I'm often asked, through this site and via in-person interaction, if I still "vape". I find this to be a quite intriguing question, especially since the recent contaminated vape debacle coined as EVALI. Sometimes I dive down the rabbit hole discussing how uncanny the timing is between the "JUUL crisis", the EVALI uproar, and the release of new e-cig-like devices from big tobacco companies. Other times I simply mention how vitamin E acetate seems to be the main culprit and that you should probably still stay away from shady or bargain vape cartridges (but shouldn't you always?). However, one fan recently followed up the question of if I vape still with "what are you using to vape now and how are you vaping the FLOWER you review?"
Aha! Here is someone who has actually been reading my articles from the near beginning - not just looking at the pretty pictures and wondering where to pick-up. I was actually waiting for this question, and eager to respond to it. What's surprising is how long it took me to get it. The reason being that I typically mention not only the smoked flavor of the flower varietals I review, I also try to dig into the vaped taste as well. But, how do I vape flower? Do I smoke or vape concentrate? What are my preferred methods? I haven't discussed any of these things with you guys!
During my aforementioned conversation with said fan and my elaboration on the topic it dawned on me that when most people think of vaping, they ONLY think of cartridges. Others, when they think of flower, only think of smoking. And still others, when they think of concentrate, only think of their dab rig. People! We don't vape the same!
But we used to. Yes, I too was swooned by the allure of vape cartridges. After all, here was the seemingly perfect solution! Something that allowed me to medicate well, but also do it discretely. However, as a huge fan of convenience, safety, and customization, I was quickly disgruntled with crappy vape pen batteries. Then I became super frustrated with the cost and lack of reliability of cartridges (CO2, Distillate, Live Resin, Terp Sauce, etc.) altogether. I didn't want to smoke all the time, but I still needed to manage my digestive issues. I also needed to medicate discretely at various times which is really difficult with great flower.
Fed up with options in my nearby glass shop I started doing research. First, I scoured the internet far and wide looking for various new and time tested products along with their reviews. Then I asked around to all my homies, local and abroad, to see what they advised in terms of vaping. Finally I sought advice from a few local vape shops and the subsequent vape experts they pointed me to. After all this (probably too much) information gathering, I narrowed the search down to a group that I ordered and began to try in various situations. Saving you the walkthrough of the trials (perhaps I will do it again to find new devices in the future) and cutting a long story short, I arrived at four amazing (or should I say E-mazing) devices that are my go-to now:
Atmos Micro Pal
The first device I'd like to share with you all is the Atmos Micro Pal. This company, Atmos, is super awesome when it comes to vape apparatuses, with a really wide selection to choose from. The Micro Pal is their version of a handheld, internal cartridge-based battery solution. While it will take nearly any 510mm threaded cartridge, the real key for me is that it comes with a loadable ceramic cartridge that's easily loaded with your favorite form of waxy concentrate. That's right fellow tokers! You can unscrew this 510 threaded metal cartridge and load up live resin, diamonds, terp sauce, shatter, etc. into the ceramic chamber and coil that are on the inside. Then you screw it back together and boom, you've got a super discrete, great tasting, monster hit producing, concentrate pen in your pocket.
I seriously love this thing. The ONLY downside is that the cartridges can get clogged and need to be replaced about every 40 to 60 days depending on frequency of use. But hey, it's $12 for a replacement cartridge. You'd spend that just trying to get close to the effectiveness of this guy with your standard cartridges.
The battery itself has a convenient magnetic attachment setup, four different temperature levels (I keep it on the lowest) and can take a beating without compromising it's integrity or overall operability. I consider it my perfect "around town" piece and it works great in almost any setting without detection.
You can pick up the Micro Pal and re-fillable cartridges at AtmosRX.com.
Atmos Kiln RA
Device of choice #2 is almost as portable as the Micro Pal, but not as discrete. It's the Kiln RA (Replaceable Atomizer) and what it lacks in ability to hide it more than makes up for in smoothness of hit. This cylindrical battery and ceramic kiln combination is an amazing travel companion. You can get different mouth pieces for the top (see oversized clear glass attachment below) and it comes in an array of colors.
This one is not quite as indestructible, and can leak when it's been too full or too hot, but if you want something a bit more powerful to bring along with you this is it. It can be the beach going, festival camping, ski gondola hotboxing, device you need it to be, just takes a bit more planning and care.
