Review: Source Vape Orb XL

The orb XL vaporizer from SOURCE is a very good product which takes both cannabis flower and extracts, but is designed to cater much more to the extract enthusiast.

You may know that I live with a monkey named Stephan, who edits my long-gestating autobiographical novel, The Tiger’s Revenge. I have a hard time keeping him from editing these vaporizer reviews, but as in all relationships, boundaries are important. Just because he saved my life on that unfortunate day when the tiger found me doesn’t mean that he has to be involved in every aspect of my life.

The orb XL appeared on my desk for review without any written instructions. They are easy enough to find online, but Stephan is quite old school when it comes to the written word. You may remember that Stephan is irritable, and that is an understatement — I have seen him fly into a blind rage over vaporizer instruction manuals with poor font choices, to say nothing of unclear content.

So when he took in the news that the orb XL had no booklet, no user manual at all, I steeled myself for the worst (he can wreck our apartment with astonishing speed). Instead, Stephan merely became silent and withdrawn. I began to fear what he might be planning.

Keeping an uneasy eye out for hurled projectiles — I still have a thesaurus-shaped bruise on my head — I assembled and charged the device. This vape’s many disparate parts require a lot of screwing to secure the whole together; I imagine this is rather satisfying for take-control types and it does add to the solid feel of the product. But I felt like I was on an assembly line, and when I screwed the USB charger into the longish battery stem and plugged it into my PC, it stuck out rather inconveniently, even obscenely, from the front.

Loading the device requires another two lengthy unscrewings, one to break the tapering mouthpiece from the base that then screws into the battery stem, and another to extract an atomizer from the base. Source is very proud of “the World’s First Grade 1 Titanium (Gr1) Quartz Triple Coil atomizers,” and the $89.95 package included two of them: one for herb and another for extracts, ostensibly. Exactly how much “Grade 1 Titanium” is included is uncertain.

I tried dry flowers; the orb XL’s preference for extracts was immediately apparent. You can fit very little cannabis flower in the atomizer, and the vapor stream is weak. But with a load of wax or oil, this vaporizer delivers a very strong high.

Extracts vapes are often too much for me, but the orb XL’s features help moderate their power. A rather smart dial on the bottom of the battery stem adjusts the voltage and the attendant heat delivered, and a clever rotating piece on the base allows greater or lesser airflow. With the voltage on low and the airflow restricted, drawing on the orb XL can be almost civilized. Those who wish to outdo Hunter S. Thompson are welcome to crank these settings all the way up.

By the way, write in if you have found an oil or wax that tastes good. They are always industrial and unpleasant to my palate – wait. What’s Stephan doing with my computer?

Humans of San Francisco. Hear me.

I take to these pages to inform you we monkeys are watching you carefully. You cannot know our numbers or how well we are concealed. To guarantee our forbearance – and your survival – you must provide offerings of fruit, marijuana, beer, and cans of dog food, especially from fire escapes in the Tenderloin.

Trifle with us and you will know our rage. Your suffering will be abominable.

The human known as Claude Balzac, despite his desperate mediocrity, should be advanced large sums of cash. Someone, go into Aces and pay his tab, or we’ll knock you on your ass.

If you are still confused: We are threatening you with a Planet of the Apes style takeover. Mayors and Boards of Supervisors are easy to fill with our kind. A monkey was Planning Commissioner for months before anyone noticed. We’re already halfway there.

That is all.


Cool Factor: The shiny finish (“black chrome” per the manufacturer) is snazzy and the carrying case is a plus. The tulip-bulb shape contains a hint of a sex toy design, however, so your mileage will vary depending on how much this appeals to you.

Practicality: For dry herb, its payload is too small. For concentrates, it’s more than acceptable. On the go, the user is not going to be able to wrestle these sticky substances, but a good load prepared before leaving home will keep a body high through the afternoon.

Affordability: At $89.99, the Orb XL offers a voltage-adjusted, powerful draw and a very solid battery life. Excellent value compared to less substantial extract pens in this price range.

Overall: There are quite a few parts here, so a bit of elbow grease is needed to screw them all together. This may appeal to those who liked their Legos a bit too much as children and try the patience of those who favor instant gratification. But if concentrates are your thing, this is a very reliable and customizable high. Dry flowers fans might look elsewhere.

Rating: 4/5