Congratulations, Bay Area, you did it. Oxford Dictionaries named "vape" the word of the year for 2014. Fighting for second place? "Budtender."
Oxford attributes the rise in the use of the word vape to e-cigarettes, but that's only part of the story. Vaping has taken over medical marijuana — starting in the Bay Area — as a safer way to get instant cannabinoid therapy without the carcinogens and irritants of smoking. Bay Area researchers and doctors did the pioneering research showing that vaping is just as effective as smoking, without the toxic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons associated with burning plants. Here's a vape-centric holiday gift guide for the most elite medical cannabis vaper, or the just old-fashioned stoner in your life.
Vape Pen (Wax)
The Ambassador by Vaped, $79.95
Bay Area company Vaped has released its third generation vape pen with a more durable, all-ceramic no-wick skillet — and East Bay rapper E-40 is lending his likeness to the product. The Ambassador comes in red and gold with a matching carrying case full of chargers, skillets, a globe, a lanyard, a pen stand, and other doodads. The Ambassador's stainless steel housing feels durable in your hand and won't break if you accidentally sit on it, while the rubber outer grip keeps you from dropping it.
Vape Pen (Herb)
G Pro by Grenco, $100
Not everyone has access to marijuana extracts, which come in a variety of textures that determine their class — like wax, oil, and shatter. Far more common are dried flower buds. Grenco Science, the makers of Snoop Dogg's hit G Pen, have released the G Pro — a sleek, simple, black unit the size of an extra-thick highlighter. You load up to a half-gram of ground buds in the top, snap on the mouthpiece, and click five times fast. The G Pro heats up in less than a minute and comes with three heat settings.
Vape Pen (Oil)
Go.Pen by O.Pen Vape, $19.95 base, $12.95 cartridge, $24.95 case.
O.Pen Vape's Go.Pen is perfect for pretty much everywhere. It's a rechargeable, re-fillable micro-vaporizer that only takes oils, which is great for Bay Area patients with access to top-quality oil extracts. Just charge, load the reservoir, and go. Draw on the tip and it automatically atomizes the extract in consistent eight-second bursts. Patients can sip these things on a lunch break, on the back porch, wherever — and no one's the wiser. O.pen's new, wooden Courier Case cradles one O.pen and two extra cartridges during travel.
Desktop Vaporizer The Herbalizer, $729
Once you find out the San Diego makers of The Herbalizer are former NASA engineers, things make a whole lot more sense. The Herbalizer is a UFO-resembling, super-versatile, complex, and super-expensive desktop vaporizer that will successfully put patients in orbit. It's a plug-in unit that's most easily used with its tiny hose — called a whip. Just load the device with ground herb, set the heat temperature on the digital display, and draw. But The Herbalizer has as much processing power as a Nintendo Game Boy, and vape masters can program the device to get the exact cannabinoids they want, like CBD, and burn off the ones they don't.
Mini Hammerhead Dabuccino Cup by Hitman Glass and Evol Glass, $640.99
Today's younger extract enthusiasts use specially adapted water-filtered pipes called dab rigs. Dab rigs often come in intricate, borosilicate glass designs that range from the scientific to the psychedelic, and the time the artist puts into each piece helps determine the price. Creeping up near $650, this Mini Hammerhead Dabuccino Cup is made by two top glass houses, Hitman and Evol, and is a decadent, diabolical replica of the iconic Starbucks Frappuccino to-go cup. These rigs are limited to 500 total, and each collector's item comes with a certificate of authenticity, hand-numbered and signed by the owner of Hitman Glass.
Santa Cruz Shredder, $74.95, blue, four-piece set
For precision herb grinding, Santa Cruz Shredder's engineers think there's no such thing as overkill. They used Siemens CAD software to invent a "perfect" shredding tooth design that eliminates aluminum flaking and tooth breakage. They threw in custom "seven-catch design" threading, custom "knurled" grip, Neodymium Diametrically Magnetized Cylindrical Rare Earth Magnets, and a T304 Micronic Precision Woven Non-Fraying Stainless Steel Screen for the keef catcher. Medical-grade and ultrasonically cleaned, anodized, and scratch-resistant, the Santa Cruz Shredder is made in California.
Shine 24K Rolling Papers, prices vary
There's very little research on inhaling gold particles. But if you're the type of person who likes to burn up money on gold-plated rolling papers, you're probably not too concerned for the future in the first place. For all you aspiring ballers and shot-callers, Shine 24K papers come in a single 12-sheet packs ($55), Super King Size paper ($30), Blunt Wraps ($33), Gold Cone ($12), or a Treasure Chest mixpack ($100).
KGB Glass Donut Pipe, prices vary
KGB Glass' Donut Pipes have become a thing of legend in the heady glass community for their dead-on, The Simpsons-cartoon aesthetic. They're frosted, glazed, and insanely expensive. Available only at fine pipe shops. $164.99 for the "Medicated White Chocolate" Drizzle Donut Dry Pipe #22.
ZOB 16" Stemless Snorkel Bubbler with Zobello Percolator, $299.99
Scientific glass embraces the clean lines and utilitarianism of lab equipment, and this high-end water-filtered pipe from ZOB represents the best of the genre. Made in California, each one-of-a-kind piece stands sixteen inches tall, with a bent stem and six-inch tall chamber. The Zob exclusive Zobello percolator cools down smoke without making it stale.
Smelly Proof Bags, prices vary
Modern medical cannabis has never been more dank. Thick, durable, tight-sealing Smelly Proof Bags are the only way to ride BART or the bus without getting looks from your neighbors. $17.99 for box of 25 6-inch-by-6-inch bags.
Boveda Mini Humidipack 62, $13.85
A perfect stocking stuffer, Boveda Mini Humidipack 62s restore moisture to overly dry herbs. Humidpacks are also used in boxes of Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva, Hemingway, Don Carlos, and Opus X cigars. Comes in different ratings for humidity levels and made from a specially prepared saturated solution of pure water and natural salt contained within a water-vapor permeable reverse osmosis membrane.