A look at the AromaChill in use. The inventor of the herbal breathing device says it is intended to help promote calm. (Provided by LifeSense Technologies)

Curious device smells like a winner (AromaChill review)

When inventor Robert Bornn first described to me an herbal breathing device he developed, I surmised that it was basically a weed jar that you strap to your face. “But there’s no straps,” he responded. When I finally received a prototype of the AromaChill, it confounded me so much I could only laugh and wonder: what is this crazy thing?

The device consists of three main parts. 1) a breathing mask that covers the nose, 2) a screened chamber for herbs, and 3) a chilled base through which air passes. The whole thing rests in a suit of cushioned fabric, and generally feels like a heavy, headless stuffed animal.

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Bornn is candid about the simplicity of his invention. It is intended to promote mindful breathing, which can help calm the mind, and this can help relieve stress during the day and prepare the mind for sleep at night. So, basically, breathing through a glorified weed jar reminds users that they are, in fact, alive and breathing, and hopefully convinces them to calm down. Nothing more, nothing less.

To use the AromaChill, first chill the base in the freezer, then add some cannabis—or any herb, really—to the chamber. Stick the components in the headless stuffed animal, attach the breathing mask, and stick your nose in it. Breathe in through the nose — ah, the smell of marijuana — and out through the mouth. Repeat until calm.

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I feel ridiculous sniffing the huggable, freezer-chilled, jumbo weed jar. But the laughter it creates for me is a redeeming quality of the AromaChill. I love the idea of terpene therapy and associating the smell of cannabis with intentional breathing exercises. And if it doesn’t calm your nerves, at least you can just pull out the weed and smoke it.

Bornn has working prototypes, and hopes to raise $50,000 for a limited production run. He set up an IndieGoGo campaign where AromaChill devices can be pre-purchased for $50-$80 depending on the model.

AromaChill has created a completely new category of pot paraphernalia: some combust, some vaporize, and others chill their cannabis. Who knows if the idea will stick, but if it does, AromaChill is well-positioned to lead the cool-air market.

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