Jun 262010
 June 26, 2010

If you aren’t using a vaporizer these days, you are really missing out on one of the best ways to toke it up. It wasn’t that long ago that I finally joined the vaporizer community. I was always one of those people that bashed on Volcano prices, and was quick to point out the inefficiencies of ‘wooden box’ vaporizers. It just always seemed to me that I would get high faster, and more thoroughly, when I would hit my ‘Chong Bong’ or take a waterfall/liter.

That all changed when my wife bought me a vaporizer for my birthday. It is a ‘Vapir One 5.0’ and it cost $150. It is not as flashy as a Volcano, but considering I can buy three of them for the price of one Volcano and it hits just as hard, I’m not complaining. I play a lot of basketball, and once I went to an ‘all vapor diet,’ I could tell the difference in the first week. My lungs felt better than they had in the last ten years. Needless to say, I’ve been using my vaporizer everyday all day ever since.

I don’t know about other vaporizer users out there, but I prefer to use the bags rather than the mouthpiece. When you use the mouth piece, and that vapor is coming out fast and furious, it is almost impossible to inhale all of it. At the very least, when you go to pass the tube some comes out. At other times, when you take a super-monster breath of vapor, it takes a little while to recover. All the while that sweet vapor is pouring out into the air when it could be going in your lungs. That’s why I like to use the bags; I can capture all of the vapor that comes out, and attack the bag at my leisure.

However, there is a down side to chronic bag usage (pun intended). Just as with a pipe, bong, etc, marijuana resin will start to build up on the walls of the bags. It is not as thick of course, but it only takes a little bit of resin on the walls of the vaporizer bags to make them virtually inoperable. You will know when that happens because the inside walls of the bags stick to themselves, and instead of the bag filling with vapor and air, it is closed shut and you see the vapor pouring out of the device itself. No air or vapor enters the bag at all, and you have just wasted a cap of goodness.

There is one way to help prevent this from happening — DO NOT STORE YOUR BAGS WITH CAPS ON THEM. It is almost impossible to suck all of the vapor out of the bag; there will be very small pockets of vapor still in the bag no matter how iron lung you are. Over time, if you leave the cap off the bag, this vapor will escape out of the mouth opening. But if you leave the cap on it and there is still even the smallest amount of vapor inside, it will coat the inside of your bag and make it stickier than Snoop Dogg’s fingers after rolling a blunt. I have woken up many times to find my vaporizer bags with the caps still on, and the bag walls were completely stuck together, even though I thought I dominated all of the vapor that was inside of them.

I don’t know about TWB readers, but I use my vaporizer A LOT. It is not uncommon for me and my wife to consume 20 bags worth of vapor in a day. If Ninjasmoker is over at my pad hanging out, the numbers get even higher. So I needed a long term solution. While consuming a vaporizer bag and watching Ninjasmoker work on our server, the idea popped into my head to clean the bags just like I do with a pipe or bong. If you click the previous link, you will see how Ninjasmoker and I have been cleaning our bongs and pipes for years using rubbing alcohol and salt.

I poured rubbing alcohol into the vaporizer bag and swished it around as much as I could. You will instantly see the rubbing alcohol turn brownish, which is due to the fact that it is stripping the resin from the inside walls of the bags. When you can swish the liquid throughout the entire you bag you are done. If there are still spots of the walls sticking to each other, then keep swishing. Don’t just do it up and down, and left to right. Mix it up; make sure that the liquid has touched every inch of the inside of the bag. This part should only take a couple minutes.

Now the hard part begins. You will notice that the rubbing alcohol does not come out easily. There are still pockets of rubbing alcohol inside of the bag in the corners, and maybe even drops in the middle of the bag walls. Of course, you DO NOT want to inhale rubbing alcohol, and if for some reason you do, please go get some help from a trained mental health professional! I took some science classes in college (I got a B.S.), and I know that alcohol evaporates at a significantly faster pace than water. So pouring water down the bag to get out the rubbing alcohol was out of the question. It would just create a larger problem. However, if you use the ‘air only’ setting on your vaporizer (i.e. turn on the fan but not the flame), you can fill the bag up full of air. From there, put it mouth side up in front of a window. The solar radiation that comes from the sun through the window is more than enough to evaporate the rubbing alcohol inside of the vaporizer bag.

After about a day of letting it sit by the window, there should be no more liquid in your bag, or if there is, it’s just a couple beads of rubbing alcohol. However, the nasty rubbing alcohol fumes are still inside. To get the fumes out, use the ‘air only’ function on your vaporizer to fill the bag, and then deflate it. Repeat this about ten times, and all of the fumes should be out. You will know when it’s fume-free, because when you go to deflate it, you will not be able to smell the alcohol anymore. Keep doing it as many times as it takes. I am a hobby balloon artist, so I have an air compressor with a balloon nozzle on it. If you are part of .001% of society that has one, these work great! If not (and understandably so), the ‘air only’ function works very well for this step. It takes a bit of time, but when you realize that you essentially got a new vaporizer bag for free, and don’t have to go through the hassle of ordering and waiting for a new one, it is well worth it. I have cleaned the same bags multiple times now, and they are still rocking. As a matter of fact, I’m going to go use one right now!

