The Da Vinci IQ Has The Sleekest App Integration I’ve Yet Encountered and a Ceramic Oven That Produces Tasty Clouds

The first time I saw a vape with an app, I was very excited. The original make of the first brand I encountered with an app, the Firefly, underwhelmed me. But with iPhone-based controls and some other new features, it seemed like the second edition would be a game-changer.

Well, I didn’t really like the Firefly 2, which I found buggy. That feeling is not universal—the Portland Mercury’s cannabis columnist called it “the best portable vaporizer on the market,” after getting the exact same review model I had—but for me it that opinion is rather deeply held. I’ve been a loyal Pax man since.

Related: The Best Affordable Vaporizers of 2016

Well, the DaVinci IQ ($275) might finally flip me. This handheld loose-leaf vaporizer is one of the sleekest I’ve yet seen.

And that starts with the app. While the forthcoming Pax 3 also has an app, it’s not yet ready to link to the latest Pax, which has the same body as the Pax 2.

The DaVinci IQ’s app is up and running, and boy is it slick. It’s totally intuitive, makes a connection as easily as Bluetooth headphones and 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.

There’s not many details to talk about with the app, which is the highest compliment you can give it. As far as I can tell, it’s accurate, gently toasting at 300 and charring a little once you move above 400. If you keep it up near 420 for any length of time, it also runs too hot to hold comfortably in your hand.

The body is about the size of a slide-open cellphone with nice rounded edges and a reassuring heft. It’s a bottom-loader with a battery that recharges inside the device by micro USB.

Like the Firefly (but unlike the Pax), it has a ceramic bowl and air path, which I find very easy to clean. At least when it’s new, a few taps leaves it looking like it did when it left the factory. I also found it makes for tastier vapor, a little smoother and milder than you get from flower baked in metal.

Related: Looking for a Portable Loose-Leaf Vape? Check These Out.

Like Pax, the DaVinci line makes a wide range of accessories, from a keychain pick to a little cloth carrying case. At least for now, little goodies like that $15 carry case, an adapter for glass, and a little aluminum bud box come with it, which definitely left me feeling like a baller.

Once the Pax 3 and app are fully operational, it’ll be interesting to compare and contrast the two. But if you’re shopping around, you should definitely check out the DaVinci.

Best Affordable Vaporizers of 2016

As marijuana becomes more widely accepted and used throughout the country, medical patients and recreational users alike are all asking the same question, “What’s the safest way to enjoy herbs and wax concentrates?” It’s no secret that smoking can lead to all sorts of health issues, but what’s the alternative when it comes to enjoying your favorite buds?

Vaporizing is a technique that heats herbs gradually below the point of combustion. With a vaporizer, dry material never comes into direct contact with a heat source, but is instead heated through a combination of convection and conduction, allowing for the release of active ingredients without creating any smoke and other harmful byproducts.

Vaporizers come in all shapes and sizes, but it’s the portable units that have become increasingly popular over the past few years. Advancements in heating and battery technology has led to portable vaporizers becoming more compact, reliable and most importantly – more affordable.

To help simplify the purchasing process, we’ve compiled a list of the Best Affordable Vaporizers of 2016, which features our top picks of introductory portables that are great to get started with that won’t burn a hole in your wallet (or anything else for that matter).

DAVINCI – $129.00

DaVinci

As the predecessor to DaVinci’s more recent release, the Ascent, the original DaVinci vaporizer has been a favorite among vaporizer enthusiasts since its release back in 2012. Even after all these years, the DaVinci stands the test of time and still outperforms many more recently released portable vaporizers. The original DaVinci vape was one of the first portable vaporizers to feature precise digital temperature control – a feature now common on all high-end portables.

The DaVinci is designed perfectly for on-the-go sessions. Pocket-sized and highly portable, the DaVinci’s build quality is second to none, and its unique ‘flexistraw’ mouthpiece is bendable and essentially unbreakable, allowing the unit to be easily transported without having to worry about any pieces or parts breaking in transit. Its rugged exterior will hold up for years to come, and will easily handle any bumps or bruises along the way. As a bonus, the DaVinci is equipped with a built-in compartment to store your stash.

