Absolute Xtracts battery and cartridges are far and away my favorite vapor pen products I’ve used. Not only is the oil high quality, but the battery is especially impressive, and the cartridges themselves are extremely sturdy and user friendly. The quality of vapor pens is truly not the same across the board. I’ve used batteries that seem to last only a few hits, or lose life over time, or just feel too lightweight and junky. This choice matters, so I’ll explain why I favor this pen in particular over the handful of different vape pen products I have used in the past. Even If you’re not looking to get into vape pens, I'd recommend still reading this article in the hopes that you will change your mind, and as far as why you should get a vape pen, I’d say, why not?
First of all, vapes are somewhat easier on the lungs. One study found great improvement in lung function switching to vaporizing for heavy smokers, concluding “regular users of joints, blunts, pipes, and water pipes might decrease respiratory symptoms by switching to a vaporizer.” Another study found improvements in lung function similar to that of quitting cigarettes, in users who had been smoking who switched to vaping for 30 days.
Vaporizers use lower temperatures to actually create vapor instead of smoke. Therefore, there is less tar than in actual burnt plant matter, and by weighted amounts you will be needing much less oil than you would flower for the same effect. The oil in Absolute Xtracts cartridges clock in the 60-something percentages for THC, depending on the strain. As the numbers would predict, I usually found about three medium size hits to be about the same effect as an average bowl. (Take your time, as vapor seems to have a somewhat slower effect than smoking, by a few minutes) While some vapor pens use thinning agents such as untested (for inhalation) propylene glycol, or even worse, toxic antifreeze ingredient ethylene glycol, Absolute Xtracts cartridges contain no additives whatsoever. It should surely be noted, however, that not all cartridges should be assumed to be safe for this reason.
There is a flip side – since Absolute Xtracts cartridges do not contain harmful thinning agents, the thick oil may clog the small opening of the cartridge. You may have to use a hair drier or something similar to warm up the cartridges in this event – having no hair drier, I placed mine on the warm surface of the heated up oven for a few minutes. Be gentle with heat so as not to melt any of the components of the cartridge.
Vaporizers – especially vapor pens that use oil also win points for discretion. While a smell is present, a vape pen will create less of a wide, thick cloud. At the same time, even though smell is minimized, the lower temperatures actually allow for deeper tasting of the flavor that the oil has to offer. Try it next to a joint or a bowl, and you will notice the difference immediately. Furthermore, vaporizers are far more efficient – converting close to 46 percent of material into THC instead of 25 percent in traditional smoking methods. Even though a good battery is an investment, at 60-80 dollars or more, you’ll go through the cartridges far slower than you might expect – and this should pay back fairly quickly for some users.
Other Cartridges have actually broken open on me, in pockets or in their case – not fun at all to clean up. Absolute Xtracts cartridges seem to be built much sturdier. This is certainly important if discretion is a concern, since these oils have quite a strong smell to them once out of the cartridges. The same goes for the battery – it seems to be made out of metal and not plastic, and I’ve dropped it a number of times and haven’t had any problems. It even got waterlogged once, but I dried it off quickly and didn’t have any trouble.
I tried two different strains, Green Dragon and Grape Stomper. Grape Stomper is a hybrid with indica leanings, and Green Dragon is a pure indica. As is often the case, I preferred the pure indica, but I liked them both – and both had intense, concentrated tastes for someone used to simply smoking flower. The taste of the oil is clean and pure, and switching back to flower I notice an ashy, smoky taste not present when vaping. The Green Dragon was not as great for immediate sleep aid as other indicas, but quickly left me with a strong sense of muscle relaxation. After a long day’s hike I noticed how great it was for muscle pain and cramps. There really wasn’t much of a mental buzz to speak of with Green Dragon – as soon as it kicks in, I felt tenser muscles sometimes twitch slightly for a few minutes and then release any tension. Though the effects focus almost entirely on the body, there is a bit of a lazy couch lock come down phase, after the immediate relaxation, that makes it a little better for evening use or just on a day with no big, productive plans.
The Grape Stomper has a sweet and slightly sour taste, sort of like gummy candy. Not sure if I detect anything like a grape taste at all, but the taste It does have is quite pleasant. The effects definitely align with Grape Stomper’s classification as a hybrid – it feels like a well-rounded mind and body experience, and produces a more peaceful mental effect than other hybrids and sativa. Grape Stomper is indica dominant, so this may explain the calm mental effects, but Grape Stomper has a more upbeat and focused effect that really differentiates it from a pure indica experience. For someone who tends to avoid pure sativas and sativa dominant hybrids, Grape Stomper was a great choice for hiking and outdoor activity.
Overall, both cartridges imparted calm, clean effects compared with smoking in general. Along with the improved taste and efficiency, Absolute Xtracts has partially converted me to vaping – and over a few weeks I have certainly noticed an improvement in lung function. If there is any downside to the switch to cartridges, besides the initial investment, it is having less variety to choose from than straight flower. Absolute Xtracts offers 12 strains ranging from indicas to hybrids and sativas. While this isn’t bad, it eventually leaves the user with a static, limited, and ultimately finite set of options. Luckily most cartridges are made to fit onto standard vape pen batteries of any brand – including Absolute Xtract’s battery. However – if you branch out into other cartridge brands, make sure there are no harmful additives. For the moment, I am totally satisfied with my Green Dragon and Grape Stomper.