Categories
Vape Hardware

Vape Cartridges: History & Future

Vape Cartridges: History & Future

and the impact to your business.

Vaping has been around for longer than you think, and their use case has morphed drastically from decreasing nicotine consumption to indulging in cannabis products. As the hysteria caused by lack of facts and misinformation from the recent EVALI crisis subsides – vape cartridges are slated for increased demand as the cannabis industry continues to rev its powerful engine.

There’s no better time than now to incorporate industry-leading automated vape cartridge filling technology to reap the benefits of tomorrow. Read along to understand how to scale up your vape cartridge production process to effectively reduce overhead and increase revenue, while improving consumer safety and quality control. 

The History of Vape Cartridges

Before vape cartridges existed as we know them today –  they were first a concept that was drawn up by Joseph Robinson in the 1930s. Although it’s unknown whether he created a  prototype – he is credited as the first person to come up with the idea.

From that point onward, many iterations of vaping devices came and went. However, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that vaping became a commercial success – thanks to the invention of the vape cartridge. However, all of these products were geared towards nicotine consumption in the form of e-cigarettes. [1]

As we fast-forward through time, vaping became a rapidly rising trend as of 2011 with over 7-million users. It’s since ballooned to over 41-million users as of 2018. [2]

It’s likely that the dramatic rise in use is the culmination of new and more reliable vape products and the convenience of the vape cartridge as a consumption device. Vape devices are unmatched in consumer preference when it comes to form-factor and ease of use.

The Modern-Day Vape Cartridge

Currently, vape cartridges can be filled with any type of oil – whether it’s THC, CBD, or nicotine-based. These oils should be produced according to regulations that demand safe production practices and ingredients. However, as evidenced by the recent EVALI crisis, shortcuts taken during the product formulation stage can have dire results.

Aside from the vape oil itself – vaping hardware and filling techniques are the most widely scrutinized aspects of vape cartridges. The reason behind this is due to the prevalence of the black market that continues to distribute faulty and ill-equipped vaping cartridges, or utilize filling processes that expose the oil to toxic materials. Poor handling techniques during the filling process can lead to product contamination, illness, and in severe cases injury and death. 

The vaping scandal of 2019 was the result of the black market selling tainted THC vape cartridges, which is widely believed to be the compound vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E was used to ‘cut’ the THC distillate, reducing the potency and reducing production costs.[3]

Since the EVALI crisis, the FDA and federal regulators have tightened their grip on the vaping industry, which means everything if your business incorporates or produces vape products.

A Growing Demand Despite Hesitations

According to Grand View Research, a leading market analysis group, the vape industry is slated to reach over $67 billion by 2027. The vape industry, which is tied with both the tobacco and cannabis industry, is currently worth $12 billion as of 2019. [5]

Global Vape Cartridge Users by Year
Source: Euromonitor Internationl via BBC

While the EVALI health crisis caused a public perception hit to the perceived safety of the vape cartridge, it is a good idea to remember why consumers chose them in the first place. While those using personal vaporizer devices for nicotine consumption list health and safety as their primary motivating factor in purchasing decisions, those consumers consuming cannabis and hemp derived products overwhelmingly select them for convenience and form-factor, not perceived health effects.

As consumer confidence rebounds, and proper QA techniques are adopted, the potential is sky-high for your vape-based businesses. 

What Does This Mean for Your Business?

With increased regulations and rapidly rising demand – your vape business is staring directly at the crossroads. How will you incorporate heightened quality control checks while managing the pressure of increasing demand?

The answer lies in consolidation and scalability. However, the idea of revamping your entire production process may sound daunting and, quite frankly, difficult to incorporate.

However, consolidation and scalability are accomplished with the help of automation. Automation can take many forms, but typically when we think of automation we think of production and manufacturing devices such as the Vape Jet automatic distillate cartridge filling machine.

The process of filling and checking the quality of vape cartridges is incredibly time-consuming when done manually. However, automated systems, such as the Vape Jet, incorporate a pharmaceutical-grade fluid handling system and advanced machine vision alignment capabilities. 

With the use of an automated vape cartridge filler, multiple tasks are accomplished effectively and up to regulatory standards. By using a vape cartridge filler for co2, rosin, or distillate, your business can quickly consolidate resources and scale accordingly to the demands of the market.

No longer will your business suffer from the love-hate relationship of increased demand. Instead, an automated vape cartridge filler will streamline the production process while simultaneously ensuring quality control. 

Vape Cartridge Users Projections
Source: Grand View Research

Reduce Your Overhead Through Automation

If you have yet to incorporate automation into your vape business – you’re likely paying more than you have to. Without automation, your payroll is dedicated to individuals who are hard-capped as to the number of vape cartridges they can fill per day.

Automation opens the horizon to thousands of vape cartridges filled per day in comparison. This means that you’ll never miss out on a large order because you aren’t producing at scale. Instead, your clients will never lose confidence in your company’s ability to generate any amount of vape cartridges – at any time.

The result of producing products at scale is that you’ll never miss a profitable opportunity. Furthermore, your overhead will plummet as you incorporate automation into your oil cartridge filling process. 

Let’s take a look at how your business can reduce overhead while increasing revenue with Vape Jet.

