It’s official, the Cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing global industries. Today the industry is worth a shade over $9bn and it is expected to be worth over $75bn in revenue by 2030.
As a result, there has literally never been a better time to start a marijuana business.
However, there are still challenges. For the most part, across the western world, recreational cannabis remains illegal. Even in America, despite being legal in many states, cannabis remains illegal on a national federal level.
As a result, it can be difficult for a cannabis-based business to access the same resources that other early start-ups often have access too.
I own my own cannabis hardware store so thought it may be useful to share my experiences!
Problem 1 – Accessing start-up capital
All business requires some form of start-up capital to either start their business or grow an already existing start-up
Unfortunately, finance is typically a path that is closed to businesses involved with cannabis.
Banks and finance companies often have tight regulations. This can make starting or even growing a business quite difficult for a cannabis entrepreneur.
Solution: Look for a business loan provider that caters specifically to cannabis companies. They are slightly harder to find but if you know where to look you will find them.
In the past, I have worked with Cannabis Credit Lines and Cannabis Start-Up loans. Both of these actually specialise in the marijuana industry rather than tacking on the service. As a result, not only will they offer finance but they can offer knowledge and expertise too.
Furthermore, as long as you have a good personal credit score they do not require any proof of income or any collateral. They’re really quick too. Assuming your paperwork is all correct, they’ll wire you your funds so you can get back to growing your business as soon as possible
Problem 2 – Finding a payment processor
With the rise in technology, cash is very quickly becoming obsolete. People are increasingly expecting a plethora of payment options including debit cards, mobile phones, credit cards and even cryptocurrencies.
In 2019, Whether you’re business is a traditional brick and motor or online business you will likely require a merchant bank and payment processor to handle electronic transactions and have the funds sent to your own bank account.
Similar to the difficulties with having access to start-up capital, the banking industry largely deems the cannabis industry to represent too much of a risk to handle their money. My online shop was even blocked from having access to Shopify payments despite Shopify being a Canadian company and it being fully legal there.
Similarly, popular payment processor Paypal is also reluctant to work with all but the largest cannabis companies.
lSolution: Unlike the advice I gave for start-up loan providers I would actually advise not going with a specialist cannabis payment processor. Typically because of the increased risk, cannabis specialists are forced to pass the high insurance costs down to the business which means they’ll often siphon off a high % of your revenue for each transaction they handle.
The solution I offer is very time-consuming will save you a lot of money in the long run. Most companies, KYC ( Know your customers) process isn’t consistent. At the end of the day, it is people on the other end of the phone who are approving
Find 20 traditional, low-cost payment processors. Work your way through each and every application. Hopefully, you should be accepted by two or three which will then allow you to choose the best on that works for you
Problem 3 – Marketing your business
Once you’ve spent your startup loan on the capital or services you plan to sell, and have a payment processor so you can accept money from your customers, it is time to open up shop and start selling.
Waiting for that sale can often be soul destroying for a new business. You can have the nicest looking store and the best pricing but if no one knows you are you will not be selling anything!
Solution: Do not give up! This is perhaps the hardest part. Believe it or not, it took me 3 months to get my first sale in 2017. Fast forward 18 months and I’m on track to do $1m in sales throughout 2019 so my first piece of advice is: do not give up. It is worth repeating this; do not give up!
Now that’s covered, let’s look at some more practical advice.
Despite positioning themselves as progressively liberal, the big tech companies, just like the finance world, will not work with companies who have anything to do with cannabis products or services.
This means no Google Search Ads, No promoted Instagram posts or paying to share your Facebook business page with the entire country. This is a major bummer for cannabis entrepreneurs because these are quick, easy and proven ways to get your first customer.
However, do not fret! We’ll have to work smarter than traditional businesses and whilst this may take us longer to get our first sale it’ll make us better business people in the long run.
My first piece of practical advice is to build your own email list. You can do this by placing a pop-up on your webpage if you sell online or collect emails with a paper and pen of everyone who walks into your online shop. You can boost your sign up rate by offering a small discount on your products and services perhaps.
Once you’ve built up a list, these customers are yours to market to as little or often as you wish. You can send the promotions, blog posts or even content they can share with their friends. In two years I’ve grown my list to 20,000 cannabis enthusiasts and every email I send now generates sales. The main advantage of lists is this data belongs to you!
From the time the concept of vaping was conceptualized, there has been a considerable proportion of smokers gravitating towards vaping. And they need to. According to research and anecdotal evidence, vaping is a safer and more effective alternative to smoking. This is for the simple reason that during vaping, there is no combustion taking place. That means that no harmful chemicals are produced.
Therefore, a vaper is way less likely to develop the many harmful conditions associated with smoking, such as lung cancer. But as a caveat, it is important to take note of the keyphrase ’safer than smoking’’. This does not necessarily mean vaping is safe. So while experts prefer vaping to smoking and pitch it as an easier method of quitting cigarette, they also advice those who are not already vaping to not start. But if you are a seasoned vaper, insist on high-quality vaping devices and an all-natural e-juice ingredients.
