Raw cannabis materials, supply chain & design key to choosing vaping hardware

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Cannabis laboratory technicians can make the perfect oil, but the accompanying hardware must be at the same level as the customer in order for the customer to have a quality experience. (Photo courtesy of The Blinc Group)

Cannabis extraction companies go to great lengths to produce powerful oils that are delicious and delicious. However, if this oil ends up in poorly performing or substandard hardware, then consumers will not buy it again.

Selecting and purchasing e-cigarette hardware for extraction companies involves several key considerations, including:

Cheaper hardware can break, leak, or even worse, release harmful toxins (such as heavy metals) into the oil absorbed by consumers.

Arnaud Dumas de Rauly, co-founder and CEO of The Blinc Group, a vape maker in New York, said it’s important to remember that just because a supplier says its hardware is lead-free does not mean that it is.

He likes to use stainless steel wherever the oil interacts with vape pen components, because the oil does not leach harmful toxins from the corrosion-resistant metal.

Dumas de Rauly said that the mold used to make glass vape cartridges can be made of lead. If the supplier fails to clean the glass particles properly, lead may still be present in the box and get into the oil.

He added: "This is actually to understand the source of all these materials."

A common mistake Dumas de Rauly sees is that the new company orders hardware online without properly reviewing the source and testing the material.

Buying cheap hardware may save the company 10 cents, but it also lacks control over the final product.

Dumas de Rauly also recommends that you buy goods from domestic companies, so that if there is a problem, you can more easily communicate with the company about the problem.

Before starting to purchase vape hardware, Rosen considered the design, manufacturability, and function of each component.

He said: "We are working hard to provide customers with perfect products, but the prices are also considered affordable."

Since each component is part of the product design, if one component has manufacturing problems and needs to be redesigned, several other components may also need to be redesigned.

Lawson works directly with suppliers who manufacture components directly from raw materials.

He said: "We can determine the approximate cost of the components based on the choice of materials."

Rosen added that every component has strict requirements that must be met, which greatly affects the final price. These targets include defect rate targets, material requirements and functional requirements in contact with the concentrate.

Richard Huang, chief executive of Cloudious9, a cannabis vaporizer manufacturer in Hayward, California, said his due diligence process includes ensuring that the company's raw material suppliers pass database screening, open source reviews and reputation reviews, and ensuring that the supply is correct-chain documents , Applicable on-site inspections, company documents and any independently verified original product certification.

He said: "It is clear that according to the standards we set, which raw material suppliers have the best quality." "We always choose raw materials based on quality rather than price."

Although other materials may be cheaper, Dumas de Rauly recommends using ceramic components to make medical-grade products and coils made of quartz and carbon.

These materials cost more (maybe $1.80, while cheaper materials are $1.60 per unit), but they maintain the stability of the oil and do not add toxins.

Rosen said that high-quality steel is the easiest material to use.

He said: "Steel is relatively easy to process, can be made into various shapes, and can be assembled with various other components."

Stainless steel can also be medical grade and can be used in vape products and in contact with concentrates.

Rosen found that cartridges with large openings are the easiest to fill. His company's ink cartridge has both upper and lower components. The lower component is mainly composed of a water storage tank, which can be easily filled before the upper component is installed.

For Dumas de Rauly, it is important to ensure that hardware suppliers have redundant supply chains.

For each raw material, his company has two main suppliers and two secondary suppliers.

"You need to control the supply chain," Dumas de Rauly emphasized.

Rosen said that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on his company's suppliers, and they are prohibited from manufacturing for a period of time.

He said: "Once our suppliers start operations, because of our relationship with them, we will be able to put their orders on their list."

Although the company has redundancy for multiple components in the supply chain, Rosen hopes to reserve key components, including intellectual property, to a single supplier to protect confidential information.

Huang believes that due to the massive reduction in air travel, the coronavirus pandemic "has greatly affected" international transportation, which greatly affected the cost of air transportation.

He said that customs offices around the world began to prioritize the transportation of PPE, resulting in a large backlog of normal products and slowing down the arrival of Cloudious9 finished products.

Huang said: "We are building a redundant process for the future by doubling the local inventory."

Dumas de Rauly recommends long-term stability testing because each type of cannabis oil interacts differently with the material.

After a few days, then one week, two weeks, one month, two months and three months, he tested the product, and then he was satisfied that the hardware performance was normal without heavy metals oozing out.

For Rosen, cartridges made of medical grade steel, glass and organic cotton can be in contact with concentrate for a long time.

He said: "Our biggest concern for long-term storage is always the contamination of the concentrate, whether it comes from the filter cartridge itself or its storage environment."

Environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and altitude, as well as the type of oil must be considered.

For example, the company's CBD filter elements include silicone seals and medical-grade hardware to help prevent oxidation and moisture from affecting the water vapor of the CBD oil.

The filter element is also designed with medical grade materials to ensure that the CBD oil will not leak or corrode.

Huang said: "The biggest consideration for long-term storage of hemp oil in a vape pen is water immersion,". According to Huang, a large number of disposable vape pens and carts sold on the market are substandard, which has caused heavy metals or other contaminants to seep into cannabis oil.

He added: "Fortunately, for most consumers, the legal market is aware of this problem and is testing the leaching of heavy metals."

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