The History of Vaping

Vaping has become all the rage in recent times, but there is actually a long history of vaping that far precedes its trendy subculture today. The earliest days of modern vaping were not shrouded in coolness, nor was it as youth-oriented as it appears today. Today, vaping is sometimes viewed as a hobby or leisure […]

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How Mom’s Are Breaking Stigma Around Cannabis

While research and social stigma around cannabis are changing rapidly, a surprising force behind the shift is women and moms. Social media is full of the “wine mom” trope and memes about “wine o’clock” and such, but the reality is many are swapping wine for a joint or gummy to wind down and get some […]

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Vape Holiday Gift Guide

Vapes are quite possibly one of the best gifts you could give someone—but choosing just one is no easy task. They vary greatly in size and price, ranging from the smallest, most discreet vape pens (some of which are disposable) to the biggest, beefiest rigs you can imagine. These devices offers so much potential in consumption choices, too. Some vape pens offer a wide variety of cartridges with the freshest trending oils. Other vape devices are compatible with any dry herb you have on hand, putting the power of flower choice solely in your hands.

Need help choosing the best vape for you, or a loved one? Check out our exclusive list of vape devices—one of them is sure to be a winner for your giftee, if not all of them!

Photo Courtesy of Arizer

XQ2 – Advanced | Elevated | Refined

NEW from Arizer, the XQ2 dry herb vaporizer is the culmination of 15+ years of product design and manufacturing experience. This unparalleled multi-purpose convection heater offers an all-in-one aromatherapy system, collection bag/balloon system, and on-demand direct draw + assisted draw whip system. Enjoy new and improved features including a large color screen, user-friendly OS, upgraded custom session settings, convenient remote control, multi-color LEDs, isolated airpath, air-purifying intake filter and more! Experience why Arizer is better by design.

Price: $239.99

arizer.xyz/HT-Gift-Guide

Photo Courtesy of Jetty Extracts

Jetty SOLVENTLESS Papaya Bomb

Jetty SOLVENTLESS Papaya Bomb vape is the first-ever High Times exclusive. Crafted by Jetty, it’s a unique hybrid cross of THC Bomb x Papaya. With sweet, tropical notes and a little bit of spice, it brings the cool, potently-mellow vibes. And because it’s Jetty SOLVENTLESS, this vape never touches a chemical, made simply using ice, water, heat and pressure. Available for a limited time.

Price: $65

 jettyextracts.com/hightimes

Photo Courtesy of Delta Extrax

Delta Extrax

Experience the higher standard in vape products by visiting Delta Extrax. Delta Extrax offers a wide variety of hemp-derived vape products including cartridges and disposable devices. You’ll find unique blends of hemp-compliant blends of Delta 9 THC, Delta 10, Delta 8, THC-O, THCV, THP and HHC. Also, Delta Extrax uses exotic blends of cannabinoids to further enhance the vaping experience. Just released: 2 gram disposable vape devices. The industry standard is only one gram of THC, but this brand stepped it up further by adding an additional gram of THC at an affordable price!

Price: $29.99 – $58.99 (Use coupon code HIGHTIMES20 to get 20 percent off)

deltaextrax.com

Photo Courtesy of TOQi

TOQi 510 Dab Bundle

Leave the dabbing rig and torch at home and dab on the go with the TOQi 510 Dab Bundle. Already a favorite among budtenders (winning the Budtender’s Choice award for Best Vape Accessory), the TOQi 510 Wireless Vaporizer pairs with the TOQi 510 Dab Cartridge for smooth hits on the move. Dab shatter, crumble, wax, rosin, live resin, diamonds and sauce on the go with an instantaneous heating quartz tank design. Powered by an industry-leading power-train, the rapid charging battery takes only 20 minutes to charge up to 85 percent, and can be charged wirelessly on any Qi-enabled device like a Samsung Galaxy Note10. Three curated temperature settings and a sleek design make the TOQi 510 stand out. A game changer for concentrate fans.

