Tag: firefly

10 Excellent Portable Dry-Herb Vaporizers

As cutting-edge technology enters the cannabis space, portable vaporizers are often at the forefront of cannabis innovation. From vaporizers featuring water filtration to app-synced offerings, we’ve listed some of the most specialized vapes designed for use with cannabis flower.


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Set your preferred temperature and enjoy hours of perfect pulls with the awesome handheld vape picks below.

(Courtesy of Firefly)

Touted as “the iPhone of Vaporizers,” the Firefly 2 has its finger on the pulse of vape technology with its own iOS and Android apps. With six temperatures, a removable mouthpiece, a magnetic lid, and fresh air intakes, this sleek piece is the perfect mix of technology and cannabis. Read our full review here.

Price: $329.95

Pax has made a name for itself as one of the leading vaporizer companies on the market, and their Pax 3 is no exception. Load up this Bluetooth- and app-enabled vape with loose flower or extract, and you can expect over 90 minutes of battery power wrapped up with four heat settings and a 10-year warranty. Get an in-depth look at the Pax 3 with our own review here.

Price: $274.99


Firefly 2 vs. Pax 3: A Portable Vaporizer Comparison

Utillian 721 by Utillian

(Courtesy of Utilillian)

Boasting eight heat settings, the Utillian 721 offers a wide range of temperature options to help its users find the perfect customized high. Available in Canada, this durable vape comes with a one-year warranty, and an extra mouthpiece in a portable and convenient size. Load it with your favorite flower for a quick session with plentiful vapor.

Price: $219 (CAD) 

(Courtesy of V4/Twenty)

The lightweight, ergonomic V4/Plush by V4/Twenty can hold up to 0.65 grams of fresh herb, and with the use of Dynamic Conduction Technology and an all-glass air path, you’ll experience even heating for a fresh and potent pull at any of its five temperature levels.

Price: $149.95


The Best Discreet Vape Pens and Portable Vaporizers

FEZ Blanc by FEZ

You’ll get over 2,000 puffs per charge with the FEZ Blanc by FEZ, which ensures lasting relief without the constant need for a battery hookup. Heated and ready for use in just 60 seconds, this vape comes with a silicon mouthpiece, micro USB charger, charging adapter, chamber sleeve, leaf storage jar, cleaning kit, and user manual with details on the one-year warranty. Access more information and check out our review of the dry herb vaporizer here.

Price: $129

(Courtesy of Magic Flight)

The Walnut Launch Box Kit by Magic Flight boasts a full lifetime warranty to accompany its classic design and quality materials. Each kit includes two rechargeable NiMH batteries with protective caps, a battery charger, a felt-lined decorative tin, a glass draw stem, a cleaning brush, and a Flight Guide to go with this stunning piece.

Price: $119


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Air II by Arizer

Backed by a two-year warranty, the Air II by Arizer is compact and delivers a personalized vape experience without the need to download an app to keep up. With a glass air path and controlled temperature options, you won’t have to sacrifice flavor to reach your desired elevation. Learn more about the Arizer with our in-depth review here.

Price: $239.99

(Courtesy of Davinci)

Like a sleek vape in a future sci-fi universe, the Davinci IQ is unique, polished, and innovative. It’s set with a ceramic zirconia air path and includes four different temperature options to ensure you get the best flavor out of your flower. Try out its three guided modes—Smart Path, Precision, and Boost—for a tailor-made vape experience backed by a ten-year warranty.

Price: $274.99


10 Brands Making Awesome Disposable Cannabis Vape Pens

Hydrology9 Vaporizer by Cloudious9

(Courtesy of Cloudious 9)

Consumers love the Hydrology9 for its water filtration system, which aims to deliver a cleaner and smoother pull. The Hydrology9 is a mix between water pipe and vaporizer, with the added perk of using less flower to achieve the same effects. With leak protection and space-grade borosilicate glass, this piece is leading the way in pairing vape technology with water filtration.

Price: $249.99

Small enough to fit in your pocket or tuck into your purse, the AirVape Xs by AirVape packs a ton of technology into a tiny package. By combining both conduction and convection heating with individual temperature controls, your herb’s flavor will shine through without the burnt popcorn aftertaste. It can also be used while it’s charging so you’ll never have to wait for your next session.

