Volcano Vaporizer Review~

Discussion in 'Vaporizers' started by rick, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. rick

    rick Moderator

    As a long time daily smoker I have often wondered about the negative effects of smoking marijuana on the lungs. I understand that marijuana does not contain many of the harmful ingredients that cigarettes do, however I only have to look to my resinated pipe to know that inhaling burning plant material just can’t be too good for you. I’ve known about various ways of ingesting marijuana from smoking to eating and more recently I’ve been reading about the benefits vaporizing marijuana.

    Smoking marijuana often produces a cough from the more inexperienced to the very experienced smokers for a pretty good reason. Hot marijuana smoke can be quite harsh on the throat and lungs producing the coughing reaction and the red eyes from popping little blood vessels during that coughing reflex. Burning marijuana also produces a very distinct odor that few would mistake for anything else so, it’s difficult to conceal use if in a confined space. The lack of cancer causing agents in the smoke does not detract from the amount of tars that are created by burning the plant material and ultimately inhaling these tars.

    Eating marijuana, when correctly prepared can be quite an experience. It’s said to produce more of a body high that seems to roll more – that is have highs and lows during the intoxicating period. Eating marijuana also produces a very tiring effect in those I know. The lack of motivation and the desire to sleep aren’t always acceptable. Cooking with marijuana is also very time consuming and resource intensive. You will find that growers of marijuana cook with marijuana much more often than purchasers of marijuana.

    In comes the vaporizer. Some quick information on vaporization is in order. Vaporization is the process of passing heated air through organic material heating the material enough to release its flavor and active ingredients into a vapor or steam. In vaporization the organic material is never ignited nor is a flame present. The air is heated to temperatures between 130 and 230 degrees(c). As the vapors escape from the organic material they are inhaled or captured for inhalation.

    I’ll be covering the Volcano Vaporizer by Storz & Bickel in this review. The Volcano has earned a reputation as being the best vaporizer on the market today. Never having used a vaporizer before, I thought it would be appropriate for this review to give vaporization its best possible chance.

    When I received my Volcano I was immediately impressed by the professional packaging and manufacturing of the product itself. As you remove the Volcano from the box it quickly becomes clear that this is no simple bong or cheap toy or novelty. The unit includes several high grade, molded plastic, metals and fittings. We can separate the Volcano into three pieces; the base heating unit, the filling chamber and the mouthpiece.

    The product looks and feels good. Not cheap or poorly built, rather something you would expect to purchase from an appliance store along with Blenders and Toasters. On the base heating unit there is a dial temperature control. I was impressed by the consistency of the heating element and its ability to maintain a constant temperature. The base unit also provides the heat very quickly. Within just a minute the heating element is ready to accept the filling chamber. The optimum temperature for which you should use to vaporize your organic material depends on many factors including, type of organic material, moisture of the material and the density of vapors which you would like to achieve, among other factors such as humidty and barometric pressures, etc.

    The filling chamber is capable of holding approximately 4-5 grams of finely ground marijuana. The grinding is important as you do not want to just throw a bud in the filling chamber and expect results. The finer the substance is ground the more surface area available to the heated air passing through the filling chamber. If you want to achieve a more dense vapor, thus getting more goodness, you should completely fill the filling chamber, but do not overfill or pack tightly at all. The loose pack is important to allow the heated air to pass more easily through the fill chamber.

    To vaporize the material simply heat up the base unit to your desired temperature and set the filling chamber on the screened heating element. I recommend you turn on the heated air flow by pressing the green button on the base unit prior to applying the mouthpiece. This will allow the heated air to pass through the material for a few seconds to “preheat” the material so that your mouthpiece and capture balloon will get more vapor than air, 3-5 seconds should be sufficient.

    Once the material is pre-heated the mouthpiece is firmly snapped into place by quality finger grip construction. As the balloon on the mouthpiece fills it will go from a laying down position to an upright position. The heated air is not blown out at a rate that would pop the capture balloon so it is possible to “overfill” the capture balloon to allow for more vapors to fill the space.

    Once you are satisfied by the density of the vapors in the capture balloon simply turn the green air flow button on the base unit to off and press in the finger clasp to release the mouthpiece from the filling chamber and base unit. The mouthpiece is outfitted with a pressure release mouth-tip so that your capture balloon does not immediately start to deflate. To inhale the vapors simply press your mouth against the mouthpiece and inhale.

    It will feel very different to you. It’s not smoke, it’s vapor. There is no charred organic material or carcenagens found in this vapor, only pure organic material heated into a vapor that quickly cools to room temperature. While the air passed through the material is heated to 130 – 230 degrees(c) the vapors quickly cool the air in the capture balloon. When the vapors are inhaled they are at room temperature, not super heated from in excess of 500 degree direct flame as you would get from a hand pipe. This greatly improves the inhalation of the vapor and produces almost NO coughing sensation!

