Here’s a handful of modern smoking supplies to illustrate the cultural differences between smoking and vaping.
The supplies above are from the November Burn Box, which is a curated cannabis supply online business using a subscription model to mail out a box of curated smoking supplies every month. I’ll discuss this stuff more in a couple weeks when I’ve received the other two competitors. I’ll be doing a cannabis gift list soon as well.
Next, we move on to a quick Terrence Howard clip, because it’s seriously hilarious in context. If you’ve never seen Empire, Luscious and Cookie Lyon are exes who are always at each other’s throats, but their kids make their lives constantly intertwine. In the below clip, Cookie just got embarrassed at the end of a winning streak by her sister whom she clearly hates.
The joy in Luscious as he leaves the club after a last-minute win is classic…
Now on to business.
Over the past month, I’m been getting used to vape modding. Through my travels, I’ve stuck most consistently to smoking, but I’ve been dabbling (and dabbing) in vaping quite a bit as well.
The problem I come up with as I travel is that I can’t bring cannabis with me without risk of ending up in jail, and an out-of-state medical card doesn’t do much good anywhere outside of Las Vegas (where the gaming commission is the real law) or recreationally legal places like Washington State, D.C., Oregon, Colorado, or Mexico in North America.
I’m almost positive tribes are going to beat the U.S. to decriminalization, but those are my smoking problems. This post is about my vaping problems.
Start with the Best
Every smoker smokes to relieve stress – period. Smoking is a break; something you do when you need a moment to gather your thoughts, reflect, or talk something out with someone. Vaping can’t always do that.
There’s nobody doing it to get a crazy high. The high is in destroying something. The simple burning of a match is enough, but the allure is in the destruction. That’s what relieves us – though the drugs are pretty cool…
In order to satisfy the desire to smoke, a vape pen needs to fulfill a laundry list of needs. It’s easier for me to find a random person to sleep with than to find a reliable vape company, regardless of how many vape pens I used. First, here’s one of my favorite vape pens across the board – the Evoxe Engage.
It’s a cannabis sativa blended with organically grown Peppermint, Lime, Cinnamon, Cypress, and Coconut essential oils. It’s a disposable pen designed to last approximately 200 puffs, and I’ve so far hit it 50 times (and shared 8). It’s a feeling of euphoria that lasts.
Despite being such a small device (the profile pic above is this pen in a standard size pack of cigarettes), it packs quite a punch.
One puff is enough to feel something, though I find my habit with vape pens this size is to take two simultaneous full draws and hold my breath. It helps me meditate, and these pens are fantastic for creating Ayurvedic herbal healing concoctions that easily match what’s seen in products in yoga shalas, Eastern medicine facilities, and other new-age and natural shops around the world.
This is what vaping should be to avoid the need for vaping dangerous drugs like nicotine or meth (which is a popular search term I see in my Google Analytics, having written about vaping, cannabis, and drugs so much).
Everything about this product is a home run, from the organic oils, clean and classic packaging, #ChooseTheMood social media campaign – this is the first vape pen I’ve used thus far that’s sexier than a cigarette. It’s the iPhone of vape pens. Here’s a video of the rest of the moods with a bit more info on the line.
Unfortunately companies like Evoxe Labs are few and far between, and you’re somewhat limited by your state market in order to get a hold of them (though you can order CBD versions outside of CA). Essential oil extractors can get you the ingredients you needs, and whether they advertise it or not, they understand how to extract all sorts of things – scientists experiment.
From Fine Wine to Coors Light
Vaping has evolved quite a bit since I was a kid. One of the biggest traffic draws I get to this site is from vaping-related searches, and I’ve also sold content to different vaping clients I’ve worked with over the years, like Vape Chemist’s vape endorsement series.
Vape Chemist (based in LA) is one of the companies killing it through digital marketing and using content marketing/SEO/SEM/CPC and other modern online marketing techniques to create a lane in flavored vegetable glycerins with his Mango vape ejuice. Here’s an idea of the product line available from Vape Chemist.
Although the juice inside these bottles are the past of vaping (including PG), the bottles themselves are still preferable to any type of syringes used to fill most cannabis vape pens. Those needles look no different to a police officer than a heroin needle and will bring unnecessary attention to vapers. The eyedroppers built into the lids of these bottles is preferred for safety concerns.
These juices, however, are basically the watered down Coors Light for the lowest common denominator of the public.
Vegetable glycerin is commonly used in pharmaceuticals and commercial food, and the flavorings are no different than what’s used in candy, soda, and all the other artificially-flavored junk food found in the United States.
Flavored VG isn’t necessarily bad, but you should know you’re not vaping the champagne of eliquid. You’re vaping the champagne of beers of eliquid.
By comparison, essential oils are natural plant extracts that are used in natural pharmaceuticals, hygienics, health, beauty, and other products. When you see coconut essential oil (often marketed as “coconut oil”) what you’re getting is oil extracted from coconuts.
When you see coconut-flavored vegetable glycerin, it’s likely a mixture of artificial flavorings meant to replicate plant flavors, and often derived from insects. Some of those flavorings (such as diacetyl, used in buttery and creamy flavors) are actually more deadly than the drugs being dissolved in vegetable glycerin.
