The box this vaporizer came in was more effective than the vaporizer itself.
The box this vaporizer came in was more effective than the vaporizer itself. Lester Black

The Hydrology9™ vaporizer by Cloudious9® isn’t entirely worthless. In fact, it’s pretty good at certain things. It’s good at being heavy and looking vaguely like a sex toy. It's good at filling up with water and flashing technicolor lights as if it were a lava lamp. Its packaging is very nice, with perfectly formed soft plastic slots for the 6-inch-long vibrator vaporizer and its various chargers and accessories. Its name is certainly good at seeming like an amalgamation of the douchiest products in the world. And it’s very good at costing a lot of money, with a $250 price tag.

There only one thing the Hydrology9™ vaporizer by Cloudious9® isn’t very good at: Vaporizing pot.

After receiving a free sample in the mail, I spent multiple days trying to get this thing to deliver the smooth and powerful hits of weed that the world’s first water-filled vaporizer was supposed to deliver. I would fill up its bubbler with water, load some ground pot into the tiny chamber at its base, and then click the unit’s confusing button trying to heat it up for a solid hit.

But it almost never delivered a substantial hit. More often than not, the hit would be so light that it almost didn’t seem like I was vaporizing anything at all. And then when I did get the vaporizer to give me something that felt like an actual hit, the pot tasted burnt and smoky. When I opened the pot-holding chamber at its base after these substantial hits, the ground-up weed inside was actually burnt and smoking, something that is never supposed to happen with a vaporizer.

Vaporizers heat up the cannabis flower just to the point of releasing those fun cannabinoid chemicals like THC, but not hot enough to actually burn and turn the flower into smoke. The Hydrology9™ vaporizer by Cloudious9® seemed incapable of this task, or at least not very good at it.

It was also extremely annoying having to fill up the tiny pot chamber over and over again. This vaporizer is as heavy as a foot-tall glass bong. but it holds less weed than one of those shitty little one-hitter chillum pipes.

At this point I should mention I have my own biases. I have never been a fan of portable flower vaporizers. I’ve had some fun with those expensive tabletop flower vaporizers, like the Volcano, and I am borderline obsessed with portable oil vaporizers (as pieces of evidence I submit this story, this story, and this story), but portable flower vaporizers have always been a disappointment to me. When I received this free Hydrology9™ vaporizer by Cloudious9® in the mail, I was hoping that the water-filled vape would change my mind. It didn’t.

I even brought the vaporizer to a party with some friends who did not share my bias against these kinds of products. But even those friends found the Hydrology9™ vaporizer by Cloudious9® to be a waste of time.

I almost didn’t write this review—there are plenty of innovative pot products out there that are actually worth promoting—but after my negative experience with the $250 Hydrology9™ vaporizer by Cloudious9® I felt like getting this information out there was a necessary public service announcement. The people most likely to spend $250 on a piece of pot technology are also the people least equipped to know what they’re doing with pot. I'd hate to hear about any unsuspecting tech workers with money to blow and a desire to explore pot without hurting their lungs fall victim to this product. Even when Amazon’s stock is worth $1,500, this vaporizer is still not worth $250.

But for some reason, it's getting a lot of good press. Mary Jane McWeedy at Gizmodo said “The vapor this thing produces is so smooth you can barely feel it entering your lungs or throat.” Girl, that’s not a light hit, you’re just getting tricked into thinking you’re vaping pot when you’re really just inhaling flavored air. Forbes also gave it a positive review, remarking that if “you were lamenting the lack of bong vapes on the market, lament no more.” To which I say—I wasn’t lamenting their absence until I found out bong vapes existed, at which point I am now lamenting their presence.

And even my colleague and fellow weed reporter Josh Jardine down at the Portland Mercury had generally positive things to say about the Hydrology9™ vaporizer by Cloudious9®. Although he did say that he inadvertently loaded some wax concentrate into the Hydrology9™ vaporizer by Cloudious9® before realizing the machine was made only for flower. I feel like the residual concentrate in his pen was delivering more interesting hits, making his experience closer to actually vaporizing pot than my consecutively dull hits.

If you are looking to blow $250 on a mediocre vaporizer that looks like a lava lamp, you should probably buy the Hydrology9™ vaporizer by Cloudious9®. But if you just want to drop some cash on something to consume weed with, you should go to a head shop and buy a bong made by a local glass artist. You’ll be supporting Seattle artists, keeping your cash local, and you’ll even end up with something to smoke weed out of that you'll actually enjoy using.