In The Magazine
Vapes of Tomorrow: Vaporizing Goes High-Tech
Vaporizers to enjoy cannabis are getting more and more advanced.
It’s all about the demonstration as Neeraj Bhardwaj and Andrew Bleloch of Loto Labs set up what looks like a science experiment on the corner of a cleared off office desk. They came in to introduce a new vaporizer that will revolutionize the industry, but first the demonstration.
In order to truly understand the impact of the technology they’re going to be presenting to vaping enthusiasts everywhere sometime later this year, one must first observe exactly how induction heating works. There’s a small box with little knobs, a thick, gold coil connected to a capacitor and lots of talk about oscillating magnetic fields, energy, circuits and conductors.
What they’re trying to explain is how their Frankenstein set-up is about to revolutionize the vaporizer industry. And the seemingly unrelated science experiment? Well, all of that will be inside of their groundbreaking portable device, the Evoke.
The Loto Labs team is promising a quick-heating, non-burning, portable vaporizer that employs the heat-producing physics principle to heat loose leaves, wax and oil instead of the standard coil and wick system that other traditional vaporizers use.
“Most vapes waste wax and oil,” Bhardwaj says. “With the induction heating used in the Evoke, users can heat up their flowers or concentrate without simply burning it up.”
The Loto Labs team recognized a need in an evolving market and conceptualized and successfully crowd-funded their groundbreaking device.
The first prototype of the Evoke vaporizer was hand-whittled by Gabe Brown who designed the ergonomic device out of wood. Though there may be a few slight changes before production, the design they’ve chosen to move forward with features a sleek, rounded underside that comfortably fits into the palm of a hand and a flat top that would allow users to put the vaporizer down on a surface without it being disturbed or rolling away.
The Evoke will also be able to connect to a computer or smartphone that will integrate with Apple’s iOS 8 Health app as well as Android Fit. This will allow for users to not only monitor their overall usage, but also have complete control over delicate temperature settings.
“The idea is to control the temperature to prevent overheating but still produce a big plume,” says Bleloch.
Similarly, the Indica vaporizer is designed to improve the quality of smoking experiences by offering more precise temperature control. Their design promises minimal fluctuation of the chamber temperature that houses the loose leaf plant which is vaporized to perfection.
“Our focus is on the purity of vapor quality,” says Michael Freelander, the owner and president of Indica. “We have found out what it takes to get the best taste that can be extracted at the right temperature.”
Acutely regulated temperatures are the key to ideal density of the vapor or plume of smoke released upon exhalation. If the temperature is too high the plant material is burned, ruining the flavor profile and producing dense, thick vapors. If the temperature is not high enough, the material won’t be properly heated enough to release the active ingredients.
At just a little over three inches, the Indica can hold up to 0.26 grams of dry herb with 20 -30 individual drags per full chamber. It has five different temperature settings from 171 degrees to 211 degrees with 10-degree increments between each step. Temperatures are indicated by an LED light that change five different colors based on the intensity of the heat — cyan is the coolest and red is the hottest.
“There were no shortcuts here. We invested in higher-cost circuitry boards and cutting-edge programming. We had some of the best minds in vaporizing assist us,” Freelander says.
The same could be said about the Herbalizer. Designed by two former NASA engineers, the Herbalizer touts itself as the world’s first smart vape with capabilities that allows users to have complete control over the temperature.
At first sight, the sleek machine looks like some sort of device that might incubate a miniature extraterrestrial. However, a glimpse inside of the silver pod complete with a range of accessories betrays how brilliant the model really is.
Unlike most vaporizers that can take a few minutes to heat up, this table top device heats up instantly making it an invaluable asset to people who require immediate symptom relief like epileptics or people who suffer from anxiety or panic attacks.
The machine offers two options for vaporizing: balloon or whip. It has two different areas where users can vaporize both loose leaf plant as well as oil, wax or concentrates by implementing the spare aroma pad that fits into the bowl. The sophisticated heating system is the first ever to use a halogen bulb as a heating source. The advanced temperature control is constantly regulated through micro-pulses that provide consistent heating.
