Even amidst the “vape crisis” that has recently gripped the United States and Canada, Canadian cannabis consumers are continuing to turn to vaporization devices to deliver their medicine. For many consumers, vaping has been thought of as a more health-conscious way to consume cannabis and take advantage of the wide-ranging terpene profiles different strains have to offer.
Many medical cannabis consumers opt to vape their medicine to reduce the risk of lung and airway irritation, while receiving maximum benefit from their medication without the risk of being exposed to harmful carcinogens. Vaporizing cannabis involves heating the material to a high enough temperature (similar to an oven) to release cannabinoids and terpenes, without reaching the point of combustion. On average, vaping requires 30-50% less product as compared to smoking, offering a less expensive option for medical cannabis users.
Vaporizers also release more cannabinoids than traditional smoking methods. The vapour from these devices consists of approximately 95% cannabinoids and terpenes, making it the most effective delivery method. Some studies have suggested that 46% of available THC is converted into vapour when vaping, as opposed to a mere 25% of THC being available when smoking cannabis.
What is the difference between flower and concentrate vaporizers?
When it comes to vaping, consumers have two main options: vaping flower or vaping concentrates which have been released as a part of legalization 2.0. Although both methods involve the use of a vaporizer, they have some distinct differences.
Flower vapes allow the consumer to finely grind cannabis flower and heat the material to a precise temperature, releasing terpenes and cannabinoids. This way, consumers know they are ingesting a naturally produced product that remains unaltered from its original form. Medical cannabis purchased from a Licensed Producer is lab tested and guaranteed to be free from contaminants, ensuring that medical users are getting pure, natural medicine the way nature intended.
Flower vapes are great for consumers who are looking for effects similar to smoking a joint or consuming their cannabis through a pipe, without having to ignite the flowers. The effects have an almost immediate onset and tend to be more relaxed as compared to vaping concentrates. Consumption rates often come into play when deciding on an ingestion method (often because of cost), especially as many people are consuming more during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vaping concentrates provides its own unique experience. Concentrate vaporizers are specially designed to be used with cannabis extracts like distillates, which generally produces stronger effects as compared to flower vapes. Minimal amounts of product are used when vaping concentrates, offering consumers another relatively inexpensive option. Consumers may also vape concentrates out of pre-filled vape pens, which are small and discreet.
Although vaping concentrates has its benefits, there are some significant downsides to this method of consumption. One of the most significant issues with vaping concentrates is the safety-risk of consuming products that are not lab tested or approved for use by Health Canada. The recent vape crisis has been attributed to the use of Vitamin E acetate as an additive in THC vape concentrates, which is a common additive in black market cannabis vape products. These kinds of risks can be avoided when you purchase cannabis concentrates from a Licensed Producer or Licensed Cannabis Retail Store. Doing this will ensure that the product being consumed is free from solvents, contaminants, or heavy metals.
How to select a vaporizer
The most significant decision to make with vaping is what type of vaporizer to purchase. Flower versus concentrate, portable versus desktop devices, temperature-controlled versus one-temperature devices, the possibilities are endless! After countless hours of research, testing, and consumer feedback, Apollo has vetted the following products.
Two of the best devices on the market are the Volcano Medic Vaporizer and the Mighty Medic Vaporizer. Both devices are intended for use with dry herbs and do not allow for the vaporization of concentrates. The Volcano is a top of the line tabletop vaporizer, while the Mighty Medic is more portable, with its cordless design.
Both the Mighty Medic and Volcano Medic vaporizers offer fully customizable temperature control, which ensures that users can harness the power of all the valuable cannabinoids and terpenes without burning the material and creating carcinogens.
Both vaporizers are also class 2 medical devices that have been approved for use by Health Canada and require a particular type of license to sell. Apollo carries both vaporizers for our patients as they are the only two approved devices for the consumption of medical cannabis by Health Canada. Purchasing this type of device allows individuals to claim the device as a medical expense through some insurance plans as well as on annual tax forms.
The Volcano Medic Vaporizer generally retails for $645, while the Mighty Medic Vaporizer has a $495 price tag. Although this may seem like a sizeable initial output, these devices will stand the test of time and offer the consumer the highest quality delivery of their medicine.
Another line of vaporizers that Apollo has vetted is called Arizer. This product line includes both flower vapes, as well as hybrid vapes that are designed for both flower and concentrate use. These devices are made in Canada with high-quality components that will stand up to the daily grind.
The bottom line is there is a vaporizer for every budget. While some devices offer a low price point, they are generally made with low-quality components and may not hold up to daily use. The Volcano, Mighty, and Arizer vaporizers are worth every penny and come with great warranties.
Play It Safe with Flower
Overall, vaping offers an alternative to traditional consumption methods, such as smoking. Inhaled vapour offers medical cannabis users the best method for delivering their medication quickly and effectively. However, vaping can be risky if the products are not purchased through a Licensed Producer (LP).
Health Canada recently voiced concerns over where consumers were getting their cannabis concentrates, and THC infused vapes. Officials stated that products coming from the black market were not safe and could be laden with dangerous chemicals, such as vitamin E acetate.
It is crucial to ensure you are receiving the highest quality, medical-grade cannabis possible. Health Canada continues to recommend that all vape concentrates be purchased through an LP to ensure they are free from harmful chemicals or contaminants. Until black market sources dry up, medical cannabis consumers owe it to themselves to purchase quality products that have undergone lab testing and are deemed safe for consumption.
Working with the healthcare team at Apollo Cannabis Clinics will set you up for success and guide you through the process of registering with an LP to ensure you are receiving the highest quality medication. Make a commitment to yourself and your health to purchase cannabis products from Licensed Producers, your body will thank you.