It’s a thrilling time to be a cannabis hobbyist. Every day brings new, innovative ideas and products into the space. I had the opportunity to spend the past few weeks exploring just such a new device: the Dr. Dabber Switch.
The Switch is a semi-portable desktop vaporizer that handles both flower and concentrates. It’s the first of two induction heating vaporizers on the market (the plug-in only Loto Legend is the second,) and it uses a magnetic field to heat a titanium cup in record time (average heat-up time for me is about eight seconds). An impressive degree of control allows me to dial-in the right settings to fully enjoy my dabs and flower hits, and the extra-thick heady glass percolator attachment satisfyingly rips like a bong.
The kit includes the main unit, the glass percolator attachment, a glass dab tool/carb cap, two ceramic-lined titanium cups (a white one they recommend for oils and a black one for flower), a lid for topping the cup when vaping flower, a set of reverse-tweezers for manipulating the cups and a silicone concentrate caddy. They also sent me a large dab mat and the sold-separately two-piece titanium and quartz cup accessory for tastier dabs.
I’ve been using Dr. Dabber’s products for years and the Switch’s familiar form factor is a larger, updated version of its predecessors, the Boost and Boost Black edition – that is, it’s a black tower of tech with some thick glass jutting out of the top. The silky textured, hourglass shaped unit is substantial at thirteen inches tall and weighs-in at a hefty three pounds. As a bonus, it also performs a mesmerizingly cool, customizable LED light show.
The interface takes some getting used to. Instead of a readable LCD screen, the machine uses a series of five LEDs that can each display multiple colors to communicate. My color perception is not that great, but the system logic is simple enough that it doesn’t pose a major issue. I did find myself regularly referring to the 45-page user manual when trying to do something fancy, like adjusting the light show settings, but it didn’t take more than a couple days to internalize the basics.
The basics are very easy: choose either “oil mode” or “leaf mode”, select a heat setting, load a cup, drop it into the top, cap the opening, and hit go. Depending on the setting, the unit will take between five and twelve seconds to heat up and then stays at temperature for a 20-second cycle (though you can customize the cycle-length to up to thirty seconds).
There are 25 heat settings to scroll through using the + and - buttons, and though it took some trial and error to dial-in my preferences, I find that I enjoy most dabs and flower bowls between levels six and ten. I used too high a setting on my first attempt to vape flower in this thing, and the percolator got offensively stinky. The good news is it only took a couple shakes with iso to clean it up - and its self-cleaning mode heated the smelly detritus right off the ceramic linings of the titanium cups.
Unlike the Boost products, which are notoriously unreliable and difficult to clean, the Switch was intentionally designed solve these problems. All the internal hardware is protected from both the vapor stream and the user, making it both cleaner and much less likely to fail. It was also designed to be easily repairable at the same facility that ships the units. And with a two-year warranty, I feel confident that Dr. Dabber will support this device for some time.
This machine has an unprecedented degree of control and power in a semi-portable package (it’s easy to pick up and move from room to room but is too big to throw in a backpack and bring to a friend’s place), but it has room for improvement. The dab tool doesn’t work very well – and the spike broke off its carb cap base the first time the table got nudged, ten minutes into my second use. I would much prefer an LCD screen to the five LEDs. The reverse tweezers are not ideal – I’ve had to contend with more flying cups than I’d like (though everyone and everything is safe.) But overall, this is a very cool device that I can see replacing traditional e-nails and Volcanoes, and it is perfectly suited for use in attended public consumption venues where a budtender can supply the labor.
One final note to share is that the Switch delivers a more narcotic-style effect at every heat setting than any other device I’ve ever used. I don’t know why, but my best guess is that the induction heating process is both more efficient than other vaporizers and that it somehow generates more bioavailable CBN, THC’s sleep-inducing cousin. This would account for why this thing drops me every time I hit it. Growing roots into the couch is not usually my jam – but I know it is for thousands of medical cannabis patients out there dealing with pain – if this is why you use cannabis, then this might be just the device for you.