As has been noted as of late, vape pens can house many potentially harmful design features. Flaws, however, can be blamed less on cheap cartridges and more on unregulated, processed derivatives. TVAPE is hoping their upcoming dry-herb cartridge, the Arcpod, will help everyone make an easy transition back to the basics. They themselves have reset and are going back to their roots. Now, they are acutely focusing on hardware, preparing to take addictive nicotine products off of their website.
“Throughout time we went from reselling to being fully integrated vertically… even engineering,” their Founder and CEO, Nima Noori explained.
Engineered links in a marketing chain
The Zeus Arc is a vaporizer their engineering house developed over four years. It works exclusively for dry-herb, not oils or extracts. Thermodyne Systems GmbH is the engineering house they own and operate in Germany. They do the fulfillment for Europe as well as Zeus’s product development. Their involvement is the reason the device is very technology-intensive, compare to vape devices.
Whereas, Zeus Arsenal is a business unit own by TVAPE. Other units operated under their arms include LITL, TRONIAN, and Utillian. Nima described TVAPE as the “tip of the iceberg, the B to C arm of distribution, but the company as a whole focuses on vaporizing technology; thermodynamic delivery, specifically.”
Can a dry-herb vaporizer really change the consumer’s experience, though?
Vaporizers – beyond the ‘vape’
We explored the difference between ‘vaporizers’ and ‘vapes’, detailing flaws of the latter. We continued that phone conversation with Nima to understand those differences.
CLN: Can you describe how a vaporizer functions?
Nima Noori: What vaporizers do is heat up, for example, organic cannabis to specific temperatures that allows you to extract the active ingredients or essential oils without really oxidizing the carbon in the plant matter. It is far less harmful. We are talking about a fraction of the carcinogens as compared to smoking.
Toxic wicks versus golden ovens
Some vape pens have silica wicks that emit toxins when they burn out. How is a vaporizer’s oven-like heating chamber superior?
As the coil increases with heat and gets really hot as most vapes do, obviously the metals are going to become more fleeting. They can just take off in the vapor. And that’s of course why vaporizing it, not vaping it, makes a lot more sense. Vaporizer heating chambers are basically containers. The components sit in the Zeus Arc completely outside of the air pathway. You can literally look from the top of the heating chamber through to the bottom where it comes out.
And that whole air pathway onto the heating chamber is stainless steel, or in the other version, it is gold coated… Gold doesn’t really sit on stainless steel very easily. It took us one year just to fine-tune the technology and the machinery required to be able to do that. The steel is magnetic, so it has to do with the literal property of the molecules.
There seems to be a great disadvantage with steel in regards to the plant not burning as purely as possible. How does gold compare?
Steel oxidizes the material. Beyond gold, there is glass which is really not manufacturable. Plus, it can break.
Gold is supposed to replicate glass. The Zeus also brings the element close to the mouthpiece compared to other devices. A gold-coated heat sink is used, which cools the smoke down as it changes direction. Kind of like how a two-foot zong has four feet of the draw.
Innovations, conveniences, and experiences
Historically, vaporizers required the user to grind up and fill them before they could be used. How does the ArcPod change this?
“What cartridges basically revolutionize is they add three dimensions to the experience. One of them is convenience. That is why the vape pens have been so popular. In today’s day and age, people really need the time savings and to continue on with what they actually have planned for the day.
What are the other dimensions?
“Consistency of experience, dose, and aesthetics. The Arc, through its patent-pending cartridge technology and patented Goldsink technology, can naturally enhance the experience with superior flavor and terpene expression. This allows consumers to taste and experience premium strains the way growers intended.
Kind of like an espresso coffee machine. You put your single-serve cartridge in there you, consume it, and you take the cartridge out and you are finished.
They work off of organic dry herb without the addition of any flavoring that they put into the carted oils. Kind of what I said about ketchup earlier, in order to hack your mind into appreciating something that is technically naturally there.
A sea of cartridges versus disposables
How will this affect the packaging crisis?
“So when you look at non-disposable vape pens, even the cartridge is usually two different components – glass, metals, usually some cotton, and some other material, too. You can’t really recycle that. It’s just too many materials and it’s too cumbersome to take them apart.
If you have a disposable with a battery, I think that it is a disaster in terms of recycling because people are only going to use one every two or three days. And it’s going to land in the landfill.
“Speaking in terms of consistency with the ArcPod, we are talking about just one material that is using. That is the high-grade aluminum shell around it. Even Storz and Bickel use aluminum. It was engineered in Germany so there are very specific limits for what can be classified as a heavy metal-free cartridge.
The weight of aluminum that is being used is a fraction of a can of coke. Recycling programs that are set up by the government in most countries can easily process that… The cartridges are done in a way that if you wanted to be even extra prudent in that, there are sortation facilities that make sure the dry herb comes out.
Do you have plans on expanding your concentrate pens or e-rigs of your own?
One of our brands Utillian has probably the most popular, portable wax pens, the Ultillian 5, under its umbrella.
Cartridges across the markets
You do sell nicotine “juices” and mod accessories. Has the demand for these products adjusted as of recently?
We haven’t really seen a direct effect on dry herb vaporizers, but we think that the growth rate that we are seeing would be less than it would have been. That’s purely because of the confusion of people referring to vaporizers and vapes as the same device when they are very different.
What are the issues with vapes, vaporizers, and child safety?
The packaging and where the material is located is a focus of ours. The raw material isn’t accessible.
If you look at dry-herb vaporizer with a plastic container that is childproof, I think with time we will see that. There is some chatter in the background already and I am sure the regulators have their eyes on this.
Will you partner with a producer to offer pre-filled cartridges?
There is a health Canada license processor that will house all the robotic machinery. Health Canada Licensed Cultivator will ship their premium cannabis to the processing facility. They will grind it, fill it and seal the carts. Nothing other than cannabis flowers will be allowed in the cart. The product will be ship directly into the supply chains of each province from there.
Do you have partnership plans for expanded commercializing?
We are in talks, but no formal LOI has been inked at this point as we just finished the development phase and are now starting the second round of discussions with our supply chain counterparts.
How much volume is in every single serving?
At this point, we have targeted 0.25g. Since Vaporization is much more efficient than smoking, there is sufficient flower for an enjoyable session, I would estimate equal to the effects of a 0.5g pre-roll.
Stepping into cartridges, not out the door
Other vape companies have had their CEO’s step down in light of this event. How have do you place your own responsibility as a company that has capitalized off nic-juices and their hardware?
In some instances, it has harmed us financially. We have engineers in Germany and Canada doing as much due diligence as humanly possible to vet these products. There is no other company that knows how to vet a vaporizer.
We pledge for strict safety guidelines on all the types of plastics used closed to the air pathway, the type of temperatures their safe at. The MSDS that we go through, and to make sure the battery is safe. In an environment where it’s not regulating, we have done our due diligence to the maximum amount possible in a new industry. Of course, as a CEO there is a responsibility and I take that very seriously.
Would you like to add anything?
Vaping is different than vaporizing, stick to the basics. Herb has been consuming for thousands of years. I would advise vaporizing legal organic cannabis flowers. I am doing the same.”
End of interview.
Perhaps the simpler option is best in a world saturated with surfactants and undeclared preservatives. Should we really allow cutting agent shortcuts to get the convenient experience consumers to desire? Can dry-herb alone solve this or this there an unstoppable demand for full-spectrum extract, despite the warnings from clinical scientists?