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The Rich History of Vaping

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To many, vaping only seems to have been around relatively recently. This is a misconception. Vaping has been around since as early as the 1920s. In fact, the first vape can be traced back to 1927. Over the years, the electronic cigarette has evolved, including how it is made and the ingredients used to make it.

Today, it is not unusual to find a person smoking a vape on the streets or in a bar. As popular as vaping has become in today’s world, the practice of vaping has not always been so commonly accepted.

The Origins of Vaping

Vaping began as early as over 90 years ago in the bustling streets of New York. While this is considered to be the beginning of what would later evolve into vaping today, it did not immediately become commonplace. 

In 1927, Joseph Robinson planted what are believed to be the first vaping seeds. He also invented the first vaporizer-like device called a Mechanical Butane Ignition Vaporizer. Despite having the device patented, the concept was never realized enough to be brought to the market until over 40 years later.

In 1963, more than four decades after the patent, Herbert A. Gilbert used Robinson’s concept designs and turned them into a usable reality. With the technology of the time, he created an alternative to cigarettes that would work without combustion. The skeletal structure designed for his work is still used in vaping devices today. Perhaps his only shortcoming was the lack of aesthetic design, as the look of the device was not made fashionable enough to become popular with the masses at that time.

Vaping further developed in the 1980s when electronic cigarettes became commercialized by Phil Ray and Normal Jacobson. The idea of inhaling nicotine without combustion using a device soaked in nicotine that worked on paper was nothing short of revolutionary. The product’s design was tweaked to look and feel more like the typical cigarette as well. It was then that the term ‘vaping’ began gaining momentum. The idea, however, was not yet properly exhausted of its potential.

The Final Product

In 2001, Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik, affected by the passing of his father from lung cancer and empowered by his technical expertise, began working on something that could replace the traditional cigarettes he smoked.

First, he attempted to replace the tobacco smoke with a liquid that could best replicate the sensation. He narrowed down the solution to propylene glycerol. This choice, along with vegetable glycerin, is still used as one of the key ingredients in vapes today.

Owing to the technological advancements of his time, Lik was able to use modern lithium batteries that had the potential to power e-cigarettes for hours at a time. He placed a tiny lithium battery to atomize the liquid nicotine solution.

His invention hit the shelves in 2004 in China and took off in European and American markets in 2006 and 2007. Many improvements have been made since, for example by Umer and Tariq Sheikh who increased the efficiency of the traditional three-piece design by combining the atomizer and cartridge into a singular cartomizer. However, Lik was able to take a somewhat abstract and still unrealized idea and turn it into a fully functioning and effective product. Today, along with Gilbert, he is still credited as the man who invented vaping.

The Parts of a Modern Vape

Today, while the design of the vaping device may offer, the fundamental elements remain somewhat the same. These include:

  • A battery
  • An atomizer to vaporize the liquid
  • A cartomizer, which is a combination of the cartridge and atomizer
  • A clearomizer that gives the user control over what they vape
  • Cartridges and tanks that hold the liquid
  • A mouthpiece through which the substance(s) are inhaled

Over the years, smoking has evolved to offer greater convenience to users with products such as pre-rolls in the Bay Area. The vape especially has seen a wide variety of changes to more than just its design.

The Making of the Modern Vape

Different ingredients and methods are employed to offer the most intense and enhanced experience to the smoker. The goal is to make the finest, safest, and most genuine cannabis terpenes that are free from harmful additives like pesticides, chemicals, and fillers.

One popular ingredient used today is live rosin in the Bay Area. Live rosin is lauded for its purity from solvents as Bay Area solventless extractions are safer and better for the environment. It is a flavorful combination made from ice water hash or full melt bubble hash. Heat or pressure is applied to the combination, and a waxy cannabis hash oil is the enticing result. Simply put, live rosin is extracted using only ice, water, heat, and pressure.

Solventless concentrates in the Bay Area are made without the use of solvents. Some solventless concentrates in the Bay Area include ice hash, rosin, and dry sift hash. This highly potent option is extracted from the flower in the form of essential oils, cannabinoids, and terpenes, without the use of chemicals. They are often preferred by those looking for ‘cleaner’ and safer options and those who want to steer clear of chemical solvents.

Other potent THC concentrates in the Bay Area include dry sift or kief, hash, shatter, rosin, and live resin. Their consistency and appearance are likened to honey or butter and are often referred to as “honey oil” or “budder.”

With the increased popularity of vaping, the methods and ingredients of vaping are continuously being experimented on to produce many variations. There’s always something for everyone to enjoy.


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