Understanding Vape Pens and Cannabis Oil

Sour Jilly by Gold Drop is Carried by RVR


Nothing is quite as convenient as the vape pen. These digital joints are rechargeable, discreet, and growing in popularity; in fact, a recent report by Eaze measured a 400% annual increase from 2015 to 2016. The pre-filled cartridge offers a perfect blend of purity and convenience, something today’s consumer seems to enjoy: according to Eaze, “1 in 3 people orders included a vaporizer cartridge.”

A vape pen includes 5 parts: battery, wick, coil, reservoir, mouthpiece.While each piece comes in a variety of styles and materials, its the contents of the reservoir that most dramatically influences the effect of the product.

What Is Cannabis Oil?

Cannabis Oil is a viscous liquid extract that contains cannabinoids like THC and CBD. These oils are made from either leaf material or flowers, both of which are harvested for trichome glands. Cannabis oil is the result of pressing raw material with a solvent that removes all of the active chemistry while leaving the plant waste behind. Depending on the method of extraction and type of solvent, a cannabis oil may contain a wide range of cannabinoids and terpenes. 

What Is CO2 Oil?

The most popular form of extraction for vape pens is a process known as Supercritical CO2 Extraction. Supercritical refers to a state of unique pressure and heat that divides the different “parts” of the cannabis chemistry into separate pieces. From there, product engineers are able to pick and choose which chemicals they want to include in the final oil product. In general, raw CO2 oil tends to have an auburn color with a honey viscosity.

Since CO2 involves pressure and heat, sometimes the subtle chemistry is lost during the process. With terpenes playing a huge role in determining a strain’s unique character, chemists often employ another form of extraction to better capture the essence of a strain. CO2 Oils are then winterized to remove waxes, which improves clarity and helps reduce viscosity.

What Is Ethanol Extraction?

Ethanol Extraction involves submerging the raw material in ethanol, then evaporating the ethanol to result in a terpene-rich oil. Ethanol extracts are generally bright yellow and swift when poured. 

Residual Solvent Analysis

When exploring the vape pen market, it’s not only important to consider the method of extraction, but also the lab report. Since solvents are widely used in cannabis oil manufacturing, it’s important to choose vape pen cartridges that have proven clean during a residual solvent analysis.

Solventless Extraction

To avoid solvents altogether, some groups choose processes like molecular distillation, which uses vacuum pressure, or rosin pressing, which physically presses the oil directly from the raw material, managing to put the natural terpenes to work as a solvent (live rosin smells incredible!).

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