Vaping cannabis extracts is a relatively new trend in cannabis consumption, but it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
Back in 2015, vape cartridges were barely a factor in the overall cannabis market, making up just six percent of sales, according to medical marijuana delivery service Eaze. But in 2016, vape cartridge sales skyrocketed by 400 percent, making up 24 percent of all sales. Since then, the increases haven’t shown any signs of slowing down. According to BDS Analytics, vape cartridges are now the second most popular cannabis product, right behind cannabis flower.
However, as the popularity of vaping has grown, the technology hasn’t always kept pace. Vape customers have shuffled through various devices and cartridge brands, trying to find ones without problems or glitches. If you vape, you have probably encountered one of these problems:
- A cartridge breaks before you’ve finished the extract contained within the device.
- A battery stops working quickly after you’ve purchased it.
- A cartridge gives off a weird taste that makes you wonder whether its materials are off-gassing dangerous chemicals.
- Or you simply couldn’t get a big enough hit to make it worthwhile.
From the industry side of things, it hasn’t been any easier. Extract brands have been scrambling to find a cartridge option that is affordable but still reliable and safe for customers. Issues have arisen, like how to quickly fill cartridges, how to work with highly viscous extracts, or how to preserve the taste of terpenes while still getting large, potent hits. In spite of these challenges, many popular vaping brands have emerged, with innovative minds now jumping into the fray to fill the technological gaps in our current vaping market.
So, what is new in vaping technology as we enter 2019? What can we expect to see, and how can these new innovations help those in the cannabis industry improve their own vaping-related products?
Read on to learn about three of the most interesting and helpful vaping innovations coming your way in 2019.
Get Cannabinoid-Specific Dosing with Gofire
When it comes to vaping, it’s never been easy to get a good idea of the dose you’re taking. But all of that is changing with Gofire’s new vaping device and app. This groundbreaking innovation allows consumers to not only choose the dose they want, but also track their dosage over time. The app tells you how much extract you’ve vaped, as well as the dose of specific cannabinoids and terpenes you’ve consumed.
Gofire’s technology relies on a proprietary cartridge that contains two crucial elements. First, it contains a chip that relays the extract lab data on cannabinoid and terpene composition. When used, the app that controls the device can take that data and report back to the user exactly how much they consumed of the various ingredients.
The cartridge is also unique in that it works more like a syringe, depositing exact doses of 2.5mg of oil into an oven that lives in the vaping device, allowing for a highly controlled vaping experience.
“Something you’ll see a lot is people talking about dose control as a measured inhale, or a timed inhale, but we’re trying to have as foolproof a system as possible,” explains Max Schnurrenberger, Gofire’s vice president of operations. “This is very simple technology. … It is extruding oil physically into the oven, so you know that every time you do that, you’re getting exactly 2.5mg. … As far as I know, we’re the only [vaping brand] doing that.”
The Gofire vaping device and cartridges aren’t available yet, but when they are, consumers will only be able to use the cannabinoid-specific precision-dosing feature with the proprietary cartridges. To that end, Gofire is teaming up with extract brands to create the branded carts.
“We want to expand our footprint. We’re focusing on Colorado for cartridges, and then California and various other states, but we need strong partners there to hit the ground moving with marketing and branding,” explains Schnurrenberger. “Our plan is to really focus one at time and do the launch right.”
While Gofire already has extract partners in Colorado where it plans to officially launch in 2019, brands in other locations might want to quickly jump on a collaboration with this up-and-coming device. For the consumers who want this precision dosing feature, they will have to stick with the extract brands who have partnered with Gofire. Vaping device brands like Pax have already seen success using brand-specific pods, thus bringing its extract partners along for the ride. Gofire’s unique interface has the potential to compete in this high-end vaping niche, leading its extract partners into heightened visibility.
Vape Viscous Extracts With Jupiter’s Ceramic Cartridges
Not all vape cartridges are created equal, and nothing has proven this more than when testing out one of Jupiter’s ceramic CCell cartridges. Perhaps one of the most exciting innovations of the year, this vape cartridge works particularly well for highly viscous extracts like shatter or rosin.
