TVAPE started selling dry-herb vaporizers a decade ago through marketplaces and their own website. They eventually grew to be the most trafficked vaporizer website in Canada and even one of the most trafficked in the world. Now, while they don’t carry vape pens, they have sold mods as well as Canadian e-juices.
However, “That segment is being completely discontinued,” TVAPE’s Founder and CEO, Nima Noori told CLN. “Our expertise is vaporization hardware.”
This decision was made with access to a database that contains six figures of their orders filled with market trends. We had a phone conversation with Nima to discuss how this decision compares with their view on vape pens.
Perceptions and definitions in vapour
CLN: What is the difference between a vape pen and a vaporizer?
Nima Noori: Vapes work with processed derivatives; vaporizers work with organic material. So the difference is, let’s say in one you put ketchup and in the other you put a tomato. In ketchup, you have a bunch of different preservatives, salts, sugars, or whatever they put in there to make it the right consistency. To almost hack your brain in a way to like it more.
How do you feel the vape crisis has affected TVAPE’s customer trends and their perception of vape pens?
“It makes the product naturally more relevant… Organic, unprocessed material is given much more preference and importance as to say processed fast foods… Unfortunate events brought the attention of the consumer base and the industry more towards sticking with the stuff our bodies are tuned to. The first documented use of cannabis happens to be more than 5000 years ago, as compared to processed oils and derivatives which are a rather new phenomenon.
Free the cart
What are your thoughts on outright banning as opposed to regulating?
If you hang hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of profit in front of somebody who is maybe not even able to get a customer service job, they are not going to do their due diligence. Not if you tell them all they have to do is to fill these cartridges with these oils they get in their basement.
It would be a huge favour to everyone in the black market if they outright ban the processed vape products. The government needs to push the legal market forward to kill the black market, and they can do that responsibly.
I think the juggling match our regulators are dealing with right now is to manage the illegal market while ensuring the legal one is safe. They put very strict requirements on these labs and processing facilities and have many different high caliber human resources on this stuff. So there can be proper testing for them to, over time, figure out at least what’s the best thing their research can come up with.
Heavy metal tanks
Do you feel other ends of the vape pen and juice create toxins as well, such as silica in a burnt wick?
“…they also have some cotton. When you go through heating on that minute level they pour through the ceramic pores and get vaporized. When you get into the vape pens where the oils are flowing through the internals of the device, I would say more due diligence needs to be done there.
It becomes a problem when the heating element is inside the air path. With vape pens that are obviously just the case by design. When you take other technology, like e-cig technology, you can literally look inside the cartridge and the wick is soaking in the juice.
These corners were cut to match a specific market demand – the cheapest product available.
One of them the insulating material was right next to the air pathway! You can imagine it like tiny thin crystals… fiberglass, almost. if you take that insulating material out of the unit and tap it over a black surface, you will see tiny shards coming off of it.
Vape pens and their toxic viscosity
THC and CBD are incredibly thick. They don’t flow and require you to make them thinner with some sort of additive. What are the problems with the added thinning agents?
I am just not a big fan of anything process in my food. I do my own juices and stick to as raw as possible things, consuming very little meat. If I do, it is fish. So based on that one can already see that I stay away from anything processed.
These carrier oils have not been long-term teste. Anything in Canada has very much refrained from testing… Absent professional entities and labs think it is extremely dangerous to procure anything like that from the black market.
Nima also advises against the use of terpenes as thinning agents.
I got a vape pen from another US manufacturer. It was lavender taste and it was so pungent that after a couple draws, I never went back to it. I would caution against any flavoring that isn’t natural given the information we have. By the time you get to an accident where a few things just create havoc, it’s just too late I have seen… Once you crush up and process a tomato, that to me is not organic anymore.
And Nima is right, an organic system is balanced. Someone can extract the lavender tasting terpene, linalool from geranium. There, you have an acidic inhibitor of melanin, as well as an alkaloid that may promote skin cells. It’s hard to say if the acid and alkaloid component ends up in the extract with the same balance mother intended.
Safety hazards in secret recipes
Considering many of the ingredients being blame in the vape crisis can be found in pesticide‘s inert ingredients, and ultimately on regular dry-herb, how bad are the undisclosed recipes in vape pens?
The implicit or informal consensus among the people or echelons that I communicate with, is that there was a combination of these carrier oils and flavors that together produce something like entourage effects. It is believing that Vitamin E acetate is responsible to some degree. There is also a belief there may also be an entourage effect where a few different odd flavoring agents, these terpenes, and vitamin E acetate create a molecule that was an abomination that caused all of this.
Of course, if you don’t have a regulation that says, ‘okay these five things are allowed,’ but instead you go about it and say, ‘these 10 things are not allowed,’ it leaves a whole lot of room for what can go into those cartridges.
We haven’t had our fingers on one the cartridges that have been implicated in this, they are probably black-market cartridges… If you look at pictures of what home operations look like where they fill these carts, and how disgusting it is, it puts into perspective the kind of garbage that can get in there.
Some deadly vape pens were tracked back to China, how prominent is the illicit vape cart industry?
We have information told to us by the Chinese. The black market in both Canada and the US purchase more cartridges than the legal market. That is something that needs to tend to. There are clearly ways as a society to get this under control.
Does TVAPE have a solution?
“To do our best to come up with innovations that ensure dry-herb cannabis vaporizers are available as an option for the people who want to stick with the basics. What I would call the tomato.”
End of interview
Vape pens may not all be bad, but they come with a lot of confusion and many shortcuts. A vaporizer is supposing to be drastically different in design and function. Learn more about how vaporizers operate and how their innovation could replace the need for a vape’s convenience in this previous installment.