Saturday, February 9, 2019

Vape Pen Update - 2019 - Stoner Living Revisits the Category 5 Years into Legalization

Pen Vape with Cartridge - widely available Vaporizer for about $15
In 2014, Stoner Living enthusiastically wrote about Vape Pens in an article that still draws readers almost five years later. So we're back with an update an update because much has changed.

Vape pens with cartridges have blossomed into a huge and exponentially growing category in the legal cannabis market. Stoner Living believes that cartridges will go on to dominate the cannabis market in the way that rolled, filter tipped cigarettes dominated the tobacco cigarette market during the 'golden days' of tobacco. Further refinements and enhancements in the systems for vaporizing cannabis are the single biggest commercial opportunity in the nascent legal cannabis industry.
phat panda brand vape pen - about $15 in Seattle, WA
Vape pen set up w/3 temp settings & USB charger, ~ $15

Simple, re-chargeable vape pen set-ups are widely available for about $15 as of early 2019. Most come with a USB charger and have three temperature settings. Some have a pre-heat feature which can be turned on or off. Cartridges filled with cannabis extracts are sold separately, starting at about $20 and varying widely in price, potency size and flavor.

And flavor - there's a lot going on in the world of flavors. On a positive note, the naturally occurring aroma active compounds -terpenes- coming out and having their moment to shine. Some renegade flavorants are joining the scene straight from the flavor chemist's bag-o-tricks, like the wacky Peppermint Stick pictured below. And some product occupy muddled middle ground. Look for Stoner Living's big flavor article, coming soon.

dead pen vapes with hash oil remaining and no way to recharge
Single Use Vapes - at junkyard w/gas in the tank
Disposable vape pens are available at some outlets but are suffering from a bad reputation they cultivated out of the gate. Many retail outlets in Washington State choose not to carry single use pens. Disposable/one-time vape pens are of limited value in the experience of Stoner Living. Because re-chargable vape pen set ups are so cheap, and cartridges are available from $20-30, most customers opt for the cartridge and separate vape unit. Single-use vape units generally start at around $40 and contain .5g or less (some have .420g, some .34g). 

The single use pens often run out of electric charge before they run out of cannabis oil, leaving the disappointed user with visual evidence of tantalizing hash oil in the cartridge, and an annoying pen vape that just flashes when you try to take a puff. Attempting to recharge a non-rechargeable vaporizer unit could lead to it exploding in your face during subsequent use. No possibility of recharging these safely make the only option to somehow scavenge the oil from the dead vape pen.
REL vape single use 420mg cannabis oil vape from Oregon
Rel Vape - Adorable dispos-a-vape from Oregon, $42 for 420mg, purchased 2017

Graduation speeches sometimes include the cliché about 'making it to the junkyard with no gas left in your tank'. This is why disposable vapes are a bit soul crushing in addition to being environmentally abhorrent. Single use vapes without enough 'battery juice' to go through the 'cannabis juice' are a technological turd and a total bummer. Product developers would be wise not to have a visible tank for the cannabis extract until they are able to improve battery life. But maybe it is good these single-use products suck, so we can pre-emptively minimize the damage from the waste stream that could result from widespread adoption.
Regulator 1g Indica cartridge for pen vape
Regulator 1g Cartridge, available in WA

Cartridges are available in varying sizes, but are generally 500mg and 1000mg(1 g). Prices vary widely, but overall, competition and product availability has dropped the price of extracts including cartridges, particularly for value shoppers. The past 5 years allowed tremendous product development in terms of process optimization in the world of cannabis extracts, particularly with the introduction of a few decent sized CO2 extractors in the Washington State scene. A wide variety of different types of extracts sold in disposable cartridges have flooded the marketplace, and are available starting at $25/g of premium cannabis distillate with cannabinoid concentrations north of 80%.

Stoners who enjoy nicotine may own a JUUL already, and lucky for them, there are nifty little pods that work great with the JUUL system. Keep your eyes peeled for our Stoner Living review of the new (cannabis) pods from Optimum Cloud Pods, with .5g for $20 and 1g for just $35 at Dockside cannabis (pricing via opt-in  text message on January 31st, 2019, current prices and availability will vary).

Thank you for reading Stoner Living and follow us so you don't miss our upcoming articles on weed pods for JUUL and our big flavor article.

(C)2019 Stoner Living Blog.

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