Price: $71.90 for bundle

mytoqi.com

Photo Courtesy of Pinnacle Hemp

D8 Disposable

Pinnacle Hemp offers 15 different terpene profiles for Rift Delta 8 THC pens. There is truly something for everyone, making them one of the best Delta 8 options out there.

Price: $29.99

pinnaclehemp.com/shop/rift-delta-8-disposable-pen

Photo Courtesy of Dreamt

Dreamt 45-Night Sleep Pen

In a world where stress, anxiety and insomnia are common symptoms of being overworked and overstimulated, one of the best gifts you can give is a long, uninterrupted night of sleep. The Dreamt 45-Night Sleep Pen is your ticket toward addressing a variety of sleep problems. The combination of THC and CBD work together to promote both getting to sleep faster, as well as increasing time spent in deep sleep as well. Dreamt boasts that its pen is backed by science, with the added melatonin, valerian root and terpenes to improve sleep and reduce that foggy morning feeling.

Price: $40

youdreamt.com

Photo Courtesy of Leune

Leune All-in-One Vaporizer (four flavors)

The All-in-One Vaporizers by Leune come ready to use right out of the tiny little tin packages that they are packaged in. The pen is offered in the flavors of Desert Gold (a sativa-leaning hybrid), Sol Berry (a true hybrid), Cloud Berry (a true hybrid) and Piña Dream (a 3:1 THC: CBD), as well as a “Naked” version containing a seasonal hybrid that’s “as close to the flower as you can get.” Feel good while supporting a company whose mission is to brings awareness for social injustice and strives for positive change in the industry.

Price: $29

www.leune.co

Photo Courtesy of Zeus

Zeus Arc

Feel like the mighty Greek god with the Zeus Arc at your side! Or gift a loved one with this lightweight dry herb vaporizer so that they, too, will enjoy smoking their favorite flower wherever they go. Created in Germany, this vaporizer contains a lot of power in a relatively small package. Zeus claims that it’s “the new gold standard in premium vaporizer technology,” offering up to 90 minutes of total battery life, with a unique heat sink, isolated airpath and three different temperature cycles that will give you a variety of options.

Price: $199.99

zeusarsenal.com

Photo Courtesy of Legion of Bloom

Legion of Bloom Monarch Vape Line

If you’re looking to gift a vape pen that comes in a variety of flavors, and also checks the charity box, then look no further than Legion of Bloom’s Monarch Vape Line. Nearly 40 flavors are available (depending on your location, of course) between the sativa, indica and hybrid varieties. These little beauties offer a ceramic heating element and ceramic mouth tip for a premium tasting experience, as well as a stainless-steel construction. Plus, a portion of sales for this pen are donated toward protecting the Monarch Butterfly population in California—which is a worthwhile venture to support. Get high and save the butterflies!

Price: $40+

www.thelegionofbloom.com

Photo Courtesy of Timeless

Timeless—Biscotti

The holidays can be a stressful time for many, but with Timeless’ Biscotti at the ready, it will be a whole lot more relaxing. This vape cartridge contains 500mg of cannabis oil that will knock out stress with a swift dose of this popular indica variety. Timeless says that due to the “peppery caryophyllene, herbal myrcene and hoppy humulene” terpenes, Biscotti’s taste resembles that of a snickerdoodle cookie—so you’re getting that holiday flavor on top of a nice high that doesn’t leave you overly sedated.

timelessvapes.com

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Do You Know What’s in Your “Legal” CBD or THC Vape?

It’s been more than two years since frightening stories of young people rushed to emergency rooms with severe breathing problems—developed after using illicit-market cannabis vaporizer cartridges—flooded the news.

Since then, it’s become generally understood that the culprit responsible for the e-cigarette or vaping associated lung injury outbreak (or “EVALI” for short, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified the condition) was vitamin E acetate. A common food additive, thick and oily vitamin E acetate was used as a cutting agent to dilute cannabis oil and thus cheaper to acquire. It also coated users’ lungs with thick and oily gunk, and played a role in killing at least 68 people and hospitalizing at least 2,807 in 29 states, according to the CDC.

