One of the many things we’ll think of when we look back to 2014: Oxford Dictionaries selecting vape as its Word of the Year 2014.
The selection actually made sense, as more and more people are choosing to ingest their cannabis via increasingly popular vape pens — portable, pen-like vaporizers that are discreet and ubiquitous.
Cannabist critics have been reviewing the best (and worst) options for vape pens on the market all year long, and we’ll continue to review the technology throughout 2015 as well. Here are reviews of 12 vape pens we put to the test in 2014, as ranked by their popularity on the site:
1. Pax vaporizer by Ploom: My local head shop says the Pax Ploom is its top-selling vaporizer, so naturally I wanted to check it out. On first glance, its allure is obvious: The handheld smoking device resembles a bulky iPod player, with a shimmering brushed aluminum case, an indicator light on the front and minimal branding on the back. Not typically swayed by form over function, I found myself immediately attracted to the machine’s sexy Apple-knockoff stylings. Read more.
2. O.penVape’s original O.pen: As with computer technology, vaporizers seem to get smaller each year, evolving from desktop models like the Volcano — the original gold standard — to the increasingly popular and widely available portable vaporizers, many of which are based on electronic cigarette technology. O.penVape is one of the smallest vape pens on the market. The size of a standard writing pen and twice as heavy, the vaporizer isn’t just based on e-cigarettes — it is the same exact product. The bottom half of the pen is a battery that screws onto a cartomizer — a heating element and a tube of hash oil. Read more.
3. Vuber Atlas: This Vuber vape pen is stainless steel from top to bottom, and consists of four distinct pieces: battery, heating element, air path and mouthpiece. It stands 5 inches tall and measures 1/2-inch in diameter. The atomizer features a ceramic bowl roughly 1/4-inch wide and nearly as deep. Strung across the bowl is a silica wick wrapped by a titanium heating coil. The pen uses the super-common “510″ e-cigarette threading, so you can swap out other 510-threaded components. Read more.
Really, that’s a thing?
Cannabis-infused coffee. Machine-rolled marijuana cigarettes. Joint-peddling vending machines. A THC-infused, ladies-only lube. A food truck selling only infused edibles. The massage of your life, via a marijuana-infused lotion. Yes, really, these are all real things.
4. The Grenco Science Snoop Dogg G Pen: First, let’s be honest: this pen doesn’t vape — it combusts marijuana. The pot is placed directly on a heating element sitting atop a ceramic base, and it totally burns the bud. This offends many vapor purists since it’s marketed as a vaporizer, but I’m not a vapor purist. I just see it as another way to smoke pot. Read more.
5. The Volta, by VaporGenie: The handheld vaporizer is little more than a hollow block of wood, a few bits of metal, a battery and some magnets. And while it’s an ingenious little device, it is neither easy nor entertaining to use. Read more.
6. The Pinnacle Pro, by VaporBlunt: The high temperatures allow the little Pinnacle Pro to vaporize hash and hash oil, and it has cartridges for both flowers and concentrates. Flower people, best stick to heat levels 1 and 2 and even then, it is fairly hot when drawing in, and that may irritate the throat. Some vapes take pains to increase the length of airpath between the heating element and the user, but the heater in the Pinnacle Pro is an inch from your mouth. That means the vapor is hot, and I found it best to draw slowly to counterbalance that heat. Read more.