How The Hydrology9 Is The Most Refined Bong Of The Modern Stoned Age

A seeming masterpiece of modern engineering, the Hydrology9 could be the coolest bong of contemporary cannabis culture.

If you consume cannabis, it sure is a great time to be alive. In all of its green and weedy glory, the drug has come a long way over the last couple hundred years, with the first two decades of the new millennium seeing an acceleration of this refinement.

Marijuana is more relevant in the mainstream, and more readily accessible than it has ever been. It is also an imminent economic powerhouse. From now on, you should think of weed as medicine, and as a commodity driving legal, regulated, industries in multiple states. Statistically speaking, in some places, marijuana is more valuable than gold.

Weed is also stronger today than it has ever been, with legal recreational and medical use laws leading significant developments in how the plant is grown, consumed, sold, and packaged––from sustainably farmed, nutrient-rich models that draw inspiration from NASA, to low-dose, clearly labeled edibles that are a far cry from your parents’ magic pot brownies, to THCA tinctures you can craft in your own kitchen––the cannabis marketplace and marijuana culture is in the midst of a renaissance, and the rebirth has only just begun.

According to AdAge:

“Many companies navigating this new market believe they detect potential revenue from atypical cannabis users such as women who would be more attracted by health and lifestyle-related messaging than slogans promoting bleary-eyed partying.”

Indeed, any weed-ancillary glass-work and pipemaking is in a similarly evolutionary phase, with new consumption habits, and innovative delivery methods driving the uptick in innovation within the space. In the last decade, as dabbing has come into popularity, and as extraction technology and methodology has improved, producers have developed or discovered new means of yielding cleaner concentrate products to meet the massive demand. And the bong has seen a makeover from simply being a blunt instrument (no pun), to being considered as fine, albeit functional, art.

"We wanted to answer the question of 'Why has no one made a discreet, portable, electronic water bong?'” 

One such company leading this charge is NorCal-based Cloudious9

The bongmakers can be found in Silicon Valley, a known technology and innovation hub that is also home to a new class of weed world startups. And Cloudious9's just-released flagship product, the Hydrology9, might change the way you think about consuming cannabis while on-the-go.

“Creating the Hydrology9 hasn’t been easy,” Richard Huang, Cloudious9 CEO said to KINDLAND over the phone. “We've gone through three major design overhauls, dozens of internal modifications and hundreds of hours of testing in the past 12 months,” said Huang.

"We wanted to answer the question of “Why has no one made a discreet, portable, electronic water bong?'" 

The Hydrology9 is roughly the size of an energy drink can, and as KINDLAND has previously covered, the refined water bong is stacked. According to the team at Cloudious9, the Hyrdology9 empowers an entirely novel consumption experience:

"Even heat distribution—This patent-pending solution solves a typical problem seen in today’s vaporizers by automatically distributing heat evenly and efficiently. . ."

"Precise temperature control—Precise temperature control allows users to choose and accurately maintain five stages of optimized temperatures. . ."

"Temperature integrity maintenance—This feature uses a computer chip to sense lower than desired temperatures from incoming air intake and quickly increases the temperature back to the desirable level. . ."

And creating such an advanced bong is no task in simplicity. 

"When you don’t know that much, the ideas seem perfectly workable. The more you learn, the more you realize that things have to change," Huang told KINDLAND. "The water-chamber is about 40 percent of the device’s mass–so to make it smaller, the whole design had to change." 

Huang says seeing the Hydrology9 from concept to completion was a fluid process, with everything from manufacturer deadlines, to the actual release date, hinging on the product's design first being solid on paper. 

"When you’re trying to perfect a product, the manufacturing process only becomes more difficult," Huang told KINDLAND.

And when viewed through this lens, the Hydrology9 is a masterpiece of engineering. Moreover, bringing such a pipe to market simply would not have even previously been possible, if not for a coming together of each one of the above-mentioned benchmarks in recent cannabis history.

To that end, and for the hype and these words to hold any substance, the Hydrology9 still has to function. There's no point in having a piece that resembles a lightsaber, if the force is not present. Sure, aesthetics are important in a bong, or any pipe for that matter––its 2017, after all––but does the Hydrology9 deliver? 

To test the merit of the Cloudious9 product, a panel of KINDLAND editors, seasoned potheads, loaded up the avant garde piece of paraphernalia with some high-end California chronic, on a cloudy Wednesday morning in Hollywood.

Surely, the vaporizer is highly portable, and drawing a few on-the-go puffs from the Hydrology9 would be convenient in most any situation. It's also really efficient with your hard-earned green, and this is crucial as some portable vaporizers, or glass bubblers, and pretty much every vape pen on the market can enable the wasting of product. The user-experience of the Cloudious9 device, so to speak, was (pun intended) fairly fluid. 

A few additional pulls later, the morning seemed a bit more manageable. We wanted donuts. We were stoned.

The weedy ritual that would otherwise be unremarkable if not for the novelty of the Hydrology9 device was no more difficult or different, really, than preparing a bong or bubbler due to the thoughtful design crafted by Huang's team. It was as easy as loading a bowl, and filling a bottle of water. Once we figured out that the changing colors of the LED light indicated when the atomizer was at the right temperature at which to inhale––shout out to the in-box instruction pamphlet––we inhaled. 

As far as describing said vaping as an act of discreet consumption, it depends: using the Hydrology9, it would not be easy to be super stealthy, and it's hard to imagine being truly incognito holding any futuristic device. But, the Hydrology's pull, and subsequent percolation of bubbles are quieter than the loud pot-noise-pollution produced when using most glass pieces. But given the Hydrology9's form factor and standout appearance, it's difficult to judge if this piece is something we'd openly bust out at a music festival, or walking in public.

But the hit is smooth. The flavor of the flower is actually discernible (because it isn't being indiscriminately torched). The clouds we blew out weren't necessarily dense, and it didn't coldcock us like a dab is wont to do at times. But twenty minutes, and a few additional pulls later, the morning seemed a bit more manageable. We wanted donuts. We were stoned. 

Which, is the point right?

Photos by Ben Parker Karris for KINDLAND.