Vaping 101: What Is It and How Does It Work?

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cannabis vape cartridges and accessories are now legally available for sale through AshArio.ca.
  • There are many factors to consider when purchasing vaping products, but the most important is to always buy legal.

While dried flower vaporizers and other liquid-based vaping have been allowed in Canada for quite some time, cannabis vaping (or “vape”) products are now legally available for sale in Ontario. So what exactly is vaping?

Essentially, a vape device is a battery-powered accessory that heats a substance until it produces a vapour, which is then inhaled. (The vapour, also called an aerosol, is a suspension of fine particles, liquid or solid, in air. ) Unlike smoking, in which cannabis is burned, the product is heated, releasing its cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD.

Prefilled cartridges which contain cannabis extracts can be used exclusively with a vape pen. 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. If you choose to use extracts such as hash, shatter, resin, rosin, consider the potency — some products can contain up to 90% (900 mg/g) of THC — and how it will affect your body. Start with a very small amount, especially if you are trying a new product, and wait at least two hours to see how it affects your body before consuming more.

What Does a Vape Device Look Like?

Vapes can be handheld or pen-shaped and may be disposable or refilled using pre-filled cartridges of cannabis extracts. A vape is made up of four basic pieces: a mouthpiece, tank or reservoir (which holds the vaping product), heating element and battery.

Accessories such as chargers, replacement parts and cartridges are also available through AshArio.ca. You can learn more about them here.

What to Consider Before Vaping

As with any cannabis product, there are pros and cons to consider when choosing a vape device. Pens are easy to use and portable, but the refillable type must be recharged. Although vape devices produce little visible vapour compared to combusting dry flower, they can’t be used in places where smoking is prohibited.

The main difference between vaping and smoking (i.e. smoking a joint) is that with vaping, no substance is burned, so little smoke is produced. When cannabis is inhaled, whether through vaping or smoking a joint, the absorption method is the same; THC is absorbed by the blood in the lungs and moves quickly to the brain, producing an almost immediate effect, possibly within minutes.

The main consideration in purchasing a vape: Always buy legal. Products available on the illegal market have not been tested for microbial and chemical contaminants, nor held to any safety standards. As required by the Canada Consumer Product and Safety Act, every product sold by AshArio.ca and Licensed Retailers, including vapes and accessories, must go through rigorous quality assurance processes. And only those cannabis vaping substances and cartridges, such as dried flower and concentrates, that are produced by a processor with a licence from Health Canada may be sold.

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