Even though herbs vaporization has been known for centuries, the modern vaporization method is relatively new and dates back to the 90’s of the 20th century. Learn about the beginnings of the herbs vaporization and what kind of vaporizers the first amateurs of herbs had to deal with. Trust us, it wasn’t easy!
Vaporizers – devices used for vaporization of the active substances from the herbs with no burning process involved – have become really popular lately. Even though electronic vaporizers were available on the market at the turn of the 20th/21st century, herbs vaporization was invented long before. It was as long ago as in the 5th century BC that Herodotus already talked about the herbs vaporization by the Scythians, who used the vapor from herbs (instead of water vapor) to power steam rooms – very popular among the people living in the ancient times. The first mentions of vaporization in the form of inhalation for a device similar to a “vaporizer” come from the regions that nowadays belong to Afghanistan. This is where Hookah was invented around 1500 years ago. In Europe, it is known as shisha. From the technical point of view, the water pipe known as Hookah was the first real herb vaporizer. The herbs placed inside the device evaporated due to the heat coming from a piece of coal. The material wouldn’t burn, however. Over the centuries, Hookah pipes gained popularity but they are far from the technological advancement of the current vaporizers.
In the 90’s of the 20th century, Bill “Eagle” Amato, an American living in Amsterdam laid the foundations of what we now know as vaporization. The first vaporizer created by “Eagle” Bill became popular after it was presented to the public at Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, in 1994. A farmer from California inspired Bill to create that device. What did the first vaporizer look like and how did it work? First of all, it was huge – almost the size of a barrel. It was a large container with two glass tubes mounted in it. The user would place the herbs in one of the tubes and heat it with a large heater – the type that is used to remove paint from the walls. The stream of heat would penetrate the herbs and produce vapor that accumulated inside the glass container. The vapor was inhaled through the other glass tube. In fact, it was the first conduction vaporizer. The invention became really popular and was exhibited in Amsterdam for 10 years. The next invention of “Eagle” Bill was much smaller and designed for mass production. It was called “Shake and Vape” and had the form of a glass tube with a ball at the bottom and an opening at the top. The herbs were introduced through the opening, then they were heated with a lighter placed below the glass ball. This way, the vapor created inside the device could be inhaled through the glass tube. It can be said that it was the first conduction vaporizer. Both inventions of “Eagle” Bill popularized vaporization as a method of herbs properties absorption with no need to burn the material. From that moment on, some more advanced vaporizers started emerging on the market.
Another milestone in the development of vaporizers was a device called BC Vaporizer. It was based o the idea of the glass ball where the vapor accumulated, known from the first invention of Bill “Eagle” Amato. It featured some new, important differences, though. First of all, it was a conduction device, where the vapor was generated due to the direct contact of the herbs with a metal plate. The device was powered by electricity so it didn’t require the flame of a lighter. Therefore, BC Vaporizer was, in fact, the first electronic stationary vaporizer. It became very popular in North America and in Europe.
Another innovation in the vaping world was presented in the year 2000, when German manufacturer Storz & Bickel released a desktop vaporizer called Volcano. This device set the standards for vaping devices for many years and made it easier for other vaporizers to be created and released. With time, they’ve become much more advanced technologically. The fact that Volcano was a unique device is best confirmed by the fact that almost 20 years after it was released, it’s still one of the bestsellers and the quality of the vapor it produces is hard to match. Almost every fan of vaporization knows about or has tried the legendary Volcano.
After Volcano was released, the vaping world began to flourish. First, other manufacturers released their own stationary vaporizers, then the market started to offer portable devices. The first one was butane-powered Iolite, released in 2008. Magic Flight Launch Box entered the market in 2010 and is now one of the most popular and the smallest vaporizer among the high range devices. A year later, in 2011, the premiere of Arizer Solo marked the standards for portable vaporizers.
After Solo was released, more and more portable vaporizers were created and the market has grown at an unprecedented speed. Today we can choose from hundreds of devices representing different levels of quality. Taking into consideration the speed of the vaping market growth, we can assume that we still haven’t seen the best it can offer. One thing is sure – the future belongs to vaporizers!