    The process of using the vaporizer is quick and efficient. In testing for this write-up I’ve found that 3 grams of marijuana ground finely lasted throughout the entire day and into the evening with frequent smoking by two people. It appears that the vapors allow marijuana to go a little further, however I also found that taking several balloon hits felt normal for me so it’s possible that it takes more vapor to accomplish the same effect as inhaled smoke. If prolonging your resources is the goal, the jury is still out on this one. I have found it very accommodating to not have to deal with smell, ashes and lighters that accompany smoking. The smell from vaporizing marijuana is more of a “roasted plant” smell. Definitely different from the smoked smell, however you can still notice the smell of marijuana in the room.

    The taste of the vapors was not over potent but had a “roasted plant” taste. It is very comparable to the taste of marijuana when used in cooking with cannabutter or similar. I don’t like the flavor of marijuana by itself when eaten, that’s why I typically mix with brownies to make it more palatable. The vaporizer worked beautifully in the same way. I first mixed a little high grade marijuana with some fresh mint. With a loosely filled filling chamber and the heat applied, it was quickly obvious that I had found a new favorite way to smoke and that I needed a fresh supply of some herbal blends.

    The mint flavor and smell quickly filled the room, far over powering the roasty smell of the marijuana. My mouth literally watered as the vapors filled the capture balloon. At the proper vapor density the mixture of marijuana and mint produced a taste unlike anything I’ve tasted to date. It was wonderful. Vaporizing marijuana with herbs and various herbal blends continues to amaze. It seems there is no end to combinations when it comes to vaporizing herbs with your, herb.

    So "how is the high", you ask? I was very impressed by the quality of high. I must admit, I was very skeptical and my preconceived perception was that I would not like the vaporizer in the same fashion that I didn’t like eating marijuana. I have to believe that vaporization is NOT going to make your marijuana better. The better grade turned to vapor, the more intoxicating effect you will realize. For testing purposes we used high grade, seedless – rather fresh and moist marijuana. While vaporization does not make your marijuana better, it does make you smarter for avoiding the harmful effects of burnt organic material!

    The high itself is somewhat reminiscent of the effect of eating marijuana but the difference is great enough not to consider them the same. The effects from inhaling the vapors are immediate and noticeable. It felt as if it was more of a head high and somewhat more relaxing than the smoked comparison. After smoking there was no throat burn or extended coughing, I was able to continue on with what I was doing with a very enjoyable high. The effects lasted no longer or no less than the high that comes from smoking that I was able to notice.

    Do yourself and your lungs a favor, especially if you are a heavy or regular smoker, and get yourself a high quality vaporizer like The Volcano Vaporizer. You will be giving up absolutely nothing and gaining all the health advantages that are associated with vaporization versus smoking. Inhaling the vapors is like inhaling from a humidifier – add a touch of herb and instant add flavor and depth to your experience. The vaporizer has changed my ways.

    Marijuana.Com – The Volcano Vaporizer by Storz & Bickel. Best rated product.
    8 people like this.
  2. wahwah

    wahwah New Member

    bump for a good review
    2 people like this.
  3. DaDornta

    DaDornta MJ.com MASTA SELECTA

    Couldn't have done one better myself.

    There are many "tricks" you can do to make the Volcano more efficient and even more satisfying for the user.

    A dedicated sticky thread for each of the most popular vaporizer models ought to be here in the Vapo sub-forum for specific discussion on each technique used for each piece of hardware. My .2 Rick....don't want to clutter the top of the forum up though... :(
    2 people like this.
  4. DaDornta

    DaDornta MJ.com MASTA SELECTA

    If you don't think the Volcano can give THICK vapor hits...think again...

    Terrible quality photo, I took it with my phone...but it gives you an idea..

    Oh, my "Holy Trinity"..."Christina Bonguellria", my genuine Space Case, and my VOLCANO!

    2 people like this.
  5. wahwah

    wahwah New Member

    That looks like smoke.:p
  6. DaDornta

    DaDornta MJ.com MASTA SELECTA

    TRUST ME....it isn't. I got about 3 bags like that from half a gram...before the weed turned brown.
  7. wahwah

    wahwah New Member

    What techniques do you use to get the vapors that thick.
  8. 5drive

    5drive Slacker

    You load half a gram. ;) I'm not going to comment on how much to load-how many bags you get from x amount. There are just too many variables- with both weed and people (and the size of the bag). It's just personal preference for the most part, but .5 g is 10 times as much as I normally load in my herbalAire, and .05 g is plenty to get me going with some decent weed. So naturally you're going to have lots of vapor with a half gram load. OTOH the loading chamber on the herbalAire is smaller, and the lack of a valve and much cheaper chamber makes the herbalAire much easier to set up for multiple bag use. Since it takes more time to fill the same size bag with the herbalAire, I like to use a fairly small size bag and just stick on another bag or reload. So how much vapor you get in a bag with either vape is mostly determined by how much you load. Both units have steady temp and air flow, so unlike with a whip vape, the human factor is not there.
  9. sterbo

    sterbo sailor dog...