Apart from it being a minimal risk behaviour, another thing you will love about vaping is that you get a wide selection of delicious e-juices. Vaping e-liquid manufacturers have continually experimented with different flavourings, and some will go to the extent of incorporating custom flavourings according to the demands of their market. Even better is the fact that these flavourings are mainly made up of food-grade additives. That definitely speaks volume about their safety when consumed.
What Experiments Have Been Held on Vape Juice Flavors?
In an experiment, researchers sampled 9 chemical flavourings in a bid to test the short-term effects these chemicals had on endothelial cells. Basically, endothelial cells are those cells lining the blood vessels as well as the inside of our heart.
The following were these nine flavors:
1. Menthol [mint]
Acetylpyridine [burnt flavor]
Eucalyptol [spicy cooling]
Isoamyl acetate [banana]
After a 90 minutes’ period of exposure, it was discovered that all these chemicals lead to the death of the cells, especially when they were used in higher concentration.
What Are the Limitations of This Experiment?
It is worth noting that the above experiment was simply a short-term study. The fact that the chemicals were used to test their effects on human cells in a confined environment such as a petri dish does not paint an accurate picture of how these chemicals would behave in real life. Therefore, there needs to be more subsequent research from where we can draw conclusive proof of the possible harmful effects of e-cigs on our health.
All the same, we cannot just ignore these findings. First of all, there are chances that some chemicals are more powerful than others, and that they greatly influenced the outcome of the experiment. Such chemicals, if they were to find their way into our e-cigs in whatever quantity, can never be safe. Another thing to remember is that some of the most popular e-liquid flavours such as beetle juice, lemon twist and unicorn milk were not tested in this experiment. But considering every single flavour tested demonstrated some potential harm, we cannot authoritatively state that the above three flavourings are safe.
What Is the Current Situation of Vape-juice Flavors?
One advantage with vape-juice flavours is that you can never be spoilt for choice as the current market boasts around 8,000 such flavours. Some of the most common ones include the following;
1. Caramel Corn Crunch,
2. Glazed Donut,
3. Banana Pudding,
4. Sub Zero Watermelon
5. Rainbow Candy and
6. Hawaiian Punch
Evidently, the flavours are named depending on their active ingredients. However, it is important to remember the e-liquid manufacturing industry is not well-regulated. Therefore, there could be manufacturers that simply adopt fancy names for their e-liquids when the juice does not really contain the properties of the ingredient after which it is named.
Regulating the E-liquid Market
Regulating the manufacture of e-liquids has remained a challenge between the FDA and other groups such as the American Heart-Association and the American Lung-Association. According to the FDA, the focus should be on curbing tobacco use among teens. The agency hopes that by imposing more stringent regulations barring young people from tobacco use, it will be seamlessly deterring them from vaping. One way FDA aims to implement these regulations is to ensure flavoured e-cigs are only available on age-restricted brick-and-mortar retailers.
This is ostensibly in a bid to rein in on unscrupulous online dealers on e-vaping juices. If you must sell or supply flavoured e-cigs online, you may be required to heighten your age verification processes to ensure you are not selling your products to a minor.
Though these are steps in the right direction, they only help protect minors. Adult vapers are therefore not necessarily cushioned from the possible harmful effects of e-juice flavourings.
Vaping may have been touted as a safer alternative to cigarette smoking. However, there are ever growing concerns on the safety of e-juice flavorings. If you haven’t vaped before, just don’t start. And if you are a vaper and find it hard to stop, insist on FDA-approved e-liquid flavorings.
Flowermate has built a reputation for creating some of the best vaping experiences for those on a shoestring budget.
The Flowermate Uno is the first vaporizer of theirs that is being positioned as a ‘mid-tier- vape rather than a cheap vaporizer. In this review, I’ll be comparing a Flowermate product to some of the biggest, respected names in the industry such as Boundless, Arizer and Pax. Can Flowermate step up alongside such illustrious competition?
As of summer 2019, the best price I could find was at Magic Vaporizers where you can purchase it for £125.
What did I like about the Flowermate UNO
The Flowermate Uno has replaceable batteries
Take heed vaping companies: replaceable batteries are a feature that all vaporizers should come with. I really hope it becomes standard for two reasons:
If you run out of charge on the go, you don’t have to wait for a power source to charge.
Like mobile phones, the battery in a vaporizer is more often than not the first component to stop working. If the battery stops working, it means you’ll have to shell out on a new vape. Not so with the Uno!
However, these batteries are propriety and Flowermate is a Chinese company so good luck finding spares!!
The Flowermate Uno offers a versatile vaping experience
With the concentrate pad, the oven is very versatile
The entire range of Flowermate products is known for their versatility; they vape pretty much everything and do so really well. The Flowermate Aura and Hybrid X are two of the most popular multi-purpose vaporizers so it is no surprise that the Flowermate Uno can comfortably handle herbs, liquids and concentrates alike.
