Bubbleman’s steampipe journey

On Jerusalem Mountain, inland from Negril, marijuana plants grow as far as I & I can see. After the drying and curing, my Rastafarian friend Red shows me the secret of the original Jamaican steam pipe vaporizer.
Over 2,000 short Indicas are in this view of Jerusalem Mountain in February, ten days before harvest. Tall branchy male and female Sativas were the traditional mainstay of the island’s cannabis, but the new-school method is growing short sensimilla plants. No more males, and no more seeds.

Up here in the mountain, the air is a little less humid but there’s still a blazing hot sun, so when the plants are harvested, they are dried under makeshift shelters. When it comes time to trim, it’s done with just thumb & knife.

I took some of this dried mountain bud to Red, a 70 year old Rastafarian who has used the traditional steam pipe for over 50 years.

The steam pipe is an organic vaporizer made from bamboo, using a small saw, a granite rock surface for a sander, and candle wax to seal the connections and to ensure air-tightness.

Coconut husks (shells) are heated in a fire until glowing red-hot. An old shoe polish lid is punctured with nine nail holes. With bamboo tongs, Red places the hot coals atop the metal can top, and then he rests it on the bowl of the steam pipe.

The heat is drawn into the bowl, vaporizing the resin. No burning of the bud occurs, keeping it smooth and free of carbon monoxide, tar, and ash while we take in the cannabinoids.

Although the harvest is largely Indica, a few old school Sativas are harvested and Red & I get wonderfully high vaporizing a nug of ‘lambs bread’ in the steam pipe.