By Kelly Vo
In California and across America, it’s a conversation that’s becoming increasingly familiar. According to the second annual State of Cannabis report by Ease ‘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 amoung customers, shooting up from six percent in December 2015 to 24 percent in December 2016. One in every five orders placed on Ease included a vaporizer cartridge in 2016.
We set out to find the answers by talking to industry leader Juli Crockett, Chief Compliance Officer at W Vapes. Seibo Shen, Co-founder and CEO of VapeXhale and Roger Volodarsky, CEO of Puffco.
All three comanies 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,” said 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 was for beginner, or as Shen calls them “the cannabis curious”, to try cannaabis. “Vaping is a great way to get cannabis because a capsule of THC or 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 awesone,” says Volodorsky. “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 dailing 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 there’re smoking something pesticide-free, additive-free and without undesirable side effects,” However, product safety can be a concern.
“Some pre-filed 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.”
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 puristy, which will focus on specific terpenes and healing properties with each strain, and the experimentals 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 has a negative impact on the environment.”