As cannabis legalization continues to take root in North America and throughout the world, concentrates are becoming more accessible to the masses. Once typically reserved for cannabis veterans who were seeking a more potent high, dabbing concentrates from a contemporary dab rig could come off as too hard-core for canna-curious newcomers.
To some, the traditional dabbing process may seem slightly daunting and time-consuming, but the emergence of electronic dab rigs, also known as e-rigs, have made concentrate consumption easier and less intimidating. One of the most popular devices to surface on the e-rig market is the Focus V Carta, released on Feb. 15, 2019.
Constantly compared to the Puffco Peak, which is another highly coveted electronic vaporizer, the Focus V Carta has positioned itself as a smaller and less expensive option for newcomers and experienced consumers alike who want an easier, more approachable way to dab concentrates.
What is the Focus V Carta?
The Focus V Carta is an e-rig that aims to reinvent the way that concentrates are consumed. It's compact, portable, sleek, and allows consumers to enjoy temperature-controlled and water filtered concentrate vapors.
Sporting a white and dark grey body, the Focus V Carta offers a slew of tech-minded features, such as Bluetooth functionality and haptic feedback, which helps guide the user as they turn on the device or cycle through the temperature settings. The Focus V Carta is programmed with four preset temperatures:
- 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius)
- 630 degrees Fahrenheit (332 degrees Celsius)
- 770 degrees Fahrenheit (410 degrees Celsius)
- 842 degrees Fahrenheit (450 degrees Celsius)
Like the Puffco Peak, the Focus V Carta utilizes a single button to power the device and also cycle between different temperature settings settings. While the Carta is technically designed to be a hybrid vaporizer, compatible with both concentrate and flower, it seems to be better suited for dabbing. The atomizer attachment for flower must be purchased separately and costs $30.
The design of the Focus V Carta is quite simple and can be broken into three main parts. There's the base, which holds the rechargeable 18350 batteries and features the power button and four LED lights. The glass attachment holds the water filtration system, and can easily be attached or removed from the base. Lastly, there's the atomizer and heating chamber, which is where the dab is placed and heated up.
With the Focus V Carta, users can seamlessly switch between a titanium or quartz banger, depending on their personal preference. The quartz insert is designed for flavor while the titanium chamber is better at keeping the set temperature. There's also a carb cap that can be tethered around the atomizer, making it easy to retain heat in the chamber while the dab is vaporized. Equipped with a USB-C cable, the Carta can be fully charged in just under an hour and will last around 30 hits before it needs to be recharged.
Aside from the device itself, the following accessories and parts come packaged inside of the compact travel case:
- Borosilicate carb cap and tether
- Titanium and quartz buckets
- Wax chamber
- USB charging cable
- Two-18350 Batteries
- Silicone dab container
- Dab tool
- Alcohol wipes
How Do You Use the Focus V Carta?
Using the Focus V Carta is pretty simple, so simple that the manufacturer was able to squeeze the entire instructional guide onto a small foldable pamphlet that comes in the travel case. Here's the gist of that step-by-step guide:
- Install the two 18350 batteries into the battery case located at the bottom of the Focus V Carta.
- Before you can use the Focus V Carta, the first step of the process is to charge the device using the USB-C charging cable. The Carta will take roughly two hours to fully charge. Once the device is ready for use, the LED lights will stop flashing.
- Fill the glass attachment with water until the water just about reaches the very top of the percolator. Be careful not to overfill the device with water.
- The next step is to load the bucket inside of the atomizer with your concentrate of choice. Take the dab tool that comes with the device and scoop out a dab. Gently placing it at the bottom of the chamber so that it's properly vaporized. Alternatively, if you want to take the traditional dab rig approach, you can heat up the device first and then insert the dab while taking a draw from the mouthpiece.
- Turn on the device by clicking it five times and cycle through the preset temperature settings with each subsequent click.
- Once you select the temperature, sit back for about eight to 10 seconds while the atomizer heats up. The lights will flash blue while the Focus V Carta is heating up, and turn green and start vibrating when the temperature is reached, indicating that it's time to take your dab.
- While inhaling through the mouthpiece, place the attachable carb cap over the chamber to retain heat and maximize the dab.
Keeping Your Focus V Carta Clean
One important detail not included on the starting guide is how to properly clean everything after use. The travel pack comes with a handful of alcohol wipes, but there's not much information on how to properly clean and maintain the device.
After each dab, the chamber of the Focus V Carta should be given a quick clean after every dab. This can be done using a cotton swab lightly soaked in isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, which should help clear out any leftover concentrate from the most recent session.
For a deep clean, remove the atomizer and soak the rest of the parts in isopropyl alcohol. Instead of letting it air-dry, it's recommended that users utilize a fan. To clean the glass attachment, you can use the same method as you would to clean a regular glass piece. Remove the glass attachment from the base and submerge it inside of a resealable bag with isopropyl alcohol and coarse sea salt, letting it sit until the leftover residue comes off.
What's the Appeal?
While old-school dab enthusiasts might prefer the customary method involving a blow torch and dab rig, the Focus V Carta offers a more accessible and less intimidating way for others to enjoy these highly potent products. Unlike the timely traditional dab process, which requires users to heat up the banger and wait for it to cool to the desired temperature, the Focus V Carta reaches its preset temperature settings in just 5 to 8 seconds, allowing users to dab efficiently in a fraction of time.
Compared to the Puffco Peak, the Focus V Carta is slightly more compact, it heats up faster, and also allows users to swap out batteries when the device loses its charge, making it slightly more enticing to those who want to travel with their e-rig without having to worry about keeping it charged.
It should be noted that there are some concerns regarding how the Focus V Carta is designed. Several members of the FuckCombustion forum complained about the atomizers burning out after only a couple of uses and requiring replacement. "Last night while browsing and still seeing all of the constant warranty posts by people here and other places, I figured I had better check it and good thing I did, it is borked and I will need ANOTHER warranty [atomizer]," wrote one member.
"For those of you burning through atomizers much faster then most of our customers," an account associated with the Focus V responded in the forum. "I can assure you this is not some widespread issue (although some would love to believe that) we have over 10k units on the market now and less then a 5% warranty rate on all atomizers on the market. [A]lthough I would like to get that down to 1% or less with the new everlast."
Priced at $250, the Carta is also significantly less expensive than the $380 Puffco Peak, so more frugally minded stoners may find the discounted cost to be the main appeal. There are some advantages that may make the Puffco Peak a more preferable option, but most of them are strictly aesthetic. While Puffco arguably has a sleeker design and more elegant feel, the $130 difference in price may not be worth the slightly more luxurious appearance.
Feature image: Designed to be affordable and portable, the Focus V Carta electronic rig starts at $250 and allows users to set precise temperature controls for dabs. (Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)