Salutations Ictus, As if this can comfort you at all, i recall my 1st test with no load in the crucible, trying to get an idea how neutral the air/cannabic paths would be. The brand-new PVC tubing tasted so bad for a moment i saw myself stuck with some useless piece of junk but i gave it more thoughts and all is good now. In fact i'd argue the HerbalAire performs like a locomotive engine (long story!), euh... Anyway, please give it some more faith! I'm confident this issue you're talking can be dealt with to your satisfaction (if expectations remain reasonable i guess). Perhaps a curved glass stem will do fine as i found there's vegetal matter glued within the first inch or so, before the bending. Imagine a looped glass whip, etc. I dunno but you didn't pick the cheapest offer, at least no herb falls on a red-hot heater element, etc. I'd be surprized if you won't be able to manage ultimately. Good luck in any case and don't despair just yet!!