The Flowermate Uno’s oven also covers a wide range of temperatures. Using the controls and LED screen you set the temperature of the oven to anywhere between 60°C and 260°C. This is great if you do actually vape any dry herbs other than cannabis!!
Three things I’d change to improve the Flowermate Uno
The Uno’s vapour quality is just OK.
I would describe the quality of vapour produced from the Uno as just satisfactory. The oven does indeed have some power and begins produces vapour in under 30 seconds. The clouds produced are dense and thick. Most vaporizers have a learning curve but you can pick up and puff away with the Uno with no effort at all.
However, after spending £125 I’d expect something more. Unless you attached the water-pipe (which is cumbersome) there is no cooling element and the air-path is short. This results in a harsh vapour that lacks in flavour.
The vapour quality isn’t bad, it’s just very It’s a similar vape quality to the Flowermate Aura – but that device only costs £50!
The Flowermate Uno has a small battery
This is my biggest gripe with this device. For some reason, Flowermate decided to go with a proprietary battery instead of the high capacity 2,700mah Samsung batteries they use in their cheaper vaporizers.
The Uno’s battery is just 1,800mah. Only slightly bigger than the £35 Black Mamba’s 1,600mah cell!
Also, it provides just 30 mins of heating time which is terrible for a vape designed to be portable. Finally, despite the battery being so small it still takes a massive 3 hours to charge.
The Uno is not the best looking vaporizer… and its bulky too
The entire contents of the Uno
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I don’t think anyone will argue that the Uno looks as nice as say the Pax 2 or the Miqro. It’s plastic and metal shell makes it quite heavy too. Pretty it isn’t!
Can Flowermate be Numero Uno amongst Mid-Tier Vaporizers?
As much as I love Flowermate products, unfortunately, the answer is a firm no.
I consider the mid-tier category of vaporizers to be those priced between £100 – £150 quid. This means the Flowermate Uno is competing with the likes of Boundless, Davinci, Pax and Arizer. However, when you place it next to these household names it just does not stack up.
The Flowermate Uno:
Doesn’t have the unbridled power of the Boundless Terra
Isn’t as sleek or as intuitive as the Pax 2
Isn’t as portable as the Davinci Miqro
Can not produce as much flavour as the all glass airpath of the Arizer Solo 2.
If you want a great vaporizer and only have £50 to spend, Flowermate is probably the vaping brand for you. However, if you’re stepping up to a serious product, for now at least, I suggest sticking to the bigger brand names.
I remember she sliced mangos up into small triangular slivers while I chattered anxiously behind her. I took out the small brown vial and dumped about half of it in the blender. We sipped the smoothie. It had a faint woodsy aftertaste but the coconut masked most of it. In forty minutes, we were weird. My tongue was stuck in a thought-loop, dancing around the crowns of my teeth. My friend tried and failed to recall a Paul Simon lyric. As we cuddled in bed, I felt her breath like a small beat on my back. I’d gained five new pulses: one on each shoulder, on the back of my neck, my belly button, my crotch. We ate chips. Everything, everything was funny.
Then it was morning. “So here’s this for you,” I announced, handing her the remainder of the brown vial, filled with Foria. THC-infused coconut oil, intended for use as a marijuana-laced personal lubricant. I had another at home for me. “It’s actually meant for your vagina. It’s lube,” I told her. Her eyes widened with pre-pleasure and I could see her afternoon wasting away into a creaking bed and Double-A battery twitch.
Later my friend reported back, it was “like the lusty itch I had in my loins suddenly turned into an existential mission towards a long and gratifying orgasm.” I’d tried it too. “Yeah,” I’d agreed with her. Though I would have added something about the existential pull of branches. About each muscle contraction feeling like a ring inside of a tree.
How much there is still to be revealed about marijuana in this decade in America for the general public! I’m riffing on Allen Ginsberg’s pitch-perfect 1966 essay in The Atlantic, but the part of me that saw my friend’s eyes light up, or listens to R. Kelly’s “Sex Weed,” or has dated many a stoner knows that we still really don’t know everything about the experience of being high. Especially being high whilst touching other people. “Marijuana is a useful catalyst for specific optical and aural aesthetic perceptions,” Ginsberg wrote. “I apprehended the structure of certain pieces of jazz & classical music in a new manner under the influence of marijuana, and these apprehensions have remained valid in years of normal consciousness.”
In the not-so-scientific sense, weed puts salt on the white rice of touch. It’s the feeling of having fingertips at the end of your fingertips. High sex is infused with immediate bodily connections. It cuts through the stitching of thought and brings you to a more present place with whoever you’re with (maybe you’re with yourself). Ginsberg called this a “more direct, slower, absorbing, occasionally microscopically minute engagement with sensing phenomena.” I don’t think I can do much better than Ginsberg.
