By Sue Vorenberg
Cannabis Daily Record
Finding the right vaporizer in a universe of ever-expanding options can be a daunting experience.
Simple battery units – like the Dopen or Vuber – work great if you want to grab a pre-packaged vape cartridge at your local pot shop for some grab-and-go toking. And the upside of those types of units is they’re relatively inexpensive, in the $50 to $100 range.
But if you want something more diverse that can handle ground cannabis flower, bulk oil (i.e. oil that isn’t already in a cartridge) and a variety of wax, you’ll want to look a bit more on the upscale side.
Enter the Grizzly Guru.
Retailing for $195, this gadget gives you an exponentially larger amount of bang for the extra $100 or so it’ll take out of your wallet.
The palm-sized base unit comes with a dry herb ceramic heater (a very effective way to vaporize plant matter so you don’t have to deal with harsh smoke), a glass mouthpiece, an e-cartridge adapter (meaning you can screw on store-bought vape cartridges), a ceramic disk wax atomizer (for vaping wax of various consistencies), a stainless steel and glass liquid tank (which you can fill with cannabis oil), and the usual assortment of a charger, cleaning tools, dab tools and a few other goodies.
That’s a good assortment for your money – the unit can basically handle anything you can throw at it, and even a bit more.
But the biggest benefit of this unit, in my opinion, is the temperature control. The base unit, which has what I would call somewhat clunky-looking adapters that slide onto it for wax or flower, lets you pick the precise temperature at which you want your material to burn.
Why do you want something that precise? Flavor, flavor, flavor.
That’s especially important when vaping flower. Burn it too hot, it tastes like stale bark. Burn it too low, and you find yourself wondering if you’re getting any vape at all.
When I got the Guru, one of the first things I did was a web search on ideal flower vaping temperatures. With that, and a little experimentation, I found the Guru – at least for me – burns flower best at about 375 degrees F.
To set it, you just hit the main top button on the base unit 3 times, and then you can use the + and – keys to adjust the temperature to your ideal setting.
To smoke through it, you full the adapter’s ceramic hole with flower, then cap the unit with the glass mouthpiece, press and hold the main top button to fire it up, and inhale.
The glass mouthpiece isn’t the most stable thing. You have to hold it on with your fingers when you inhale. But it doesn’t get particularly hot so it’s a relatively minor complaint. There’s also a bigger glass cap you can get with a bubbler that makes the unit mimic a bong – for even smoother vaping.
I found the 375 degree temperature was great for flower – really bringing out the terpenes while also going down very smoothly on the lungs.
Switching to the wax (dab) adapter, the base unit automatically knows that you’ve changed from flower to dab – and it automatically switches the temperature settings to volts.
In my experimentation with the dab unit, I find 3.0 volts worked the best – again bringing out the wax terpenes without that burnt taste you can sometimes get if you turn a unit up too high.
And as a bonus, you can also screw a regular pre-made 510-thread vape cartridge on the dab unit and control the burn temperature for that as well.
I didn’t try the metal unit for oil (it’s a bit hard to find oil that isn’t already in pre-made cartridges here in Washington), but it’s sturdy and metal, with a pop-off top that’s extremely easy to use.
While the unit is generally “portable” – you can pick it up and take it with you – it’s still a bit bulky for grab and go use, and it’s not exactly subtle. The Guru probably won’t fit in your pocket – but it should be fine in a bag or a purse.
I consider it more of a good, solid, diverse at-home unit. And you really can’t beat the price for all of the things that it does. You can go out to your local weed shop and bring home pretty much any product I can think of, and your Guru will be able to handle it – and that’s a great bonus as the number of products in shops (especially in legal recreational states) continues to expand.