How Vaping Became So Popular

Sponsored by Grey Haze

How has vaping become so popular? In a relatively short period of time vaping went from obscure to something that the CDC estimates is enjoyed by over 9 million American adults on a regular basis. Let's explore why and how vaping became the hugely popular alternative to smoking that it is.


A little Vaping History

Vaping has been around for centuries, but it didn't really hit it's stride and gain popularity until 2009.

Ancient Egyptians were known to heat oil and herbs on hot stones and inhale the vapours but this practice didn't really take off world-wide. Then in the 16th century, the Shisha was introduced to India when Abul-Fath Gilani (d.1588), a physician at the Indian court of Emperor Akbar, passed the smoke of tobacco through a bowl of water to purify and cool the smoke... Creating what we now recognize as the Shisha or Hookha. 

Not a lot of innovation happened in vaping for the next few hundred years, until Herbert Gilbert filed for a patent on his “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette” in 1963. His motivation? Saving lives by replacing tobacco with a combustible alternative. However, it wasn't until the mid-2000s when the Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik made the first modern e-cig. He was inspired after the death of his father to lung cancer from smoking.

Innovations in Vaporization

Today we have a dizzying array of vaporizer options available including table top versions like the Volcano, handheld units, small pen-like disposables, and battery charged and re-fillable options. 

Consumers can choose from hundreds of vape flavours to spice up their routine and of course can choose to vaporize nicotine products or cannabis products. Vaping is such a well-loved past time that there are even online communities devoted to vaporizing.

On the surface it appears that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking, add to that the fact that the odour is less offensive and it's no wonder smokers have taken to vaping like moths to a flame. According to California cannabis delivery service Eaze, almost 25% of sales in 2016 were for cartridges. This spike in popularity isn't limited to just the Golden state. Oregon, Colorado, and Washington are also seeing more sales of cartridges. Is this a trend stemming from convenience? Are buyers attracted to vaping because it means they don't need to go through the process of grinding and rolling their weed into joints or does it have more to do with the lack of odour and potential societal acceptance of discreet consumption?

Certainly it has been noted that there is an influx of vaporizers on the market over the past several years which has been attractive to cannabis users looking to medicate without harm to their lungs and to better control their dosing. I often carry a vape pen to help combat migraines in a pinch and I love trying new vaporizers to see how companies are creating better products for consumers. 

Do you prefer to vape or do you keep it old school and smoke your herb?