Cannabis Vaping

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Cannabis Vaping: Overview


The process of vaping weed involves heating cannabis flower or concentrates to a temperature that turns the active compounds (cannabinoids and terpenes) into vapor. Most vaporization devices are engineered to heat cannabis products just below the point of combustion, which ranges between 180 to 190 degrees Celsius. A more detailed overview has been given below.

Cannabis Vaping Overview

  • The process of vaping weed involves heating cannabis flower or concentrates to a temperature that turns the active compounds (cannabinoids and terpenes) into vapor. Vaporization is a healthier alternative to smoking as it occurs at temperatures that do not allow the flower to combust, which releases harmful tar and carcinogens.
  • Most vaporization devices are engineered to heat cannabis products just below the point of combustion, which ranges between 180 to 190 degrees Celsius. Compared to smoking, vaping cannabis increases the number of cannabis by-products that are activated, potentially bolstering health benefits for medical marijuana patients.
  • Cannabis contains compounds such as cannabinoids and tetrahydrocannabinol. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical in cannabis that gets people high. Vaping uses concentrated extracts or ground dry herb. Users can vape different forms of marijuana concentrates, such as wax, shatter, live resin, and hash oil, or in some cases, dried flower.
  • Weed vaporizers come in various forms, but they all have a common purpose: to transform dry herb, wax, or THC oil into delicious clouds of vapor. Vaping weed is less harsh on your throat than smoking and produces less of an odor because it’s vapor and not smoke.
  • Desktop vaporizers are typically the most efficient option for dry herb and wax. Still, if one is on the go, there are also some fantastic portable and pen-style vapes that provide true vaporization in clutch situations.
  • The three main types are tabletop vaporizers, portable vaporizers, and vape or “hash oil” pens. Tabletop vaporizers are stationary temperature control units that require a solid surface upon which to sit. Tabletop vaporizers come in many varieties, but all include four main features.
  • The four main features include, temperature dial to regulate the temperature, healing element that heats the flower or concentrates, a heating chamber where you put the flower or concentrates, and a mouthpiece attachment. They can be bought online or in dispensers stores.
  • Here are the best dry herb vaporizers available based on years of research and testing. The best weed vape pen is Kandypens Special-K. The portable dry herb vaporizers are PAX 3and Mighty while the best desktop vaporizers are Volcano Hybrid and Vapir Rise.
  • While dry herb vapes and wax vapes are designed to work with specific types of cannabis products, hybrid vaporizers like the PAX 3 offer consumers the best of both worlds — compatible with both flower and concentrates. Some brand examples include NJOY, Blu, Vuse, MarkTen, Logic, Vapin Plus, eGo, and Halo.
  • In the case of disposable vape pens that come with a preloaded cartridge of cannabis oil, their prices will be contingent on the location it’s being sold, as the market can vary between different states. A regulated vape pen with half a gram of THC costs $55, compared with $25 or less on the street for an untested product.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Cannabis Vaping: Market Size

After an exhaustive search through market reports, articles, and databases, the US market size for cannabis vaporizers could not be determined using data found in the public domain. Some helpful findings, as well as the methodology used for this research, can be found below. A Google document with screenshots of some paywalled content has also been attached to this project.

Helpful Findings:

  • The US market size for cannabis in 2018 reached a value of US$11.3 billion. In the same year, California was the state with the most number of cannabis consumers in the US with 5.9 million cannabis consumers, followed by Florida with 2.5 million.
  • The Cowen Group projects that 23% of US cannabis sales will be made up of vaporizer pen sales, second only to dried flower sales which they project to make up 43% of US cannabis sales.
  • In March 2019, cannabis vaporizers made up 25% of retail cannabis sales in California, Colorado, Oregon, and Arizona. This was up from 21% in the previous year.
  • CBD vape experienced a growth of 105% in sales in the US between 2017 and 2018.
  • According to the journal "Substance Use and Misuse," the leading reason for vape use for about 35-46% of respondents in the US is concealment, followed by convenience for 29-42% of respondents.

Research Strategy:

We started our search by looking for market reports and articles that detail the number of cannabis vaporizer users in the US. While we were able to find several reports and articles on the number of people who use vaporizers globally, as well as articles on the cannabis market as a whole, no information on the number of cannabis vaporizer users in the US could be found. We expanded the scope of the project to instead look for the market size of cannabis vaporizers in the US in terms of revenue. Market reports on the global market size of marijuana vaporizers were found, however, relevant information was locked behind a paywall. We were able to find that the market size for cannabis in the US was US$11.3 billion in 2018, as well as data on the top ten states with the most cannabis consumers in the US in 2018; however, these did not give insights relevant to this project. We were also able to find that CBD vape experienced a growth of 105% in sales from 2017 to 2018, however, the market size itself could not be found in the public domain.

From the above strategies, it was evident that we needed to pull data together from different sources to triangulate an estimate. We needed to have the share of cannabis vaporizer sales in the overall US cannabis market size. We looked into public databases such as Statista for data on the percentage sales of vaporizers in the US cannabis market. We also looked for articles that may detail this information. We were able to find an article that projects the percentage of cannabis sales made up by vaporizer pen sales, however, this is only a projection and may not accurately describe the current market size. We were also able to find data on the sales share of cannabis vapor pens in Washington in July 2016, as well as articles on the growing part of vaping in the marijuana market in the US, however, these sources only gave data for specific months and specific states. An attempt was made to search for data on the percentage of annual cannabis sales made up by vaporizers for all US states but none can be found in the public domain. Sufficient data could not be gathered even after an exhaustive search therefore triangulation could not be done. We have opted to report some general insights found on cannabis vaporizer sales and use in the US as helpful findings for this project.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
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  • "The source gives an overview of cannabis vaping. "
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  • "The source gives information about the compounds found in cannabis"
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  • "The source gives information about the concentrates of vaping"
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  • "The source gives information about the prices of vape pens."