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TO VAPE OR NOT TO VAPE: Cannabis’ Rising New Trend

By: Kelly Vo

“Do you smoke?”

“No, I vape.”

In California and across America, it’s a conversation that’s becoming increasingly familiar. According to the second annual State of Cannabis report by Eaze—the Uber of cannabis—vaping products are increasing in popularity more quickly than any other form of cannabis consumption.

The report revealed that between 2015 and 2016, sales of cannabis oil cartridges used for vaping increased 400 percent among customers, shooting up from six percent in December 2015 to 24 percent in December 2016. One in every five orders placed on Eaze included a vaporizer cartridge in 2016.

So, what’s behind this rise in vaping? 

We set out to find the answers by talking to industry leaders Juli Crockett, Chief Compliance Officer at W Vapes; Seibo Shen, Co-Founder and CEO of VapeXhale; and Roger Volodarsky, CEO at Puffco.

All three companies have seen an obvious rise in sales over the last year, but why? It’s all about portability, discretion and ease of use. “It’s clean, and it’s not messy,” says Crockett. “You don’t have to have gear, and there’s not as much odor. It’s a much more private way to medicate.” Volodarsky agrees. “Vaping is made to be easy and quick for users when they’re on the go or at home. Whereas flower is a more involved process.”

Vaping is also a great way for beginners—or as Shen calls them, “the cannabis curious”—to try cannabis. “Vaping is a great way to get cannabis because a capsule of THC of CBD oil looks much more like medicine compared to the plant, and it’s much easier to carry around and conceal,” explains Shen. Even better, “there is no learning curve whatsoever,” describes Volodarsky.

“When you are dealing with someone new to the industry, a high-quality vaporizer is a lot milder, gentler and less scary than smoking raw flower,” explains Crockett. “Just like you wouldn’t start drinking with a tequila shot.”

But the growth of vaping isn’t all focused on new users and ease of use—it’s also about the growing popularity of concentrates. “Concentrates are awesome,” says Volodarsky. “I find myself consuming concentrates almost exclusively, because it feels healthier and micro-dosing is now possible.”

Concentrates allow for more accurate dosing and greater effect. “A lot of people really like concentrates because you’re able to get isolates and certain profiles that wouldn’t be available if you were strictly using flower,” explains Shen. “Vaping is about dialing in the user experience.” And that user experience has expanded alongside education.

“As people are getting more educated and conscientious about what they’re consuming, concentrates are growing in popularity,” says Crockett. “With concentrates and vaping, users know they’re smoking something pesticide-free, additive-free and without undesirable side effects.” However, product safety can be a concern.

“Some pre-filled vaporizers offer no transparency about what’s inside their cartridges,” warns Volodarsky. “Make sure you know what you’re buying by looking for a lab form that explains exactly what’s in the product. It’s pointless to purchase a product that could be bad for you.”

The Future of Vaping

As for the future of vaping, users can expect the products to develop alongside cannabis science. “We are continually working to improve our processes, to really preserve the authenticity of the original flower,” says Crockett. “I see two branches of vaping coming: the purist, which will focus on specific terpenes and healing properties within each strain, and the experimentalist, which will focus on mixing strains to create certain effects.”

For VapeXhale, the future is about balancing convenience and environmental impact. “When we design new devices, we make sure the convenience doesn’t come at the expense of creating disposable products that have a negative impact on the environment.”

Either way, the future of cannabis and vaping is an exciting one.

“Vaping is made to be easy and quick for users when they’re on the go or at home, whereas flower is a more involved process.”

W Vapes is a California-based vaporizer manufacture. Launched in 2015, their products—cartridges, disposables, dabs, CBD oil and more—have appeared in Variety Magazine and been used by a host of celebrities including Snoop Dogg. – wvapes.com 

VapeXhale is a Silicon Valley tech company specializing in cannabis vaping products. Originally conceived in 2010, the company offers vaporizers, hydratubes, glass and more. They’re especially known for the Cloud EVO, a two-time winner of High Times’ Cannabis Cup Best Product. – vapexhale.com 

Puffco, launched in 2013, is a Brooklyn-based vape pen company that specializes in essential tools for essential oils. Their pens have been featured in Rolling Stone, CNN, Mashable, Vice and more. Their newest pen, the Puffco+ is an innovative addition to the realm of vaporizers. – puffco.com 

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