Price: $179

A Beginner’s Guide to Mindful Cannabis Consumption

This article is sponsored by Firefly, a San Francisco-based technology company that specializes in the research, design, and manufacturing of vaporizer hardware.

So you’re feeling canna-curious and want to learn how best to incorporate cannabis into your current lifestyle? Say hello to your new best friend, caregiver, and spirit guide all rolled up into one sweet-smelling flowering plant.

Cannabis can create a wide variety of experiences, which you can curate to your liking if you approach the plant with a mindful and curious attitude. On the whole, cannabis is a friendly plant, but this powerful substance should be approached carefully if you are not familiar with using it. Here are a few tips to keep things mindful as you develop this new relationship that may last a lifetime.

Set an Intention

A Beginner's Guide to Mindful Cannabis Consumption | Leafly(Courtesy of Firefly)

Setting an intention before you consume is key to guiding your experience in the right direction.  Imagine you’re taking yourself on a journey. It helps to choose the destination before leaving on a trip. When you want to swim in the ocean, you drive to the beach. If you drive aimlessly, you might end up in downtown San Francisco instead—not quite what you had in mind. So before each use, ask yourself how you want the cannabis to make you feel. Do you want to get creative? Laugh? Meditate? Relieve pain? You can keep your intention to yourself or say it aloud: The clearer you are with your intention, the more likely you are to achieve it!

Let Your Body Choose the Strain

“The absolute best way to determine which strain to purchase is to stick your nose right into the big weed jar at the dispensary and notice which flavors (terpene combinations) you’re most drawn to,” writes yogi Dee Dussault in her book Ganja Yoga. Our bodies contain valuable intuitive knowledge, and if a strain smells appealing to you, there’s a good chance it has the cannabinoids and terpenes that your body craves. Once you’ve purchased, testing out strains with a microdose first gives a sense of how they will react with your body chemistry. “Be very methodical and resist the urge to oversaturate. Dose up slowly the same way for the first four or five doses,” advises meditation instructor and Harborside budtender Jaene Leonard.


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Microdose With a Vaporizer

A Beginner's Guide to Mindful Cannabis Consumption | Leafly(Courtesy of Firefly)

Vaporization is the way to go for mindful beginners because it’s easier to pace yourself, less harmful for your lungs, and the cannabis retains more flavor than with smoking. With convection vaporizers like the Firefly, you can vaporize flower (or extract) one puff at a time and save the rest for later, kind of like a micro-session. Firefly differs from other high-end vaporizers like the Pax and Volcano in that it only heats while you inhale, so any un-vaped flower stays fresh until the next time you pick it up. This allows you to ease into the experience, so you can test the strain out before committing to a complete change of consciousness. “The beauty of a precision vaporizer is that the temperature can be adjusted. The vapor is cool, the flavor robust, and the high is crystal clear,” writes Joe Dolce in Brave New Weed.

In addition to the variety of customization features, Firefly’s breath-controlled dynamic convection heat technology encourages you to become more aware of your breath, creating a meditative headspace as you consume.


Microdosing With Cannabis: Benefits Without the Buzz

Go Organic

This may sound over-the-top to some people, but you’re putting something into your body just like with food, so pay attention to the quality of your cannabis. Find out where it comes from and how it’s grown. Just as fruits and vegetables taste better when you buy from the farmer’s market, sun-grown cannabis tastes and feels better in your body. “Outdoor cannabis plants get charged with the full spectrum of sunlight for a full eight months,” explains Dussault. “This natural light spectrum produces far more cannabinoids and terpenes. Sun-grown cannabis also requires far fewer pesticides and fungicides, the residues of which can be extremely hazardous to your health.”

Companies like Flow Kana offer organic cannabis grown sustainably by small, local farms, and these days most companies get their product lab-tested so you can make an educated decision. These products taste better, feel better, and let you feel good about making an environmentally-friendly choice.

Choose a Comfortable Setting

A Beginner's Guide to Mindful Cannabis Consumption | Leafly(Courtesy of Firefly)

Set the tone by putting yourself in an environment where you feel comfortable. Revisit your intention to inspire this choice. You may want to stay cozy at home and surround yourself with close friends, or sit outside under a tree and connect with nature. “Learn what you enjoy and, more important, what you don’t enjoy, in the enhanced state. This is the key to knowing how to be high,” Dolce advises in Brave New Weed. No matter where you end up or who you’re with, have plenty of water and snacks on hand to keep you hydrated and satiated.


