Any producer, legal or otherwise, can technically buy these 510 thread round oil cartridges that most manufacturers use that attach to countless different batteries, but Pax pods are different. Pods and their filling equipment are proprietary products manufactured by the company and then sold exclusively by approved oil manufacturers.
This means that even if Pax doesn’t actually make their own oil, you have a much higher quality guarantee (and Pax can make more money by controlling aspects of the distribution). Once empty pods leave the scope of the company, they belong to an official manufacturer of vape oil, who must follow the laws of the state in which they operate. Because marijuana is not federally legal in the United States, where and what you can buy depends on individual state law. Currently, this means that all products regulated for each state must remain within state limits.
Each capsule contains one of the smallest production NFC chips in the world and is labeled according to the exact lot of cannabis it contains. Pair the Bluetooth enabled Era Pro with your Android smartphone, open the PAX app and it will even show you individual state test results for that specific batch. Very impressive.
PAX executives have told me that creating such simple software takes an insane amount of work – both legal and otherwise – because each state has varying packaging and testing requirements.
My first thought, after inhaling a beautifully smooth piece of living Buddie’s Cannabis resin here in Portland, is that Steve Jobs probably would have loved it in college. All you have to do is put on a canister and inhale, but behind the simple functionality there is a lot of woz-y going on.
When you insert a cartridge, not only does the pen (using an equally small chip reader) check the specific cartridge you inserted, but it also displays the manufacturer’s recommended temperature setting for the capsule, which often changes from one strain to another.
You can adjust the PAX’s temperature settings by gently pulling on the cartridge, like pumping a bicycle pump. You’ll feel a little button-like feel and see that the lights on the outside go from one sheet (coldest) to four (hottest), with a fifth stop and a flashing light at the setting recommended by the manufacturer. Typically I found the setting to be between one and two lights.
One cool thing about NFC is that it is read and write accessible, which means that when you change the temperature setting for a specific pod, that specific pod is remembered. Swap pods and your PAX will adapt to each of the settings. Pretty neat, especially if you like different pods at different temperatures.
Unlike other vaporizers, the Era Pro does not have an on / off button; instead, it is felt when you breathe in using a series of extremely precise pressure sensors. Unlike the previous era, the new Pro has two sensors, so it shouldn’t accidentally drop a weed smell in your pants when it thinks you’re inhaling in an elevator.