“Weed puts a salt on the white rice of touch.”
And then in the very scientific sense, the collaboration of marijuana and sexuality has been fairly limited. Weed’s only been legalized in some areas for a short amount of time, so the terrain is just edgy enough to remain on the fringes of academia. But there are some larger generalizations we can glean. In 1984, Ronald Weller and James Halikas released a study on marijuana use and sexual behaviour and found that marijuana increased sexual pleasure and enhanced desire, and it’s associated with more frequent sexual activity and more partners.
“Pot can account for increased heart rate, changes in respiration, changes in blood flow, and the release of pleasure-inducing neurochemicals like dopamine and anandamide.”
Marijuana has been used by ancient Indian Ayurvedic healers and tantric sex practitioners drank cannabis for centuries as a means for libido-heightening. Dr Lester Grinspoon, the retired Harvard Medical School professor known as “the grandfather of modern medicinal cannabis research,” told New York Magazine that marijuana has the “capacity to enhance a variety of human experiences.” Chief among those is sex. So, it’s no wonder that many people today turn to marijuana to aid a plateful of sexual dysfunction or hang-ups: anorgasmia, premature ejaculation, vaginismus, sexual anxiety. Sex advice columnist and general sex guru Dan Savage advise a wife who’s writing about her husband with low libido to simply get stoned before sex. He rattles off a list of conversations and therapies they could attempt or, he pauses, “just fucking get some weed.” Part of the conversation even descends at some point to a story of hookers, payday loans and pool hustlers. This part made me laugh apart from the fact she paid for it in loan charges – read more about them here.
Today there’s even talk about how marijuana may transition our own sexual interests. First surfacing on Reddit threads, this phenomena has people waxing poetic about “high sexuality:” a certain phenomenon where otherwise straight men report feeling temporarily gay while stoned. But that may have more to do with marijuana loosening inhibitions than anything else. “It allows you to be more emotionally connected, free, and physically heightens the experience. I feel more animal. My mind does not wander so wildly when I’m high. I’m more focused on the present,” a 31-year-old mother, who frequently smokes pot with her partner, tells me.
Image source – facebook.com/420hotgirls
Weed Girls a website that caters to the weed fetishist market, hosts fare such as NSFW photos of women hitting bongs, tips on places to have sex while high and is filled with girls half-naked photo-shoots, accompanied by question/answer sessions about…weed of course.
Rebecca Hourselt, a staff writer at Weed Girls with a taste for the irreverent and the feminist, spoke with me about being a sexed-up stoner. “From both personal experience as well as what I hear from other people — friends and strangers who wish to share things with me — being able to smoke with somebody both before and after sex creates an instant level of familiarity. There is a trust and an intimacy that would not be achieved otherwise,” Hourselt says.
“Once I smoked a particular type of weed that literally made my vagina tingle.”
“Most of the time it allows me to relax and clear my head,” she explains. “I think that especially for women, not being able to let go of the stresses of the day is what inhibits them from initiating sex or really being able to enjoy it. Marijuana allows for that. Also, a lot of women (myself included) say that weed makes them feel sexier,” Hourselt tells me. “Once I smoked a particular type of weed that literally made my vagina tingle.”
Hourselt’s humorous, contemplative sex and weed column, where she pairs marijuana with different sex toys and positions, makes her something of a stoned sex sommelier. She recommends milder strains to a high sex novice. “I would typically recommend a Sativa strain. They are more uplifting and motivational than an indica, which typically has more of a sedating effect. Asian Fantasy, for example, is good for the relief of stress and anxiety and also has arousing and tingling effects on the body,” Hourselt explains.
Though not all of stoned sex is deep, meditative thoughts. Hourselt was quick to remind me that getting high and getting naked was funny. “It’s fun and refreshing to have a naked existential debate over which is better: Peanut Butter Crunch or Reese’s Puffs (PBC all day every day),” Hourselt jokes. But it’s important, she stresses, that both partners are on the same plain while smoking during sex. “Usually all parties involved are high. After conducting some extensive ‘research,’ I have found that if only one person smokes, it actually alienates the other person because you’re just on two different levels.”
Image source – Reddit.com
Stoner etiquette is at the forefront of Lorna Shannon and Harrison Schultz’s minds. They’re the creators of Theweedblog.com and the organizers of Occupy Weed Street, an activist coalition fighting for marijuana legalization in New York City. The Weed Blog was created due to a skewed group dynamic Shannon and Schultz were witnessing within their organization — some members came to activist events hoping for sex. They saw their new venture as a fun, informative way to educate the group without calling anyone out individually. “Much of the time people don’t even realize it when they exhibit creepy vibes or sexually predatory behaviour. Both men and women are guilty of it,” Shannon says.
