INTRODUCTION TO VAPES
Cannabis vaping (or “vape”) products are now legally available for sale in Ontario. Read on for an overview of the category.
What are vape devices and how do they work?
A vaporizer, also known as a “vape”, is a battery-powered accessory that
heats a substance until it produces a vapour, which is then inhaled. Unlike
smoking, in which cannabis is burned, the product is heated to release
cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, as well as terpenes and/or flavours.
Since vaporizers do not burn cannabis, no combustion or smoke is
What products can be used in a vape device?
Pre-filled cartridges which contain cannabis extracts can be used
exclusively with a vape battery. Other extracts (concentrates) such as
hash, shatter, resin, rosin, etc. are consumed either through combustion or
through a specific device designed to heat them to a precise temperature.
Impact and potency of extracts?
If a customer chooses to use cannabis extracts, they should consider the
potency (some products can contain over 90% (900 mg/g) of THC) and how it will affect their body. It’s recommended that consumers start with a very small amount, especially if they are trying a new product, and wait at least two hours to see how it affects their body before consuming more.
Types of Vapes
Vapes are often pen-shaped and may be disposable, a kit (cartridge, battery and charger) or simply a cartridge pre-filled with cannabis extracts. Some vaporizers are designed specifically for vaporizing dried flower or extracts by using the provided inserts. These are sold as accessories, as the cannabis product needs to be loaded by the user.
All pre-filled vapes are sold with cannabis product and are closed-loop (i.e. non-refillable).
Some handheld vapes are adjustable, allowing customers to select their desired temperature. Customers should double check the details before purchasing to see what’s included.
QUICK STEPS: CHECKLIST FOR FIRST TIME USE
For optimal safety and longevity of the product, customers should be aware of the following:
- Before first use, ensure vape battery is fully charged
- Avoid over-tightening when attaching or changing a vape cartridge or battery
- If the device is button-actuated, allow vape device to heat up for several seconds before first inhaling
- Ensure silicone covers for both the mouthpiece and the vent have been removed before initial use. The device will not operate if they are still attached
- Ensure no vents are blocked when inhaling
- Ensure you read the user instructions on the product’s packaging before usage as hardware may vary between producers
STORAGE & MAINTENANCE
- When not in use, it’s best to disconnect cartridges from batteries and store them at room temperature, in a dry location
4-30 degrees C / 39-86 degrees F (see product label for any specific storage instructions) to avoid damage to the product
- Always store vape devices and cartridges upright to avoid leakage
- Do not expose vape device to direct sunlight, rain, snow, excessive heat or moisture/humidity for prolonged periods of time
- Do not expose vape device to freezing temperatures
- Do not leave cartridges or vape pens in extremely hot or cold vehicles
- Do not tamper with vape device, battery or cartridge
- Vape devices are not waterproof; do not get it wet or submerge in water
- Do not restrict airflow from top or bottom vents; ensure all ventilation holes are clear before inhaling
- Cartridges will appear to be approximately ¾ of the way full, this is normal as head space is required for the product to function properly
- Ensure vape is turned off prior to storage or transportation
- Do not expose vape device to high altitudes or highly pressurized situations (such as airplanes) as leakage may occur
- Always store vape devices securely and upright when travelling
- Do not expose to freezing temperatures or excess heat for long periods of time for 510 thread cartridges, pods and batteries, we strongly recommend they are disconnected when not in use
- Always ensure the battery is charged before use
- If the vape device has an LED light display but is not displaying any light, the vape device has most likely been dropped, damaged or has died
- Some disposable vape pens are non-rechargeable, please check your specific device before attempting to charge.
Vape battery units (either 510 thread or pods) can be reused by attaching a new cartridge onto the battery. Most batteries are labelled 510-thread, which means they have a special insert that is compatible with a 510-thread cartridge. However, some vape cartridges can only be used with batteries specific to the brand.
If the customer chooses to use 510 products together when they are not from the same brand they may run into unexpected complications, or the experience may not be as intended by the Licensed Producer.
Disposable vape pens are not refillable and are not meant to be separated from their battery. All disposable vape pens sold through OCS.ca and Licensed Retailers use pre-filled cartridges.
- Naturally occurring crystallization may occur in vapes with extracts that contain approximately 60% CBD or higher as they do not have enough THC to offset the crystallization effect. This may occur in vapes that contain a higher amount of CBD than THC.
- Crystallization does not mean the vape cartridge is faulty or defective.
- Crystallization may be temporarily resolved with a low amount of heat, but will likely recrystallize when the vape cools, due to the high percentage of CBD.
- Begin by applying a low amount of heat, then inhale 2-3 times to gradually heat the chamber containing oil. This may help reduce viscosity and temporarily remedy the crystallization. You may also try to hold the vape cartridge firmly between your palms for 2-3 minutes. The heat from your hands should safely heat the oil chamber, which should de-crystallize the molecules temporarily.
Issue: A vape device or cartridge is leaking through the cartridge or mouth piece.
Action: Customers must be advised that distillate is extremely potent with potential health consequences if ingested. Any distillate that leaks onto skin should be washed off thoroughly. Oil residue at the bottom of the cartridge is not considered a leak. It is normal to have a small amount of residue appear as the cartridge nears the end of its life.
Issue: After initial set up, the vape battery fails to turn on or retain a charge.
Action: Please ensure the battery is charged as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If directions are followed and the device fails to turn or retain a charge, there may be an issue with the battery/device and/or the cartridge it is connected to.
Issue: Customer is using an illicit vape product (such as a battery or cartridge) and the device is not working properly.
Action: Please use the recommended battery for 510 cartridges, as they are designed to match and provide the desired effect. OCS can only investigate untampered products from Licensed Producers. If a cartridge has been modified in any way, it is not eligible for return.
Issue: Customer is using 510 vaping products together (such as a vape battery or cartridge) which are not from the same brand and are experiencing unexpected complications.
Action: Please use the recommended battery for each 510 cartridge as the products are designed to match and provide the desired effect.
Issue: Customer suspects their vaping device has been exposed to excessive heat or cold.
Action: Please ensure the device has entirely returned to room temperature and inspect it visually prior to attempted use.
Issue: Customer suspects their vape device has a blockage.
Action: You may be able to unclog push-activated vape pens by preheating the vape and holding the button down for 5 seconds prior to inhalation. You may be able to unclog breath-activated vape pens by gently inserting a toothpick into the devices’ mouthpiece to clear any blockage. This process may be repeated 2-3 times until the blockage is cleared.
Issue: Customer suspects there is a loose or broken connection within their vape device.
Action: Ensure the vape is turned off and gently unscrew the cartridge from the base or battery. Carefully clean the threading on the cartridge and within the battery of any debris and residue. Be careful not to apply too much pressure when cleaning. Screw the cartridge back on the base, but do not overtighten cartridge.
Issue: Customer experiences a “bad taste” from their vape device.
Action: A bad or burnt taste can result from using a cartridge with less than 5% of the oil remaining if there isn’t enough oil re-saturating the heating core. Rapid and aggressive use of cartridge over a long period of time may also result in experiencing a burnt taste.
Issue: Customer experiences “dry hits” or no smoke after inhaling from a vape device.
Action: This could be due to resin accumulating on the opposite side of the internal tank as a result of storage or shipping. Keep the device upright at room temperature for approximately 4 hours to allow proper wicking. You may need to inhale 3-5 times before vapor is visible.