In every field of endeavor, there is a best of the best. And when it comes to herbal vaporizers, that enviable position is occupied by the Volcano, widely acknowledged as the finest available.

Quite possibly, even probably, the best method of dry herb consumption on the market, the Volcano is considered the ultimate system to release the flavor and aroma from herbs, spices and essential oils (and yes, it works spectacularly with cannabis). Smoke is never created and nothing ever burns, creating an inhalable vapor that is easier on the lungs and throat than is smoke.

There’s just one problem when it comes purchasing this beautiful device: It’s a bit on the expensive side for many of us, with the top-of-the-line digital model retailing for around $640. (The non-digital dial version is $510.)

That price point kept the Volcano out of my personal buying range until I made a very happy discovery: Uncle Ike’s Glass and Goods rents the things!

The digital Volcanoes have a temperature range from 104ªF to 446ªF, although the former is far too low for good vaporization, and the latter is far too high. What they’re doing, of course, is bracketing the proper temperatures to vaporize your herb.

As for “proper temperatures,” that’s very much a matter of personal taste. When one of my friends learned than I typically vape from 360 to 390 degrees, she was shocked, saying she never vapes at more than 250 degrees. The primary difference between lower-temp and higher-temp vaping is in the richness of the vapor; higher temperatures result in a thicker, more opaque vapor.

One of the first things you’ll notice if you’re used to combustion (the scientific term for smoking weed) is the subtlety of cannabis vapor vs. cannabis smoke. You’ll taste a whole range of flavors you never noticed in smoke, because many of these flavonoids and terpenes are so delicate, they’re destroyed by combustion, but manage to survive the lower temperatures of vaporization.

The Volcano uses a vacuum system which pumps in fresh, filtered air, and then heats it to the temperature you specify for effective vaporization to your taste. Hot air creates the vapor as it passes over herb, aromatic blends or essential oils, filling an attached balloon (made of stuff similar to the bags turkeys are cooked in) with vapor, ready to be detached and use.

As for the difficulty of operating this device? I have trouble assembling almost anything, and I had my rented Volcano assembled, up and running within 10 minutes. It’s a breeze, literally.

If you consider yourself a cannabis connoisseur, or if you just want to broaden your horizons and more fully experience righteous herb, you really owe it to yourself to try this way of consuming.

With a $50 deposit and $60 base rental for Day 1 and a $30 additional daily fee, you can bring one of these lovely things home and vape to your heart’s content. And if you love one — as you almost certainly will! — Uncle Ike’s will apply the rental cost to the cost of buying your very own! (You must be 18 or older to rent the Volcano, and have valid ID and a credit or debit card. The maximum rental is two weeks.)