    As long as you have enough ground bud to cover the screen in the filling chamber and, most importantly, keep the filling chamber insert screen very clean (simple via isopropyl alcohol) you should get nice vapors like that most all the time.

    Keep in mind that the 'high' is not vapor density specific. When you first load a 'bowl' your temperature setting will most likely be in the 5.5 to 6.5 range and the vapors will likely not be so smoke like. As you re-vape the bowl ( 2,3,4 or so times) you will increase the temperature which typically creates denser vapors.
    The vapor density is rather deceiving (and seductive I might add ;)) as you will get very high regardless of thick vapors or not if the pot you're using is decent.

    Because I have found it to be such a critical factor I will reiterate the importance of keeping the filling chamber insert screen very clean. Makes all the difference in the world.


    :EDIT: I re-read my post and thought maybe I should clarify something.

    The "filling chamber insert screen" I refer to is the one attached to the pin that you insert after the pot is inside the bowl.
    This one I find that I need to clean (for proper performance) after two or three sessions.
    The screen at the bottom of the bowl doesn't require cleaning nearly as often.

    Hope this helps... :)
  10. OldSkewlLady

    OldSkewlLady New Member

    A few questions about the Volcano Vaporizer

    Hello all.
    I have read the rave reviews about the volcano vaporizer, but I have a few questions I was hoping someone would be kind enough to answer for me. Viewing the video on the volcano vaporizer site, it sure looks like they are putting a whole lot of product in the "bowl" or what ever its called. Call me a light weight or what ever, but a small bud approx the size of a dime (or smaller!) in a bong will get me way toasty. Is the vaporizer only good for larger amounts? No one else I know smokes and I liken it to a glass of red wine a time or two a week. I need it to work well for a very small amount of product just enough for me. Will it? Secondly, and probably a dumb question, but when you inhale the vapor, do you hold it in like you do with smoke?

  11. beezleb878

    beezleb878 Sr. Member

    Due to the expense of the volcano and the fact your only wanting to use a small bit are you dead set on the volcano?

    Check out the Purple Days vaporizer. It is the vaporizer I recommend for efficient use with small amounts. It is not a bag vaporizer but it is simplistic to use and operate.

    Here is some further information and advanced discussion:
    Fuck Combustion - Vaporizer Forum / Purple-Days Experience

    The PD Website:
    Vaporizer and Aromatherapy

    I am not really able to answer your question on the volcano in terms of use with small amounts. I have not really seen any reviews of people who use it with the quantities your talking about but their are some good people here that can offer you some insight.
  12. OldSkewlLady

    OldSkewlLady New Member

    hey, thanks for the reply.

    No, I am not dead set on the volcano, but, it is immediately available and does heat up very quickly. I don't mind the cost of the volcano, but I do want to be sure it'll work for me because I do mind completely wasting money. The Purple thing has a 2 week lead time and from what I've read it takes even longer to get... and heats up slowly... that would be a problem with me as I don't have long to do my thing... not much time to myself around here with kids and stuff!!! :)

    Assuming the volcano would work ok for small amounts, is it easy to use? I hate gadgets, and hate figuring things out... is it simple? At least there is the video that kind of shows me what to do... the purple thing actually looks more confusing to me... maybe its just their website... the volcano website I was looking at made it pretty easy to understand what you'd need, and they sell the package with everything. I don't know... would love to have a better way to "smoke"... but don't want to waste money if it won't work for me or is too complicating!

  13. SleepyJohn

    SleepyJohn Sr. Member

    Welcome aboard. We haven't "Smoked Alone" since The Volcano digital arrived. an Amazing Machine. Storz,and, Bikel, are our Heros! Great Minds, Great Product. We have 1(ONE) big question. Where do You get those Big Bags? We've got the "Solid Valve", and, a Vapor Dome", We haven't used Yet. We keep seeing these Huge bags, that are opaque with Vapor. Where's the Big Bags,and, how much extra, do You have to put agaist the screens? Volcano, better, every time We use it!
  14. sterbo

    sterbo sailor dog...

