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Upgrade Your High With This Weed Tech

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Upgrade Your High With This Weed Tech

For centuries, cannabis was deceptively low-tech—seed, meet dirt; dried plant, meet flame. But even in ancient times, people were always looking for more efficient ways to consume; nearly 2,500 years ago in Greece, Herodotus wrote of a vaping technique that involved placing hemp seeds on blazing hot stones.

More recently, some innovative cultivators looking to grow without attracting attention started moving operations indoors. Hash that was once hand-sifted began being produced via extraction tech. Beginning in the 1990s, creative tokers began to develop new ways to “smoke,” and today, weed that was once mostly sparked or eaten is being imbibed via vapes and Volcanoes.

These advances in what I’ll call “cannabis tech” have helped to modernize the industry, break down taboos, and spread the gospel that weed can be consumed safely, responsibly, and even discreetly—helping, in no small part, to promote wider legal access for everyone. I saw it with my own eyes when the first G-Pen Micro dropped in NYC in the early 2010s; suddenly people could consume in peace, both openly and on the DL, and it was life-changing. You could say the same about the first Pax vaporizer, which provided a smoke-free and portable option for flower lovers.

Even now, innovation is pushing the envelope in the weed industry, from hardware like robots that fill vape cartridges to point-of-service interfaces that collect customer data and preferences. These tools are not just about making more money for purveyors (though I’m sure that doesn’t hurt); they also increase access and improve consistency as cannabis legalization spreads around the country and the world.

There’s nothing wrong with getting your weed via ancient methods of ingestion or combustion, but cannabis tech is creating systems of healthier, cleaner, and more precise consumption. Precision and safety help every type of consumer, from first-timers to old timers. Nobody wants to accidentally over-consume, nor end up with a tolerance like a tank that leaves you unable to get fully baked.

For all these reasons, we’re highlighting some cool recent and emerging cannabis tech, so you can upgrade your sesh.

Electronics and tools

Omura Series X ($99): Well, here’s a vape technology that focuses on flower lovers. While not technically new, Omura’s revamped Series X is being recognized for the cool device that it is. This vape uses proprietary cardboard tubes called Flowersticks that are filled with fresh-ground cannabis (you can use those produced by partnered brands, or you can fill your own). You set the temperature, load up the tube like a drinking straw, and boom: the flower vape experience of pure flavor, without the meticulous cleaning and maintenance of a typical portable vapes. There are obvious cons—maybe you’re in a market where nobody has partnered with Omura to make or sell the little flower pods—but the pros (mess-free, perfect vapor every time) are compelling enough that I don’t think that will be a problem for long

 

Image for article titled Upgrade Your High With This Weed Tech

 

 

Photo: Danielle Guerico

 

 

Airgraft 2 battery ($10 with membership): Concentrate pens can feel very been-there-done-that, especially as many of us gravitated away from them during the “vape crisis.” But this one is pretty innovative, and has been glued to my palm for weeks. It’s the perfect size—somewhat like a Bic lighter in height and girth, allowing it to travel with you anywhere and fit in any pocket. The key features are its registered pod program, which allows you to be warned of recalls right away, but also stay apprised of new flavor drops. A vibrating indicator lets you know each time you reach 2mg of THC in your hit. One charge last weeks, even with regular usage, so there’s no forgetting her on the charger or running out at crucial moments.

 

Image for article titled Upgrade Your High With This Weed Tech

 

 

Photo: Danielle Guerico

 

 

iSpire’s The Wand Kit ($119): Electronic dab devices have been on an innovation roller coaster. Some are like glorified vape batteries, others are expensive and complex to install. The iSpire, pictured to the right, actually seems to be a practical solution for people who wanna dab but don’t wanna be responsible for a freaking blow torch.

The device heats up a special banger with an internal metal tube (similar to the pipe-like piece on a regular bong); you simply drop in your concentrates like a traditional torch dab (unlike many that require dropping in the goo beforehand). I was deeply shook at how torch-like this device rendered my dab, producing super potent vapor and completely annihilating the concentrate—there was no goopy residue or resin remaining. A single heating run will allow a few people to drop in more concentrates, meaning you can better serve a group sesh with the iSpire versus most e-dabbers.

 

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Photo: courtesy of Ardent

 

 

Ardent FX ($290): I thought I had seen it all when it came to decarboxylating devices when the Nova hit the market, but the FX is even more high-tech. Ardent is one of the rare companies trying to empower the cannabis user at home, not just trying to send them to the shop. Whether you use medically or recreationally, making infused food products with exact doses is next-level easy with the FX. They even have hundreds of recipes that put the good stuff in pretty much any dish—and sometimes even make the entire thing in-unit, so there are no pots and pans to deal with when you’re hella baked.

Innovations in consumables

 

Image for article titled Upgrade Your High With This Weed Tech

 

 

Photo: Danielle Guerico

 

 

MXXN Jalisco Agave (price varies): Coming from a past as a bartender, I was a bit skeptical of the new cannabis “spirits” that aim to mimic alcohol, rather than doing their own weed bevy thing, but this stuff really hit a note. It has a flavor reminiscent of a fine mezcal, like Del Maguey’s single source offerings, and there’s even a little bite at the end.

What it did not have was that mouthful of sugar that some weed elixirs and alcohols use to cover the funk; it was dry as a bone and had a lovely vanilla smoke to it. It’s from Vertosa, a cannabis innovation company based in the Bay Area in California that is helping usher in a new era of social drinks. MXXN’s spirit-similar cannabis beverages are just one of dozens of their clients, who come to the company for two reasons: bioavailability and stability. By creating products that work fast, rather than traveling the entire digestive system to be absorbed, they give customers get an effect similar to consuming alcohol—more of a quick-onset buzz than the couch-lock of most long-acting consumables.

 

Image for article titled Upgrade Your High With This Weed Tech

 

 

Photo: Danielle Guerico

 

 

Purejuana powder ($22.50 for a box of 10): People who require the relief weed provides, fast, need as many options for consumption as possible, especially super discreet ones. Purejuana is a California-sold brand that creates single-strain, water-soluble powders for adding to beverages. It comes in various dose options, from a micro to the state limit of 10mg. Like many Cali brands, Purejuana isn’t afraid to let the taste of the herb shine through, which complicates the process of making live resin into powder; this is not just a THC-only dose, it’s a full-flower experience.

Once you start consuming weed via high tech methods, it’s hard not to quickly become an enthusiast, even if you still love an old fashioned joint (or a slightly less old fashioned gummy). Physiologically, cannabis is still something of a mystery—we don’t yet know every chemical pathway it uses to interact with our bodies—so as its secrets are unraveled, more tech will be developed. If you already like weed, every new way to engage with it is a potential new favorites, and exploring this ever-growing sector of weed gear is every bit as fun as enjoying the main ingredient.

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