It is only 15 years since the first vaporizer appeared on the market. But in that time, vaping has evolved into an $18 billion industry and one that is predicted to grow tenfold by 2030. Vaping is predominantly associated with nicotine as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, but there is growing enthusiasm for vaping cannabis. This trend is expected to continue, especially as legalization continues to spread across both the USA and Europe.
Vape manufacturers are reacting accordingly, and there is a wider choice of vape pens on the market than ever before, many of which are aimed specifically or predominantly at cannabis consumers.
Vaping – basic principles
Before we get into the details of the different types of vaporizers on the market today, it’s worth taking a step back to understand the basic principles of vaping. A vape pen contains an element or coil that heats your cannabis and converts it into a vapor that you inhale. This differs from smoking cannabis where you instead use combustion – that is, you set fire to it and inhale the smoke.
Vaporization involves significantly lower temperatures than combustion, and research strongly indicates that this allows for more cannabinoids to be released. The result? A smoother flavor and potentially enhanced benefits for medical marijuana users.
It is also strongly indicated that, as with cigarettes, vaping cannabis is better for your health. There are fewer toxins and carcinogens in a cannabis joint that there are in a regular cigarette, but set fire to any plant material and compounds such as benzene, toluene and naphthalene will be released – not things you want to be inhaling if you can avoid it.
Clearly, then, there are compelling reasons you might want to consider vaping as a way of consuming cannabis, and we can see why the market is growing at a CAGR of around 30 percent. These are exciting times in the world of vaping and there is a wider choice of vape pens on the market than ever before.
CBD vape pens
CBD’s popularity has gone through the roof over recent years as more people have got wise to its therapeutic benefits. Vaping CBD is convenient, discreet and offers better bioavailability than other methods such as capsules or tinctures. A CBD vape pen typically consists of a tank for your CBD vape juice attached to a rechargeable thread battery. Small, sleek and unobtrusive, it is easy to slip into your pocket or handbag.
THC oil pens
Sometimes known as a weed pen, this is a simple but technologically innovative device that is made up of a battery that powers a heating coil to heat cannabis oil stored in a cartridge. CCELL have led the way in advancing these beyond the traditional “vape style pens” and creating devices that are more akin to fashion accessories.
As well as looking good, they are very user friendly, so are popular with those who are new to vaping. The DART was CCELL’s first system, and its unusual appearance – it is not much larger than a USB stick and similarly shaped – took the world by storm. Other models including BELLO, PALM and M3 have followed. Each has its own distinctive look.
However, there is more to these pod vapes than their appearance. The CCELLs use custom ceramic heating elements that give an optimal flavor, and high quality electrical components. They also have the benefit of being highly discreet – as well as being small, they produce minimal odor, so it is possible to use them in public without drawing attention to yourself.
Portable dry herb vape pods
Dry herb vaping allows you to enjoy your weed the way that nature intended but by vaporization instead of combustion. The major advantage here is that there are none of the solvents or mystery ingredients that you might worry about when using vape juice or concentrates – it’s just weed and nothing else.
This type of vaporizer is like a tiny oven that heats up your weed to just the right temperature by either convection or conduction. Dry herbs vaporize at a lower temperature than concentrates, delivering what many people feel is a cleaner and more natural flavor.
Dry herb vape pods have advanced in leaps and bounds over the past couple of years. Innovative products like the Daypipe are as sleek and stylish as the latest oil pods, and they offer amazing convenience. That particular model, for example, allows you to chamber eight separate 0.2g bowls of weed that you can then enjoy throughout the day or night as you wish – no hassle and no mess.
A dry herb pod does need to be kept clean, but this is not a major undertaking with the latest models and only takes a couple of minutes of your time.
These monsters could not be more different to the small and discreet pods we have considered so far. They use convection to heat either concentrates or dry herbs, depending on the type. Desktop vapes have been around for years, but the latest models such as the Volcano include up-to-the-minute tech such as an app by which to operate them from your smartphone.
They nevertheless look somewhat archaic beside the latest pods, but still, desktop vapes have their place. There’s no substitute if you wish to vape socially with others, and the fact that they are mains operated means they are mighty powerful and can keep going for as long as you want.
Which is right for you?
It should be clear by now that there is no simple answer to this question. It essentially depends on your personal needs, your budget and your lifestyle. Most medicinal and recreational users will opt for the pod-style vapes as they are so convenient and there are dozens of styles to look through.
However, if consuming cannabis is a highlight of your social interactions, then it’s definitely worth trying out a desktop vape for the extra enjoyment that a shared experience can bring.