Cannabis 2.0 - Vapes

Updated: Jan 29

note: this post has been updated to include information on extractors and components used for vape cartridges.

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The new year saw the launch of new categories of cannabis products, both online and in stores. From teas and gummies, to the focus of this post: Vape Pens. Here we'll highlight a few of the products to hit the market as well as a primer into the makings of cannabis distillate and an essential vaping experience.

As a traditional flower user, with little access or interest in exploring new methods of inhaling cannabis, I found a little primer was necessary. Thankfully Leafly continues to be indispensable in these matters, here are a few articles to get up to speed:


On distillate


On extraction methods


On vaping


On vape cartridges


Currently there are over 45 vape products in Ontario, with many more (such as Tweed) looking to hit shelves shortly. The launch of Cannabis 2.0 allowed for companies to introduce variations of favourites, new brands as well as a way for new companies to make a splash; leading to long lines not seen since legalization.


In excitement, I planned my first choices of vape pens very carefully. Before buying I thought of these questions; while keeping in mind the adage, it takes good flower to make good concentrates:


1. Do I want something reusable (cartridge, 510 vs Pax Era) or disposable?

* I chose a 510 thread battery

2. What are new product or exciting strains released?

*see below

3. Flavour, I wanted something with unique terpenes and aromas.

*see below


Here is what became the first 8 reviews:


(the images below are linked to more product information)


Cove Reflect Vape Cartridge

Extraction: MediPharm


Components: Cronos Device Labs


Every Cove product has been enjoyable, when I sampled the Rise (Green Crush) vape cart I was sold. I choose the Reflect for the terpene variation from its Parentage and a previous experience with a pre-roll.


This does not disappoint, from its ripened orange creamsicle flavour to a bright citrus zest on the exhale. The distillate appears much thinner and clearer than the other vapes. Felt it vaped faster but maybe that was and the blissful paradise the aromas led me to.


Pros

-tasty and aromatic

-clean, clear, functional high

-clean and clear distillate

-labelling on cartridge allowed for easy identification


Cons

-among the most expensive

-vapes faster than most



Kolab Blackberry Cream Vape Cartridge

Extraction: Dosecann


Components: 14th Round


As an Ottawa native, Kolab is a local brand. Pre-rolls had been released before the holidays, but 2.0 allowed Kolab and Foray an opportunity to capture audiences, and boy did they! I really enjoyed this, you can tell by the lack of liquid in the pictures.


Blackberry Cream, bred by Exotic Genetix, is one of a handful of US genetics making a splash in early 2020. This is perhaps the tastiest of the group, the Cookies & Cream genetics lay a nice coat and flavour to the palette to soften the tart fruitiness present at the tip of the tongue. The potency is nice and whimsical, perfect for meditating, stretching or coasting off to la-la-land.


Pros

-tasty and great palette cleanser

-sweet fruity aroma

-clean and bright distillate


Cons

-Pricier than most



Kolab Strawberry Ice Vape Cartridge

Extraction: Dosecann


Components: 14th Round


Wait, two of the same? Yes, same reason. New cultivar with an interesting terpene profile. As the Blackberry Cream, it draws nice and thick. Too deep can lead to coughing. The flavour is bright, with a resiny touch close to the sharp sting of a cold sorbet which livens up the strawberry notes. The potency is sharp, great for on the go activities and good company for funky, earthy beers or wines.


Pros

-tasty and fruity on the nose

-uplifted, upbeat potency

-clean, bright liquid


Cons

-Pricier than most

-deeps draws can lead to coughing bouts



Redecan Trainwreck Flower

Extraction: Redecan


Components: Greentank


Initially I did not own a vape pen battery, therefore I needed a kit. Redecan's Kit was the best value and came with new cultivars of theirs, Trainwreck. Redecan is one of my few trustworthy LP's, making this an easy purchase.


The combination of caryophyllene and pinene contributed to a woodsy spice feel of a Phoenician spice merchant. Coming from a bright cultivar like Trainwreck, the flavour and aroma didn't provide much excitement, however the high was energetic and highly functional making it a good Sativa for mellow tokers.


Pros

-great price point

-functional high


Cons

-not much flavour variety consistent with its strain



Redecan Zktlz Vape Cartridge

Extraction: Redecan


Components: Greentank


For under $40 for .5grams in Ontario, Redecan vapes are the best value in their category while delivering award winning cultivars yet to be seen on the market.


The initial aroma is sweet and slight chalky, giving that reminiscence of the famed candy; however the aftertaste and aroma is heavy on earthy spice, interrupting the overall experience. This delivers a heavier body stone and tingly sensations, probably best paired with some Rooibos and candy.


Pros

-great price

-functional body stone, good for body scanning

-clean and clear distillate


Cons

-expected more from flavour and aroma



San Rafael 71 Pink Kush Vape Cartridge

Extraction: Proprietary


Components: Proprietary


Reputation, and scarcity, precedes it. This potent powerhouse combines value with quality.


The vape liquid is darker than the previous distillates, with aromas familiar with a battle on Endor, earthy spice fuel with a joyous berry sweetness. This perpetuator of pleasant dreams is best paired with PJ's and night time routines as its potency has a heavy impact on the body, leading to sedation.


Pros

-good price point for potency

-perfect for bed time


Cons

-.3g cart is deceiving compared to standard .5g carts



Sundial Cannabis Lemon Riot Vape Cartridge

Extraction: Sundial


Components: N/A


Of the previous brands, Sundial Cannabis provided the most in depth information of their extraction process.


It can be seen in the viscosity of this and Top Leaf's vape carts, a thick honey-style liquid of chestnut brown colour. Unfortunately this does not provide the same Lemon lift as in flower form, providing a danker, earthiness. The aroma is still pleasant, and being a Raskal OG the aroma does inform the potent cerebral effects of a Sativa based OG. Suggested pairing would be a coconut lemon based Thai Dish with an Arnold Palmer.


Pros

-nice cerebral, creative high

-rich, thick flavour


Cons

-not as aromatic as flower



Top Leaf Strawberry Cream Vape Cartridge

Extraction: Sundial


Components: N/A


Last, but first in terms of overall experience is Strawberry Cream. Another of Exotic Genetix lineage, it marks craft producers Top Leaf's first product in Ontario.


Having the recent privilege of toking on the flower, it was nice to enjoy the vape shortly after. Similar to the Lemon Lift, the aromas are muted and lead to more dankness, less bright tartness of the flower; again not unpleasant just not the same. The flavour is rich and creamy, smooth on the inhale while expressing tangy notes on the exhale. This pairing is easy, a few post dinner tokes will lead you to snack on toast with strawberry cream cheese allowing you to hold on to the experience a little...while...longer.


Pros

-potent effects

-nice flavour

-rich, thick draws


Cons

-Pricier than most


In summary, Cove Reflect and Sundial Lemon Lift would be the two carts I would have chosen first in hindsight. Cove Reflect provides a great flavour and aroma to delight the senses while Lemon Lift provides a great creative high to accompany Reflect's aroma.


For restless nights, San Rafael's Pink Kush delivers the perfect combo of potency and aromatics to end sleepless nights.


To find reviews on more recreational cannabis products in Canada, see the Reviews in the menu above.


Happy tokin!


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