Posted by Derek Champoux
4 years ago / October 17, 2019
Cannabis Vaping: Oil Pens vs Flower Pens
The rise of legal cannabis has resulted in more sophisticated extraction methods. This is causing an evolution in the habits of cannabis users.
Oil is the future of vaping, but this wasn’t always the case. Safer, more reliable extraction and better vaping hardware are turning the tides from flower to oils. In this piece, we compare vaping with oil pens to flower pens, as well as the changing perceptions around them.
Cannabis Oil Vape Pens
Although for flower reigned supreme for decades, cannabis concentrates are catching up. Arcview Market Research predicts that US concentrate sales will reach $8.4 billion in 2022, and cannabis flowers are predicted to reach $8.5 billion.
The explosion of concentrates is coming from the vape pen market. Nearly 60% of all cannabis concentrates sales come from prefilled vaporizers. Oil vape pens are, finally, surpassing flower vape pens. And the reason is simple: it’s a better experience.
Properly extracted cannabis oil does a better job of preserving terpenes than vaping the dry herb. The richer terpene profile releases a more flavorful and aromatic vapor.
The shape and size of oil vape pens make them more discreet and more portable. As well, they have a faster heat-up time, further improving their convenience. It also lasts much longer, requiring fewer refills or replacements.
Cannabis Flower Vape Pen
When it comes to vaping oil vs flower, flower benefits from being first. Cannabis flower vaping benefits from the early adoption it received, allowing people to become more familiar with it. Overall, it is starting to be seen as inferior to vaping oil.
Cannabis flower vape pens offer less consistency, convenience, and flavor. However, there are still some who prefer it. The main reason for this is that some people prefer the “natural taste” of a dry herb vaporizer.
Changing Perception in Vaping Cannabis Extracts: Oil vs Herb
In the old days, vaping the dry herb was considered the cleaner and safer option. And back then, this may have been true. The old extraction methods were far from ideal. A big reason for the shift in perception of vaping oils are the advancements in extraction.
In the years before legalization, cannabis extraction methods didn’t have the benefit of industrial research, development, or safety regulations. So the approaches were rougher around the edges. One of the original methods involved isopropyl alcohol, the stuff they use for disinfecting hospitals.
Cannabis leaves were left to soak in isopropyl alcohol. After enough time soaking, the extractor would heat the mixture. The heat would cause the vapor to remove the alcohol from the concentrate. In theory, this makes a safe, usable concentrate.
However, this old method is not without risk. For one, the conditions and heat were typically not well controlled. So it was harder to guarantee that the alcohol was fully removed. On top of this, the process itself is riskier. Kitchen explosions weren’t uncommon with this extraction technique.
Butane Honey Oil Extractors
In the 70s, BHO (Butane Honey Oil, or Butane Hash Oil) made a brief appearance. Although it was a far cry from modern extraction methods, it was a definite step forward from isopropyl alcohol.
These extractors are another solvent extraction method. They use a homebrew setup often built with PVC piping, mason jars, coffee filters, and a collection bowl – not exactly a high-tech operation.
There remained a number of issues with BHO. For starters, the butane heaters were prone to explosions. As well, they were often set up in dirty environments with poor sanitation. The final product was inconsistent and low quality.
Modern Cannabis Oil Extraction
Modern extraction methods have a much higher degree of sophistication. The technology is safer and smarter. As well, the conditions and environments are strictly controlled. As a result, cannabis oils are now safer, higher quality, and more consistent than flower.
After all these advancements, the positions have flipped. Vaping oil now has a cleaner image, while dry herb vaporizers are outdated.
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