I thought this pen, the Linx Hypnos Zero, was for e-liquid at first. I dropped in a few dabs of peach-flavored oil, pressed the button and inhaled. The smoke was thick and my lungs, which rarely see smoke since I moved out of my mother’s house, greedily sucked it all in and then violently expelled it. I took a wheezing breath. Drank some water. Tried again.
Within minutes it was habit. The Hypnos, at just 3.9 inches long, fit in my tiny hand like it was crafted for it. The glass mouthpiece didn’t feel weird or get too hot like plastic, and it didn’t taste weird like e-cigs or real cigs do. I could sit on the couch watching TV and nicotine up to my heart’s content. And I did.
Until I noticed something slick on my fingers one night. I brought my fingers to my nose. Sniffed. It was oil. It had bubbled up and leaked out of the air holes drilled into the sides of the medical-grade steel, and had coated the outside of the Hypnos Pure.
I checked the site and noticed that my cool new vape pen wasn’t for e-liquids. It was for wax.
Wax is very, very different, and it’s exploded in popularity over the last year. Once an afterthought at things like Cannabis Cup, it’s now the main event. In fact, the majority of vape pens now available are built especially for wax (and its crystal clear relation, shatter).
Part of its popularity is likely due to the legalization of cannabis in Washington, Colorado, and Oregon. It’s easier to get cannabis in all its forms, and wax, when used in a pen, is very appealing. It’s not pungent in its unburned state, it doesn’t create a lot of odiferous smoke, it doesn’t require grinding or careful packing, and it can be puffed on periodically without burning or wasting the substance.
It tastes different too. Sweeter. More pleasant. A little reminiscent of popped corn. That scorched taste you’re accustomed to is gone. Instead it’s like inhaling kettle corn.
And it’s not what a lot of people think of when they think of wax. “I had to use, like, a blowtorch? It felt like freebasing,” one acquaintance told me. He was talking about dabbing, which is a very industrial approach to getting baked that requires a lot of piping to cool down the smoke that gets blazing hot as you apply a butane torch to it. It also looks super, super illegal.
Most people I mentioned it to immediately flashed to dabbing as well. One blanched when I told him I needed wax to try out the pen. “That stuff is hardcore,” he said. “Don’t make any plans for the next couple of hours afterwards.”
A third begged me not to do it alone. “You need somebody there.”
I didn’t. Using a wax pen is as easy, and as casual, as hitting an e-pen full of nicotine. You can walk down the street and the small amount of vapor you create quickly disappears. There’s no fishbowling the folks walking behind you. And you’re not floored by what you inhale. Its like taking a shot before going out for drinks for the night. With the Linx Hypnos Zero it can be a little addictive.
It’s just so damn easy. You press a button and inhale. That’s it. There’s no waiting 30 seconds to a minute for it to heat up. A good wax pen should heat the contents relatively quickly, but cool down fast enough that you don’t burn off extra substance. The Hypnos Zero gets to cooking fast on every setting I tried (it uses a ceramic plate to roast instead of the more popular coil), though I didn’t notice much difference in the four temperature choices available. All that matters was that with all four temperature options it easy to take a quick drag whenever.
Battery life is also excellent. A traditional vape can crap out on you after only a session or two. The Hypnos Zero has well over a week without needing a charge. It does, unfortunately, use a proprietary USB adapter. So if you lose your charger you’ll have to head to the Linx store for a replacement.
I plan on holding onto my charger, and pen, for a while. The Hypnos Zero has ushered me into a whole new world of lung obliteration. One where I can vape whenever and wherever without worrying about other people. $75 is not too bad a price for that level of convenience.