The Herbalizer is designed by two former NASA engineers. (Provided by Herbalizer)

Herbalizer — smartest vaporizer ever? (review)

I’m not getting so scientific with my vape experience, but I am vaping whenever the hell I want and not waiting for a machine to tell me when it’s ready to stone me. Gone are those moments when I think, “Geez man, pot’s supposed to make you mellow, so why does it frustrate you to wait a minute to get high?” Never again will I mumble agitated barbs at my vaporizer: “I could’ve smoked a bowl by now, dude.” And I don’t worry that I’m turning into that crazy marijuana fiend in the famous Reefer Madness movie of yore who needs his weed and needs it now.

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All because the waiting is completely gone with the Herbalizer. What revolution! What magic! What simple goals attained!

The Herbalizer has a bunch of other neat features too. Open the pretty clamshell case and it turns on. Tip it sideways and it turns off. The color LCD screen provides light-hearted messages on startup, in addition to being an easy-to-read temperature meter, and it auto-dims in a dark room. It can be used with a whip, balloon attachments (four included), or without any attachments at all for a hotbox effect. The unit has a spot to hold its own whip, and a not-so-secret compartment that hides an herb container, grinder, cleaning brush and two stainless steel oil pads.

And those oil pads actually work, by the way. Unlike the VapirRise, which includes essential oil components but doesn’t reach a temperature hot enough to vape hash oil, I assure you, dear friends, the Herbalizer will totally vape hash oil.

Not that the machine is designed for such use. Young, a formerly “mainstream” professional with a well-founded respect for federal fearmongering, repeatedly insists the “hot air aromatherapy vaporizer” is intended only for legal purposes. And since I think he just baked the best sliced bread in town, I want to do the man a solid favor and not make light of the fear-based wordsmithing inherent in such industries. (I’m sure most of us can’t wait until the world’s peppermint huffers can stop riding on the coattails of the cannabis community.)

But he’s not blowing smoke on the aromatherapy front, because the Herbalizer, like a few other vapes, is actually designed quite thoughtfully for aromatherapy use. It has three separate fans, including a super quiet one dedicated to ambient diffusion of essential oils. Rather than dabbing hash onto the oil pads, dab a few drops of lavender or chamomile or whatever the Herbalizer randomly suggests to you on startup.

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A few vaporizers can claim precision temperature control. A few can claim super-fast startup. A few are commonly considered beautiful. But none has so deftly married all of these features quite like the Herbalizer. Its design principals–and the software that binds it all together — will likely revolutionize the vaporizer industry. But for now, at least, joining that revolution won’t be cheap: at $729 the Herbalizer is one of the most expensive vapes on the market.

Young admits price is the No. 1 complaint received about the product, but offers no apology, explaining that roughly a million dollars went into development; it is manufactured in the United States; each unit is individually tested; and high-quality sensors, lamps and three-axis accelerometers and such are not cheap.

And he’s absolutely right. If you can’t afford it, you can simply accept slow starts and less-precise temperature control. But if you want the new gold standard — the vape that dethroned the Volcano king–you now want the Herbalizer. After all, if you want something that gets you really high, who better to talk to than spaceship engineers?

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