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Listen to Your Body

It can be as simple as “that feels good” or “that doesn’t.” We all have different body chemistry and each strain will affect you and your friends differently. It’s okay to take recommendations from friends, but stay true to what feels good for you and pay attention to changes in your physical body and emotions after consuming a new strain. Budtenders can be valuable resources for information, but keep in mind the varying degrees of education and the influence of personal experience and opinion. Your body knows better than anyone.

Keep a Journal

If you’re feeling extra-studious, start a journal. “Just as recording your dreams can help you meaningfully integrate them into your waking life, writing down your insights while high can be useful for revivifying your inner life,” writes Dolce. Writing everything down will help you keep track of all the different factors that come into play each time you consume cannabis. For a more medical approach, Leonard advises you to “rate your symptoms before you take any cannabis medicine, record what you’re taking and when, and rate your symptoms once the medicine has kicked in. Over time, your journal will help elucidate what cannabinoids and methods of delivery work best for you.”


How to Keep a Cannabis Strain Health and Wellness Journal

Smile 🙂

A Beginner's Guide to Mindful Cannabis Consumption | Leafly(Courtesy of Firefly)

You’ve taken your self-care to the next level and made “a new friend you will have for the rest of your life,” says cannabis guru Swami of Swami Select farm. “Experience it as you would a fine glass of wine, with conscious intentions, and expect to be inspired!” Explore life with this new friend. Listen to your favorite music, make love, paint, do yoga, sing, take a nap, go for a walk outside. Do whatever makes you feel happy, and your path to cannabis enlightenment will be a joyful one.

Maximizing CBD’s Effects and Benefits: 5 Experts Weigh In

This article is sponsored by Firefly, a San Francisco-based technology company that specializes in the research, design, and manufacturing of vaporizer hardware.

Is CBD the magic cannabis molecule, or a misleading fad? There’s certainly a major trend toward CBD-only products on the cannabis market, and a push in some states leery of medical marijuana to legalize only one or two cannabinoids. Yet many are fighting back against this approach.  That’s because there’s an interactive synergy between cannabis compounds, known as the entourage effect, and many benefits attributed broadly to cannabis can only be unlocked through “whole plant medicine” – that is, with THC, CBD, terpenes, and other cannabinoids working together in sync.


5 Experts Weigh in on Cannabis Concentrates and How to Use Them

Whole plant medicine has been widely debated as many states consider limited legalization of cannabinoids like CBD, and the idea that the entourage effect is integral to using cannabis as medicine is increasingly accepted. In fact, some products are being designed specifically to maximize the value of whole plant medicine for the consumer. Take Firefly’s vaporizer technology, which sets out to capture all the myriad benefits of the entourage effect through dynamic convection technology. “[Firefly 2 was] truly designed around the plant…in order to deliver all the cannabinoids and terpenes in the most efficient way,” says Rachel Dugas of Firefly. Yet given the complexities of these chemical interactions, it’s still hard to pin down how exactly this maximizes the benefits of cannabis.

What the Experts Say About CBD’s Effects and Benefits

Neuron cell network

To shed some light on the subject, we assembled a panel of five experts in different areas of the cannabis space to weigh in:

Here’s what they had to say.

What effects does CBD have on its own?

Mary Lynn Mathre: “Many – anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, anti-seizure, neuroprotective, bone stimulant, anti-spasmodic, and more.”

Jessica Peters: “Anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-proliferative, analgesic, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), neuroprotective, anti-psychotic, anti-emetic (anti-nausea) … I can technically answer what are the properties of CBD, but these properties might not pop out if THC is not present. A potential new research category that I’ve seen evidence of anecdotally are addiction-fighting properties … CBD seems to reroute those neural pathways.”

Constance Finley: “Studies have shown CBD to have a positive effect on inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis and spasms, but it should be noted that most of these applications are not treated with just CBD alone and in fact do require some level of THC, whose role as a phytotherapeutic compound has already been established vis-à-vis many of the same conditions. CBD acts on different receptors than THC in the body.”

Perry Solomon: “It’s been found that CBD alone can cause a feeling of calm, relaxation. CBD’s other medicinal effects stem from completely separate pathways, such as the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), mu and delta opioid receptors. Taken on its own, CBD has sedative, antioxidant, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant effects on the brain, but does not create any overtly psychoactive high like THC. It’s also been shown to have change gene expression and remove beta amyloid plaque, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s, from brain cells.”


