BY REDHAT RALPH
Since I do a lot of walking, and consume most of my cannabis in a solitary fashion, having a large dab rig around the house isn’t my first choice. I am constantly on the lookout for something portable (or at least semi-portable) to help me as I wander the streets of Portland.
The vaporizer pen comes with a rechargeable battery (shown resting in its charging base), three heating chambers (ceramic disc, ceramic rods wrapped in coils, and quartz rods wrapped in coils), and two mouthpieces. The battery has three heat settings, and all of the connections are magnetic. Since I had three different products that I could use for testing, I decided to try each of them in all three chambers.
Loading the chambers is the first issue. I found that I had to refrigerate the extract to reduce the tackiness and allow each of them to be formed into a pellet small enough to fit into the chamber. I settled on a unit around 0.25g. Once the pellet is in the chamber all you have to do is hold the button down to heat up the coils and begin the vaporization. Some of the extract will rise as vapor, as some more of it will melt in the chamber. Over a very short span of time (6 or 7 heatings) two of the extracts became very viscous, creating sticky residue. I experienced times where the vapor condensed along the walls of the mouthpiece, completely clogging the path. Once it had cooled, a toothpick was all it took to transfer the solid extract back to the heating chamber.
I took my Aurora vape pen to the Smuggle sale so that I could try it out with other folks. I learned that it does not handle a group of four avid inhalers very well. The chamber heated up so much that the vapor began running out of the heating chamber, internally, and into the battery connector. Luckily there were enough alcohol pads and cotton swabs at the gathering to clean up the mess before it got on anyone’s clothing. This led to a discussion regarding cleaning the pipe pieces, especially the heating chambers.
This brings up the third issue. Let me insert this caveat here: I am a known clean-freak with more than a touch of OCD. I clean both of my glass pipes (for flower smoking) at least weekly using 91% isopropyl alcohol. The chamber that became so messy is the one with the ceramic rods wrapped in coils. I cleaned it as much as I could with swabs and alcohol, but was not happy with the result. So I dropped it, along with the mouthpieces, into my small dish of isopropyl. Cleaned it for many minutes with a swab as well as just by moving it through the liquid to clear the extract. I allowed it to air dry for a full day. The chamber looks clean, and the ceramic rods are once again white. I attach it to the battery, press the button, no joy. I still try it from time to time but the coils will no longer heat; there is no red glow in that chamber.
So, bottom line, I love the Aurora vape pen. It does allow me to vape extract at home without the expense or space of a regular dab rig. However, I really have an issue with the inability to clean the heating chambers. I just put the quartz chamber on the battery, and it is still yielding vapor from a sample I inserted two weeks ago, and have taken at least 20 draws from. I can’t seem to end it.