Passage to Indica
Conversation is the essence of enjoying cannabis socially. The life of a novelist is, by contrast, quite solitary. True, I do have company as I write: Stephan, the monkey who serves as my editor, amanuensis, and body servant.
Stephan is quite judgmental, however, and not much of a conversationalist. He is, perhaps, overly familiar with the events behind my labor of love, the autobiographical novel “The Tiger’s Revenge.” After all, he was the one to nurse me back to health in India after the tiger found me. He glares at me from his perch atop the bookcase when I laze about, and complains about passages in which he feels his role (as well as that of his less literate but equally heroic cousins) is misrepresented.
The Indica vaporizer not only helps relax me after a long day in pursuit of le mot juste – it is a conversation piece itself. For behold! It is shaped just like an oversized Zippo lighter. (It even comes in a shiny steel finish in addition to the black one I tested.) The top opens with the flick of the thumb in that iconic spring-loaded way, revealing a simple mouthpiece and a single LED button that’s both on-off switch and vaping temperature control.
The design alone fascinated my friends on sight. Thelonius and Eliza Dapper were agog, and my sometime girlfriend, Thecla, immediately claimed ownership of the Indica even though she hardly ever gets high. (Indeed, I suspect she continues our relationship solely because she enjoys playing Scrabble with Stephan, the only creature to successfully play SYZYGY and use it in a sentence after.)
The Indica has no trouble grabbing attention, but does it also succeed as a pragmatic portable vaporizer?
The simplicity of its single-button system is an advantage. The user holds it down for three seconds to activate, then can cycle through five temperature settings with two to eight additional quick clicks. This button turns five different colors and also lets the user know if the battery charge is low.
Portable vapes promise to be easy to carry and use while out and about, so poor battery life and small payloads are often their downfall. But the Indica’s battery is remarkably resilient, good for many loads of strong vapor stream. The generous chamber for your flower supply is behind a sliding tab on the bottom of the device – this tab is even magnetized to be able to stick to the bottom of the device. The Indica isn’t designed for concentrates, although a little wax on your cannabis, as ever, does not do any harm.
The actual portability of all portable vapes is limited by the process of packing them with (preferably ground up) weed. Fortunately, the Indica comes with a plethora of little tools and doubles up on a lot of them: two vape picks for packing and cleaning out, a wire pipe cleaner for deeper cleaning, and even optional “mini spacers” which pack the weed down into the chamber (these are easy to hook with the vape pick). The extra sliding tab should the first be lost is an especially thoughtful inclusion.
Stephan is justifiably disapproving of the instruction manuals for most vaporizers, but even he found the Indica’s moderately readable — which is more than he’s able to say about “The Tiger’s Revenge.”
Cool Factor: Off the charts. Flicking the lid open and closed also satisfies those who enjoy their nervous habits. Stephan now does this incessantly, but I prefer it to his whipping his butterfly knife open and closed as he used to.
Practicality: Leaving the limiting vape pen design behind equips the Indica with a battery life and payload size make which can get a couple of people (or one person and a monkey) good and high. Limited only by needing to sit down with the little tools to pack and clean.
Affordability: At $200, it’s not a budget vape. It’s also more or less limited to dry herb. Although it’s true that the Zippo design doesn’t really do anything, the battery life means that it delivers a dependable high that cheaper models don’t.
Overall: Its ease of use and strong vapor stream make it a solid alternative to a desktop vape even when I’m not on the go, which can’t be said of most portable vapes that litter my work desk. A very nice piece of work which achieves far beyond the gimmick of its design.
Available at: VapeWorld and www.indica2.com.
Photo by Natasha Dangood