Of course, as I discussed years ago, vegetable glycerin is an almost universal medium to bind pharmaceuticals with fat molecules using reverse-winterization methods. Now here’s the drip-oil rigs and tanks I’ve been playing with.
Weed the People
For those who don’t remember, last July, I visited Eugene/Springfield, OR and Portland/Vancouver after the San Fran Cannabis Cup and a short stop in Humbolt. Oregon is a much different atmosphere than California, where Evoxe Labs and Vape Chemist are located.
Oregon is so hostile to outside businesses that High Times had to cancel plans for its Cannabis Cup in Portland. Local events were held instead. Though it’s known as a friendly place, never forget Oregon is a border state just like Arizona, and law enforcement can be strict.
Oregon spent July 2015 giving out marijuana products, classes, seminars, plants, and seeds, and accessories all over the state. Here are a few pictures of the Cannabis Science Pub in downtown Eugene (which included speeches from the local police and Oregon Liquor Control Commission) and Weed the People in downtown Portland:
This was where I first came across The CO2 Company, who’s been killing the game by focusing on CO2 extracts in Oregon. For a product to be successful in Oregon, it has to be natural, organic, and local at a bare minimum. Beyond that, you’re not only competing with other businesses; everyone in Oregon prefers to homebrew, so you’re competing with your customers. It makes for a great environment.
What The CO2 Company takes advantage of is the movement in Colorado against BHO extracts. Butane used in home-extraction systems made of glass, PVC pipe, etc., can explode just like homebrew meth kits. CO2 in homebrew kits is no safer, except that CO2 is often found in cartridges, so it’s not used as often.
Used properly in a commercial setting, butane is actually a great solvent, as Jessica Tutt, General Manager of Next Level Wellness in Eugene, OR explained to me last November in my Ultimate Cannabis Buyer’s Guide.
Tutt’s business partner, William Thysell, not only uses a BHO extractor and essentially runs the cannabis concentrate game in Oregon, but he’s also focused on quality and partners with the analytics and testing facilities running the Cannabis Science Pub to educate the community. He also makes the best cannabis concentrates I’ve had so far.
Here’s a pic of a couple Thysell extractions vs AZ medical CO2 and WA homebrew ice extraction. They’re much lighter and cleaner than the others (and by a large margin)
So, CO2 vs BHO doesn’t make a difference, but, since people believe it does, there’s a lot of chatter about it. There are subsections of vapers who will only vape CO2 extracts, and that’s the market The CO2 Company is focusing on in Oregon. There’s no real difference between any of it, however, as long as it’s organic and used in moderation. It’s just the difference between a pilsner and ale.
This is where we come to The CO2 Company’s Sub Ohm Oil Kit, a vape oil rig designed to compete with those such as the eleaf (which I also own) and any other adjustable drip-accommodating vape mod. This is the PC to Evoxe Labs’ Apple and only hardcore vapers use these rigs outside of home. They are getting much more consumer friendly over the years, though, so it’s still worth paying attention to them. Also, being as The CO2 Company is based out of Oregon, I get excited whenever I see them display at events such as the MJBizDaily Conference.
I wanted to root for them, so when I received their newest vape mod kit, I was excited despite it being empty. The battery itself is solid and the branding is great. Compared to the eLeaf, this is much more solid of a vape mod box. The LED is solid, and the buttons work (always a plus). Mechanical pieces make it sturdy, and the included USB cable wasn’t fully bottom of the line. The problem I had was with tank and coil primer juice.
The CO2 Company may know a lot about CO2 extraction and done a great job of marketing during the BHO hysteria, but BHO extracts will easily outlast PG.
On top of this, the mouthpiece in the pictures with the instructions were textured like the cap of the coil primer, but as you can see in the above pic, the mouthpiece I got was perfectly smooth. It was impossible to grip to ever open the tank, so this coil primer didn’t get used. What did get used, however, was my handy mod kit below:
The drip kit in this pic (along with the extra wires, cotton, and screwdriver) didn’t come from The CO2 Company. I bought it at my neighborhood smoke shop, which I visit on a weekly-monthly basis whenever I’m in the Phoenix area. By attaching this drip kit to the Sub Ohm mod battery, I created a powerful drip kit capable of vaping anything you see above.
About twice the size (and 4x the weight) of a Bic lighter, The CO2 mod kit is a great way to vape homebrew juices, concentrates, essential oils, glycerins, glycols, or whatever you’re into.
Though it does fit great into the collection of tech, it still didn’t fully function outside the box, and I’m a bit disappointed it came empty. Now it’s back to the grind of finding cannabis endorsement deals in Arizona to continue getting the medicine I need to deal with life in general, much less my moles and psychological trauma from whistleblowing.
But onward we trek to see how Safer Dave and the MPP handle the end of Arizona’s war on cannabis.
Evoxe Lab Sativa Pen: A+
Vape Chemist VG Line: C
The CO2 Company Sub Ohm Oil Rig: C-
Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work has appeared in High Times, Cannabis Now, Hardcore Droid, The Street, Fast Company, and The Huffington Post.