One of the premier vaporizer manufacturers in the world, German company Storz & Bickel introduced the iconic Volcano in 2000. It quickly became a favourite amongst medical users and a golden standard for desk top vaporizers.
The story of this remarkable company starts in 1996, when graphic designer Markus Storz began developing vaporizers in his basement. For his first experiments he used a heat gun, just like other pioneers such as American “Eagle Bill” Amato (1942-2005) and Dutch Evert “De Verdamper”.
But Storz wanted something better and in 1998 filed a patent for the removable valve balloon for a “volcano inhaler”. He founded the company “Vapormed Inhalatoren” in 2000 to produce and sell the first version of the Volcano vaporizer, that separated the vaporizing process from the inhaling. The vapor produced by heating up ground cannabis filled up a balloon, from which you could easily inhale it. This was something never seen before and it was an almost instant hit.
One of the first people to ever buy this revolutionary new device was Jürgen Bickel, a civil engineer working in Peru and a longtime friend of Markus Storz. They decided to team up and establish a new company in December 2002: Storz & Bickel GmbH & Co. It is based in Tuttlingen, a small town on the Donau river in the South of Germany that has a history of producing surgical instruments going back more than 150 years. As the reputation of the Volcano spread, the company kept growing. Storz & Bickel America started in Oakland, California in 2005. The Volcano was continuously improved, with the Digit (2007) allowing for exact temperature control between 40 and 240 degrees Celsius (104 to 464 Fahrenheit).
In 2010, Storz & Bickel became the first vaporizer manufacturer to receive ISO
(International Organization for Standardization) manufacturing certification. The whole production process, from research and development to individual testing of every single unit and after sales services breathes German Gründlichkeit, that special kind of thoroughness for which German cars are loved the world over. Sure, it comes at a price, but the quality and durability are unrivalled. Or as one reviewer on YouTube put it: “I used the crap out of it and it still works amazingly.” Dutch health insurance companies who cover medicinal cannabis usually cover the cost of a Volcano as well, adding to its reputation as the golden standard for vaporizers.