The Da Buddha Vaporizer is refreshingly simple. (Ben Livingston, The Cannabist)

Review: Made-in-the-USA Da Buddha Vaporizer melds style with simplicity

I appreciate simplicity in most things, and Da Buddha Vaporizer is pretty simple. 

It’s basically a ceramic heating element encased in glass, controlled by an unmarked, guess-and-check temperature knob. A plastic tube with an herb-filled glass receptacle is attached to that heater, and the user breathes in through the tube to manually control the flow of air. To decrease the likelihood of burning the crap out of yourself, the heater is moderately surrounded by an aluminum case.

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.

Of course, this is the basic design underlying most vaporizers, but many other models gussy it up a bit more or add useful features like a fan to force air through the machine, digital displays and temperature gauges. But not this vaporizer. It’s like the simple, mechanical Volkswagen Beetles of yore — before they reinvented them to contain computers.

When I received Da Buddha from the link-loving folks at, I felt a bit nostalgic because it reminds me of the box-style Vaporbrothers Vaporizer I first owned nearly a decade ago. The main differences, as far as I can tell, are that Da Buddha is encased in aluminum rather than wood, it looks like an upright tube rather than a box and the heating element sticks out sideways rather than pointing at an upward angle.

That last part — the angle of the heating element — is an improvement to me. I was always a bit annoyed at my Vaporbrothers box because the herb chamber pointed slightly downward when attached — so if the pot wasn’t packed in there well, or it was too dry, some weed would spill into the box. It was never annoying enough to dislike the thing, just annoying enough to curse it every time.

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Placing the heating element and the herb chamber attachment parallel to the ground makes it much less likely that I’ll dump my weed into Da Buddha’s ceramic heater. That’s appreciated, for sure. Still, because the herb chamber rests inside the glass that encloses the ceramic heating element, if you accidentally blow some weed out of the herb chamber while in use, it may hit the heating element itself and combust — which never happened with my old box model.

To be fair, it’s not super-easy to knock weed into the heating element, it’s just that my klutziness and impatience eventually lead me to experience most technical difficulties imaginable with any electronic device. (It’s always blinking 12:00 in my world, so rather than learn to set the time on the VCR or microwave, I just programmed my brain to think “high noon, smoke more weed!” every time I noticed.)

Da Buddha is pretty stylish, colored sparkly silver with a faint, fat Buddha logo above the temperature control knob. It’s also available in black for a few dollars more. It’s basically a stripped-down version of the Silver Surfer Vaporizer, which is made by the same company. And it comes with a padded hemp carrying case, which is pretty awesome. I typically don’t travel with a desktop vaporizer in tow, but now that I have padded transport, hey why not?

(Ben Livingston, The Cannabist)
(Ben Livingston, The Cannabist)

The best feature of Da Buddha Vaporizer, by far, is the fact that it works. With no clear temperature settings, it’s up to the user to figure out their preferred heat using the little line on the circular knob. Placing the line straight upward into the 12 o’clock position — high noon, once again — is a good starting point. Sometimes I turn it higher, sometimes lower. The heat can also be controlled a little by changing the speed of your inhalation — slower draws should allow the heat to build up more and create more vapor.

Worth noting, Da Buddha is manufactured in the U.S. I like the instruction sheet because 1. It doesn’t include humorously confusing translated Chinese and 2. It suggests dry-running the vape on high for ten minutes to burn any manufacturing oils off the heating element and 3. It warns you a few times that you may burn yourself or catch something on fire if you aren’t careful. Not usually one to read the manual before plugging things in, I felt a little more James Dean-dangerous after doing so and absent-mindedly touching the hot glass while stoned to enhance that experience.

Da Buddha Vaporizer isn’t for everyone. Some people really want a digital screen that indicates the temperature or a fan to move the vapor or less ability to burn oneself. But some people just want a super simple, stylish vape. Available for $190 from Colorado-based 7th Floor, Da Buddha is a good option for those who seek a well-made, no-frills vaporizer.

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