  • Reduce labor cost
  • Increase production of vape cartridges
  • Decrease the cost of each vape cartridge
  • Reduce overall operational cost
  • Decrease the number of wasted cartridges
  • Find defective cartridges before the filling process

As you can see, the Vape Jet system single-handedly reduces the need for a large workforce while simultaneously increasing output. Overall, the Vape Jet system consolidates your entire vape cartridge filling workforce under a single automated machine. In other words – pure efficiency

Distillate Vape Cartridges
Distillate Vape Cartridges from Highland Provisions filled with Vape-Jet

Further Reading

Categories
Vape Hardware

Vape Hardware Safety Concerns for Your Business

Beginning in June 2019, doctors in a small city of Wisconsin noticed a sudden rise in lung-related illnesses. Each of the cases was similar, yet they did not follow the same path of other documented lung illnesses, such as pneumonia. This was something new – and they were right.

Vape Cartridges and Cannabis Extracts

After 54 deaths and over 2,400 people sent to the hospital, federal authorities and researchers honed in on the culprit – vitamin E acetate.(1) More importantly, it was found that this compound tested positive in illicit THC vape products that were purchased on the street or via online shops.

The vape industry for cannabis and tobacco products came to a screeching halt. What was once a multi-billion dollar sector was now poised for a complete collapse as legislators and lawmakers began pointing fingers as the vape scare raged on.

However, once the CDC pinpointed the cause of the outbreak and concluded that illicit manufacturers were to blame, the vape industry is experiencing a rise to its former heights – and beyond.

However, the latest vape scare came with a price. The industry must collectively change to ensure compliance with state and federal regulators. Aside from the vape product itself, vape hardware must change to keep consumers safe and to keep your business out of the iron-sights of regulators.

If you own a cannabis extraction facility or manage a vape production facility – read along.

Get Your Cartridges Tested

Testing THC vape carts for heavy metal contaminants such as lead.

There’s no better time than now to get your cartridges tested to ensure that your vape company remains in compliance with regulations. Unless your business has the capacity to do quality control checks in-house, then you’ll need the help of a third-party to ensure your cartridges are free of contaminants and are faultless. 

Not only does it mean a better and safer experience for the end-user, but it also reduces the instance of returns/recalls. By reducing the rate of returns, your business will turn a quicker profit.
The balance of regulation, client satisfaction, and consumer safety is met by having your cartridges tested.

Enhance Quality Control Measures

Quality control is beyond necessary across every manufacturing channel. From the tiniest screw to an intricate piece of hardware – everything must undergo a safety test that meets specific standards.

The standards for the vape industry are continuously changing, however, regulators all agree that they want to ensure that vape manufacturers are producing clean cannabis extracts without additives into cartridges that work.

There have been many instances where vape cartridges break, leak, or overheat prematurely. The time is now to step up your cartridge safety before you’re forced to.

Upgrade Your Vape Cartridge Hardware

Vape Cartridges and Pods Filled with Oil

The vape scare left many consumers and regulators on the edge of their seats. Although the vast majority of vape products were legitimate and untainted by vitamin E acetate – the damage was done.

Upgrading your vape products with enhanced hardware is an incredible way to recapture the confidence that so many vape companies once enjoyed. As a business owner or manager of a cannabis extraction facility, you want to ensure your product is enjoyed safely and carried by legal marijuana dispensaries.

If consumers are weary of your product because they contain “old” parts, then you may see a drastic drop in sales. Any business-minded individual knows that change is necessary, and we’re currently in a transitional phase.

Switch to Tamper-Proof Mouthpieces

Aside from keeping your clients happy and the end-user absolutely safe – what about from a legal standpoint?

The revelation from the CDC spurred the FDA to come down hard on all vape companies – not just those related to cannabis.

One of the most notable changes from the FDA is that from this point on, all vape companies must comply with preventing access by minors. (2)

If you’re wondering how you can prevent minors from accessing vape cartridges filled with potent THC, it’s through the use of press-fit mouthpieces that are entirely tamper-proof. The overall vape industry is quickly moving away from twist-top mouthpieces and transitioning to the press-fit design because it prevents content exposure.

Once a manufacturer installs the press-fit mouthpiece, the end-user cannot remove it. This is seen as a child-safe and tamper-proof method that complies entirely with the wishes of the FDA.

Furthermore, this method stops end-users from removing the mouthpiece easily to add additional ingredients into the vape product. In other words, the press-fit design is a protective measure for end-users and for your business.

The last thing your cannabis extraction or vape company needs is a sudden report that your product made someone sick – although they added additional “flavorings” to the cannabis extract.

The Success of Your Business Relies on Compliance

Compliance is essential to a successful vape cartridge company.

Ultimately, the vape scare has changed the cannabis extraction and vape industry forever. Some may argue that it was better before; however, the end result is a focus on consumer safety.

Overall, upgrading your vape hardware should be seen in a positive light because it only adds to your company’s value. Legal cannabis dispensaries were also affected by the vape scare heavily. Therefore, it only makes sense that they will want to only carry safe, reliable, and high-quality vape cartridges that are made from compliant hardware.

With the help of a few uncomplicated hardware upgrades for your cannabis or vape business, you’ll find success quickly by staying ahead of the curve.