Remember those heady days before the coronavirus was the only thing we could think and talk about all the time?
A million years ago in 2019, there was a big brouhaha about the dangers of vaping. People were hospitalized with severe pulmonary distress and some died, making the whole country question whether vaping was safe. The culprits most people pointed to were e-liquid oils that cause “vape-related pulmonary injuries” upon inhalation.
Aside from the net worth of Juul dropping precipitously as states and local governments outlawed vaping accessories, we completely lost track of that whole ordeal. But the cannabis industry is great at adapting and creating new weed-consumption technologies that, in theory, lack the potential ill effects of the old ones.
For instance, we recently had the chance to try out Stratos’ DabTabs. These are tiny ceramic “dablets” infused with cannabis oil and terpenes. According to Stratos, you can use them pretty much anywhere you can use concentrates, from a dab rig to a vaporizer or whatever while avoiding some of the drawbacks of concentrates. Since you don’t have to use up a tablet, which contains 50 mg of oil and can be hit three to eight times, in a single go, you don’t have to “vape what you scrape,” we are told.
We tried them out on Stratos’ DabTabs Go vape pen and the only difference between it and any other random vape pen, mechanically-speaking, was that you have to preheat it for a few seconds before using it.
The DabTabs come in three varieties: Energy, Relax, and Sleep – featuring oil from Durban Poison, Cookies, and Blueberry Kush strains respectively. We hit Relax first, settling into a calm, cerebral high within a minute or two. The first thing we noticed was that the vapor cloud we exhaled was quite small, covering a zone about the size of our face before dissipating into the air. If you’re one of those sociopaths that vapes for the purpose of creating a huge, opaque, obnoxious cloud, this probably isn’t the product for you.
We, however, enjoyed it. We relaxed into our couch to chill and marathon Architectural Digest’s Open Door video series profiling celebrity homes, our mellow harshed only briefly by the insane color schemes in Liv Tyler’s old Manhattan brownstone. Pink was used in a dread-inducing way that evoked H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “The Color Out of Space.” In case you were wondering, Aaron Paul owns an enormous, but lovely, cabin-style mansion in Idaho that, beside Lenny Kravits’ sprawling Brazilian estate, brought us back down to earth. True to its origin, the dablet carried the flavor and smell of the Cookies strain, alongside its stress-alleviating effects.
For contrast, we also later tried the Energy DabTabs. “Oh hello, sativa,” was the thought that immediately blossomed as we took our first pull. We felt an immediate alertness as the cobwebs receded and we at least temporarily exited the fugue state we’ve been in since March. We also felt functional, like we could use the energy to get somethings done (if we had anything to do). Instead, we went for a twilight walk around the neighborhood, where we found a cool but very slow-moving lizard.
You can tell when a dablet is spent because it will take on a burnt color, and Stratos says the remaining ceramic, hexagonal pebble is harmless and biodegradable, so you can drop it anywhere in your yard (or maybe your fish tank). Overall, for us, the DabTabs made for a pleasant vaping experience. We liked that the qualities you’d otherwise get from the strains came through, without a big ol’ cloud to announce their presence. And, aside from remembering the intricate series of button presses required to get from “off” to the hit on the pen, it was a very easy way to consume concentrate. We wouldn’t be surprised to find ourselves seeking these out again for future “dab” sessions.