Product Review: The Firefly 2 Portable Vaporizer

How are these effects augmented or altered by other compounds?

Peters: “Pretty significantly. CBD being cannabis-based is what’s most crucial for these properties to exist. The range of the volume of THC in relation to CBD will feature different properties. An equal amount of THC to CBD [for example] is often the best pain reliever. Many terpenes have relationships [and] the fact that those relationships exist is becoming clearer and clearer.”

Eloise Theisen: “CBD and THC seem to work better together. They lessen each other’s side effects.”

Solomon: “THC seems to potentiate all the effects of CBD and conversely, CBD affects THC. Dr. Ethan Russo further supports this theory by demonstrating that non-cannabinoid plant components such as terpenes serve as inhibitors to THC’s intoxicating effects, thereby increasing THC’s therapeutic index. This ‘phytocannabinoid-terpenoid synergy,’ as Russo calls it, increases the potential of cannabis-based medicinal extracts to treat pain, inflammation, fungal and bacterial infections, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, and even cancer … Terpenes act on receptors and neurotransmitters; they are prone to combine with or dissolve in lipids or fats; they act as serotonin uptake inhibitors (similar to antidepressants like Prozac); they enhance norepinephrine activity (similar to tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil); they increase dopamine activity; and they augment GABA (the “downer” neurotransmitter that counters glutamate, the “upper”). However, more specific research is needed.”

Mathre: “CBD has value, but its value can be enhanced with the whole plant and we can develop more individualized medicine (specific ratios depending upon the person and the need).”


Cannabis’s Entourage Effect: Why Whole Plant Medicine Matters

How much more effective would you say whole-plant medicine is than CBD-only?

Peters: “Radically. Not even close. It’s as though you’re working with different substances.”

Solomon: “I think that any whole plant medicine is more effective then any CBD-only product.”

Theisen: “Whole plant medicine is the only way to go.”

Mathre: “Safer and more effective, and tolerance will develop more slowly (if at all).”

Finley: “In almost all cases…I would say whole-plant therapeutics are 100% more effective than CBD-only.”

Thoughts on those who exclude THC or other cannabis components from the realm of medicinal cannabis?

Finley: “I believe everyone should have access to all types of treatment options that could potentially benefit them, and people need to be aware that not all cannabis is created equal. CBD from hemp does not have the medicinal properties that CBD from cannabis possesses, and is frankly an inferior product.”

Mathre: “We have lawyers and politicians practicing medicine without a license – they don’t know what they are talking about. Clearly there may be some patients who need little to no THC, but the vast majority will benefit from it. Patients should have all of the options open to them and research needs to continue to help determine how to best individualize cannabis medicine.”

Peters: “It’s so extraordinarily problematic that it feels criminal to me… The wall of bureaucracy is pushing up against the wall of science.”


Firefly 2: The Dynamic Convection Vaporizer Pushing the Industry Forward

What is the best way to consume cannabis to access its complete entourage of effects?

Finley: “Delivery methods vary greatly in terms of their efficiency and their effects. I heard a colleague say that smoking a joint for therapeutic effect is akin to opening your mouth in the rain to get a drink of water … Our preferred methods [are] buccal ingestion or sublingual ingestion, vaping from a vaporizer or vape pen whose hardware is safe to use with cannabis extracts, and topical for additional localized impact.”

Peters: “Certainly vaporizing flowers is one of the easiest options. I would [also] say tinctures … especially full plant and alcohol-extracted (with organic ethanol).”

Theisen: “Vaporization or tinctures of whole plants. Any sort of extraction method that isn’t going to deplete it.”

How Vaporizer Technology Can Maximize the Entourage Effect

firefly30 copy-web

In the vaporizer world, dynamic convection is the process by which vapes can capture a complete range of active ingredients and flavors in cannabis flowers and full-plant concentrates. This maximizes efficiency and optimizes the benefits of the entourage effect for the consumer. As vaporizer technology continues to advance in this direction, it will become easier and easier for patients to explore the benefits of whole plant medicine for themselves, and hone in on the cannabis strains best suited to their needs.