As educators, I turned to the couple for tips on how to get a healthy, stoned sex life going. They claim the strain of choice for high sex depends — as with most things — entirely on you and what kind of high and what kind of sex you’re having. Shannon directs me to the site Leafly, where I am able to explore different strains by their attributes and effects. There are over 83 strains boasting arousing properties, like Sour Dream which, “will spark arousal, euphoria, and a touch of the giggles. Keeps you and your honey’s mood in amorous spirits,” or Love Potion #1, which one customer reviewed as “Makes you so horny, ha!”
“For many just the pungent aroma of a dank bud can send the senses reeling and turn on the libido in a heartbeat.”
For beginners, Shannon cautions to study strains and test out different weed before sex but points to hybrid strains as providing the best of both worlds. “I recommend starting foreplay with a hybrid that has relaxing Indica qualities to get you into your body while also providing the stimulating cerebral sativa effects for deepening connection.”
Stoners generally gravitate towards one another in the context of dating, and therefore, in the context of sex. The same kind of people that might toke up to alleviate everyday anxieties is the same kind who benefit the most from weed in the bedroom. “Marijuana is very good for stress and anxiety relief as well as introspection and connection to higher self and source. It aids in a more fulfilling, intimate connection to a sexual partner. It quiets the mind, allows you to be present, and awakens the senses which enhance the experience of sexual pleasures,” Shannon explains. “For many, just the pungent aroma of a dank bud can send the senses reeling and turn on the libido in a heartbeat.” But what is high sex like for you, I ask.
“Most stoners feel that high sex is the best sex. I think high foreplay, which most women think most men don’t know how to do, can turn into an adventure, an exploration of the senses and the flesh of your partner, when you let go of stress and let the anxieties of everyday life melt away with every inhalation of THC,” Shannon describes to me.
“What’s not better high?” a 26-year-old self-identified male stoner told me when I posted the same question. “I feel like it creates less thought and makes you act more naturally…there’s more flow to go with.”
“What’s not better high?”
Why, in a world of Viagra, vibrators, pornography, sex tracking apps, and seemingly every sexual enhancement known to the world, are we are still looking for a way to make sex better with weed, an ancient plant? A few months ago, I asked Mathew Gerson, the creator of Foria, the aforementioned marijuana-enhanced lubricant: “For most women, relaxation is a key attribute in the experience of pleasure and arousal,” he explains, noting that marijuana is the key to this type of loss of mind, this complete letting go. “We live in the time and era where we have a lot of residual stresses coursing through our bodies because of modern technology and the pace we’re all living. The body is sort of new to this pace. The body’s been around a lot longer than our iPhones have,” Gerson says.
“Melting” was a word I kept hearing as I talked to veteran stoner lovers, pot activists, and weed-lube newbs alike. And it was a word I could relate to. In a New York Post article of sex-related Google searches, it was found that our most frequent questions about sex were worries. Things like penis size, sex duration, and vagina smell topped the list of anxieties we type into our Google oracles, begging for solutions. The problem, it seems, is not our dick size or how quickly we come or if a vagina smells like a vagina, but ourselves and our minds and the nasty, invasive thoughts that ticker away when we get into a bed with someone. But what if those thoughts could disappear, at the flash of a lighter? What if our thoughts could sail away with a blowback?
Engage with the full spectrum of sensing phenomena. Just melt. That’s what Ginsberg would advise, and I usually trust Allen Ginsberg.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC, the principal psychoactive chemical component of cannabis, was first discovered by Raphael Mechoulam and Yechiel Gaoni, two scientists at the Center for Research on Pain at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem all the way back in 1964, just 16 years after the founding of the state. Israel began permitting the use of medical cannabis back in the early 1990’s, while California was the first US State to do so a few years later in 1996. By 2018, the number of Medical Cannabis users in Israel was at over 50,000, and in December 2018, the Israeli Parliament finally approved a bill to legalize the export of medical cannabis, bringing billions of dollars to the industry.
What about recreational weed?
In 2015 it was reported that only 200 arrests were made for using marijuana in public, with most cases leading to fines or even just a confiscation of the weed. Currently, weed is somewhat decriminalized with only a maximum of a fine as the current punishment for smoking in public for the first 3 offenses, but legally, on the fourth offense a prison sentence is still possible.
But what is it really like?
The truth is, that while technically still illegal, you often times would not think it, especially in Tel Aviv. The city is often seen as a country within a country, and is much more comparable to many western cities than the rest of Israel. In fact, except for Amsterdam, you probably won’t notice the smell of weed in the air at cafes and bars as often as you do here. In fact, a survey revealed that 27% of Israeli adults consumed cannabis throughout 2018, the highest number in the world with the US in second place at 18%, and Iceland in third at 16%. Of course these numbers can only be trusted to a certain level, but just take a walk through the streets of Tel Aviv and it wouldn’t be hard to imagine the true level being even higher.
Full legalization seems to be the direction the country is going to, with many also envisioning Tel Aviv as the new Amsterdam on the beach and people already dreaming about the imminent arrival of a coffee-shop culture, and as long as weed becomes more normal and accepted in society, the likelihood of this happening is getting greater.