CLOUD V PHANTOM MINI – $89.99

Cloud V

Affordability and luxury are two characteristics that are typically thought to be mutually exclusive, but the Cloud V Phantom Mini proves that you can have your cake and eat it too. Combining form and function in perfect harmony, the Phantom Mini boasts a leather wrapped exterior that looks and feels fantastic, as well as simultaneously acting as an insulator, protecting your hands from any residual heat emitted from the heating chamber.

The Phantom Mini is just that – mini! Sleek, slim and discreet, the PM is ultra-compact and highly portable, easily fitting into the pocket of even your skinniest jeans. Equipped with a single optimized heat setting (around 415°F), the Phantom Mini simplifies the process of vaporization while providing quick and effective vapor delivery through a convection-based heating system. For under $90, the Phantom Mini from Cloud Vapes is a top value pick.

PULSAR APX – $59.99

Pulsar

The Pulsar APX is a fantastic choice for vaporizer newbies who are interested in vaporizing, but don’t want to break the bank on their first device. Pulsar equipped this ultra-lightweight unit with five preset temperature settings ranging from 356°- 428°F, giving you the option to experiment with multiple different heat settings from session to session until you find the temperature which works best for you.

Featuring a large capacity (0.35g) ceramic herb chamber and long-lasting 1600mAh lithium-ion battery, the APX is ideal for grab-and-go use on impromptu road sessions. Small enough to be concealed in the palm of your hand, the APX boasts enhanced portability and is compact enough to use in public without drawing any unwanted attention. Compatible with both herbs and wax concentrates and priced under $60, the Pulsar APX vaporizer is a highly versatile option for beginners on a budget. The APX embodies all of the advanced features of top-shelf units at a price that simply can’t be beat.

ATMOS JUMP – $59.95

Atmos

For those that value simplicity just as much as affordability, it doesn’t get any easier or more cost effective than the new Jump portable vaporizer from Atmos. The Jump provides powerful performance with every use, while evenly vaporizing dry herbs with its hard anodized heating chamber to provide smooth and rich vapor. Aside from simplified functionality, the Jump also features above average build quality combined with eye-catching aesthetics. A durable carbon fiber body doesn’t just make the Jump one of the toughest portable vaporizers on the planet, but also one of the most stylish. If you’re looking for an affordable “jump-off” point into the world of vaporization, then the new Jump vaporizer from Atmos should be at the top of your list.

KANDYPENS K-VAPE – $99.95

KandyPens

The K-Vape is the bestselling portable vaporizer from one of the most recognizable name in the industry, KandyPens. Combining ease of use with enhanced portability, the K-Vape features a tried and true design that has become a favorite in the vape community. Highlighted by three preset temperature settings (360°, 380°, 420°F), a large capacity stainless steel herb chamber, and a durable black rubber finish, the K-Vape performs well beyond its modest $99 sticker price.

Perhaps the most attractive feature of the K-Vape is the fact that its battery is covered by an industry-leading lifetime warranty. Few other companies stand by their products the way that KandyPens does, and offering a lifetime warranty really shows you how much they care about their customers. A testament to its popularity, the K-Vape has been featured in music videos alongside artists like Kanye West, French Montana, Nas and Fetty Wap – certainly some good company to be in.

MAGIC FLIGHT LAUNCH BOX – $119.00

Magic Flight

Few other portable vaporizers have garnered as much praise over the years as the Launch Box from Magic Flight. This uniquely designed device features an elegant wood finish and is handmade right here in the USA. Magic Flight is one of the most reputable brands in the industry, and while the Launch Box’s affordable price is appealing to beginners, it’s the MFLB’s top-shelf performance, compact portability and overall whimsical nature have made it a top pick among veteran vaporizer connoisseurs.

The MFLB doesn’t just look different than most portable vaporizers; it also operates in a very distinct way. Instead of heating up to a selected temperature setting and staying at a constant temperature for the duration of the session, the Launch Box’s heating element is only activated when inserting the battery into the device. This unique functionality gives you the ability to more precisely govern the rate at which your herb is heated and allows you to vape a single “trench” over the course of multiple sessions. Few other portables give you the type of bang for buck you get with a Launch Box.

For wax concentrate connoisseurs looking for affordable options for dabbing on-the-go, the following are our picks for best wax pen vaporizer bargains.

