It’s 1 a.m., I am currently more high than I have ever been in my life. A ghostly apparition is coming out of the ceiling. My cat is looking at me with concern—or maybe I’m imagining the concern, like I’m imagining whatever is hovering above me. This is all the fault of a fancy new gadget I’ve just used to get high, though the fault may lie with me, the dumbass who didn’t know what he was getting into. Welcome to the world of smoking pot in 2018.
There are so many new ways to get high. I’m investigating four of them personally, to provide some insight and tips to A.V. Club readers on the electronic revolution happening in what used to be a low-tech world. For legal purposes, let me say that all of this research was conducted somewhere outside the state of Illinois, somewhere where it is all very legal. And, um, my cat traveled with me.
Most people’s first experience with marijuana is watching a stoner from the grade above you shake some extremely low-quality weed into a cigarette whose paper had been partially emptied of tobacco, then re-rolled. Or maybe you happened upon a bong constructed out of a plastic soda bottle and an empty magic marker tube. Whatever your experience growing up, things have changed a lot. It’s the 21st century, and we have electronics to do these things for us now.
Not all of it, unfortunately—you will still have to purchase your drugs and crumble them up into the device of your choosing. But if you’ve upgraded to a vaporizer in the past decade, you’ll know the sense of satisfaction that comes from the streamlined process these gadgets can offer. No more hunching over, wrapping papers, painstakingly assembling your pot delivery system by hand.
I’m not an experienced pothead. Like most kids, I tried it in high school, but unlike most kids, I found it tremendously unpleasant. I set it aside, and didn’t come back to it for a decade. In recent years, though, I’ve struggled with prescription pharmacological aids to combat a severe inability to fall asleep at night. And I discovered—upon the recommendation of multiple friends—that standard-issue marijuana really did the trick.
The sleep problem eventually went away, and so did the pot smoking. So my knowledge never expanded past the rudimentary level of, “You set fire to it and then inhale, right?”
I’m almost certain my coworker Clayton didn’t know any of this when he asked me to take this assignment off his hands. Then again, we also know that he’s a sadistic bastard who really enjoys watching me suffer for this job. It was a fairly simple assignment, though: Try out some fancy new devices for getting high, and then evaluate each one to provide some guidance for anyone looking to expand their repertoire of marijuana delivery systems. So that’s what I did. It did not exactly go as planned. But still, I am a professional, so here are my findings.