Yes, you should be vaping instead of smoking.
Are you still lighting your weed on fire like a caveman?
There's no reason you need to do that. Today's vaporizers allow cannabis consumers to grind up their flower and gently bake out the good stuff without the combustion that leads to the release of carcinogenic smoke. Most people agree vapor tastes better, too.
With another type of vaporizer, you don't even need to worry about the flower—you can buy concentrated cannabis, where the good stuff has been turned to amber goop that cooks up with no muss and/or fuss. The added bonus is no lingering smell and no cleanup.
If you're ready to get into #vapelife, here are five of our favorite vapes on the market right now.
Are you one of those people who really appreciates the sonic quality of vinyl—but for weed? You might prefer the DaVinci to the Pax because of its ceramic bowl and air path, which produces a smoother, milder, tastier vapor than the more typical metal oven.
This high-end loose-leaf vape ($275) allows for remarkable flavor thanks to a nice, even bake and precise temperature controls through a slick and totally intuitive app, which allows you to set up custom preset paths to bake the most out of any particular flower over a set time period. It heats up fast—about 2 degrees per second—and displays the temperature on a retro-futuristic array of dots.
The body is about the size of a slide-open cell phone with nice rounded edges and a reassuring heft. It's a bottom-loader with a battery that recharges inside the device by micro USB.
The squat, round-edged Miva is a full-featured, adjustable handheld loose-leaf vaporizer for only $200. There are a few small quirks—the oven can run a little hot on the hand at higher temperatures and it's directly under the mouthpiece, meaning the vapor is very warm—but it's more durable than others in this price range, offers a very nice draw and has a good battery life.
DOPE Magazine makes some cool merch—cool ball caps, cool T-shirts and this guy, the best cartridge-ready vape battery we've found after lots of searching. For $40, a few bucks more than the semi-disposable 510 thread pen batteries you'll see sold at most dispensaries, you have a rugged battery that we've gotten a year of use from, housed in an aluminum tube that both protects and camouflages your half-gram cartridge.
If you don't want to drop the extra coin on cartridges—either because they're a little pricey, or because they tend to break, or because they make it impossible to cook the last goop out of the bottom—check out KandyPens Elite. This efficient, sleek little pen provides lots of flexibility with two interchangeable heating chambers: one using high-end double-quartz rods, the other a coilless ceramic dish (no combustion).
Pax is the iPhone of portable loose-leaf vaporizers. It's a product that basically created its own category, and against which all competitors will be judged.
Pax makes sleek, discreet and reliable products. They're easy to load and use, and they fit nicely in the hand for quick puffs on the go. They'll last a long time with proper care—I know a couple who are regular smokers that kept their first-generation Pax going for two years.
The latest generation, the Pax 3, came out early this year. It's the same size and shape as the first two, but finally adds the app integration competitors have had for a while. The app works well, and the Pax 3 continues to provide a consistently pleasant experience. If you're willing to drop $275 on a Cadillac vape, this is the one to get.