Josh Young, the CEO and President of San Diego-based Herbalizer, points out an interesting historical fact.
“It turns out that Thomas Edison didn’t just create the lightbulb, he created a heating source, “ Young says. “The halogen light bulb is 98 percent inefficient at providing light, but is an excellent source for heat.”
At 400 degrees, materials begin to vaporize. Because materials begin to combust and burn at 451 degrees, being able to control the temperature of a vaporizer is paramount if the density is to be controlled. Because there’s evidence that temperature plays a big role in producing unwanted byproducts, having precise control over such a delicate element is crucial for an optimum and effective vaporizing experience.
Extracting only potent active ingredients is of utmost importance for the makers of the VapeXhale. VapeXhale CEO Seibo Shen explains that there are a few main things that set this tabletop vaporizer apart from others on the market, one of them being its ability to successfully vaporize cannabis in a variety of forms.
“Our vaporizer works equally well with flowers and oils,” Shen says.
VapeXhale has two patent-pending technologies that set this tabletop vaporizer apart from many that are emerging into the market. The PerpetuHeat system paired with their HydraTube technology that moisture conditions the vapor before it’s inhaled.
The VapeXhale Cloud EVO is also the only vaporizer that offers an all-glass vapor path. The materials this vaporizer is made out of really help to distinguish it from others. VapeXhale uses high-quality, German-made borsocilicate glass that doesn’t interfere or impede the flavor during a hit and allows for thick, potent hits.
The heating method can remain consistent because the materials prevent thermal degradation of the equipment and smokers can enjoy dense, good-tasting hits without the fear of burning the materials.
“We wanted our vaporizer to provide an experience similar to combustion,” Shen says. “So, people can still expect thick, milky vapor. We figured out how to make the process efficient without the fire.”
Long-time smokers with an allegiance to traditional toking will be encouraged to examine their devotion to the tried-and-true method as companies like VapeXhale continue to enhance the undeniable perks of vaporizing. The Green Rush has given the cannabis industry and its auxiliary companies the tinder needed to fire up the kind of creativity that inspires innovation across the board.
The technology is available for companies to capitalize on the emerging trend, yet only a few have committed to introducing distinctive, high-caliber products to consumers. The issue is many companies aren’t investing in high-grade materials, devoting their time to innovative research or taking the time to develop the details that ensure an excellent product. With superb vaporizers that have trailblazing characteristics becoming the norm for the market, the rest of the industry will have to find the steam to keep up.
Everyone has a different idea for what the future may hold. Loto Labs envisions a world where induction heating will become commonplace in vaporizers, replacing the inefficient wick and coil system once and for all.
“I see it becoming ubiquitous. Other companies will be using our technology,” Bhardwaj says.
For the owner of Indica, design will be the next frontier.
“I think miniaturization is a key element that will be the focus of the industry and its consumers,” says Freelander. “Smaller, equally-efficient vaporizers are what people are going to be looking for in the future.”
Yet, others imagine health will take the reins as more people become aware of the harmful effects of unwanted byproducts in their vapor.
“One thing we’re likely to see is people caring more about what they’re vaporizing,” says Bleloch of Loto Labs. “As more sophisticated chemical analyses, more controlled studies and more scientific labs emerge, the new trend will lean towards people being more conscious of exactly what they’re putting in their bodies.”
And with the integration of smart phone capabilities that give users more control over their smoking experience and information out their intake, more companies are likely to follow suite.
“Smart vapes are what’s next,” Shen says. “They’re going to become a part of a sort of holistic health regimen. Patients will be able to give their doctors more information based on the results what they’re now able to track.”
With the world becoming more aware of the variety of healing chemical components found in cannabis, many people are learning that they can control the caliber of their high depending on the quality of materials and sophistication of the device that they choose. State-of-the-art technology, leading-edge design and having the capability to provide pragmatic health information will all be vital for all vaporizers as more options emerge on the market and users sharpen their standards. The future of vaporization will be reliant on the successful execution of all of these elements in one device.
Originally published in Issue 12 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE
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