What’s a Firefly?
The first version of Firefly came to market in 2013 and is the much talked about, high tech, portable cannabis vaporizer. It is the brain-child of two Silicon Valley technology veterans, Sasha Robinson and Mark Williams. Robinson was instrumental in the development of the Flip HD camcorder and Williams headed up the Mac OS division at Apple.
The two met serendipitously at a party and began to brainstorm ideas, which ultimately led to the invention of one of the world’s most sophisticated vaporizers. Wired says the Firefly “Is just wonderful. It offers all the convenience of a pipe—it’s portable and downright stealthy; you can slip it in your pocket, carry it loaded up with marijuana—but it’s less harmful than a conventional pipe, because you are inhaling vapor, not smoke."
Firefly 2, the much anticipated next-gen, recently hit the market and pre orders for the second batch are now being taken on their latest innovation. The device is 55% lighter and 33% more compact than the original Firefly. It’s made from ‘aero-space materials’ and offers a suite of innovative features including a glass vapor path, a removable mouthpiece, quick-charge batteries and an IOS or Android app which allows consumers to select from 6 different pre-set temperatures. According to COO Baran Dilaver, there is a significant difference with a Firefly when compared to other vapor devices.
“With Firefly, you are able to capture every terpene and cannabinoid the moment they are released. Since you are able to go from room temperature to 400º F (or the alternate settings) in one single breath, you are going through the entire spectrum of various vaporization temperatures of different terpenes in that single breath, thus getting the ‘whole plant experience’. When you put the Firefly down, the cooking process stops, whereas with other vapor devices the plant continues to cook through the conduction of heat. This is an important difference as most patients don’t always want to go through an entire bowl. "
Cannabis consumers have been switching to portable vape devices en masse for some time, moving away from the more traditional pipes and accessories. According to HelloMD’s recent Patient Survey, 66% of 1400 participants surveyed enjoyed vaporizing their cannabis. That’s a huge chunk of the cannabis market. As vape technology has gotten smaller and more sophisticated, consumers have become more and more discriminating. Firefly is among the best in vaporizers, and has been listed as such by numerous publications including High Times, GQ, and Newsweek among others. Firefly utilizes some of the most advanced technology around in order to give the consumer the smoothest possible experience. In order to understand how the Firefly works, it’s important to understand a little of how standard vape technology works.
Conduction vs. Convection
Vaporizers have been around since the early 90’s and as products have become smaller and portable, they have taken the market by storm. The advent of conduction technology has allowed companies to make units more compact with less power use. That said, this new method applies direct heat to the plant and essentially depletes the flower so that less of the good stuff, terpenes and cannabinoids, are inhaled. Alternatively, convection technology allows the plant to sit in a chamber where hot air circulates, but some of the same problems ensue.
The interesting thing about vaping is that different temperatures create a different experience for the consumer. Different cannibinoids and terpenes from the plant are activated based on temperature and the type of strain, whether that be OG Kush or ACDC, which influences flavor, your experience and the overall effect the plant has on you. So depending on what temperature and which strain, your experience may vary quite a bit. For instance, it is only at 315 degrees Fahrenheit that THC becomes psychoactive but in addition it also treats tumors, nausea and pain. So different temperatures create different experiences but most vape technology only lets you experience one temperature at a time.
Firefly: The First Dynamic Convection Vaporizer
The designers of the Firefly understood the challenges with modern day vaping and invented the first portable, dynamic convection vaporizer. The only way to achieve the whole flower experience is through dynamic convection, which allows for different temperatures to be applied during the process of heating and inhalation. It is powered by a lithium-ion battery, which reaches a maximum of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Essentially, as you breathe in dynamic heating occurs, fluctuating in temperature while it circulates around the chamber. This dynamic heating in turn creates a more dynamic vapor. When this happens you experience a fuller flavor, and more cannibinoids and terpenes from the flower enter your system. From a medicinal standpoint, this is exactly what you want when you are trying to treat one or many disease symptoms, so as to receive maximum benefits from the plant.
To me, one of the most noticeable differences with the Firefly was the availability of different flavors which I had never tasted. The popular cannabis magazine High Times recently listed the Firefly on their top ten list saying “This portable remains a fan favorite, as it’s capable of producing large clouds of extremely smooth, high quality vapor time and time again.”
So Honestly, It’s Got Game
What hits you when you first see and hold the Firefly is that the creators of the device understand the power of sleek lines and beauty. It is a device that looks uber modern, similar to the way your IOS device looks and feels in the hand. Gizmodo called the Firefly ‘portable perfection’ and ‘drop dead gorgeous’. After my own experience and reading up on the device, there is clearly no dispute that the Firefly is the best looking and feeling vaporizer on the market today.
How to Vaporize with Firefly
The first version of Firefly ran on a lithium battery pack, and took about 45 minutes to charge. Firefly2 promises however to charge in half that amount of time, which seems spot on with ‘quick-charge high efficiency batteries’. Once charged, the device is very easy to use. You take off the magnetic face plate on top and load in your flower loosely in the glass chamber, flip the switch and then press the power button to on. If desired you can hold the heating button for a few seconds before giving it a go. The internal chamber heats up quickly and you hold the button and inhale. To get a real sense of the Firefly check out this video on their Youtube and see for yourself.