But, as researchers in the Lancet and others warned, that didn’t tell the whole story. Not all sufferers of EVALI used products that contained vitamin E acetate. And some didn’t use THC products at all. Something else was out there—but what?

The CDC stopped reporting new cases on Feb. 18, 2020, on the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic, which in turn contributed to a false sense of security: that trap artists had shifted course, that vaporizer cartridges purchased on the illicit market are safe, and that the same risks don’t extend to legal “hemp derived” CBD or delta-8 THC cartridges.

Not so, according to a recent study.

According to research published last month in the journal Frontiers in Chemistry, scientists found a slew of additives—including solvents, ethanol, synthetic cannabinoids, and even a prodrug of date-rape drug GHB—in illicit-market THC cartridges, “legal” CBD cartridges, and other e-juices.

While some of these ingredients are designated “generally regarded as safe” (or GRAS) by the federal Food and Drug Administration, that classification means they’re regarded as safe to eat—and not to vaporize and then inhale their fumes. Indeed, “these chemicals can create injury to the lung tissue,” wrote the study’s authors, researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Yet other vape ingredients can create harmful chemicals like formaldehyde when heated. In sum, the additives found in trap vapes mean “unsuspecting consumers can and are experiencing untoward and unexpected effects,” the researchers wrote, and “demonstrates the lack of quality assurance and quality control required in the industry and poses a significant danger to consumers.”

Far from a brief crisis that’s now “over,” the findings suggest that health problems posed by off-market or poorly regulated vaporizers are a cannabis industry constant, experts contacted for this article say. The findings also underscore the necessity for clear, evidence-based, and enforceable product safety regulations. They also highlight the risk users accept when consuming illicit-market or unregulated vaporizer cartridges, a product category that includes most CBD and delta-8 vapes.

“It’s insane what stuff people are putting in off-market vapes,” said Josh Wurzer, an accredited chemist who co-founded California-based SC Labs, a licensed cannabis testing laboratory. “When you see all the stuff they’re doing, it’s scary.”

“This is just a great advertisement for a well-regulated marketplace,” he added. “I would not touch a black-market vape. It’s scary as hell to me, and this is evidence that that fear is well founded.”

The study’s authors analyzed 241 vaporizer products, including THC and CBD vaporizers as well as tobacco pods from manufacturers like JUUL and refillable e-juices. In these, they found 350 chemicals.

In cartridges labeled THC or CBD, they found synthetic cannabinoids as well as chemicals including olivetol, which is being marketed as a cannabis “reversal drug” (a sort of “narcan for weed”) as well as other adulterants, they reported.

Unlike products containing high-THC cannabis, there’s little to no oversight governing products made from hemp (cannabis with 0.3 percent or less THC). While some states have cracked down on products advertising delta-8 THC, a THC analog derived from CBD via a chemical process—and some states including California have introduced rules governing hemp-based products—it’s still relatively easy to obtain products containing delta-8 THC as well as CBD in all 50 states, whether obtained online or at smoke shops, convenience stores and bodegas as well as gas stations and curio shops.

Since cannabis oil does not easily dissolve in the liquids used for nicotine vaporizers, product manufacturers use compounds called “medium-chain triglycerides” like polyethylene glycol in their THC or CBD oil solutions. Adverse effects of vaping these compounds include airway irritation, cardiovascular damage, and worse. And while a 2019 study from the Minnesota Department of Public Health found vitamin E acetate in 52 percent of illicit-market vaporizers identified as causing EVALI, they found MCTs in 43 percent of products, as the study authors noted.

Most worrisome, in one analysis, is the fact the EVALI was considered an “acute” health response—as in, what happens to a human immediately after consuming additives like vitamin E acetate or another compound. The “chronic,” or long-term effects of vaporizing some of these compounds simply is not known—and may not be for years.