#THISTHINGRIPS R SERIES 2 – $49.99

ThisThingRips

To put it frankly, the recently released R Series 2 from manufacturer #ThisThingRips is the highest-quality wax pen you can get for under fifty bucks. Featuring an ultra-discreet pen-style design, the R2 is equipped with an uber-cool translucent green polycarbonate heating chamber, which (unlike non- visual chambers) allows you to watch your vapor build-up before taking a draw, so you know what sized hit your about to get.

The R Series 2 is powered by a long-lasting 650mAh battery, and utilizes a Single Ceramic Rod Atomizer that incorporates a calibrated low-temp coil, which heats wax to lower temperatures than other lesser quality wax pens, resulting in better tasting rips and longer sessions. If you’ve been thinking about ‘branching’ out from tree to wax, the R2 provides top-tier performance at a price anyone can afford.

SOURCE ORB XL TRAVEL KIT – $89.95

Source

If you’re looking to fully immerse yourself in the wonderful world of dabs right out of the gate, then the Source Orb XL Travel Kit is the wax pen for you. Sourcevapes is notorious for innovative designs, advanced atomizer technology and high quality craftsmanship – and the Orb XL certainly delivers in all of those departments. Recently rated at the “strongest vape pen” on the market today by vape guru The Vape Critic, the Orb XL is not for the faint of heart, as it can handle up to 1 gram of concentrated material with ease.

The XL is equipped with a first of its kind Quartz Rod Triple Titanium Coil Atomizer, which allows for ultra-clean tasting vapor as a result of the inert nature of quartz. The Orb XL also employs an insanely powerful 1300mAh battery that’s adjustable between 2.7- 4.2v, letting you adjust the power output to your preference. The Source Orb XL Travel Kit is without a doubt an amazing value, and will turn any beginner into a consummate professional after just one dab to the dome.

To find all the latest portable and desktop vaporizers at the guaranteed lowest prices, visit VaporNation.com, and follow VaporNation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for information on free monthly vaporizer giveaways!

Tannin and Rested

IMAGE: Nathan Spotts

Last Saturday, Oregon Leaf magazine threw a party I had been eagerly anticipating. The event, Tannins & Terpenes, featured alcohol and cannabis paired in an industrial Southeast Portland warehouse. The stated objective was to allow the substances to draw out nuanced flavors from each other—tannins are flavor compounds in wine and beer, while terpenes are flavor compounds in cannabis. I didn’t have any ah-ha moments as far as the pairings went, but there were some interesting takeaways.

 

1. I’m not the only person obsessed with hoarding vapes! In fact, each tasting station was outfitted with a vaporizer provided by Portland Mercury weed columnist Josh Taylor, who also provided technical support. This makes me feel a lot better about my own growing stash of vaporizers. It’s also interesting just how fast vaporizers are becoming the preferred way to sample various strains of cannabis, not only because the high is milder but because you get a better feel for the flavor compounds.

2. There’s a lot to explore in the world of alcohol and cannabis pairings.
Nothing I tried at the event had the effect of bringing extra flavors out, as wine so often does when expertly paired with food. Other attendees complained it was tough to figure out what was supposed to be paired, and that the people manning the vaporizers knew very little about the alcohol.

3. Organizers are getting better at weed events. Yes, there was a 20-minute delay before they opened the doors. Also, the beer taps were not functional to start, pouring unusable foam for the first half-hour. But this was so much better than the Weed the People clusterfuck.

4. People from the world of craft booze need to get more comfortable with weed. The names of the wineries being poured were conspicuously absent from the program, and the provided beer came from Vancouver’s Heathen Brewing. I’m a fan of Heathen—it did a nice job with its Farmer Tom’s Super Dank double IPA—but it’s not a big, splashy label. It would be great to see someone do a full weed and beer festival with major players from the local craft-beer scene.

5. We’re going to hear a lot more about terpenes in the months to come. On Thursday, Sept. 17, the Oregon Cannabis Association and Cascadia Labs host an event called Let’s Talk Terpenes at the Laurelhurst Club (fun fact: site of my nuptials!). The talk starts at 4:30 pm, and tickets are $45. Call 855-800-6890 or visit cascadia-labs.com for more info.