The e-cigarette giant VMR may have been having a bit of fun when it gave the name Prohibited to its line of cannabis vaporizers, but that’s where the coyness ends. Their vaporizers are honestly, unabashedly designed for weed, and their latest product, In the 5th Degree — or just 5th Degree for short — aims to be the most efficient and versatile device on the market.
Prohibited released the gadget in early September, calling it the “Swiss army knife” of premiere weed vapes. The device comes with two easily removable chambers: One can be filled with marijuana buds and the other, concentrates. Inverse asked a test user to provide experiential feedback on the product. They spoke highly of the device and confirmed that the 5th Degree offers both ease of use and efficiency for vaping both buds and concentrates. They also noted its $199.99 price is surprisingly affordable compared with other vaporizers.
Prohibited makes bold claims about the 5th Degree being “designed to outperform all its competition,” but what does innovation in that vapor space actually look like?
Karl Riedel, Vice President of Marketing at VMR Products, tells Inverse that there is “no device as versatile as the 5th Degree” and he promises “unrivaled performance” from a technological standpoint, putting Prohibited at the “cutting or bleeding edge of vapor space.” For instance, the 5th Degree boasts the fastest heat-up time for any vaporizer on the market, so users can start puffing more quickly. That alone might sell a lot of smokers on what Riedel calls a “premium vape experience.”
“Users can get the experience they’re after,” Reidel said, “because a lot of science and engineering went into optimizing the performance.”
Inverse’s test user noted that a feature allowing different temperatures is standard in many vapes currently on the market, but the 5th Degree can reach those higher temperatures faster than most others. However, they also mentioned that when heating up, the device at times emits a high-pitched noise that can be distracting.
According to Riedel, specific temperature ranges offer the “flexibility to target different kinds of cannabinoids.” Marijuana contains more than 111 of these chemicals, but the only two most smokers care about are THC and CBD — tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. The former, which vaporizes at a lower temperature, is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana that gets you high, whereas CBD is the compound that gives marijuana its pain-relieving, anxiety-reducing medicinal value.
Different strains vary in their content of each, but adjusting the temperature on the 5th Degree allows the user to maximize the medicinal benefit of their usage — or just get higher.
Most vapes focus specifically on herb, oils, or concentrates. If they do more than one, it’s often as an afterthought through the use of some adapter. The 5th Degree can seamlessly transition with equal efficiency between cartridges for “buds” and “concentrates” that seal to magnetic connectors, eliminating the need for threading pipe cleaners through the device to clean it. Maintenance and upkeep become that much easier.
Inverse’s test user noted how easy and straightforward the transition between the two cartridges was with the 5th Degree, which made it a product that stands apart from its competition.
A portion of Prohibited’s innovation comes with its high standards for materials. Some competitors continue using materials like nichrome, a nickel-chromium alloy, for the heating coil. According to Riedel, every Prohibited vape has a dual quartz rod wrapped in surgical-grade titanium with a ceramic casing, a heating source that accounts for a better taste confirmed by our test user.
The honesty about the device’s purpose comes off as refreshing in a market dominated by the wink-wink, nudge-nudge standard of calling marijuana vapes “dry herb vaporizers.” As such, Prohibited hopes to resonate with “the rebel cannabis user with a distinctive voice,” but the brand’s tone might hardly matter when they’ve designed a vape that works as well as the 5th Degree seems to.
As for what’s next, additional cartridges for a dabber and an e-rig will release in October and November, respectively. With the dabber, users you can get the highest vapor concentration from wax and other concentrates, even shatter and oil. The e-rig cartridge includes a glass water bubbler for additional filtration, which is said to improve taste. There’s even a battery-powered portable 3rd Degree E-Bong due out in early 2018.
By 2019, you’ll be able to smoke weed with VMR’s vaporizers any way you want to without needing a lighter. Considering their slogan is “One nation under the influence,” Prohibited definitely doesn’t care if you have a problem with that.
Prohibited’s “In the 5th Degree” is available online right now, soon to be in your favorite smoke shop.
Welcome to Inverse’s Quick Hits, an ongoing series that looks at the future of vaping technology for both tobacco and cannabis with an eye to both new vapers and old hands alike. At Inverse, we focus on the science of anything and use our imaginations to help shape the future around us. With Quick Hits, we want to examine how these new and emerging technologies are transforming the vaping process and re-thinking consumption in tomorrow’s world. Inverse hopes to bring vaping to wider audiences by unlocking new experiences — and flavors — for our readers.
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