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • Herb Fellow

    I find your article about your Vapir One 5.0. I haven’t tried a vaporizer in 15 years and have been tempted many times to order one. The one I had years ago looked like a crystal ball and you watched the ball fill with smoke. There was no temp control, neither did I. I have been smoking (only cannabis) for 30 years and am short of breath easily. You sound like vaporizing instead of smoking has helped your lungs greatly. What is your opinion Ninjasmoker?

    • http://www.theweedblog.com Ninja Smoker

      It’s a way different kind of smoke but still very effective. Most of my smoking is done out of a huge pipe and I also smoke cigs so I have iron lungs I didn’t think I would actually pump out a good hit but I was surprised. It totally kicked my ass. It’s all about the temperature. If you want a mellow hit, just knock it down a few degrees but if you want to go to the moom, crank it up to 365 let the smoke thicken up. I definately recommend it for anyone who smokes.

      • Herb Fellow

        I mostly smoke from a pipe, also. I must have been really stoned when I wrote my comment or just wishing I was ten years younger. I’ve been smoking the good weed for 40 years. Thanks for your reply, Ninja Smoker. I definitely enjoy going to the moon. For a couple of years now I have had the opportunity to keep my medicine cabinet full of Mullaway’s Clever Man and Clever George. I”m pretty old school and will probably go to vaporizing sooner than I would ever get a cell phone. I doubt that a cell phone would work very well from the moon anyway. ; )

    • grant granger

      try out the extreme Q my favourite for past year and half very easy to use , measure bud in the bowl. bowl is vertical soo, air flow great….gg

  • Del Perry

    Thanks for this info…I often find my self in a daze w/ my blaze wondering, what is more healthier or cleaner to smoke but can still get my head right. I suffer from nerve damage in Columbus, Ohio & they have yet to pass it for just medicinal purposes. As soon as it is my doctors said I would be one to receive a recommendation b/c I can’t stand prescription pills. They had me more messed up than when I totally got off of them & just do the natural route.
    Thanks 4 everything….
    $ix 1 FoEva
    Del P.

  • miggy420

    thanks for the info. I want to get a vaporizer but just put it off, i know that’s how Willie smokes…

  • volcano face

    if u had a volcano u would never have this problem in the first place. also… u wish that little shitty thing hits as hard as the volcano!! NOTHING compares, its worth every penny!

    • Herb Fellow

      Not everyone can afford a volcano . . . not that we wouldn’t enjoy the top of the line. My ’91 Buick gets me where I’m going; may not be as fancy as the newer cars but still gets me there. I’m sure the ‘Vapir One 5.0’ would get me there, too.

  • http://myhemp.blogspot.com Medicinal Mike

    I am mainly a pipe smoker right now. My legal supply is not enough to eat it (which would be the best solution for my situation) I got one of those wooden box vapes very cheap on Ebay, just to try it out. At the very least I can use it to vape the crappy shake and leave the good stuff for the bong. I do not like how long it takes to heat up and the fact that is has no fan ( and thus no bags) makes it less useful than I would like. I am educating my doctor about eating my medicine rather than smoking it. I did have a chance to try a volcano at Vapour Central in Toronto , the last time I went down for a visit to see my friend Paul. The price hurts, but I love the system. When I get a winfall of some sort, that is one item I want to get. I have another idea for the bag, use drinking alcohol, but pour a lot in and pour the mix from bag to bag till they have all some in, drain and use that alcohol as a tincture or spray on wounds to help heal faster. I don’t drink, but I guess you could drink it too. Then follow your method to get rid of the remainder. Just a thought!

  • jenna

    the VOLCANO IS AWESOME!!! those other vapes dont hit anything like the volcano. me and my friend split the cost so it wasnt too bad since we talked out headshop lady all the way down to 5 flat for it! Now that i know the benefits of it i still wouldve bought it if it was 700!

    The Volcano gets rid of all the carcinogens and toxins from weed and you are only smoking pure THC. you dont want to get those shitty vapes they prob dont have as good filters. It’s completely better for your lungs, i smoke twice a day usually.. and the vape has improved my lungs sooo much, compared to what i used to love, blunts! Anyways, the vape high is awesome and i literally get higher than i thought i could every day. get one!!

  • Kianquenseda

    It is amazing! I had a polluted bag from my Zephyr Ion, and was desperate, so I opened the bag and scraped of as much of the sticky that I could. Then, I used a scraping tool to collect the kiff that was left in my tin. I collected it all and put it in a cheap brass bowl. what a beautiful taste and hit. I highly reccomend it. I had fun !

  • Russell

    Great idea. I have the Vapir 1 and a Vapor Cone Elite Vape pen, which I HIGHLY recommend. Never been so high.

  • SmokeAbagUsedToBeAjoint

    Gotta say I’ve never really had this problem with the volcano. Only thing is build up around the end of the bad towards the mouth piece and usage everyday, and there it is easy to unstick by pulling the bag out, or blowing.