How Vaporizers Are Becoming Irreplaceable in the Marijuana Industry
Updated: Apr 21
Vaporizers have come a long way since their introduction in the 15th century. The first real vaporizer was invented by Irfan Shiekh of the Moguls. Today, we know them as hookahs. Later, the water pipe was invented. The first portable vaporizer was invented by Joseph Robinson in 1927. However, it is Herbert A. Gilbert who provided the design for the modern-day e-cigarette in 1960.
While hookahs have been used for hashish for centuries, the vaporizer industry has turned to cannabis thanks to the relaxation of marijuana laws and an increase of awareness in the benefits of vaping. They are proving that vape pens, mods, and desktop models are for more than just a hit of nicotine.
Why is there so much popularity for vaporizers in cannabis culture these days? Aren’t the traditional methods of smoking it like joints, bongs, and bowls enough?
We have years of study on the effects of tobacco smoke to thank for some users. Some of the damage that comes from smoking tobacco isn’t from the tobacco itself but from the fact that it is burned. Health-conscious cannabis users might choose to stay away from smoking it and instead turn to edibles or oils, but these aren’t as convenient as smoking. Vaping fills the gap. In fact, vaping is said to remove 95% of the smoke that is inhaled.
Vaping also has another major advantage over smoking cannabis. If you’ve ever been around pot smoke you know that it has a distinctive smell. Even if you’re in a place where recreational cannabis is legal, you might not want to have the smell clinging to you like tobacco smoke does, and you may want to draw little attention to your enjoyment if you’re smoking in public. Vape pens and portable vaporizers can dramatically reduce the smell of cannabis products, especially if you are using cannabis oil or wax products.
Vaporizers also have the advantage over traditional smoking methods in that they more effectively convert the plant matter into active cannabinoids. This NORML study effectively showed that when vaporized, 46% of the available THC was released. When compared to a joint, only 25% of the THC was released. This means that you can stretch out your supply, and make the experience cheaper in the long run. Less is more when it comes to vaping cannabis.
These facts alone can point to why vaporizers are fast becoming irreplaceable in the marijuana industry. The Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence conducted a survey on Facebook, polling 2,910 cannabis users. The results showed that 61% said that they would try vaping at least once. 12% reported that vaping was their preferred method of marijuana consumption. Those who vaped tended to be younger, and reported that vaping tasted better, produced better effects and created a more satisfying experience.
Vape pens, e-mods, and desktop vaporizers also have another thing going for them: the ability to choose your high. Yes, yes... you can burn hash in a pipe, but burning cannabis oil in a conventional glass pipe isn't necessarily recommended. With vaporizers, you can choose to burn dry herb, wax, or cannabis oil. Each provides a unique experience.
The cost can be a concern when it comes to vaporizers, particularly the desktop models. While some personal vaporizers can cost as little as $20, the more popular desktop models, like the Puffco Peak Dab Rig, easily cost $250 and can run up to $700. However, this cost is easily made back by the fact that due to the nature of vaporizers, you require less product to get the same feeling versus traditional smoking methods.
In fact, Steve DeAngelo, a marijuana entrepreneur, and activist states that his business in extracts and concentrates is rising steadily. In contrast, raw pot flower sales have been declining. Another sign of the trend is shown by John Smith, who is the manager of Smoking Culture in the Village. He estimates that the shop sells 50 to 100 vaporizers a week, and the only thing that sells more is hand-blown glass bowls. The vaporizer industry jumped from $1.7 billion in 2014 to $2 billion in 2015. It is a testament that the vaporizer is gaining in popularity.
Even celebrities have taken to endorsing vaporizers. Whoopi Goldberg and famous marijuana flaunter Snoop Dogg have endorsed vaporizer products like Grenco's G-pen, endorsed by Snoop. Whoopi refers to her pen-style vaporizer as “Sippy” and even penned this article for the pro-cannabis site thecannabist.co. She uses humor and details her real-life struggles with glaucoma and trying to use a desktop vaporizer.
From the fact that it is more economical, producing a high for less product to the fact that celebrity endorsements have placed the use of vaporizers for the consumption of cannabis in the public eye, it is clear that the vaporizer industry is changing pot culture. It’s also dramatically changed tobacco culture as well and most vaporizers can be used for both substances. In fact, we quite likely have an increase of vaporizers in tobacco culture to thank for their equal rise in cannabis culture.
Tobacco has a much higher acceptance level than cannabis in American culture. The booming popularity of vaping equipment among tobacco users means that there are plenty of vaporizers for cannabis users to try. Given their positive reactions to it and the continuing growth of sales, it’s a certainty that vaping cannabis is going to be around for a good long while.