I’ve been smoking weed for decades but the world of vaporized concentrates is a relatively new one for me. It hasn’t taken long to get me on board though. Hash oil vape pens are absolutely brilliant in their ability to deliver immediate, portable gratification. Just press the button until the little tube lights up and you’re good to go. Stoned people love blinking lights and often have a hard time finding their lighter, so this is a major practical advantage.
In the current marketplace, there are a lot of options for what type of concentrate to put in that pen. TruPharms describes its product as “the true uncut”. Their extraction does not rely on solvents or any chemical additives, using a CO2 process to extract rather than the more common butane method, and their oils don’t contain propellants like propylene glycol. It’s a very health-food-store way of setting themselves apart, and as the child of a mom who went to a lot of health food stores, I think they have an angle here.
Most of my opportunity to sample these vape-pen devices has been in the form of golden honey oil, rated at 75% THC or higher. TruPharms’ cartridges are more in the 60% THC range, the contents visibly darker and more evidently plant-based in origin. And the effect, when smoked, is in fact closer to the experience of actually smoking a hit of weed. You can taste it in your throat, feel it in your forehead, see it coming out of your lungs in a cloud. It is the closest thing to a battery powered joint I have encountered yet.
The cartridges are concentrated from single strains and labeled as such. I happened to get a sample vial of their Chemdawg extraction at the same time that I had a few grams of the same strain in flower form, a remarkable coincidence. When I did the inevitable A-B test, the oil did have a noticeably sweeter flavor than the bud, but some of the same citrusey taste was definitely there. The strong body high that’s a trademark of the strain was equally noticeable with both bud and oil. And unlike some of the other oil products, the vape effects linger at a similar rate to hitting the pipe.
I found it useful to switch between strains periodically, to avoid quickly building a tolerance to any of them. I went back and forth between three hybrid strains – Platinum Cookies, Cherry Pie and Chemdawg – over a testing period of a little over a week. After a few days, I might notice that a particular cartridge was no longer doing the trick like it had the day before. Switching it out for another one, and coming back to it after a few days, solved the problem every time. I did identify the Chemdawg as my favorite of the three, in terms of both flavor and effect.
This product was road-tested in the courtyard at a rock and roll bar in LA one recent weekend, and it received high marks from everyone who partook from it. Many of the denizens had their own metal cylinders with blinking LED lights, but were impressed by just how bud-like the TruPharms experience was, and approved of the natural production. Best of all, no one pocketed my lighter (I may have even ended up with an extra one.) Onstage, the reunited Midget Handjob unleashed the most appropriate soundtrack for my expanded mind.
The disposable battery made for the cartridges works well and charges easily. Despite the lack of chemical propellants, it hits smoothly. I would kind of prefer a chrome tip to a plastic one, aesthetically, but it’s a minor point.
The fact that the most truly weed-like concentrate I have yet encountered is also 100% natural is causing me to consider switching over from flower to this as my primary go-to. It’s tasty, discreet, convenient, just as natural as smoking bud, and it works. It’s not going to take you into the stratosphere like shatter or dab might do, rather it’s a mellow, reliable dosage that tastes good going down – unlike lots of other things I associate with health food stores.
Final Rating: 14 out of 16 Editions of the Whole Earth Catalog.