From smoking to vaporizing: on the evolution of stoner culture

In the past, it was clear that consuming pot meant smoking. Maybe a hash cookie was consumed once in a while, but otherwise: joints, bongs, earth stoves, pipes - these were the means of choice. In the meantime, smoking has come under massive pressure and a cultural change is underway.

Smoking on the sidelines

Smoking (no matter what) is becoming less and less socially accepted. One becomes more and more an “asi” if one releases smoke or smells of smoke oneself. The smoking bans on trains, in restaurants, at concerts etc. are a reflection of this development.

Smoke stresses others

A very frequent question in our legal consultations also concerns “smoking and living”. It is about disputes because of the “stench” up to the threat of an apartment termination by the administration. Smoking on the balcony also disturbs many neighbors. Even those who live on top can annoy others with their descending smoke. Since the consumption of weed or hash is still a criminal offense, the situation is even more uncomfortable than if it were tobacco alone. What to do?

Consumption without smoke

Vaporization produces nearly no emissions, in any case, the smell dissipates after a few centimeters. Since almost no combustion substances are formed either, there is no “stench”. Therefore, nothing sticks to clothes, furniture, or even in the mouth or on the fingers. Thus, consumption is much less noticeable and socially compatible.

The lungs are happy

The lungs are also spared, as almost only flavorings and active ingredients are inhaled. The tar, the carbon monoxide, i.e. the toxic substances, are eliminated by 95 to 99%. (A more detailed description of how vaporizers work, as well as test reports, including the content of vapor versus smoke, can be found with the link at the end of the article.)

This is not to say that vaporizing is completely unproblematic, but those who smoke will certainly benefit enormously from switching to vaporizing.

Vaporizing works

The vaporizers have become extremely usable in the meantime. As recently as the mid-1990s, those interested had to make their own with a hot air dryer and a large glass container, followed by the first functional table-top devices in the early 00s and portable vaporizers ten years later.

These devices are excellently suited for vaporizing weed. Even measly flowers are nicely vaporized. Less material is needed, the flavor comes through very well and there is no nuisance. Those who consume this way also don't smell like an ashtray. So all just advantages, one would think.

Here is a fact sheet from the FOPH on the subject of vaporization (in German)

Why doesn't everyone vaporize?

But experience shows that many people try out vaporizers, but only a few stick with them. For the others, the devices gather dust in the cupboard and it is rolled and smoked again.

It is a question that has occupied us again and again: Why is this, despite the massive benefits of vaporizing? Why hasn't it fully caught on?

"Smoking pot" does not mean the same thing to everyone

It just depends on what you really need! If you use weed and just want to enjoy THC (and/or CBD), you will usually be perfectly happy with vaporizers and never want to go back.

If you prefer to consume hashish, it's a bit harder, because the surface is smaller (which makes vaporization more difficult) and more experiments are necessary until you have found a working solution (for example with hemp wool or special hash vaporization inserts as well as higher temperatures).

But the biggest problem for many seems to be the lack of nicotine. This is because the consumption of THC is very different from the consumption of THC with nicotine. It is not easy to describe, but the combined effect seems to be less hallucinogenic, it is somehow more “manageable”.

Solutions for hemp and tobacco

Now, of course, you can smoke tobacco while vaporize weed, but that's kind of absurd. Meanwhile, there are also nicotine liquids in all variations, which are also vaporized. So a parallel consumption is possible. But this is somewhat cumbersome and does not really compare in taste. Also, tobacco can be mixed directly to weed and so both can be vaporized at the same time. But this only works well with non-sauced tobaccos, because otherwise a whole armada of flavors comes along, which is usually a bit too much. Actually, hardly anyone has become really happy with this.

Tobacco vaporizers are usable

In recent years, another option has been added. The new tobacco sticks contain tobacco and this is also vaporized with their own devices. For many, this is nearly the exact image of a cigarette. The consumption feeling is very similar, the effect is fully there. But there is no combustion, so there is no smoke.

It is forbidden, but worth an experiment

So why not try to combine this with hemp? And indeed: You can cut open such a tobacco stick with a craft knife with two cuts (see illustration), lift the strip, fish out some tobacco, insert a few small hash pellets (e.g. with a toothpick), then press the strip down again, glue the cuts shut with a piece of paper and finally insert the “spiked” stick into the vaporizer.

This procedure is prohibited in the manufacturer's manual. Also, caution is advised because the new sticks contain a small metal plate on which you can cut yourself. But it can actually be done without any problems. And you even still have a similar feeling with this little tinkering as when you build a joint…

For small consumption on the go

Of course, this can't replace giant joints, but as you get older, that's hardly the level you want to reach. As one consumer wrote to us:

“With this I can perfectly replace my previous small hash joints. The effect is identical and I no longer produce smoke. This makes my lungs very happy, because after a few decades of smoking I realized that it can't go on like this. Weed vaporizing is nice, but the effect I need is just some hash and some nicotine. And that is exactly served with this variant. Consuming this way is also very unobtrusive and the same effect requires much less material. By the way, you can also fill weed, but the space is just already very limited. But that works as well.”

We are interested in experience

In the meantime, there are countless vaporizers, procedures and experiences. We would like to collect and document them. So if you want to write a report about your experiences (positive or negative), you are welcome!

1 Scrape off a few pieces of hash.
2 Carefully open tobacco stick with knife and remove some tobacco.
3 Pour in the crumbs, stick shut.
4 Insert the stick into the vaporizer.

More about vaporizing on our vaporizing page

Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

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Legal overview

Shit happens 15 (Summer 2023)

This overview as PDF