The Davini Miqro is a mini-me version of the ever-popular Davinci IQ. It claims to keep all the same great features and boast a similar performance in spite of its diminutive size.
Such are the similarities to the Micro’s bigger brother, it had us asking what sacrifices had to be made to squeeze it all into such a tiny device.
Lets find out!
What makes the Davinci Miqro Great?
The Miqro is incredibly tiny
Miqro vs IQ
The MIQRO is very very small – almost unbelievably so.
It measures just under 8cm tall making it smaller than both The Crafty and the Pax 3 which are also praised for being so small.
On paper, the Miqro is slightly heavier than both but you can’t really feel the difference.
All in all, the Davinci Miqro is one of the most discreet and stealthy vaporizers you can buy.
The Miqro offers smart vaping
The Davinchi Miqro is relatively easy to use and comes with two vaping modes: precision and smart-path mode. You can choose between the two by tapping the power button.
Precision mode allows you to set your own temperature whilst the smart-path modes are designed to take you on a full-spectrum vaping experience. This feature debuted with the Davinci IQ and proved to be very popular.
The smart-path feature found in the IQ allowed users to create their own bespoke vaping journeys. However, the Miqro has just 4 preset paths that are non-customizable:
Smart Path 1: 170°F – 190°F
Smart Path 2: 190°F – 200°F
Smart Path 3: 200°F – 210°F
Smart Path 4: 210°F – 220°F
To be honest, the smart-path mode is so useful, it’ll probably be the only one you’ll ever use. I think it is the future of vaping – no doubt all the major brands will be soon adding this to their flagship models.
The Miqro heats up in about 40 seconds, which is quicker than what I expected for such a tiny vaporizer. Also, because it has a conduction oven, the Miqro produces a satisfying amount of clouds; comparable to the IQ despite being 30% smaller in size.
The Miqro has replaceable batteries
Removable batteries are such a simple feature but I can not overstate how useful it is. A replaceable battery should be the standard in all devices.
When you’re out ( I took my Miqro on a camping trip) and have no access to a charger, all you need to do is carry a few spare 18350 cells and you can swap them out in seconds.
Also, the first fault to appear in a vaporizer is its battery. The fact that you can change them quite cheaply and easily is great for your peace of mind.
What I would change about the Davinci Miqro
The Miqro’s battery life is short
The short size is both a gift and a curse. To create such small vaporizer, sacrifices obviously have to be made and the engineers have decided to place the battery on the altar!
The removable battery holds just 900mAh (the IQ holds nearly three times as much) and will provide just 30 mins of oven time.
This is right on the lower end of the market. Even the £40 Black Mamba holds 1600mAH.
This is not enough to last even a day’s worth of vaping. However, as long as you have access to a mains or are able to carry around a few spares, it is not the end of the world
The Miqro can get quite warm
Another issue stemming from its small size is the heat distribution.
Because it is so small, there is nowhere for the heat generated by the oven to dissipate to. As such, during long sessions, the device can get quite warm to hold.
Also, because the device is so small, it has a rather short air path. Because of this, there is not enough time to cool the vapour down before it reaches your mouth – it can be quite harsh on the throat.
Is the Davinci Miqro the best uber portable vaporizer?
Good – but not great. Very discreet thoough!
Sadly no. Unfortunately, there is nothing the Davinchi Miqro can do that both the Pax and the Crafty can’t do better and they’re both roughly the same size.
Yes, the Miqro is just as powerful but the Pax offers better flavour and more features, whilst the Crafty offers a vapour cooling unit and convection heating.
The replacement batteries are a massive win, however, they are far too small to be a practical choice for heavy users.
For the last 12 months, Anthony Clarry has been smuggling cannabis into the UK. However, Anthony Clarry is not a drug dealer, nor does he relish the idea of being a criminal. Anthony is forced to smuggle cannabis-based medicines into the UK to help his five-year-old daughter Indie-Rose who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy.
Every time Anthony makes the trip for the Netherlands he runs the risk of being stopped on the border by customers agents, being arrested and even a criminal record. However, what makes him more anxious is having the medicine confiscated which could put her life at risk.
Over the last year, they have spent over £25,000 on medicines and legal advice from disability attorneys but both their parents claim it is all worth it.
They both agree that cannabis has dramatically reduced the number of life-threatening seizures Indies suffers each day and is now more alert, happy and able to continue with her schooling for the first time in years.
Last November, based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid legalised medical cannabis in the UK. The UK government officially recognises that cannabis has some therapeutic value a move many to believe to the first step towards full legalisation.
Patients should have access to medical cannabis for illnesses where there is currently an unmet clinical need.
However, this ‘unmet need’ is a decision made by a patient’s doctor and unfortunately, Indie’s parents have been unable to persuade their doctor to prescribe Bedrolite and Bedica – the two medicines that are improving Indie’s life. As a result, they have been di=riven to break the law and to pay for it.