“The message from [the EVALI crisis] shouldn’t have been, ‘Well, okay, vitamin E acetate is bad, let’s use something else,’” Wurzer said. “You need to prove these substances are safe additives before you put them into a vape.”

The study’s authors did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Other cannabis industry observers echoed Wurzer’s comments—and interpreted the findings as a warning as well as a call to action.

The findings mean “there are not enough regulations for vape products and particularly additives,” said Tyler Williams, Chief Technical Officer and Founder of Cannabis Safety & Quality, a St. Louis-based product-safety certification service. In addition to stronger state or federal product-safety guidelines, products like CBD vaporizers should have their ingredients clearly labeled.

That would give emergency-room physicians as well as consumers a clear idea of what they’re putting into their bodies—and what the end results are. Until then, until the products are analyzed after the fact, consumers of illicit-market THC and CBD vaporizers simply have to trust that the product-maker isn’t trying to poison them. And as this study demonstrates, that’s not a guarantee.

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Vaping Cannabis: Why You Might Cough and Ways to Prevent it

The popularity of vaping has soared in the last few years, and one of the reasons why is vaping cannabis is less harsh on the lungs. Many people are turning to vaping cannabis instead of rolling a joint or smoking. Research is ongoing, but vaping cannabis is indeed known to be a healthier choice. However, […]

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Top Vape Lounges in B.C., A.B & Toronto

With cannabis being legal in Canada for almost four years now, where to partake and enjoy has been a controversial subject. Just as you might enjoy going to your local pub for your favourite cocktail or draft beer, cannabis users would like to enjoy the same choice. The best way for users to consume their […]

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Is Dabbing Vaping, And What’s The Difference?

You know that dabbing and vaping isn’t the same as rolling a joint, but is the way you consume the THC the same and more importantly, is the high the same? To be clear, when we talk about dabbing in this article, we’re not talking about that hip-hop dance; we’re talking about the process of […]

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Live Resin vs Distillate Vape Carts – What’s Better, Safer… and Why?

Every single year, thousands of adults all over the world are switching from smoking to vaping. It’s easy to see why, considering the discretion and variety you can find with vape carts as opposed to traditional cannabis and tobacco products. It’s also pushed as being the safer option between the two, but how accurate is that?

The truth is, vaping is only safer than smoking if the cartridges you’re smoking contain safe, high-quality ingredients. If you’re vaping boof carts filled with chemical cutting agents, pesticides, heavy metal contaminants, and who knows what else, that is much more dangerous to human health than smoking burnt plant matter.

Which brings us to our next question, what exactly is in all those weed vape carts you’re getting from dispensaries, online stores, or your local plug? A couple terms you’ll hear quite often when shopping for vapes is “live resin” and “distillate”. But what do these words mean when it comes to vape carts? What are each of them? Which one is better, or safer? And why?

We live in a wonderful time where cannabis can be consumed in a number of different ways, some safer and more effective than others. To learn more about the best products, and for exclusive deals on vapes, edibles, flowers, and more, make sure to subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


Quick Overview: Live Resin vs Distillate

When it comes to consuming anything other than flower, live resin is definitely where it’s at (in my opinion, as a cannabis purist). Live resin is processed from high-quality, freshly harvested flower that is flash frozen to preserve all the terpenes and additional compounds without prolonging the curing process. This results in a very full-flavored extract that produces what’s known as the entourage effect, where all the plant components work together synergistically, thereby providing the best results.

Distillate is highly refined, pure THC oil extracted from low-quality shake, trim, and discarded biomass, with plant terpenes added back in at a later point during the manufacturing process. Sometimes the terpenes are from cannabis, sometimes they are the same terps found in cannabis, but extracted from other botanical sources – for example, adding limonene from lemons instead of actual cannabis plant matter. Although this process does add to the overall flavor, the vaping experience if often lackluster compared live resin, because the terps and THC don’t always synergize as well as they would naturally.