To learn more about dynamic convection technology in the Firefly 2, please visit the sponsor’s website.

Product Review: The Firefly 2 Portable Vaporizer

Welcome to Leafly’s Product Reviews, where we take a closer look at a cannabis gadget, accessory, or consumable, and give it a test spin. Today we’re trying out the Firefly 2 portable vaporizer.

The Firefly 2 at a Glance

Product Type: Dry herb and concentrate portable vaporizer

Manufacturer: Firefly

Price: $329.95

Features: Fast-charge battery, customizable temperature settings, convection heating, interchangeable magnetic faceplates

Includes: Firefly 2 vaporizer, 2 rechargeable batteries, charging dock, USB 3.0 cable, cleaning kit, 3 concentrate pads

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Initial Impressions

The Firefly 2 is the latest flagship entry in portable herb and concentrate vaporizers from Firefly. Having never used a Firefly before, I was really impressed by the slick, clean, and space-age design the Firefly 2 has. Their website claims that the Firefly 2 is 55% lighter and 33% smaller than the first Firefly, and while I can’t personally attest to that since I didn’t use the first Firefly, I can say that this was a very easy device to carry around.

At around five inches long and an inch thick, the Firefly 2 has a very high-quality feel without being too heavy, and its slim profile makes it a breeze to carry in either my pocket or my backpack with no hassle. The magnetically attached faceplates can also be interchanged with ones in different colors, providing a level of personalization that I appreciate having in a vaporizer.

I was also intrigued by the fact that there are no outward buttons on the Firefly. Instead, there are two finger sensors on each side of the vaporizer by the bowl that indicate when the vaporizer should heat up, and the subtlety of this design choice along with the slim profile and quality build gives the Firefly 2 a very simple yet sophisticated appearance.

Loading and Operating the Firefly 2

firefly 2 portable vaporizer review - loading and operating

Simply put, the Firefly 2 is an awesome piece of technology aimed at making vaping even easier while giving the user incredible control over what they want their vaping experience to be like. For starters, the unibody magnetic faceplate is easily removable yet very strong, making it easy to access the bowl while still feeling like the device is secure. After removal of the faceplate, you can either fill the bowl with your favorite herb or use one of the included concentrate pads to load up your concentrate of choice before setting it into the bowl.

The people at Firefly were kind enough to send me an invitation to use the app that coincides with controlling the settings for your Firefly 2, and I have to say that I was a bit skeptical at the thought of using an app just to control the settings for my vaporizer. However, that all changed once I saw the amount of options the app gives you in regards to heat settings. The free app that accompanies this vaporizer allows you to not only choose between low and high heat for concentrates, but to be able to use a sliding scale to fine tune the exact temperature you want within a matter of percentage points.

I was really impressed by the level of control the app gave me to create the perfect vaping conditions for me. Some people may not care about having this amount of control, but the capability to is nice to have. I also like that operating the vaporizer through the app allows the Firefly to maintain such a sleek and futuristic look, and the firmware updates that go along with the app will ensure that your vaporizer will be up to date with any new features Firefly may plan on adding in the future.

Vaping Experience

firefly 2 portable vaporizer review - vaping experience

The Firefly 2 provides for an incredibly smooth (almost too smooth) vaping experience, regardless if you happen to be vaping flower or concentrates. Placing either one or both (it depends on how you have your settings) fingers on the side sensors will make the Firefly 2 light up to start heating, a process that only takes a few seconds. After the light turns a solid green, all that’s left to do is inhale to activate the Firefly 2’s convection heating system to vape your flower or concentrate.

I recommend taking long and deep hits with the Firefly 2, as the airflow allows you to take the deepest pulls without feeling any type of burn or heat while inhaling. This is a credit to the Firefly 2’s convection heating system that only heats up your cannabis while you inhale, saving and extending the length of any bowl you pack. The unit is such a finely tuned piece of vaping equipment that there are often moments where it feels like I’m just breathing in regular air, only to blow out a nice shroud of vapor. Don’t expect to consistently blow any huge clouds with this vaporizer, but also don’t worry if you feel like you aren’t getting any vapor as well. After a few deep pulls I was already feeling pretty stoned, but in a way where I felt that I was absorbing everything my cannabis had to offer.