According to the campaign group ‘End our Pain’, there are several other families who are in the same situation and are having to bring cannabis in the UK illegally. Only two children with severe epilepsy have been approved for cannabis medicines.
One of them is Sophia Gibson, aged seven, from Newtownards near Belfast.
She also has Dravet syndrome and used to suffer life-threatening seizures.
Her mum, Danielle Davis, told the BBC: “Barely a week went by without us having to call an ambulance for Sophia because her seizures were impossible to control.
“Sometimes the doctors had to put her into an induced coma and take over her breathing, it was terrifying.”
Danielle says the cannabis medicines have had a dramatic impact.
“Sophia has not been hospitalised as a result of a seizure since last July. We know it is not a cure because she still has seizures, but they are infrequent, last less than a minute and are much milder.
“She is also happier, more alert and her cognitive ability have improved,” her mum says.
Despite still being illegal federally, an increasing number of states across the USA have been working the legalize tetrahydrocannabinol ( better know at THC).
THC is just one of the hundreds of compounds found in the Cannabis Sativa and Hemp plants. It is infamously used recreationally due to its psychoactive effects on the human brain. However, over the last decade or so there is a growing body of research that suggests there are several positive medical applications.
My doctors are prescribing cannabis for a variety of ailments. which can put patients at risk of falling foul of federal law. Several of the ailments requiring cannabis medication are disabling which entitles patients to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. (better known as SSDI). As the number of states legalising cannabis has increased we have seen an increase in SSDI applications.
As a result, the Social Security Administration will have to examine SSDI claims for medical cannabis even if, according to federal law, it is a controlled substance.
Medical Cannabis and Claims
Medical Cannabis refers to the use of the cannabis plant to treat various diseases or symptoms. Typically, the plant will not be used in its entirety. Instead, cannabinoids will be extracted into oils. It is these cannabinoids which can have positive effects on the following ailments.
Inflammatory bowel disease
Cannabis is also believed to help relieve some of the more disabling effects of other illnesses including cancer, lupus, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
Cannabis and SSDI Benefits
As a rule of thumb, the Social Security Administration can deny a benefits claim to any applicant who abuses illegal drugs or alcohol. Although in Tacoma, the law now permits medical cannabis, the SSA works under federal law and deems cannabis to be an illegal drug. As such, a patient will not be able to claim if they are ‘abusing the drug’.
The legal definition of ‘abuse’ is when the drug is a contributing factor to the determination of the disability. For example, if the applicant’s disability were to be cured if he stopped using the illegal drug then the SSA would likely rule that the use of cannabis, in this case, is to be classified as abuse.
The SSA is also likely to deny the claim is they prove that the use of cannabis has worsened the disability.
As such, it is imperative that anyone using medical cannabis speaks to Social Security Disability Attorney before they make a claim for SSDI benefits.
In Tacoma, a social security disability attorney can determine if the use of medical cannabis will result in an SSDI claim being denied and will work with your doctor or physician to ensure that your case of medical cannabis is helping your disability.
There has been a fair bit of excitement around this device since it was released six months ago. Zeus Arsenal has been creating well-received vaporizers for a number of years now but the Arc and Arc GT represent their first attempt at a high-end vaporizer that takes the likes of Pax, Davinchi IQ and the Crafty head on.
Disclaimer: I’m heading into this review rather biased. As you’ll know both the Pax and the Crafty are two of my all-time favourite vaporizers so the Arc certainly has its work cut out.
In the UK, you can buy the Arc and Arc GT from Namaste and dank!
Three things I liked about the Zeus Arsenal Arc
The Zeus Arsenal Arc is designed very well.
Looks just great
The Zeus Arsenal looks absolutely great. It is better looking than the Crafty, on a par with the Davinchi IQ but is probably shaded slightly by the Pax.
The entire unit is made from adonized aluminium and has a nice matte finish. The Arc is really tiny to measuring it at xcm x cm. It is marginally smaller than the Crafty and fits easily in the palms of your hands.
Based on design and aesthetics alone, the Arc is up there with the best of them but how does it perform???
The vapour production of the Zeus Arsenal is just great.
In my experience, conduction vaporizers are a mixed bag. Luckily the Zeus Arsenal’s vapour quality is definitely more hit than miss. Care has been taken to address the disadvantages associated with conduction vaporizers and it shows.
The GT stands for Gold technology and this refers to the Gold they’ve used in both the air path and heat sink. According to Zeus Arsenal, gold is one of the best materials for cooling vapour and is innovation responsible for the smooth, tasty hits that the Zeus produces.
The Arc GT is well built.
Sturdy and packed with features.
Zeus Arsenal, the manufacturers of the Arc GT claim their vaporizer to be ‘engineered in Germany’ but they do not state where it is made. I suspect China and not sure what ‘engineered’ actually means anyway?
