I just learned about Session Control, a new feature on an already-existing mobile app for the Pax Era portable vaporizer. It's great for people who microdose, like myself, or for folks new to cannabis. It lets you measure your doses, so that your hits are never "too much."
So when I'm not writing for this fine online publication, I freelance at other places. At this time of year, that means I'm working part time at Burning Man. Their headquarters is in San Francisco's Mission neighborhood.
Now, most folks may not realize this but they share a building with Pax Labs. Yes, the company behind the portable vaporizers. Last Tuesday I was invited down to visit the building's second floor, home of their HQ. I went and that's how I learned about the app.
When it was new to the market, I got myself the flower-vaporizing Pax 1 device but then I started working in the cannabis industry and moved onto vape pens (and now low-dose edibles). I've been cruising along. While I was at their office they showed me their Era vaporizer (pictured below). It's way more high tech than an ordinary vape pen, and eons past the Pax 1 I once used. It uses concentrates, sold as Pods in dispensaries in states where it's legal, and charges with a USB cable. They told me they have 250 different strains in Pods available for the Era.
As cool as the Era is (and, full disclosure, they did hand me one on the way out the door to test), I frankly wasn't totally sold on it at first. I enjoy the old-school smoking and sharing of (freshly-ground flower) joints. A few years ago, the owner of one of San Francisco's oldest dispensaries said to me -- as he handed me a hand-rolled spliff and a lighter --, "Let's break bread." His sentiment stuck with me because the ritual of passing pot around is a sacred and beautiful shared experience.
But I get it. While joints are great for sharing, they aren't great for being accurate in dose. Plus, vaporizers have the edge because they're low profile (i.e. discreet). What really impresses me though, and what will ultimately I suspect make me a convert to the Era, is the mobile app that complements it.
First off, you can name your Era with it. Mine is "Babycakes."
Second, you can change the temperature of the burn of the oils to either get "More Flavor" or "More Vapor" (more THC).
You can also lock down your vaporizer so no one can use without your consent. I have a teen, so this sings to me.
But the best feature, in my opinion, is their new Session Control, it's for someone who wants or needs consistent and predictable vape hits (there's even a "micro" setting). Once you've taken a hit, the app also gives you an optional 30-second cool down period before you take the next one, making it easier to "start low and go slow."
If you decide measured doses aren't for you, keep this video handy for when you get too high:
lead screenshot and Era image via Pax, app screenshots by me