Vaping is not what it used to be. In 2019 vaping has a much cooler aesthetic than the Volcano's used a decade ago in college dorm rooms. Portable vape devices are also moving away from the e-cigarette designs and features borrowed long ago.
Although still waiting on legalization in Canada, vape pens and other portal vaporizing devices are taking off across North America. In Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and California the vape market is booming. Today in California, 30 percent of all products sold are in the vape category. In other states, the market share is also up hovering around 14 percent. Younger users are moving away from combustion because of health concerns, and new users are drawn to the simplicity of the devices for dosing.
Cannabis vape products initially drew a lot of their design inspiration and features from the e-cigarette market. Vape pens tended to look a lot like e-cig pens. As markets open up, there has been a shift towards cannabis specific changes. Vape products are going off into new and fascinating directions, no longer restricted by prohibition-regulation or the norms of the cigarette market.
In the near future, the cannabis vaporizer market is expected to take over as one of the most popular methods of consumption. Vaping is generally thought to be more accurate, healthier, and consistent than smoking the fresh flower. These properties make it more approachable to consumers new to cannabis. Here are a few trends to expect in the rapidly evolving vape market.
Consistent Dose Control
Dosing cannabis is tricky, and a concern as more people start using it for the first time. Only a few years ago, the name of the game was to develop potent products which delivered massive hits – but this is suddenly changing. With new-to-cannabis consumers coming on board, including seniors, people are looking for devices that provide accurate, consistent, and lower doses. Today, dose control is everything.
Many vape pens and portable devices are incorporating dose control into their products. From Dosist’s disposable pen which delivers 2.25 mg per inhale, to mobile-app connected devices like Ryah which let users set the specific dose before use. The future of vaping is likely going to move towards easy, accurate, and consistent control over the experience.
Safety Features and Tamper Proof Designs
In every single market, lawmakers are focused on keeping the products out of the hands of children. Preventing accidental ingestion is one of the main reasons for a total redesign of the traditional vape device. From the packaging to the cartridge manufacturers are working with regulators to comply with child-proof packaging regulations.
Green Tank Technologies is one of the many North American companies developing child-resistant packaging for their device. After a period of vigorous testing, they’ve announced the first vape product that meets the North American safety standards for child-resistance.
Once locked, the “children in the control group were unable to access the oil in any capacity, fulfilling the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s requirements for child-resistant effectiveness with a zero percent failure rate.” Other companies are in hot pursuit, and more tamper proof devices are expected to hit the market soon.
A (Re)Focus on Terpenes
Across the entire cannabis industry, everyone is talking about terpenes. Long ago the only compound anyone cared about was THC, then came CBD and other secondary compounds – but today its terpenes.
Most extraction processes for concentrates destroy the sensitive terpene profile of the original product. However, consumers are demanding more delicious vaping experiences, which means concentrate producers are developing new ways to protect or reintroduce the terpenes into the final product.
Flow Sci is one Vancouver based brand focused putting terpenes back into the user experience. Whether concentrate producers are looking for a generic Blue Dream scent or the exact replica of a strain of their creation – Flow Sci can create it, for reintroduction into the vape cartridge.
Inspired Device Design
Originally, portable vape devices looked very similar to e-cigs. Considering the similarities between a cigarette and a joint, it's only natural there would be similarities in vape pens and e-cigs. However, this borrowed design is rapidly shifting because the needs and desires of the cannabis consumer are much different from an e-cigarette user.
First, portable vaporizers are becoming more environmentally friendly, and completely recyclable. Dosist is again a great example of a product dedicated to a better environmental impact than its predecessors. Secondly, another shift is a move away from the conventional pen design. Manufacturers are developing smaller, aesthetically pleasing devices instead of cigarette-looking devices.
One example is the newest rendition of the PAX vaporizers, which are flat long handheld devices which fit nicely in the palm. There is a myriad of other cases, like the tiny DaVinci micro pocket vaporizer and the peculiar artistic designs coming out of Magic Flight.
With Canada set to introduce regulations on vaporizers and concentrates this summer, there are bound to be some exciting developments in the cannabis industry as a whole. With new consumers demanding non-combustible methods of consumption, millennials demanding well-designed, aesthetically pleasing devices, and the legislation mandating safety features – there is going to be a remarkable evolution in North American vape technology in the next few years.