Despite this, the Arc GT is actually built really well and has all the features and innovations you’d expect from a vaporizer of this price.
The loading area of the vape is made out of plastic. This is normally a big no for me. However, I dropped an email to Zeus Arsenal about this and they replied stating that only PEEK plastic is used. PEEK plastic is the same material used in the Crafty and Mighty and is certified to be able to maintain its integrity at temperatures up to 350c; far hotter than the Arc GT will ever get.
To check the battery life, all you need to do is shake the vape and the lights will indicate the charge left – pretty cool!
Under the hood is an accelerometer that’ll shut down the oven when it recognises the vape is idle saving precious weed and battery. and haptic feedback that’ll vibrate when your herbs are ready to be vaped.
None of this is particularly unique in 2019 but are nice features to have all the same
What I didn’t like about the Zeus Arsenal Arc GT
My first session require a burn off
I could taste a slight silicone taste in my first two sessions with the vaporizer. This is probably because I did not complete a full burn off. However, I always wonder why manufacturers don’t carry out burn offs in the factory so we don’t have to. Pretty much every vape brand is guilty of this.
The Arc GT only has 3 temperature settings.
Zeus refers to their settings as ‘heating cycles’ but that’s just marketing speak. They’re bog standard temperature settings and there are not enough of them. They also start unusually high. This is great for vapour production; the device will create huge clouds. However, sometimes I like to vape on temperatures as low as 160c.
Is the Zeus Arsenal Arc GT a Crafty Killer?
I’m going to say no. Don’t get me wrong, the Zeus Arsenal is a cracking vape, it performs great and can rival even the Pax for aesthetics. However, I’m unsure why anyone would choose it over the Crafty when they’re priced similarly.
The Crafty has more features, implements hybrid heating and produces the best clouds in the uber-portable category.
The Black Mamba has reigned supreme as the best budget vaporizer for the last few years now. However, a vaporizer with a similar price, similar name but different manufacturer has also forged itself a sizeable following amongst the budget vaping crowd.
I purchased the Black Widow from Kronic Vapes. I had never heard of these guys (or ladies?!) before but they had it on sale for a good price so I decided to give them a whirl.
What I liked about the Black Widow Vaporizer UK
The Black Widow has five temperature settings
The more temperature settings a cannabis vaporizer has, the more you’ll be able to personalise your vaping experience. Personally, I enjoy starting a vaping session on lower temperatures and then slowly work my way up into couch lock!
Typically, budget vaporizers tend to only have a maximum of three settings so I was pleasantly surprised that the Black Mamba had 5.
The Black Widow is fully operational with just one button which makes it really easy to cycle through the different settings.
I would rate the Black Widow’s performance on the lower settings as ‘adequate’ however, the conduction heating really kicks in on 4 and 5 will produce good levels of vapour.
The Black Widow vapes concentrates too
Most vaporizers priced under £50 vape either cannabis flowers or Liquids or concentrates. Dual use vaporizers cost substantially more.
The Black Widow has its own concentrate insert which you can pop it its oven.
Again, its performance is just satisfactory but the fact that it can vape concentrates at all is an unexpected bonus.
What I didn’t like about the Black Widow Vaporizer
The Black Widow is dangerous for your health!
The differences between a £40 and a £200 vaporizer aren’t just found in their performance but the quality of engineering and health and safety too.
Chinese health and safety are not up to the same standard as those in Europe and the US. As a result, some shops will import them into the UK and not even realise they are selling a legitimate health hazard
Unfortunatley the Black Widow falls into this category.
The Black Widow uses fibreglass to insulate the vaporizer’s electronics from the heat generated by the oven. This isn’t a problem in its self, however, the vaporizer’s air path is non-isolated which means tiny shards or fibreglass are likely to be inhaled for your lungs.
You do not want to be inhaling this. If you’re vaping for the health reasons, the Black Widow’s non-isolated air path literally obliterates any benefits.
The Black Widow has a horrible plastic mouthpiece
I hate cheap, plastic mouthpieces. The mouthpiece feels like putting a happy meal toy in your mouth. Nothing more to say!
The Black Widow is not built very well.
Looks nice from afar… but doesn’t hold up under use
I hate to be so negative but it really does feel like this vaporizer has been cobbled together with no precision.
A perfect example is its USB charging port. It isn’t even aligned with the hole so you really have to fiddle around every time you charge your battery!
Can the Black Widow unseat the Black Mamba?
In short, no.
The Black Widow Vaporizers does not even come close to the performance of the Black Mamba. Chinese vaporizers can be hit and miss due to lower health standards and unfortunately the Black Widow falls even below this.
No reputable UK / EU or US store should have this on sale. A firm thumbs down from us.
If you want to spend under £40 on a weed vaporizer we suggest sticking with the Black Mamba. Similar features to the Black Widow but boats an isolate, food grade, glass air path.