Six Years After Its Release, The Pax 3 Is Still the Best Cannabis Vape You Can Buy
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Welcome to InsideHook’s first annual Weed Week, where we’ll be providing coverage of a variety of cannabis-related goods, services and other topics of high interest for sophisticated stoners everywhere.
We’re well beyond the notion that cannabis is taboo. Nearly a decade after Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational weed, 16 other states have followed suit and dozens more have relaxed draconian laws. What was once a substance demonized by Nixon’s DEA as a gateway drug is now widely accessible and accepted across the country.
Just as the perception of cannabis has changed, so too have the means by which we consume it. While most of us are familiar with bong rips and edibles, vaping remains a discrete, efficient means of getting high that’s still being refined by the cannabis industry to this very day. And in spite of all that’s changed, the Pax 3 is still the best way to vape flower and concentrate even though it was released back in 2016.
A Revolutionary Design
I still remember when vaporizers like the Volcano were mainstream. Garish and bulky, stationary vapes made appearances at college parties on the rare occasion that someone could afford one. But Pax (then Ploom) turned the cannabis world on its ear in 2012 with the Pax 1 — a portable, handheld vape that allowed for discreet, low-profile use.
Years later, the Pax 2 launched with serious upgrades, and the Pax 3 followed shortly after. Sleek and wonderfully simple, the single-button design offered better battery life, adjustable heat settings via Android app (sorry, iPhone users), Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to heat flower or concentrate, making it one of the best cannabis vaporizers on the market. Years later, that sentiment still rings true.
Beyond the obvious stats available on the Pax website, the $250 kit includes a few accessories. Alongside the vape, Pax includes a magnetic charging cable, cleaning kit, carrying case, keychain multi-tool, screens and two mouthpieces. And if a vaping kit seems a bit overkill, simply pick up the Pax 3 with the charger and maintenance tools for $200. It’s easy to use on the fly, easier to clean than a gritty bowl, and does the job without fuss.
Is Vaping Weed Really Better?
Before I began testing the Pax 3, it was my understanding that vaping weed was preferable to smoking it. That’s because, unlike bongs or joints that require a direct flame, Pax devices vaporize weed by applying concentrated amounts of heat to release the cannabinoids in flower. It’s a process that significantly decreases respiratory irritation so long as you keep the temperature low, which is perfect for regular users.
As a longtime traditional toker, switching to a vaporizer was a foreign experience. For starters, I’ve come to anticipate the smokey burn of ignited flower and a mouth full of fumes, but as I quickly learned after using the Pax, vaporizing is an incredibly clean experience — I often took hits so clean that exhales yielded no sign of vapor. The taste of cannabis was also stronger and cleaner, which meant I could detect rich flavors that have evaded my tastebuds for quite some time. And because the Pax 3 is “smart,” I was able to control the temperature settings and toggle the vaping mode to customize the experience to my liking.
But perhaps the biggest surprise to come from vaping weed was the high. While smoking often generates an immediate, noticeable head high, vaping cannabis yields a slower, escalating high that peaks after approximately 15 minutes. It’s a sensation that takes getting used to, but I was accustomed to it after a few nights of regular use. Though I don’t care much for concentrates, the Pax 3 also ships with a concentrate insert (sold separately for $50 or included with the kit) that inserts into the oven chamber to vaporize extracts.
Is the Pax 3 Right for You?
Regardless of your motivation, how you choose to get high is simply a matter of preference. Some enjoy the body high that comes with edibles, others prefer the steady high brought on by smoking and then there are those who just want to rip a bong and lay on the couch. While vaporizers offer a cleaner, more controlled means of getting baked, it might not be your first choice. I’ve come to appreciate the Pax 3’s creeping high, but there are times when I just want to puff on a joint or smoke a bowl if only because it’s what I’m accustomed to.
And yet, the Pax 3 is certainly a capable tool that I’m happy to have in my arsenal. It’s a little pricey at $250, but the brand is currently holding a sitewide sale that takes 20% off this mighty little vape and many others through 7/10. If you enjoy vaping, clean highs and don’t mind jumping on the “digital weed” train, the Pax 3 is the same safe bet it has been for years.
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