The latest offering from the company that first devised the Juul e-cigarette looks sure to be a new Californian craze.
One headline trumpeting its launch last week was intriguing, misleading and bemusing in equal measure – a new vaping pod “made solely from pure cannabis”. It isn’t, of course. Let’s assume there’s some metal and some plastic involved, and there’s certainly a ceramic heating unit. But the product itself (which looks strangely like a Juul) clearly has promise for both the medicinal and recreational cannabis markets.
It is, of course, what’s in the pod, the stuff you actually inhale, that’s all pure cannabis. Compounds cold-pressed from the plant like juice from an apple. No additives, no flavourings, no solvents, no vegetable glycerine or propylene glycol – and very definitely no vitamin E acetate, which is what turned illicit weed vapes into killers back in 2019.
According to Pax Labs, their Fresh Pressed Live Rosin is “cannabis in its purest form, fresh frozen at the peak of harvest and extracted without any harsh chemical solvents – nothing added, nothing removed”.
The waxy rosin pressed out of the plant by water pressure is mixed with two other cannabis extracts – diamonds (not actual gemstones but crystalline, non-psychoactive THCA) and terpenes.
The terpenes, which produce the distinctive cannabis aroma, are important for their likely anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and pain-relieving properties, and their claimed effectiveness in mitigating depression, anxiety, stress and insomnia.
Pax, which no longer has any connection with Juul since it spun off in 2017, has been in the cannabis trade for a while; it’s the lack of solvents and additives that’s new, along with the switch from a fibreglass to a ceramic heating element. The vaped oil never comes into contact with any metal part.
The company claims its new process “preserves all the naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes for a high potency perfectly balanced full flower experience”. Chief operating officer Steven Jung likens the new pods to “raw food” and says they are “cleaner and safer” than others – including, presumably, Pax’s own.
For those who appreciate the qualities of cannabis but don’t like smoking – and who may have been put off cannabis vapes by the 2019 lung injury outbreak – all this may sound like good news. There are inevitably difficulties, though.
Current US regulations, even in states where cannabis is legal, require it to be produced in the state where it’s sold. Which means that for now Pax can only sell its new wonder product in California. The rest of the world will have to wait.
– Aidan Semmens CBD-Intel staff