During my vape session, I used the app to crank the temperature either a few points up or down, which allowed me to really taste and experience the full range of my herb. However, one thing that was a bit annoying was that it was often hard for me to see the heat indicator light on the faceplate while I was using the product outside in the daylight, and the incredibly smooth vaping process meant that I often had no idea if my cannabis was heated up fully. Other than that, the Firefly 2 provided possibly the smoothest vaping experience that I’ve had personally, and the convection heating system and precise temperature controls through the app allowed my bowls to last much longer.

Note that this smoothness extends out to vaping concentrates as well; I was still treated to the same flavorful and airy experience using shatter and the provided concentrate pads that are placed in the bowl.

Our Verdict

firefly 2 portable vaporizer review - leafly's verdict

In conclusion, the Firefly 2 is an incredible piece of technology for the portable vaporizer market. From the sleeker and modern design to the use of a finely-tuned app to control an effortlessly smooth vaping experience, the Firefly 2 is on another level compared to most other portable vaporizers on the market. This difference is also reflected in the price, and at $329.95 the Firefly 2 is definitely on the far end of the price spectrum for portable vaporizers.

However, don’t let the price scare you if you are considering picking one of these up. This is a very high-quality piece of technology with a high-quality vaping experience, and the app with firmware updates will ensure that your purchase will be well worth it in the long run.

If you’re looking for a vaporizer that doesn’t come with any frills and allows you to rip big clouds, this may not be the one for you, but if price isn’t a big factor and you’re looking for a high-quality vaporizer that gives you immense control to get every useful bit out of your herb or concentrate, give the Firefly 2 a try.

Have you tried the Firefly 2? If so, leave a review on our Products page!

5 Experts Weigh in on Cannabis Concentrates and How to Use Them

This article is sponsored by Firefly, a San Francisco-based technology company that specializes in the research, design, and manufacturing of vaporizer hardware.

Cannabis concentrates aren’t going anywhere. This segment of the market – which includes waxes, shatters, hash oils, rosins, tinctures, and more – is expanding at lightning speed, and may give us the most compelling vision of the future of cannabis consumption. That said, there’s still a lot we don’t know about extracts.

To tap into the knowledge that’s currently out there, we pulled together a panel of five top experts in the field to weigh in on concentrates:

We asked them to speak to a wide variety of questions regarding concentrate use, including what consumers should consider when choosing between flower and concentrates, why vaporization works well for consuming both, and whether it’s possible to approximate a full-plant experience using extracts. Here’s what they had to say.

What considerations should consumers take into account when choosing between flower and concentrates?

concentrate-firefly-7(Andres Rodriguez / Flickr Creative Commons)

Mitch Earleywine: We have markedly more data on flowers…concentrates are still new. Concentrates can get a lot more THC into the bloodstream a lot faster. If you’re supremely nauseated or in a lot of pain or about to panic, this can be a huge advantage. The flavors and aromas are detectably different but subject to personal taste.

Mark Williams: The main consideration is getting to know your body and getting to know what each does to you and being able to tease apart those effects so that you can choose something that will suit the mood that you’re trying to achieve.

Dani Green: When you’re looking for discretion, always go with concentrates. [For example,] moms and business ladies don’t want to smell like weed. If you’re at home or out at something like a music show, I would go with flower. Personally I like the cleaner, better terpene profile of concentrates, especially with the Firefly.

How do flower and concentrates differ in terms of aromas, flavors, effects, and medical benefits, especially when vaporized?

concentrate-firefly-1(Andres Rodriguez / Flickr Creative Commons)

Williams: If flower is like a glass of wine, then concentrates are more like grape juice with some distilled alcohol shot thrown in. Using a music analogy, flowers are more like vinyl records and concentrates are more like digital music: the advantage of the digital format is ease of use and the advantage of the LP format is depth of sensation.

Robert Ferguson: The aromas and flavors of concentrates do differ from the flower, but many concentrates can offer great taste and aroma as well. However, after being vaporized the smell of a concentrate is different then the smell of vaporized flower. The medicinal effects of flower tend to be more wholesome, affecting the entire body and mind, while most concentrates are felt mostly in the mind.

Green: Terpenes [are] really what it comes down to. Concentrates have a higher terpene profile, which is great if you’re looking for a specific need – for creativity or sedation or digestive aid, or if you’re going for a specific aroma and want to target limonene, linalool, myrcene, and get that entourage effect.