    The Volcano is a stellar performer. It is extremely easy to use and the bag method is great. I have had mine going on two years I think and I absolutely love it. I also have a whip vape (VaporBrothers), a ultra portable (VaporGenie) and my other favorite (Purple Days).
    You can call or e-mail Tom and Pammy at purple-days.com and ask but I think you'd probably receive it in 7 days or so. You could also try VapeNow.com. They often have them in stock and therefore ship right away.

    Yes it takes a minimum of 30 minutes to heat up but a lot of us just leave it on 24/7 which negates the issue.

    Alls you need is enough to cover the screen at the bottom of the bowl; it will then last and last and last.
    I think the comments about the PD being much more efficient are a bit overstated. Most good vapes are very efficient and, I expect, really quite comparable efficiency wise.
    Where the PD really shines is really being able to control and gauge exactly how much you are using. And because of that, which is due to it's very small bowl (tube) size, you are able to get 'green' hits far more often because you are loading fresh bud more often.
    They are both easy to use (everything in this world has some kind of learning curve). If you go on youtube you'll find some videos by Purple-Days along with some from our very own SpiralArchitect that are a great help.
    That said I would still consider the Volcano to be easier overall without a doubt for those who simply want to 'point & shoot'.
    Not only is a vaporizer not a waste of money it's the polar opposite. You'll save a lot of money because it's a far more efficient delivery method.
    And, whether you're a medical marihuana user or a recreational user you'll feel the effects every bit as much as if you smoked albeit a bit different due to the increased percentage of THC relative to the other cannabinoids that are more present vis a vis combusted weed.
    Additionally, vaporizers are far more friendly to your throat and lungs which is a huge plus.

    Bottom line OldSkewlLady, you're absolutely on the right path. Any of the recommended vapes you see talked about here will serve you well but my gut feeling after listening to your criteria is that a Volcano might very well be the way to go.
    If I had to do it over again I would buy one without a moment's pause...
    2 people like this.
  15. sdctcher

    sdctcher New Member

    Vapor Benefits & Alternatives

    I have to agree with the majority of people who do not want to, or cannot for medical reasons, inhale burning smoke from a joint, pipe, or bong. Low temperature vapor is the cleanest and cheapest way to get the most THC from an expensive product. I have friends with lung problems who have switched because they can use medical MJ for their own reasons without coughing their guts out. I invested in a Volcano a year ago and wish I had bought the digital temp model. There is such a variation in output depending on setting 350 - 400 degrees (I check with a penlight temperature gauge).

    There are alternatives to blowing $550 -$600 for the real thing. My friends have constructed their own vaporizer using off-the-shelf parts and a bit of knowledge of machining and electronics. Total cost was less than $100 but they went ahead and bought the Volcano bag, chamber, and mouthpiece for about $125 because it has been hard to find alternative materials that don't hold the heat. In later posts I can describe the tools, time, and materials required to build your own.

    I had a problem paying such a high cost for the real volcano and could not see spending more for the digital control for my second Volcano. So I did some research and came up with a portable 'everyday persons' device. I am using a Steinel HG2510 ESD Programable Heatgun (about $180 online) that has variable heat (120 - 1200 degrees in digital 10 degrees readout) and a variable speed fan (to inflate the bag). It mates up well to the Volcano mouthpiece chamber using a small section of 1.25 inch EMT pipe that one can buy at Lowes ($4). I call this my 'everyday' because I also use the heatgun in my business stripping paint, soldering, welding, and unthawing frozen pipes, thereby making it tax deductible. It is also much more portable and inconspicuous to use when I am away from home. As far as I and my friends are concerned it does the same or better job as the real volcano. In addition you can buy the motor and fan assemblies for the gun and use those to build your own device (although not as cheaply as my friends built theirs).
  16. lawrence750

    lawrence750 New Member

    I got the volcano today, and all I can say is WOW!

    I bought the Vapir mini oxygen a while back, and it just didn't do anything to me... it was pretty rubbish tbh..

    the volcano has got me nice and wasted tonight:D my eyes are soo red!

    My advice to anyone considering getting a vaporiser: don't even think about getting the mini oxygen - its crap and a complete waste of money.

    The volcano does cost alot, and i was worried i would be wasting £300 on it - but its reaallllyyyy good and completely worth the investment! :D
  17. SleepyJohn

    SleepyJohn Sr. Member

    WE TOLD YOU SO!! don't Ya just like that"Lava" alot? A pionch gives Ya 3-4 bags, smoothe action,and, reaction. The only problem: It's hard to put all them little Volcano things in their proper place, after,Use. It's also very good, with tolerance. Maybe it's the different delivery system. Sometimes, ya wake up a bit stoned, the next day!

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