The best parts of this contraption are how easy it is to load, clean, and use...but the very best part is the hits it can produce. Something about the arrangement of the ceramic plate (i'll leave the science and spec talk to the Atmos people).
Incidentally it's also a great "lay in bed all day and recover after a Super Bowl party" kind of device. Buy yours today at AtmosRX.com.
VOOPOO X217 w/ Atmos Studio Rig Attachment
This third device is quite a bit more advanced and technical - and really the combination of two devices. But hey, if crossbreeds can result in some of the finest flower, why can't the same concept be applied to delivery methods? Notably, this is a mix of some of the best digital and analog technology in the industry.
In my research, I was really hoping to find a water filtered option. This often results in the smoothest, most delicious hits. While perusing the Atmos website one day (yes, I might be a little obsessed with these guys) I found they had announced an awesome bubbler modification called the "Studio Rig".
Immediately curious, but not really into the idea of "dabbing" I dug in and read their pitch for why I should consider this mod versus the countless others I had read about/tried. With its unique ability to swap out various heating chambers, a titanium nail for concentrate and a ceramic chamber for flower, I was immediately sold and placed my order.
You heard correctly, this amazing glass bubbler attachment can be re-configured for vaping both concentrate and flower! Below is the chamber and connector (many colors available) I use for concentrate along with a view of the titanium nail on the inside of the bucket.
Then note the ceramic chamber for flower further below which slides into the same connector piece (I have more than one connector piece - more on that in a moment).
That connector piece, with either chamber inserted, then slides into the glass apparatus as so:
The ONLY challenge is that if you vape flower out of it and then use the same glass apparatus for concentrate, the vaped flower aroma overtakes that of the concentrate. To solve this you can simply buy an extra connector and an extra bubbler attachment. Then when you want to vape flower, screw on the designated flower vaping attachment. When you want to vape concentrate, screw on the designated concentrate vaping attachment. I cannot tell you how much of a fan of this interchangeable setup I am!
You might be asking: But, what do we screw it on?
Well, let me tell you about my Lil' friend...
The VOOPOO 217 Box Mod is a collaborative effort with Woody Vapes to create a superlative device that integrates the phenomenal GENE.FAN Chip with dynamic power output modes all within a visually stunning, Light-Up LED design.
With attention-to-detail at the forefront, the VOOPOO x Woody Vape X217 implements high-quality chassis construction with carbon fiber inlays and a large 1.3" TFT HD Screen for the ultimate user experience. The integrating GENE Chip maintains the ultra-fast 0.01 seconds firing speed and four dynamic output modes are possible with 217 watts of max output. It also has accurate atomizer detection and top-of-the-line safety protections.
I mean this thing is like the Tesla of vapes! It even has two batteries! It has literally never died on me!
Anyhow, it's certainly not as portable as the smaller options I've presented, but neither are bongs - and this thing hits pretty much like a small bong. Bring it with you if you need to, but carefully. Here's the full setup ready to rock in concentrate mode:
Also, you must realize that this is not like other dab rigs. If you're like me, there's something about turning on a blow torch and heating an attachment (glass, titanium, or otherwise) that just turns me off. It creates a situation where over an estimated amount of time an uncertain, high temperature will be achieved and used to gasify concentrate into my lungs. Sure it's cooled by water as it travels through the system, but so is a nuclear power plant! My point is that with an electric device or "e-dabber", such as the one above, you can be much more confident about the max temperature of the air that is entering your lungs. After all, they say the majority of harm done to your lungs from smoking or vaping cannabis comes from the heat of the smoke/air. Why not lock that temperature in somewhere relatively low where you can get maximum flavor and cannabinoid release, with little to no impact on the integrity of your airways?
Overall this last option is the best one I've found when it comes to interchangeability. It's not cheap (roughly $200 with all the options and double connector setup), but it's a lot cheaper than a new ROOR or other glass bong. It's also, I would argue, considerably more healthy and discrete than a traditional glass water pipe. You can order up the Studio Rig and all it's amazing attachments today at AtmosRX.com.
If you like any of these options and want to give them a try, I can get credit for referring you to the company if you simply click on the links provided for each apparatus. Your contributions are much appreciated!!!
Next Up: We Don't Vape the Same PART 2 - Where's the Best Concentrate in DC?