The Vape-Off Of The Century
I put two Heavy Hitters vapes to the test and the results surprised even me.
When sifting through the onslaught of media’s anti-vape tirade, it’s important to remember that not all vapes are bad, and, more importantly, not all vapes are created equal. Do some suck and barely get you high? Yes. Can some make you ill? Unfortunately, yes. Are there ways to avoid these? Many. But, do some rock your world, making you want to drop down on your knees and hail the glorious vape gods that allow you to get high AF off live resin in a public setting with no one knowing? Oh, fuck yeah.
So, when choosing a vape it’s important to know what you’re doing. And by doing I mean what you’re inhaling, where it came from, what you’re looking for, and what to expect from the vape that you choose.
To take some of the leg work out of this potentially treacherous process, we’ve chosen two vapes from the long-trusted, legal brand Heavy Hitters to compete in a Vape Off Challenge. The vape off will determine the superior vape between these competitors, both staple products of the brand: Heavy Hitters' Malibu OG all-in-one disposable vape and Pineapple Express vape cartridge. Not only will we crown one vape victorious, we’ll also create a kind of framework to follow in your own journey.
About Heavy Hitters
The LA-based brand Heavy Hitters has seemingly been around forever on the California white market, claiming on their website to be the “first cannabis company to put high-quality distillate in a cart.” While I don’t know if this is true, I can’t remember a time when they weren’t around, so I guess I’ll take their word for it.
Known for an aesthetic closely associated with early weed brands, consisting of scantily clad brass-knuckle-necklace-wearing tattooed chicks with gauged ears blowing fat vape clouds near a classic car, Heavy Hitters represents where the white market started, long before the Goop-ification of cannabis made everything a yuppie-friendly wellness brand. While I’m not particularly a huge fan of the brand myself (especially aesthetically), I definitely respect them as industry OGs who care about producing good products and upholding safety standards.
A Word on the Vape Crisis
The business of vaping occupies a sprawling and wild portion of the cannabis industry. While incredibly lucrative—thanks to high profit margins and a seemingly never-ending ascension in consumer popularity—vaping is also the most susceptible to fakes and greed. But the biggest misconception surrounding the current crisis is that all vapes are bad. In reality, what you have to watch out for are black market vapes, which can contain any number of pesticides and harmful additives. Some may even appear to be packaged as your favorite legal vape brand, making it tricky to distinguish the safe from the unsafe. This is why it’s crucial that you only buy vape products from legal dispensaries—no friends of friends, random guys outside music festivals, or shady retailers with no license numbers.
Heavy Hitters has been particularly proactive in protecting its name and customers against counterfeit products. According to the LA Times, they hired a former federal prosecutor to help combat knockoffs, as well as have a company map of authorized retailers for customers to consult. If found anywhere else, Heavy Hitters’ distribution company, Mammoth Distribution, has a section on its website where consumers can report bootlegs.
The Vape Off
The objective of the vape off is to determine the superior vape between two popular Heavy Hitters products: the Malibu OG all-in-one disposable vape and Pineapple Express vape cartridge. To do so, my associates and I ordered some Thai food, put on Elf, and sat down to compare the two based on the following categories: appearance, flavor, smokability, price, practicality, and environmental impact. These are the results.
Mango Disposable: This all-in-one pen looks okay, I guess. It’s short and nondescript, but also looks a little stunted, like the glass mouthpiece that should be there fell off. However, it is super practical, which there is something to be said for.
Pineapple Express: This is a particularly baroque cartridge, over the top in every way. Though only holding a gram of oil, it’s long, almost distorted in a fun-house mirror way, with a mouthpiece that screams I LOVE 2 VAPE! Not practical, at all, which there is also something to be said for.
Winner: Pineapple Express. It’s better to be silly and over the top than stunted and boring.
Mango Disposable: If you like the flavor of weed, you’ll hate the flavor of this disposable vape. Seemingly loaded with added flavors and fruit-derived terpenes, the taste of real flower is masked in a fruity, too-sweet, and all-around super fake goo.
Pineapple Express: Thank god for this cartridge, as it actually tastes like the beautiful weed it came from. Notes of citrus, lavender, lemon, and an all-around fruity and floral vibe make for a tropical vibe, mon.
Winner: Pineapple Express. The gorgeous and complex flavor profiles of flower should never be muddled with saccharin goo.
Mango Disposable: Smooth, mellow, and totally vape-able.
Pineapple Express: Harsh, cough-inducing, and tends to change flavor when the pen becomes too hot.
Winner: Malibu Disposable. There’s nothing worse than a nasal-eviscerating and eye-watering experience.
Mango Disposable: This 300mg disposable vape pen boasts a 86.7% THC content and has a chill vibe great for after work or any other wind-down moment. Unfortunately, it’s a boring, static high, one that reminds me of early vapes that barely got you high at all.
Pineapple Express: Coming in at 87% THC with one full gram of hybrid Pineapple Express oil, this cartridge is bright, upbeat, and great for being out and about. Creativity, joy, and energy burst forth, reminding me of a warm breeze across the Hawaiian ocean just as the sun sets and the fun is about to begin.
Winner: Pineapple Express. Television static vape highs are a thing of the past. The future is vapes getting you high just like flower.
Mango Disposable: 300mg of Malibu OG oil for $25, ready to go in a disposable pen
Pineapple Express: 1g of Pineapple Express oil for $60, cartridge only, battery not included
Winner: Malibu Disposable. While the Pineapple Express technically gives you more bang for your buck, the Mango is ready to go with no additional battery costs. Also, it’s a lot easier to break off $25 on an impulse vape than it is $60 for a cartridge alone.
Mango Disposable: Though they’re clearly dope and totally convenient, disposable vapes as a genre get a thumbs down from me. Just thinking about the amount of trash that comes with a product containing only 300mg of oil makes me feel pretty insane.
Pineapple Express: Not disposable and therefore not as bad.
Winner: Pineapple Express
The scores have been tallied and a winner has been chosen.
And the winner is...
HEAVY HITTERS' PINEAPPLE EXPRESS CARTRIDGE
There you have it, folks. The Pineapple Express vape cartridge is the clear standout between the two.
While the Malibu disposable pen has its advantages, it pales in comparison to the cartridge, failing especially in the categories of flavor, high, and environmental impact. If you’re going on a hike, or something that doesn’t cater to carrying around a significantly longer and more absurd vape pen than you are used to, then sure, go for the Malibu. But for your everyday “I want to get high but still be productive and I don’t care if I need to spend a little more for a great high with a great taste” vibe, you know which train to take.