically to visit there, and fortunately the offer was made to temporarily swap my Volcano for a Verdamper – and I jumped at the chance.
The swap was made. I located all the little spare parts, brushes and bags and packed the whole Volcano up. Then I unpacked the loaner Verdamper, assembling the finely crafted glass components and filling the chamber with water.
Sure, it looks like a chemistry experiment, and that aesthetic appeals to its fans. But where the Verdamper really excels and the reason it has become the standard vape in Amsterdam cofeeshops, is the unparalelled smoothness of the water-cooled vapor combined with the exceptional clarity of taste of the weed used.
The hit is instantaneous – strains are easily differentiated by taste alone – something you simply can’t do with a tobacco joint.
I also added a new weapon to my armoury: several packs of Dutch Spirit non-tobacco smoking/vaping herb mix, with the tip that making a joint from 50-50 tobacco and Dutch Spirit was a good way of easing me out of nicotine withdrawal while still allowing the psychosomatic need for a joint.
I have to say I was an immediate convert! The 50-50 mix of tobacco (American Spirit), and the five healthy, lung-boosting herbs (and naturally the 6th herb) is actually a sweeter, smoother taste than pure tobacco.
The idea is that you smoke the 50-50 mix for a couple of weeks, then step up to 75% herbs and 25% tobacco for a while, and gradually ease into smoking 100% herbal mix before you body even realises it’s no longer dependent on nicotine.