Cannabis Vaping - Adoption By Masses
In 1963 the “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette” was patented by Herbert Gilbert. Unfortunately for Gilbert, this early vaporizer failed to gain traction due to the culture and popularity of cigarette smoking. His was the right idea, but at the wrong time. In 2003, pharmacist and inventor Hon Lik filed a patent for the modern electronic cigarette, taking over where Gilbert’s invention left off. The timing of this vaporizer was much better, people were ready for cigarette alternatives, and a new industry was created. What no one could have predicted was the explosive adoption of vape technology by cannabis enthusiasts.
There are three primary catalysts attributed to the accelerated adoption of cannabis vaping. These include a changing legal landscape, the plethora of benefits over smoking, and improvements in technology.
Cannabis legalization across the United States has led to increased use of concentrates and extracts, with a clear and correlated increase in the use of vape pens. In 2018, 58% of extract and concentrate spending was for prefilled vaporizers, an increase of 49% over 2017. In Colorado, the number is as high as 86%, while in California, 71% of all concentrate sales are vapes.
The jump in concentrate sales is just the beginning of a revolution in cannabis culture, and the adoption of vape technology is expected to continue to grow rapidly. In fact, spending on cannabis vapes is projected to equal or even surpass spending on cannabis flower by 2022 as research catches up to cannabis and allows for the production of vapes with personalized cannabinoid profiles, from CBD to terpenes.
Benefits of vaping cannabis
The change in the legal landscape for cannabis, as well as a shift in cannabis culture, has led many to explore benefits to vaping cannabis beyond convenience (concentrate and extracts can be messy) and the fact that, with vaping, there is no significant odor or cannabis smell. Some additional benefits to vaping cannabis include control over dosing, efficiency, and safety.
Vaping gives one full control over dosage, making it the safest cannabis consumption method for both novices and experts, alike. Temperature, air flow, and cannabis quantities used can be controlled with perfect accuracy, yielding consistency many medical marijuana patients find to be critical.
Vaporizers are able to convert 46% of available THC from dry plant matter into vapor for inhalation, while a typical joint only yields 25% of the available THC from dry plant matter. This is a significant difference. THC made available is even higher when oils and concentrates are vaped. What this means is that vaping is a more efficient system for delivering cannabinoids to the body, leading to a higher level of intoxication over traditional methods on a gram-for-gram basis.
Perhaps the greatest benefit to vaping cannabis over smoking is that there’s no combustion, tar, or ash associated with vaping. It has been shown that cannabis vape contains substantially fewer toxins than cannabis smoke - one study showed combusted cannabis smoke had over 111 compounds including a wide range of toxins. It cannot be argued that vaping cannabis, over smoking cannabis, results in improvements in oral hygiene, skin health, circulation, lung capacity, and sense of smell and taste.
Furthermore, vaping cannabis can produce significant improvements in respiratory symptoms suffered by long-time herb smokers as the lungs are allowed an opportunity to heal. This was shown in a study in 2010 with a group of regular smokers suffering from a variety of respiratory ailments.
Certainly, vaporizers look “cool”. More importantly, though, is that vape technology improves on average every two years, allowing for better efficiency, easier use, wider variety of media consumable (dab only, or dry herb also ok?), and further pushing the bounds of cannabis vape adoption.
Recently this author had an opportunity to test the Puri5 AVIATOR 2. See the pictures below! Packaging was gift ready and instructions were clear. The vaporizer came charged at 92%, took about 20 minutes to charge to full, and heated to a pre-set 410 degrees quickly. There are three preset temps available. Pros: easy to clean, designed for dry herb but has a cartridge for concentrates, decent sized bud chamber - good for three hits. Definitely a keeper!