Nicotine vaporizers have been around for years as a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco. So, the vape industry has a well-established, somewhat extensive, and potentially confusing vocabulary of jargon: carts, atomizers, pods, coils, etc. For cannabis vaping, you can add terpenes and cannabinoids to the list. Knowing the difference between high-quality tech and the standard offering starts with understanding the language — and the structure of the hardware.

Vape Hardware

Vape hardware typically comes in one of three types:

  • Cartridge and battery systems. These pair a rechargeable battery with a cartridge, aka “cart” for holding oil. Carts are either refillable or replaceable.
  • Pod systems. Similar to a cart and battery, but they use insertable pods in place of carts.
  • Disposable, pre-filled devices. Disposables may or may not be rechargeable, but they are not refillable.

Each option has its pros and cons, so the choice is mostly a matter of personal preference, but the quality of materials and construction are essential to the quality of the vape experience. Poorly constructed hardware and low-quality materials cause leakage, heavy metal leaching, and in the case of cannabis, an inferior high.

For a superior cannabis experience, quality vape hardware must solve these familiar problems and address the additional challenges presented by vaping cannabis oil. This is where terpenes and cannabinoids come in. So, “What are THOSE?”

Terpenes and cannabinoids

High-quality cannabis vape hardware must respect — and protect — the terpenes and cannabinoids of cannabis oil. Engineering, materials, and construction define the difference between a serviceable, if insufficient, cannabis experience and a superior high. To understand how hardware affects the high, it helps to know the science — or at least the basics.

  • Terpenes, aka terpenoids and terps. The simplest definition for these naturally occurring plant compounds appears in a recent online article: “They’re responsible for the aromas, flavors, and even colors associated with various types of vegetation. In terms of cannabis, terpenes are what make certain strains smell or taste different from others.” Terpene profiles, specifically the flavor associated with different terpenes, factor into personal preference for one brand of cannabis oil over another, and research is currently exploring the health benefits of terpenes and their effect on the quality of a cannabis experience.
  • Cannabinoids. Whether or not you’re familiar with the term, you’ve almost certainly heard of at least two specific cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). As defined by Weedmaps, “Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in cannabis and produced by the human body. Endocannabinoids, or internally produced cannabinoids, are an essential component of our bodies’ endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is largely responsible for maintaining internal balance. Phytocannabinoids, or marijuana cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant, mimic the functions of our endocannabinoids and are responsible for the euphoric effects associated with THC.” Cannabinoids are also responsible for the numerous health benefits associated with cannabis consumption.

So, the next question is: How and why do terpenes and cannabinoids factor into the design and production of high-tech, high-quality cannabis vape hardware?

High-tech, high-quality hardware

The industry standard for cart manufacturing is nickel-plated brass, but in the United States safety regulations still permit brass a lead content of 1-3%. Terpenes are caustic to certain metals, so while the presence of lead in anything designed for consumption is cause for concern, the risk of heavy metal leaching increases with the use of cannabis oil — if your hardware sticks to the industry standard. The ideal material for cannabis cart construction is medical-grade, corrosion-resistant stainless steel. With no brass — or lead — content, stainless steel carts pass heavy-metal leaching tests six months or more after they’re manufactured. But nickel-plated brass carts fail the same test as little as two weeks after passing initial inspection.

But the core of any vaping experience is the coil. Standard single coil construction burns off terpenes and cannabinoids too quickly — compromising flavor, effect, and the quality of the cannabis experience. A dual coil alternative, such as Ispire’s patented Ducore™ technology, offers more even heat distribution and lower heat resistance to achieve the optimal temperature for vaping cannabis oil. Combined with other high-quality materials, including medical-grade stainless steel cartomizer construction, standard threading, and adjustable air flow, Ducore™ dual coil tech completes the dope hardware puzzle.

For high-quality hardware, and a quality high,