Concentrates are all the rage these days, and there is an abundance of products devoted to discreet dabbing, including stylish-looking vaporizer pens for oil and wax. Some stoners, however, prefer flowers, and they want to vape on the go too. So, what’s out there in the portable vaporizer world for dry herb?
Comments in online vape review forums identify several issues with vaping flowers in pens. Most pens have a single setting that vaporizes oil and wax, but that setting will burn -- not vape -- dry herb. Pens are generally designed for concentrates, so the chamber is often too small to hold much bud; heating can be uneven; pens break easily, or the batteries give out quickly. The most common complaint is that most pens heat flowers to the point of combustion, so you just end up smoking your weed with an expensive piece of equipment. Why not just burn one down?
Many pens claim to work for flowers as well as concentrates, but canna-sseurs are still searching for the perfect paraphernalia. A friend was thrilled to purchase a top-of-the-line slick purple pen at the HIGH TIMES Denver Cannabis Cup in April, but when he got it home and packed it with some delicious Nigerian, he was disappointed. “I tried packing it loose, tight, full, everything. The draw was weak, and it definitely burned the weed. It didn’t vape at all.” Said friend also had a mishap when he tried his pen with some shatter he brought back from the Cup, only to discover it was actually medible candy. All he got was a cloud of pineapple smoke and a sticky mess. Come to think of it, he probably didn’t need to smoke any more pot.
We searched the wide world of vape pens for gear that works with flowers as well as with concentrates. Here are a few that got our attention:
DabStix Dry Herb Kit
The Dry Herb kit has a winning design with a ceramic coil post that runs through the center of the herb chamber, so the flowers are evenly warmed. However, the herb is heated above vape temperature, so you do end up smoking it.
Magic Flight Launch Box
A simple option for vaping your herb on the fly. The Magic Flight isn't a sleek pen, but even if its design is a little clunky, it fits neatly into a pocket, it's durable, and it's a true vaporizer.
The Atmos Raw scored first place in our HIGH TIMES Vaporizer Buyer’s Guide for vaping oil or wax. However, our experience vaping flowers with the Atmos pen was that the hits were kind of weak, and the pen was definitely burning the pot, not vaping it.
The Cera scores high with users, but it’s too big to be considered a pen -- one reviewer wrote “Is that a Cera in your pocket, or are you just excited to see me?” The Cera also gets very hot to the touch when vaporizing dry herb, and can be hard to handle.
So, pot entrepreneurs, if you’re paying attention, there’s plenty of room for improvement in the vape-pen market. Some of us would like to get high with good ol’ maryjane.