“Our focus from the get-go was performance. The primary thing we wanted to do is make something that produced a lot of vapor without burning it,” explains Jupiter’s vice president of engineering Dave Schuler, who adds that “anybody should be able to buy one of these things, and use it right out of the box.”
And this is just what Jupiter has accomplished — an easy-to-use tank that works with any kind of extract, producing big, flavorful hits. I have to say, I was suspicious as to whether the company could pull this off with highly viscous extracts like rosin.
A few years ago, I worked with a rosin company trying to put its extracts in tanks, and it was essentially impossible. We sampled dozens of tanks that were almost there, but none provided the kind of performance we needed to go to market. Some left a burnt taste in the vapor, some got clogged, but none could ably do the job.
But Jupiter seems to have mastered this problem. I put uncut rosin straight into the cartridge and almost as soon as I hit the button, big, flavorful clouds of vapor started to pour out.
So, how do they do it? It all starts with the heating source. Unlike an ordinary cartridge with a wick and coil that causes uneven heating, Jupiter’s heating coil is embedded in a ceramic core to provide even heating. This keeps your extract from overheating and giving off that burnt taste. In addition, increased porosity in the ceramic core allows large hits of vapor to be pulled through without clogging the device. A rapid startup also allows for these large hits right away, so you don’t have to “warm it up” as you might with other vape cartridges.
For brands selling pre-filled carts, Jupiter’s ceramic CCell cartridges offer a reliable and easy-to-use option that will work for all your concentrates, regardless of viscosity. Move over, CO2 — even rosin can be tanked now!
Fill And Cap Cartridges At Scale With Convectium
If you’re selling pre-filled vape cartridges, you have likely experienced the challenge that topping them up can pose. Indeed, cartridge filling can be messy, tricky and time-consuming. Without the right equipment and procedures in place, it can lead to wasted product, uneven cartridges, or even burnt or damaged extract. But Convectium is all about creating solutions to fill your cartridges quickly, easily and consistently at scale.
“Our goal is to solve problems for you,” explains Convectium founder and chairman Danny Davis. “If you’re a grower or a cultivator, if you’re an oil-filler service company, we can help accommodate that. Our role is to make your guys’ lives easier from the side of filling and capping.” And that is exactly what Convectium does.
Convectium’s 710Shark Oil Filling Machine has been around for a little while, but the latest version, 8.0V, has some new innovations that are improving the efficiency and ease of the filling process. 8.0V boasts a cartridge-filling rate of up to 300 cartridges in less than 30 seconds.
How does it accomplish this feat?
First, a full acrylic enclosure protects the integrity of the oil, adding a required safety measure for lab-quality systems and helping to maintain heat inside the system.
A new injector head-and-needle plate has also been added to allow for quicker switching out of needles, to create a better seal, and to stop any possible leakage during the filling process. Better quality needles ensure that unnecessary oil doesn’t reside in the needles after filling.
Improved air cylinders allow for a smoother performance and avoids potential loss from jerking machine movements. And a new oil basin and channel tray helps remove any drips from needles when transitioning cartridges.
While the machine retails for a pricey USD$23,495, its value for large-scale cartridge production is undeniable. Plus, it can also fill more than just cartridges. “When we first rolled out the machine, it only filled cartridges,” explains Davis. “Now, it fills tinctures, we’re seeing pods increase, we’re seeing syringes increase, and disposables.”
The preassembled, ready-to-go 710Shark can help with almost all the filling needs of the cannabis industry, and even works with very thick oils. If you are scaling up your cartridge, disposable vape, tincture, syringe or pod production, this technology could be a game-changer.
Vaping innovation is expanding almost as rapidly as the vaping market itself. And in an increasingly competitive economy, it’s more important than ever to keep up or risk being left behind. For brands selling vaping products, these new innovations could be the difference maker between success and failure. What other new technological innovations in vaping will we see in 2019? Only time will tell…