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How Stoners Are Getting High (Tech)

by Computer Sumo / August 24, 2016

Michael Bourque was 45 years old the first time he smoked weed. A natural doctor recommended he look for some cannabis on Craigslist to help deal with anxiety, and he ended up finding a ZZ Top-looking dude in the Boston area who gave him a baggie of bud and rolled him a joint. He puffed on the j and thought he was going to die.

After that bad first experience, Bourque went back to the natural doctor and said it didn’t work. The doctor encouraged him to try again, this time with a vaporizer.

CannaCloudHe had never heard the term vaporizer before, but he went ahead and bought a few online to try them out. A tinkerer by nature, Bourque is one of those people who likes to take things apart and see how they’re made. Eventually, every vaporizer he owned wound up in pieces. With random pumps and wires making a mess everywhere, he decided to make his own vape.

He developed a super rough hardware device, then wrote a computer program that allowed him to control its exact temperature and airflow in a quest to discover the perfect combination that would sufficiently “cook” the plant but not burn it. He’d dial in a recipe, try it, then tweak the program and run it again.

“One day I got it,” he told PCMag. He found the perfect combination—he had invented an early prototype of what is now being called CannaCloud, aka the Keurig of Pot.