Photo: Henry Lamb/Photowire/BEImages.
In the days leading up to April the 20th, we've been treated to a fairly predictable deluge of weed-centric journalism. Apparently, weed is a "natural Viagra" that may or may not rot your brain? But, without a doubt, my favorite is a glorious manifesto penned by none other than one Ms. Whoopi Goldberg, a love letter to a pocket-size puffing device named "Sippy."
In the essay, published on The Cannabist, the marijuana-centric offshoot of the Denver Post (because, where else?), Goldberg sings the praises of her vape pen, a small, inconspicuous electronic contraption that uses cartridges of THC oil to get people high. Introduced to the vaping trend by her daughter, Goldberg recalls her first experience with Sippy in a reverent tone: "I took a sip. It was beautiful. And my pen and I have been together ever since." Apparently, it's been helpful in treating headaches she gets from glaucoma. She writes, "She’s easy and discreet to use, and for folks like myself who use marijuana medicinally, it’s ideal for a number of reasons."
Of course, as far as regular vapers are concerned, Whoopi's late to a party that's been going on for years. In fact, she's just the latest member of a much larger community of vapers — only some of whom sip for medical reasons.
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For those who aren't familiar with vaping (or dabbing, as the cool kids call it), the concept is simple enough. A small amount of hyper-concentrated BHO (butane-extracted hash oil), which is packed with THC, is placed in either a small, pocket-size pen or a desktop vaporizer rig. The BHO can be purchased in a number of forms, from cartridges containing an oil form of the substance to a thick wax to a solid brown resin known as "shatter." The device heats up the BHO, producing an odorless vapor that results in a very strong high in a very short time.
Dabbing enthusiasts like Whoopi, especially those who use a pen, cite a number of benefits to the habit. It's as discreet as an e-cigarette, it doesn't smell, the pen charges through your computer at work, and there's no smoke involved whatsoever.
Of course, the trend has its detractors as well. The high is admittedly intense — so intense, according to an NPR story that ran earlier today, that "you can potentially pass out with a single inhalation" using certain BHO products. Opponents fear that, while it might not be directly lethal, the powerful high from dabbing could cause an increase in crimes committed under the influence of marijuana. Also, the process used to extract THC involves butane and other solvents, which might remain in trace amounts in dabbing substances like wax or shatter. And, of course, it's illegal in all areas that have not legalized marijuana.
If you're still without Sunday plans, we recommend watching the video above for more information on the process behind vaping. After all, Whoopi does make a pretty compelling case.