Because all the terpenes are removed, distillate has no taste and is not the proper consistency for vaping. While adding the terps back will help solve these problems, some low budget, black market brands will often use some other type of chemical cutting agent for both, correcting viscosity and added profits. Common cutting agents include PEGs (polyethylene glycols), glycerin, and MCT oil; and the question of whether or not it’s safe to heat these compounds and smoke them remains a hot-button subject in the vaping community.

To summarize, distillate is like making Everclear and adding beer flavor in later from either natural or artificial sources. Live resin is like craft beer: carefully sourced, properly handled, with flavors and effects unique to each strains profile.

Vaping: Everyone’s Doing It

Over the last decade or so we’ve seen a sharp rise in the number of both adolescents and adults who use vape products, but the transition has been going on for quite some time now. Since the 1960s, the use of traditional cigarettes and tobacco products has decreased by around 68 percent, according to data from the American Lung Association.

But in dropping the cigs a new product found its way to the retail shelves and eventually our daily lives: e-cigarettes and vape carts. Particularly popular among young adults, we can see that sales of Marlboro, Newport, Camel, and similar brands that almost exclusively sell cigarettes are giving way to JUUL pods, vape pens, and different flavored disposables.

In the United States, roughly 28 percent of high school students and 11 percent of adults report vaping “regularly or occasionally”. Additionally, the FDA conducted a poll of 5 million Americans in 2019, 1 million of which claimed to use these products daily, and 1.6 million use them more than 20 times per month. Results from the Annual National Youth Tobacco Survey | FDA

In the same vein, cannabis vaping is on the rise as well, having doubled between 2013 and 2020. These number show the trend is not restricted simply to tobacco, but to all smokables across the board. I personally still enjoy old-fashioned pot smoking and I always thought I’d be the last person to hop on the vaping bandwagon but even I can’t say no to a top-shelf, live resin cart. They’re discreet, cost-effective, potent, and you still get the amazing flavor of the natural plant terpenes.

There’s been a lot of discourse on the safety of vapor products and whether or not they pose a threat to public health. There’s a common misconception that vaping is more unsafe than smoking, but that’s only true if you’re vaping things that shouldn’t be inhaled into the lungs at all, like pesticides and other contaminants, various synthetics, or Vitamin E acetate, a common cutting agent said to “interfere with normal lung functioning” when inhaled.

Distillate Carts

A distillate cart is a vape cartridge containing cannabinoid oil – typically THC – that is extracted using a range of solvents including carbon dioxide, butane, and ethanol. The oil is made from bulk biomass, usually discarded shake and trim, so while the use of low-quality bud might not appeal to most people, it is a smart way to repurpose plant matter that would otherwise go to waste.

Distillate vape carts are generally much higher in THC than live resin carts but they don’t contain any other cannabinoids, whereas LR often has noticeable levels of CBD as well. Higher quality distillate carts will be over 90% THC and have the terpenes reintroduced into the formula; be it from the same plant the THC was extracted from, a different marijuana or hemp plant, or another plant species altogether.

They don’t have the best reputation, and they honestly are not my preference either, but distillate is not inherently bad. It’s not the same as LR that offers users a more natural experience similar to smoking flower, but it certainly can be fun and it does hold an important place in the industry.  

The primary problem with distillate vape carts is the ease with which they can be poorly replicated, and the sheer number of knock offs, black market brands, failed safety tests, and generally nasty ingredients surrounding a lot of the distillate in today’s market.

Another downside to using distillates in vape cartridges is that, because there are no residual terpenes left behind, the consistency of the extracted material will be too thin. In order to be used in carts, some sort of cutting agent is required. Low budget brands are using everything from polyethylene glycol (PEG), propylene glycol (PG), to vegetable glycerin (VG), or even medium chain triglycerides (MCT), such as coconut oil and Vitamin E acetate in the mix to maintain proper viscosity and longer lasting oil consistency.

