The Strawberry Hill Of Vape Pens
Just like a warm glass of crap wine, the flavor of this vape would end up haunting me with every recollection.
The first time I ever caught a buzz was from a lap-warm bottle of Strawberry Hill, a sickly sweet, pink wine popular with miscreant high school femmes. I shared it with a group of giggling friends on a beach, and while the memory is pleasant, that crappy wine tainted my taste buds for life. Now that I’m older and have a well-developed appreciation for actual wine, I can say with complete confidence that Strawberry Hill is wack as hell. I don't have to reminisce too long or hard to recall the synthetic sweetness of that bottle of tepid wine, especially since Select Oil’s watermelon-flavored disposable vape pen recently thrust me swiftly back into that cloyingly sweet mouth memory, albeit with a fraction of the payoff.
Select Oil's product line is overwhelmingly simplified. From the disposable Social line of fruit-flavored pens (no indication whether these are indica or sativa, but each offers 25-30% THC) to the more specific Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid CO2 cartridges with higher THC percentages, there’s little that distinguishes these vapes from the larger vape world. The similarly limited selection of extracts are all seemingly curated to remove the distinctions of cultivated cannabis strains in favor of a small selection of homogenized products.
“I was left with a mouthfeel not unlike licking a spoon dipped in a packet of powdered red Kool-Aid.”
I auditioned Select Oil’s signature Tiffany-blue Social vape pen with a clear head and an open mind. As a big fan of concentrates, I had high hopes. However, this candy-flavored vape seems to be created for folks who, while interested in the buzz, have absolutely no experience with or interest in smelling or tasting cannabis. (Not unlike my Strawberry Hill gang and our relationship to wine versus our relationship to getting fucked up.) The Social pen’s watermelon flavor was sadly not identifiably watermelon-y and instead left me with a mouthfeel not unlike licking a spoon dipped in a packet of powdered red Kool-Aid. The aftertaste was ephemeral at first blush, but just like a warm glass of crap wine, the flavor would end up haunting me with every recollection.
This pen was clearly designed for someone with far less marijuana maturity than I. I was teased by a few fleeting moments of what I hoped were joyful intoxication, but this was more likely attributed to a headrush from vacating my seat on the couch too enthusiastically. Despite several rounds of deep inhalation, I was struggling to experience any level of intoxication. Your results may vary, particularly if you have literally no experience with cannabis. My most significant takeaway from my time with this product is that it’s made for people who are incredibly new to—and perhaps a bit overwhelmed by—the prospect of selecting a strain of weed. And Social’s own description of this product supports my conclusion: “A mild high for people visiting areas with recreational marijuana and anybody else who just needs a mellow dose of THC.” Bleh.
So while I cannot in good conscience suggest this product to regular smokers, it would probably be great for the following folks:
—Boomer grandparents who want to reconnect with weed culture but don’t want to be rushed to an emergency room for confusing being violently high with having a heart attack
—Newly minted adults seeking an introduction to the high life via the mildest variation of candy-flavored marijuana
—Anyone looking to assuage social anxiety symptoms without dealing with a soupy head high or an unctuous smoke cloud
—Low-tolerance parents looking to sneak a toke without introducing their progeny to the pungent odor of an old-school bong hit
To anyone who prefers the type of nuanced experience that leaves you smelling like a grow room and asking questions like, “Is it the S or the C that’s silent in scent?”—this is not the product for you.
But, if you’ve ever heard your mother gleefully reminisce about smoking grass in the '60s or if you’ve ever had to drive your dad to the ER because he couldn't handle a weed cookie, this may just be the perfect product for them. For me though, Select's vapes are to cannabis what Strawberry Hill is to wine: a pale imitation of something far more satisfying.