Should you vape? Well, unless you're one of those people who needs to dab,
the answer is yes. Portable loose-leaf vaporizers have come a long way in the past few years. They're small, powerful and allow you to sample cannabis in a way that's not only better for your lungs, but more discreet and tastier—you can better taste terpenes when they're more gently baked out of flower, at subcombustion temperatures.
The Pax 2 is the Lexus of vapes. It's slick, intuitive and handy. This sleek aluminum tube comes in a variety of colors and is nearly identical in size to a switchblade. Just push the button, wait for the green light, hold the tube to your mouth and inhale from the narrow slit on the edge of the black rubber atop the business end. Our reverence for this product is such that we think a little more of any dispensary that sells it, and just a little less of any one that doesn't.
The smaller second edition of this cult fave is tricked out with Bluetooth—you set the temperature profile from your phone, then hit two buttons to fire it up. The unique oven is dialed to maximize flavors, which is why some people swear by the thing. It's a little tricky for some—to get the most out of it, you need to time your breaths carefully—but the people who like it love it.
The British-owned Hachi is made of rosewood, and looks great on a coffee table. Like the FireFly, it has a see-through window to show your flower being toasted. We've had mixed results—it's key to load the chamber with tightly packed buds and be patient on heating—but it's fine as an entry-level product.
The K-Vape Micro-DX from KandyPens is small and light—about the size of a fat Sharpie. And yet, for portable vaporizers, it also has a huge oven and far more control options than its competitors. This unit's largest-on-the-market oven (it holds more than a half gram) can be set to 80 temperature settings from 350 to 430 degrees. Starting low and gradually increasing the temperature allows you to dial in each strain.
Canada's largest retailer of vaporizers has a new house brand, Zeus Smite, which retails for roughly $100 American, with free shipping to boot. The Zeus Smite is a big-boy vape, about the size of a pack of cigarettes. There are slide-open compartments on top and bottom to hold flower and the mouthpiece. With the mouthpiece on, the vape looks like a little walkie-talkie. There's only one button, which adjusts between three temperatures. On the highest setting, you can feel some heat radiating from the anodized aluminum case.