Dosing capsules

Last issue, I wrote one of my more scathing appraisals of a gadget when I panned the eye-wateringly expensive Storz & Bickel’s nearly $300 Crafty+, an admittedly very nice vaporizer with some significant flaws when it comes to the system’s lackluster battery life and sounds-good-in-theory reliance on a smartphone, but I wanted to take another moment to focus on a particularly novel piece of the vaporizer (and perhaps squeeze a bit more out of the purchase).

The Crafty+ and the much-better Mighty vaporizer (which has longer battery life and on-board buttons to fine tune the temperature) have this dosing capsule system where you can load up a small bowl’s worth of flower into reusable metal cannisters that look a little bit like miniaturized saltshakers. While the Crafty+ and Mighty can be used like most other vaporizers by just throwing a scoop of flower (or concentrates with an included metal gauze plug) into the oven, that’s a great way to make a mess, waste flower and clog the system up (as I’ve learned with my forays into the Pax Ploom and other flower-based vaporizers).

The Storz & Bickel’s dosing capsule system is well thought-out, making it easier to keep the vaporizer clean and clear. A variety of additional gadgets make the whole process of filling and storing the capsules for later use a real breeze once you get the hang of things. I didn’t love the dosing capsule system at first because of all the extra steps, which probably explains my preference for cheap-o glass tasters. Things clicked, though, after going through the whole process of loading, vaporizing and unloading a round of dosing capsules a couple times.

It might sound funny, but I’ve really appreciated the bit of mindfulness that the whole process requires. Slowing down to appreciate the process of grinding, loading and slotting the capsules into the slick eight-capsule magazine is a nice process that reminds me of making some fancy coffee on a weekend morning. With a bit of practice, the whole process of popping the tops off, dumping the vaporized flower into a jar, grinding new flower and loading it up in the handy loading aid gets faster and easier.

Perhaps surprisingly the dosing capsule system and its accessories don’t have a price tag to match the vaporizers. A bag of 40 dosing capsules will cost about $14 and the basic kit, which also comes with plenty of dosing capsules as well as a handy filling device, is about $20. If you want to get into the spendy side of things, though, there is a filling set that can take care of 40 dosing capsules all at once for a hefty $50 (though head over to Etsy and you’ll find a whole bunch of 3D-printed trays for much cheaper).

The novelty and ingenuity of the dosing capsule isn’t quite enough to redeem the Crafty+, but I think it’s a system that is certainly worth considering in more devices. It’s also not entirely unique to the Storz & Bickel system, with a handful of other companies offering such systems for their vaporizers. The biggest drawback, though, to keep in mind is that the metal cartridges will come out of the device far too hot to touch (I’ll usually dump them onto a rolling tray or let it cool off in the system).

While I gave the Crafty+ a grade of C- last month, the dosing capsules earned a solid A.  

Matt Buxton is a freelance writer in Anchorage. Comments about this story? Email editor@alaskacannabist.com.

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