Can consumers recreate or approximate the whole-plant cannabis experience when vaporizing concentrates? How?


Lauren Salgado: No. [Concentrate processing techniques] alter the compounds that make up the final product (wax, shatter, distillate, etc.), therefore they cannot mimic the whole plant experience.

Williams: No, not with the current state of concentrate production. The typical CO2 extracts have a lot less fidelity than a cold-pressed rosin. Less processed concentrates like rosin are closer but also not as convenient to use because of the texture.

Ferguson: Many solvent-based extraction companies will reintegrate cannabis terpenes back into their product post-extraction to recapture the entourage effect of the flower, but in most cases some of the synergistic terpenes and cannabinoids are still absent. Hash and rosin are an excellent way to recapture the whole-plant cannabis experience. No solvents are used when producing hash or rosin so most, if not all cannabinoids and terpenes are still present in their natural ratios.

How can factors that affect vaporization be manipulated to customize a concentrate high?

concentrate-firefly-2(Andres Rodriguez / Flickr Creative Commons)

Ferguson: When vaporizing concentrates, lower temperatures (380 to 400 degrees) tend to yield the best taste and flavor while higher temps can burn up terpenes or other compounds in concentrated oils. When using a vape pen for concentrates, it is best to only activate your atomizer for about three seconds and not to exceed five seconds.

Williams: The key to getting the most from your concentrates is not to overheat them. The Firefly’s concentrate mode runs at less than half the temperature that a typical pen runs at. Since most concentrates these days have already been decarboxylated, you don’t need to heat them as much to enjoy the effects that you want.


What is Decarboxylation, and Why Does Your Cannabis Need It?

Green: [With] temperature control you can dial in to the correct temperature to customize it depending on how thick you like the [vapor…but] when you have a lot [of vapor], you’ve burned off terpenes and you won’t get a whole plant experience.

Earleywine: As with other inhalations, a range of temperatures might be required to get optimal effects. Holding a big ‘lung buster’ hit really isn’t necessary … most cannabinoids are absorbed into the blood on contact.

How do the main types of concentrates differ from one another, and do some types work better for vaporization?


Ferguson: [Concentrates] that use solvents such as CO2, ethanol, or hydrocarbons … produce a product with a high concentration of specific cannabinoids like THC or CBD (between 50 and 90% total cannabinoids). Some concentrates, like hash and rosins, use no solvents and maintain the natural ratio of cannabinoids found in flowers … These type of concentrates have an average potency of between 25 and 60% THC.

Williams: Not all concentrates want to vape at the same temperature. From Firefly, people can expect to see multiple concentrate settings in the future.

In your opinion, how is concentrate use changing as the cannabis industry evolves? What improvements or changes can consumers expect to see in the future?

concentrate-firefly-4(Andres Rodriguez / Flickr Creative Commons)

Ferguson: There are so many bright, innovative minds in the cannabis industry, constantly pondering ways to create safer, more effective medicine for the various needs of patients … Currently THC, CBD, and terpenes are the main focus of the concentrate industry, but through continued research, the benefits and potential uses of other cannabinoids and compounds like CBN and THCV [may come into play].

Earleywine: We are definitely seeing markedly better assurances that solvents are absent from the final product. I would not be surprised if we start seeing ‘light’ versions of some concentrates where there is actually more CBD and less THC in the product. I think we will have more precise pre-measured products that will allow consumers to break off products in units as small as 0.1 grams and alter their consumption accordingly.


The Many Types of Solventless Cannabis Extracts

Salgado: Single sourcing of material, and regulated lab testing … this will result in a quality increase, and a price decrease, which correlates to the sophistication of technology, lab tech advances being made, and those new processes and technology becoming more ubiquitous.

Williams: We’ll continue to see greater emphasis on CBD and other cannabinoids beyond ∆-9 THC. We’ll see higher fidelity in their representation of the whole plant experience. We’ll see a much more informed and deeper association between the temperature you use to vaporize and a specific concentrate.

Green: We were dealing with a lot of butane soup. We won’t have to worry about that in the future. We’ll see molecular isolation – using CBD-A crystalline and THC-A crystalline. We’ll be able to refine the processes and make really clean extracts and get rid of the stigma of dabbing. It’ll be more the norm. [In some places], flowers won’t even be on the market.

Lead image: Andres Rodriguez / Flickr Creative Commons