Extracted & Concentrated Review: Getting Friendly with Cannabis Vapes
During the hot summer of 2021, Karen Lloyd was gifted a cannabis vape cartridge. Not only did she love it, the device helped her quit vaping nicotine.
Electronic cigarettes helped me quit smoking tobacco in 2016 and, five years later, I kicked vaping nicotine with e-joints, better known as cannabis vapes.
A cannabis vaporizer is essentially a battery powered inhalation device attached to a cartridge filled with viscous and potent cannabis distillate. In most cases, it looks no different from a pen with a mouthpiece. When heated and inhaled, the juice tastes more like citrus fruits and vanilla beans than combusted plant material. The fragrant exhale is fleeting and temporary.
In the summer of ‘21, a dog-park friend gifted me an unopened cannabis vape cartridge from Aurora. It was her ex husband’s, and she had no use for it. Surely this was not a sign for me to consume more cannabis, I thought. Maybe it was a reminder to quit vaping nicotine, finally. Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Quit Vaping had been collecting dust on my windowsill since June.
Cannabis vapes hadn’t been on radar, only my periphery when I was with friends who partook. The sleek and stylish looking hardware really piqued my curiosity, though, when Canada’s retail cannabis stores began opening in my neighborhood circa 2020.
I soon told my buds behind the counter at one local pot shop about my idea to use cannabis vapes to quit vaping nicotine and one said 510 would do the trick. I didn’t know what he meant but felt even more convinced a cannabis vape would make a fine replacement for the JUUL device that had so reliably occupied my hand day and night.
It turns out 510 is simply the industry standard multi-use cannabis vape/battery that fits most cartridges — including the cartridges that recently fell into my lap from heaven in August.
"It takes longer than a second to kick in and the pleasurable sensations from vaped cannabis last much, much longer than vaped nicotine."Advertisement
I exhaled my last hit of nicotine a month later and refused to pay for more. It was time to put my cannabis 2.0 gizmo with 0.3 grams of full-spectrum THC-rich resin to the test. After twisting the 510 cartridge into the 510 battery, I pulled the vapor deeply into my lungs and held it there for a long time. Most nicotine enthusiasts, including my former fanatical self, eventually get to enjoy a pack of cigarettes a day, on average — often more. This translates to roughly 200 puffs a day from JUUL and most other nicotine vaping products. In other words, it’s a constant and expensive addiction.
After the first night with my cannabis vape, I learned you can’t do constant on a 510 device, nor would you want to. For one, cannabis is not nicotine. It takes longer than a second to kick in and the pleasurable sensations from vaped cannabis last much, much longer than vaped nicotine. We’re comparing hours to minutes here. Not only that but cannabis vapes (at least those with THC extract) pack a more powerful (and completely different) punch than nicotine’s more subtle but sinister blow. Finally, it’s important to give these cannabis vapes a minute to heat the liquid. Rush the process and you’ll be left with a burnt taste in your mouth. I also learned that exhaling vaped cannabis through my nose may cause sneezing.
To give my newly naked hands something familiar to do for their first nicotine-free month, I purchased two more cartridges, this time by cannabis brands Foray and Back Forty. Each was filled with one gram of golden liquid and more than 80 percent THC content — equal to about four grams of weed.
What I love most about cannabis vapes is, of course, their potential to compete with big tobacco. At least, they’re an option. They’re also incredibly convenient to hit and quite savory. If there’s anything addictive about cannabis vapes, it’s their truly palate-pleasing flavors. So far my cravings for Blackberry Cream and Mango Haze have been easy to manage.
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Written by Karen Lloyd | Freelance Writer, Digital Marketing Expert
Karen Lloyd is a freelance writer, digital marketing expert and hippy at heart in the city with a small studio, spacious deck and enormous passion for all things cannabis, urban gardening and food equity in Toronto.