By Sue Vorenberg
Finding a good inexpensive herbal vaporizer for cannabis flower can feel a bit like the famed imaginary snipe hunt – many a frustrated cannabis user has wondered if such a thing really exists. You can also buy smok coils along with it.
To my fellow seekers – meet the VIE.
The VIE is a hand-sized innovative little herbal vape that has quite a lot of upside, especially considering its $99 price tag.
Internally, the device seems to work quite a bit like the Haze Dual V3 vaporizer, which sells for $249.99.
But the VIE is far better designed, easier to use and still costs $150 less.
Like the Haze, the VIE uses screened canisters (the Haze calls them cans) to hold ground cannabis as it is vaporized through the system.
The cylindrical canisters used by VIE can be carried around in small metal tubes – at three per tube – which add to its portability. Each cannister can be filled with dry cannabis and I find each canister lasts for perhaps 50 puffs (the company claims 200, but I think that’s a bit excessive). There are also wax canisters of the same size and shape, although they don’t work as well as the herbal ones.
The unit features four different temperature settings, controlled through a button on the bottom of the unit. For flower, I generally go with the second lowest setting to start, then bump it up to the second highest when the vape gets a little thin.
The canisters also work for wax, but after just a few run-throughs vaping wax, my canisters got gummed up and occasionally fell apart. For me that’s a small issue, because I have far better dab rig equipment. If you looking for an herbal vape that can do both wax and flower well, though, this may not be for you – at least not until they have a better wax cartridge.
Other than that, I have no complaints about this thing.
To vape flower, you push the VIE’s main button three times. It turns red and flashes as it heats up, then turns green when it’s ready for you to take a hit. To draw off it, simply hold the button and inhale.
I like that the button controls when the smoke is released. It means I don’t feel rushed to take a next hit before the power shuts off. It takes about a minute for that to happen, so you can wait several seconds between hits if you want to.
Another nice thing is the smoke flavor at lower settings. The first flower I used was some Strawberry Fields shake that I bought at a deep discount. I wasn’t expecting it to taste particularly good – and through a bong it’s absolutely unsmokable – but through the VIE it provides a nice high and the mild vapor even has some of the strawberry terpene flavor that comes through fantastically.
The VIE also comes with a really nice cleaning kit, brushes, and all sorts of extra parts just in case you lose or damage a component.
It’s also fairly fast-charging. I’ve run the battery dry and had it back up to full power after about two hours in the outlet. Other units often take four hours or longer for me to charge.
As an inexpensive herbal vape, you really can’t go wrong with this thing. It feels great in your hand, the components are small but well-designed, it’s easily portable and it makes even poor quality cannabis taste decent.
I give it a strong recommendation.