Live Resin Carts

Live resin carts are much different than distillate in that the material is extracted from high-quality, whole plant cannabis that is flash frozen at cryogenic temperatures (-292 degrees Fahrenheit). The plant is frozen immediately, meaning no leaves, stalks or branches are removed, as those are often covered in trichomes too. This is why creating live resin is considered a ‘full spectrum’ process.

With standard curing where the plant is hung up to dry and is exposed to light and oxygen, a lot of degradation takes place and you lose quite a bit of potency. Creating live resin is a more challenging and expensive to produce because of the use of subzero temps and high quality plant matter, as opposed to bottom shelf trim and biomass that’s utilized for distillate and other types of concentrate. However, live resin is potent, flavorful, and you get the whole plant relevant cannabinoid/terpene ratios you expect from flower.  

Some “live resins” sold by black market brands and certain irreputable distributors contain a little bit of live resin mixed with distillate and other compounds from varying sources. If a vape cart is 100% live resin as advertised, it will contain nothing other than extract pulled from fresh frozen cannabis plant matter.

Most people prefer live resin. Despite the fact that distillate is cheaper and more potent, the high gts boring really fast when you don’t get those whole plant ratios. Meaning that when you’re taking straight THC without any other combined compounds, you’ll quickly build up a tolerance. Not to mention the many benefits associated with the cannabis entourage effect you’ll be missing out on if you skip over the LR resin carts for more affordable distillate.

Black Market Brands

The widespread sale of bunk, low-quality, and outright dangerous products is a topic that needs to be discussed in more detail. What inspired me to write this article in the first place is a recent experience I had with a delivery service in California. It started with me making an online order for a few live resin vape carts they had advertised on their website. They called to tell me they were out of the brand I wanted and offered up some other options. I asked if they had any others that were live resin, because the only other brand I heard of that they had available was distillate. The budtender responded, “uuhmm, I don’t know.”  I asked if there was anybody there who knew more about the products and could answer some questions for me. “Uuhmm, no.”

Okay then, I canceled my order and started researching their products on my own, only to discover that nearly everything they had for sale was not just distillate, but black market as well. Now, these are all legal dispensaries, and you can pull up their licensing information on California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control website… so why are they selling illegal and potentially dangerous products? I think many consumers would be shocked to find out that a lot of the products they’re using, even those they think are from reputable brands, are untested and inconsistent in quality.

Check out the testing done by dat_dude41510 on Instagram. He sends carts out for independent testing that he picks up on the black market, from medical co-ops, and state-licensed recreational vendors. His focus is on the California market. To crudely summarize his findings: the market is filled with tainted products, dangerously high levels of pesticides, fungicides, and other nasties, and a scary high number of very legitimate looking counterfeits complete with fake holograms and serial numbers, and falsified COA’s (certificate of analysis).

Final Thoughts

I think the main point that I want to drive home is, that while it may seem tempting to save some money and buy the cheaper vape carts, especially if you’re using them regularly, please resist the urge and just spend those extra few dollars to make sure you’re getting safe, high-quality products. Even if you’re getting distillate carts, make sure they’re legit. Now that products like this have been in circulation for a while, people who have been using the fake stuff regularly are starting to report negative side effects, like shortness of breath and random vomiting. When done correctly, vaping is much safer than smoking so there is absolutely no point in consuming tainted products. Your body will thank you later.

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The Best Way to Vape and 8 Tips For The Perfect Vaping Experience

Smokers are increasingly turning to vaping as their method of choice for a daily dose of nicotine or cannabis. Vaping and e-cigarettes are two cults that are slowly taking over the tobacco industry as a whole, particularly in the west. Medical experts are also recommending vaping over traditional cigarettes as a means of consuming tobacco […]

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Can Vaping Cause Anxiety?

They’re everywhere: in the supermarket, the local coffee shop, or walking down the street. Everywhere you go, everyone seems to be vaping. From everyday Joes’ to celebrities like Katy Perry and Leonardo DiCaprio, vaping is the new way of smoking. It started as a healthier method of smoking, avoiding nasty chemicals in the paper used to roll […]

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