Thinking Outside The Bong: 5 Ways Tech Is Changing Weed And Vice Versa

Because the weed world can influence the mainstream, too.

The weed game has come a long way from the days when consumption devices were largely limited to DIY apple pipes, and joints, such as those masterfully rolled by, well, your parents. But as a result of explosive growth taking place simultaneously in both the tech and cannabis industries, our consumption of the plant has become more sophisticated and precise, while tech has shifted its focus to technology-enhanced personal wellness. Similarly, as more U.S. states continue down the path toward recreational legalization, we can only expect these trends to evolve exponentially.

So whether you’re a cannabis aficionado, a tech nerd, or some stoned and intelligent combination of both, this is certainly an exciting time to be alive. Representative of this golden era are five disruptive tech applications in legal cannabis driving innovative consumption and offering us a glimpse of what is still to come.

The “Keurigs of cannabis”

What Keurig did to the coffeemaker was nothing short of disruptive. Knowing you could brew a cup of coffee with the touch of a button caused consumers to take a thoughtful look at their other appliances, and ask how the process could be made simpler still. Being quick on the uptake, cannabis brands posited the same query, and churned out easy-to-use cannabutter-producing machines on the double. No more simmering shake-laden butter and oil on a stove for hours, wondering how insanely potent, or burnt, your weed butter would eventually be. Now, just like a Keurig brews coffee, you can blend cannabutter or cannabis oil with ease. The simplified process makes us wonder, what other household appliances will be transformed into medicinal tools by cannabis tech companies?

Hybrid devices

OK, so this category is fairly uncharted territory. You won’t see a lot of hybrid smoking devices on the market just yet, but if Cloudious9’s Hydrology9 portable vaporizer-bong combination is any indication, you will be seeing more action here soon. With a futuristic design, and small enough to toss in your purse or, well, man satchel, the Hydrology9 is neither bong nor vape, but an innovative combination of the two. KINDLAND editors tested the avant garde device for ourselves and found it to be a feat of engineering that delivered on aesthetic appeal and seamless experience. Looking ahead, cannabis consumers will want more consumption options tailored to their preferences and ever wider ranges of uses and situations. The bar has been set by Cloudious9, and that's great news for cannabis enthusiasts and patients everywhere.

At-home grow operations

Maybe you don’t live on a 30-acre farm with plenty of rich soil, and with enough privacy for growing herb at commercial scale. Perhaps you live in a studio apartment, and you have a brand new medical marijuana card, chronic pain or some other qualifying condition, but nowhere to grow. Have no fear, self-contained home grow systems are here. With designs that resemble mini refrigerators, and aquaponic labs from a spaceship, the limit to what you can grow from the comfort of your own living room is nonexistent. Well, technically there is a limit like, spatially-speaking, but it isn’t difficult to imagine the tech space solving that problem too, with super tiny, super potent pot plants one can reasonably grow like a Chia Pet. Here's hoping...

Sleek and stealthy vaporizers

If you’ve been following the weed scene at all, then you know vape pens have reached a new level of sexiness, user experience, and function. The portable consumption devices are slim, easy to use, and can be discreetly carried in one’s makeup bag or man satchel (yes, that again). You no longer have to worry about hiding your weed habit when your vape pen looks like a fancy writing instrument, eyeliner, a stylus, or a nondescript electronic cigarette. To succeed as a vaporizer brand, it seems, these innovative companies have to find a way to go incognito. As such, we can only speculate on the distance to which cannabis brands will go to keep consumers stealthily elevated.

There’s an app for that

Of course, when we’re talking about any industry’s convergence with tech, there’s bound to be some discussion of mobile apps. The weed industry is no different, with mobile apps for finding and connecting with local dispensaries, others that empower users to monitor plant growth, and keep track of which strains they like the most, or which are most effective in treating symptoms associated with “qualifying condition X.” 

Looking ahead, it would be great if a brand were to develop an app or device that helps users track their cannabis consumption, along with any changes occurring in their physical and mental well-being after consuming. In time, there may even be a way to measure just how much cannabis is in your system, alerting you when it’s safe to drive or operate heavy machinery, or when to put down the potato chips. When cannabis and tech converge, the possibilities are truly endless. 

This article was created in collaboration with Cloudious9.