I better start this article setting out my experience… Ok so I’m pretty new to the world of vaporising and concentrates. Being from the UK, there isn’t a lot of this type of product around (certainly not where I’m from!) unless you produce it yourself. I’ve been smoking bud for over 22 years and to be honest I always thought that vaporisers were a bit of a gimmick. Oh how little I knew…
My first experience of vaporising was earlier this year on my last visit to Amsterdam and my eyes were opened to a whole new world. I’d seen the Volcano a number of times but was never convinced it was more than a toy. I’m not into bongs too much, I find them too harsh on the lungs and I truly love the whole joint smoking experience from rolling to blazing.
While in the coffee shop Amnesia, I decided to have a go on one of their Volcanos to see what all the fuss was about. I loaded up a bowl of some freshly ground Candy Kush and filled the bag with a nice cloud of vape and took my first hit… and my response was “wow”! I was surprised at the smoothness of the hit but more than anything the flavour sensations! I know smoking cannabis, especially when mixed with tobacco, has a big impact on the taste and aroma of the bud but the tastes that came through were simply epic. At around £400 a pop, the Volcano isn’t cheap but it’s a serious bit of kit and something I’m going to look into more (along with the Verdamper). It won’t stop me being a joint smoker, but would make a good addition to my lifestyle and is certainly a much healthier choice for heavy smokers like myself.
On the same trip I was lucky enough to meet up with Simon from the Strain Hunters crew at Greenhouse Seeds and he introduced me to vape pens. Again I was a bit sceptical but after loading his Cloud pen up with some Blue Cheese wax from the Bush Docter coffee shop, I was a convert. The Blue Cheese had the most amazing flavour; it was almost like eating a Starburst sweet and getting that flood of saliva when the fruitiness hits your palette – truly amazing. It felt like inhaling air it was so light and at first I wasn’t sure I was taking big enough hits. Aside from the flavour sensation, it gave me a really nice head buzz that seemed to last for a good 15-20 minutes. Quite intense but that’s how I like it but if you’re an occasional smoker this could pack quite a punch if you’re not used to it. A great session was had blazing AK-47, Power Plant and Amnesia waxes (purchased from coffee shop 1e Hulp).
The Cloud Pen Vaporizer
Once back in the UK and loaded up with fresh experiences (and concentrates!) from Amsterdam, I decided to invest in a Cloud Pen. I did a lot of looking around into the pens available and to be honest I was looking for a device that could handle concentrates and dried bud but after a lot of deliberation, I felt that there wasn’t a device out there that could handle everything (I could be wrong). I was very close to picking up an Atmos Raw pen although I found mixed reviews on its ability to cope with dried herb and went with the Cloud pen and focused purely on using it for concentrates.
I bought mine from www.cloudvaporpen.com for $59.99 (inc. delivery to the UK). A tidy little package, included in the pack is the pen (3 parts – battery, atomiser and mouth piece), USB charger cable, power adaptor and user guide. The pen comes with a small amount of pre-charge but it’s worth giving it a full charge for the first use to help the battery life. After running the heating element for a bit to burn off any residue from the manufacturing process, I was good to go!
Using the Cloud Pen Vaporizer
I christened my new purchase with some of the Blue Cheese wax that I‘d saved from my Amsterdam trip. A few weeks old by now, the wax had lost some of its flavour but the pen worked beautifully and gave some nice big hits of vapes.
Buzzing from the first test, I loaded up with some Amnesia Ice; a truly potent bit of extraction. A few big hits on the Cloud and the Amnesia was gone leaving a lovely taste in my mouth and a nice head high. I found that as the product heats up it moves around inside the ceramic bowl of the pen so twisting it as it is being used seems to get the best out of it and ensure you use up all the contents.
Next on the menu, I filled up the bowl with some Lemon Cristal from Greenhouse Seeds and fired up the Cloud for another run. Strong lemony flavours come through and again, a smooth and delicious hit of cool smooth vapes…
So far the verdict on the pen is all positive although it’s early days. My big concern with this device is how long it will last. To quote from the user guide – “The life expectancy of the atomizer is between 2-3 months and should not be used any longer than 3 months” – time will tell…
With regular cleaning (which is easy, just heat it up and turn it upside down and let the leftovers drop out) and battery care it should help the life of it.
I’m not a daily dabber so I don’t think this is going to be a big problem for me and replacement atomisers are pretty cheap (approx. $10) so heavy users can replace parts. From what I can see, this is the same with all vape pens on the market at the moment. I guess there’s only so much you can do whilst keeping it a portable device. The battery life also seems good although it’s not exactly being heavily used. I’ve only charged it once fully since opening the box and it’s still going strong after a good 70-80 hits so far.
All in all, I’m very happy with my purchase. I’ll keep you updated if I have any problems with it in the near future. If you’d like to know more, please feel free to get in touch.
Next steps… I need to start making my own concentrates!
By the way, there are fake Cloud pens out there which should be avoided (like the Cloud 2.0) as they are cheap imitations. The Cloud pen when in use has a blue led light on the button, from what I know the fakes have a green led so be aware. If anyone has any experience with either the Atmos Raw or Power Pen (using it for both concentrates and dry herb), I’d love to hear your opinions.