I’m a fellow with an awful lot of experience burning the leaves of the cannabis plant and inhaling it deeply into my lungs. I’ve been a wake-n-bake smoker for over 35 years, which surely should qualify me for some sort of Ph.D. in weed. For most of the past eight years, at least when partaking at home, I’ve used a Storz + Bickel Volcano vaporizer, generally considered the Rolls Royce of vaporizers, and for good reason. After you’ve used practically any vaporizer, though, it’s a bit difficult to go back to the burning leaves method. I hate smoking herb out of a pipe. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not so snobby about it that I’ll turn it down when it’s passed my way, but it hurts my throat. Not my preference.
A couple years ago I got hipped to “dabbing” or specifically in my case, smoking via a Heath Stone, which is basically a small black disc of the same inert rocky material used in a chemistry class bunsen burner. Using what resembles a dental tool, you take a teeny, tiny amount of hash oil, wax, “budder” or whatever else you want to call your approx 70% pure THC by weight concentrated tipple and “dab” it onto this disc, which is stuck in the end of a regular glass bong via a special bowl. You then torch the wax with a three-flame lighter—a BIC lighter would just melt it—and with one quick hit, you’ve consumed about the same amount of THC as you would have had you smoked three joints of extremely strong pot by yourself. It’s back to incineration, true, but it’s also a fairly brief interaction with anything that’s going to irritate your throat or lungs. Also I prefer the high from wax, I ain’t gonna lie. For a long-time head like m’self, well, once you go wax, you never go back.
My point being that I effectively mothballed the Volcano within a matter of days (if not day) once I started using the Health Stone set-up. And for the most part I’ve been very cold on the pre-loaded cartridges for vapor pens. Portable and handy, sure. And clean, too. But most of them—and I find this to be a critical flaw—just don’t get you high. And all the flavors and shit. I don’t really want hash oil that’s Key Lime Pie-flavored. This is the kind of thing I want to get away from.
So the fact is, when the fine folks at Vapornation contacted me to ask if I wanted to review a new portable vaporizer that they were very enthusiastic about, I was initially kind of blasé about it until I realized that it wasn’t just for herb, it was also for concentrates. Once I knew that, yes, this thing is for wax, too, you know, I was kinda interested for a review model to be sent my way after all…
First off, just let me say that whoever thinks they can separate me from my portable MiVape vaporizer will have to pry it from my cold, dead hands. This is a portable vaporizer done right!
As you take the MiVape out of the packaging, you feel like you’re unwrapping an iPhone. This isn’t unintentional, I would imagine, and the notion that “If Apple made a portable vaporizer, it would be just like the MiVape” probably occurred to more than just me. It feels like an Apple product in a lot of ways. it really does.
Beyond that, it’s also pretty simple to use: set the temp once with digital plus/minus controls, turn it on, turn it off. The material, either loose ground herb or a dab wiped off on a piece of cotton gauze, goes into a thimble-sized test tube-like chamber and then snaps into place. It’s all glass on glass and it’s also a pure convection system, meaning that the “burnt popcorn” taste of cached weed from the Volcano is a thing of the past. It can’t burn.
Overall, the new MiVape, made by Vaporfection, is the best vaporizer that I’ve ever used, whether a big ol’ “desktop” version like the Volcano, or a cigarette packet-sized MiVape. Size does matter! A Volcano seems very clunky and old-fashioned when side-by-side with the slicker, hitech MiVape. The Volcano that sat on my desk for years has now been replaced with a tiny box and when I leave home, I can just scoop it up and put it into my pocket, something you can’t do with the Volcano.
As Forrest MacNeil would say if asked to review the MiVape portable vaporizer “Four stars!”