The cannabis industry has, to say the least, grown in leaps and bounds in recent years. From secretly connecting with our neighborhood growers and keeping conversations under wraps, to walking into legal dispensaries and attending open-consumption events; it’s fair to say that we are mid-evolution, and well on our way to destigmatizing the world’s view of weed. But has the modern consumer changed with the times as well?
It makes me laugh to think about the way we will be explaining “the old days” to future generations to come. We’ll have stories that can only compare to the days of prohibition, ranging from getting caught in our parents’ basement, to legal ramifications that will seem nothing short of absurd. We live in a special moment in time, and the companies that are paving the way now, propelling this evolution, will be remembered throughout history.
At this time, I’d like to talk about two brothers, Jack and Joe Tran, or as I like to call them, The Hitoki Brothers. If you’ve already heard this name, then you’re in the know, and for good reason; and if you haven’t, allow me the privilege of introducing you to the next phase in the evolution of smoking.
Our not so distant past can attest to smoking out of (well…lol) just about anything we could engineer a way to, whether you relied on conventional means such as joints or bongs, or you experimented with more exotic options such as apples, water bottles, a magnifying glass, or hot knives (someone reading this will relate.)
But while most of us were just trying to not get caught, Jack and Joe Tran were embarking on their journey to create the world’s first laser combustion bong.
Their story began humbly, and probably much like your own. In their early teens, Jack and Joe got caught smoking in their backyard by their parents.
Some years later, as new research began to emerge, and as the view of cannabis had begun to change, Jack and Joe encountered a shift in their own lives as well. Their father, who they very obviously respect and love, fell ill.
Inspired by a magnifying glass under the sun, Jack and Joe began development on what would eventually become The Hitoki Trident, but not without their fair share of bumps along the road. The Hitoki Brothers look back and laugh as they recall requiring their test subjects to use safety goggles:
They persisted, and through hard work and ingenuity, The Hitoki Brothers found a way to eliminate the need to use toxic chemicals such as butane, burn at cooler temperatures to preserve the benefits of medicinal terpenes, and preserve the true flavors of the cannabis flower for a cleaner, healthier smoking experience.
As someone you might consider a bougie smoker of sorts, I was, admittedly, initially attracted to their sleek aesthetic. Modern and sexy, it looks like something Steve Jobs would have created. Naturally, I reached out to the company on Instagram to find out more. To my surprise, there was no red taped corporate door to pass. Just two well-spoken, and very polite brothers who had put everything they had into a product they believed in. After some communication, and being consistently impressed, I invited Jack and Joe Tran into the NUGL Studio for an interview. Their likability was undeniable, and their story was the kind where you find yourself rooting for the win, but the true test would be the performance of The Hitoki Trident.
Let me begin my first-hand review by saying that they started off with a leading-edge when they handed me a rose gold model and told me that it was mine to keep, wholeheartedly asking that I give them my honest opinion. I told them I would.
I don’t believe in toting the praises of a company I don’t honestly stand behind, so I invite you to trust in my word when I tell you:
In the last couple of years, one point has become increasingly clear to me about cannabis: the importance of preserving the integrity of the medicinal terpenes in order to reap the healing properties of the plant. Compromising those terpenes comes in a multitude of ways, the most prevalent being the temperature at which the plant is burned upon smoking it. This of course leads to the hot smoke sensation we’ve all experienced, followed by the stereotypical stoner’s cough. Cannabis smokers have attempted to counteract this effect for years, long before we knew much at all about terpenes, by using ice in their bongs. An effort that lasted only until, of course, you were left with melted ice, and a dirty device.
The Hitoki Trident is equipped with a “cool laser,” which I won’t begin to try to understand or explain, and is designed with a special laser shield that lets you safely view the mesmerizing laser ignition.
Next to the laser show, the hookah-like hose attachment is my second favorite thing. I can’t speak for anyone else but I’ve never enjoyed sticking my mouth inside of a bong rim. Now, I might get some pushback from our legacy market audience, but in my opinion, a resin mustache is hard for anyone to pull off.
My Personal Experience…
I had been invited to join a group of my friends in Palm Springs for the weekend and decided to bring my Hitoki. There would be several cannabis connoisseurs present to share with, and I was eager to hear their feedback.
I’ll be honest, unboxing my brand new rose gold Hitoki was exciting. I knew I was introducing something the group hadn’t experienced before. We read through the directions, added flower and water, and with what sounded like a pistol cylinder sound effect from an action movie, reattached the ceramic loading chamber. We took it outside to the back patio so as to not smoke up the house. We soon discovered three heat settings. Having done my research, I knew the coolest option was the most beneficial, so it was my clear choice.
I sat back with the hookah-hose in hand and allowed a friend to hit the ignition button for me while my device set sail on its maiden voyage so that I wouldn’t miss a beat. While the light show alone earns huge brownie points in my book, my only complaint is that it doesn’t have a bigger viewing screen. I’d gladly watch my futuristic Star Wars bong zap a laser beam down onto my weed through a 13” window. With smoke swirling around the laser, it reminded me of the lightning scene in Ghost Busters. Quality entertainment, I must say; Jack and Joe definitely know their audience.
What really took me by surprise, however, was the fact that I hardly felt the smoke in my throat at all. The aroma and flavor of the cannabis were there, but without the burn. There also was such little smoke in the air, it seemed silly we ever went outside. Even hitting the carb button and clearing the chamber was a breeze. It felt so easy on my throat, in fact, I wondered if I took a proper hit. A friend convinced me to wait to see what happened before going back for seconds. Thinking this to be sound advice, I held off. We passed the hose around the table while discussing our mini lightning show and switching between settings. For anyone reading this, take note, in a truly scientific fashion, Hitoki’s settings are as follows: red is cool, green is warm, and blue is hot.
I suddenly realized that my perma-smile was accompanied by a warm happy high. I felt comfortable in my own skin. I can be somewhat of a lightweight when it comes to heavy strains, and I knew my friends had packed some fireweed. But this, I thought to myself, was my Goldilocks Zone. I took a couple more hits just to push the envelope, because quite frankly, I felt completely comfortable, and my experience only got better.
The consensus around the table was the same: beautifully esthetic, impressive laser display, smooth hit, aromatic flavor, no unpleasant smoke or odor, and a particularly happy high that followed.
The Hitoki Trident is not only pleasing to the eye but a cleaner, healthier, more enjoyable way for the evolved consumer to enjoy legal plant medicine. Cannabis consumption can be free of shame and judgment, and between modern research and innovators like Jack and Joe, I believe that the days of stoner stereotypes may soon be over. The Hitoki Trident, in my opinion, is going to become known as the stepping stone that brought elegance and sophistication to cannabis.