Stratos DabTabs: Ceramic tablets you can vape, that are better for your lungs and easier on the Earth
Is this the e-liquid-less future of of vaping?
If you use cannabis or tobacco (or even if you don’t) you probably remember last year’s outbreak of illnesses associated with vaping.
It was one of the biggest health stories of 2019 (until COVID-19 showed up and stole the show). People were getting sick from vaping, they were experiencing severe pulmonary distress and even failure. Many people were hospitalized. Some of them died. And the common thread people pointed to among these cases, across every state in the US, was e-liquid oils: vitamin E or other oils that upon combustion and inhalation, coated people’s lungs and caused “Vape Related Pulmonary Injuries” (VAPI’s).
States and municipalities everywhere started banning flavored Juul pods, and flavored vape juices. Some vape businesses and smoke shops were forced to close their doors. Juul, a $38 billion company was smashed with lawsuits and deflated by $14 billion in just a single year. Doctors and concerned parents everywhere starting advocating against these devices, against the act of vaping anything — cannabis or nicotine.
It seemed like the golden days of vapor inhalants were coming to an end. Or at the very least, they were on the brink of change.
As one might expect, customers responded in kind. Vapers everywhere started questioning whether it was actually better for them, than smoking flower or cigarettes. Personally, I know several habitual vapers who drastically reduced their vaping habits or even kicked them entirely, because of the 2019 VAPI scare.
Now, however, thanks to Stratos and a slick little product they’ve created, called the DabTab, vapers can once again rest easy. This forward-thinking product eliminates oil combustion, delivering your THC kick in a small hash infused ceramic tablets. A tabletthat, unlike conventional cartridges, is even bio-friendly.
Image courtesy of Lucy Beaugard.
“Most cartridges are actually combusting oil, and you're burning a lot of lipids and things like that. Which is not always that easy on your lungs,” explains Branden Brown, a Stratos sales account executive, and the guy who explained to me how to use their sweet new DabTab setup.
They’ve removed that oil combustion element, and replaced it with an indirect form of heat.
“With this, the heating element heats up the DabTab, and the DabTab heats up oil within it. So you're never touching flame or heating elements directly to an oil.”
The DabTabs are small pebble sized, octagonal-shaped ceramic tablets. Those tablets have been saturated with hash oil, so when you heat one of them up in a vape pen, its oils boil and vaporize, avoiding any oil combustion (which is what many believe to be the cause of most VAPI’s).
Image courtesy of Lucy Beaugard.Image courtesy of Lucy Beaugard.
Stratos has two methods available for smoking these DabTabs: a Go All in One pen and a Shatterizer rig. But the process is similar for both: place a fresh DabTab in the cradle in the atomizer. Turn the pen on and pre-heat the DabTab before using it (this is extremely important because it’s what heats up the ceramic tablet, which then releases the vapor).
“If ever we get any kind of negative feedback, it's generally because someone just tried to hit [the DabTab] like it was a traditional cartridge,” Brown explains. “It just needs to get up to 400 degrees.”
Once it’s preheated you’ll see vapor coming out of the atomizer chamber and you’re ready to get high. Hold the button and inhale. But go easy — it’s not hard to take a much bigger hit than you had intended.
Unfortunately, because this is brand new tech, there are some minor drawbacks. Namely, you only get about three to eight hits per DabTab, and when they come out of the atomizer they are HOT. Luckily Stratos includes several DabTabs with every package and a pair of metal tweezers to handle your hot tablets.
Image courtesy of Lucy Beaugard.
You won’t get a massive cloud of vapor when you rip these things, either. If that’s your thing, this probably isn’t the product for you — however, whenever I am smoking a vape pen it’s because I want to be incognito. I’m not trying to send up smoke signals to the people around me, to tip them off to my dubious dealings. I’m trying to get my hit, and get it stealthily. These DabTabs are fantastic in that regard, because you still get a powerful hit off of them, without all the high-profile clouds of vapor.
“And when you’re done with [the DabTabs], when they're cached, they're effectively just a pebble,” Brown explains. “It's environmentally inert. You can throw it on the ground. You can throw it in the garbage. A lot of people will throw them in their gardens because they're going to foster micro bacterial growth.”
So, not only are these DabTabs better for the health for your lungs, safer to vape and more discreet, but they are also better for the environment. Conventional cartridges are extremely hard to recycle or process in any environmentally friendly way because they contain glass, metal and cannabis residue.
DabTabs by comparison, are much easier on the Earth.
This new form of vaporizer could be a game changer. If Stratos can perfect this delivery method, it’s not hard to imagine it replacing conventional cartridges outright. Sure, there are still some minor kinks to work out, but the idea is extremely promising. And it speaks to the spirit of Stratos: they want to create the healthiest, most environmentally friendly and cannabis forward products they can.
The DabTab is a perfect example of that. You can get yours in Denver at Starbuds, Ascend Cannabis II or at Alternative Medicine Capitol Hill.