FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do Different Terpenes Vape Differently?
Is My Battery Capacity Legit?
Why Are My Cartridges Consistently Inconsistent?
Do Plastics Really Leach THC?
Is China Really That Cheap Anymore?

Trade Wars & How It Affects Me

Coming Soon…

What is 280E & How Does It Affect My Business?
Open Design VS. Closed Design (Proprietary)
How Does The Current Trade War Affect My Business?

Do different terpenes vape differently?

 

We’ve always been a big fan of Steep Hill, an industry leading cannabis science and technology company with significant footprints in lab testing, research and development, licensing, genetics, and remote testing.

On their website, they have published information about the primary terpenes that are often found in many of the cannabis strains being grown today.

During the extraction process, many companies are able to isolate these terpenes through various distillation processes and then re-introduce back into their distillates and vape oils, creating formulas that influence effect and flavor.

However, something that folks don’t realize is the big differences in boiling points for each terpene. Naturally, these differences can dramatically affect the way your oils are being vaporized. Depending on the boiling point for each primary terpene, we’ve been able to consult our clients on the precise configurations for both battery and cartridges to achieve the greatest user experience.

 

 

Here is a list of the main terpenes being utilized today:

 

Linalool

Formula: C10H18O
Molecular Mass: 154.1358 g/mol
Boiling Point: 198 °C (388 °F) 
Vapor Pressure: 0.17 mmHg ( 25 °C)

Linalool is simple terpene alcohol, probably best known for the pleasant floral odor it gives to lavender plants. It is also known as β-linalool, licareol and linalyl alcohol. Linalool has been isolated in several hundred different plants including lavenders, citrus, laurels, birch, coriander and rosewood. Linalool has been used for several thousands of years as a sleep aid. Linalool is a critical precursor in the formation of Vitamin E. It has been used in the treatment of both psychosis and anxiety, and as an anti-epileptic agent. It also grants relief from pain and has been used as an analgesic. Its vapors have been shown to be an effective insecticide against fruit flies, fleas and cockroaches.

 

Terpinolene

Formula: C10H16
Molecular Mass: 136.23404 g/mol
Boiling Point: 185˚C (365˚F) 
Vapor Pressure: 0.74 mm Hg at 25˚C

Terpinolene is a monoterpene, part of the terpinene subfamily of terpenes. This family of four isomers is known for being anti-oxidant, immune-modulating and anti-biologically (anti-tumor, antibacterial, antifungal). It has also been used, for hundreds of years, in the treatment on insomnia. Terpinolene is found in oregano, marjoram, cumin, lilac, some citrus rind and conifers.

 

Phytol

Formula: C20H40O
Molecular Mass: 296.531 g/mol
Boiling Point: 204 °C (399.2 °F) 
Vapor Pressure: NA

When the Chlorophyll molecule degrades, it breaks down into two parts. The ‘tail’ portion is Phytol, an oily diterpene. It is used in the synthesis of vitamins E and K and is known to have anti-oxidant properties.

 

β-Myrcene

Formula: C10H16
Molecular Mass: 136.1252 g/mol
Boiling Point: 168 °C (334 °F) 
Vapor Pressure: 7.00 mmHg ( 20 °C)

β-Myrcene is a monoterpene, and for a wide variety of reasons, one of the most important terpenes. It is a precursor in the formation of other terpenes, as well. β-Myrcene is found fresh mango fruit, hops, bay leaves, eucalyptus, lemongrass and many other plants. β-Myrcene is known to be anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and used in the treatment of spasms. It is also used to treat insomnia, and pain. It also has some very special properties, including lowering the resistance across the blood to brain barrier, allowing itself and many other chemicals to cross the barrier easier and more quickly. In the case of cannabinoids, like THC, it allows it to take effect more quickly. More uniquely still, β-Myrcene has been shown to increase the maximum saturation level of the CB1 receptor, allowing for a greater maximum psychoactive effect. For most people, the consumption of a fresh mango, 45 minutes before inhaling cannabis, will result in a faster onset of psycho activity and greater intensity. β-Myrcene can be used in this same manner to improve uptake with a wide variety of chemical compounds.

Less well known is that fact that high β-Myrcene levels in cannabis (usually above 0.5%) result in the well known ‘couch lock’ effect of classic Indica strains of cannabis; Sativa strains normally contain less than 0.5% β-Myrcene.

 

Citronellol

Formula: C10H20O
Molecular Mass: 156.27 g/mol
Boiling Point: 225 °C (437 °F) 
Vapor Pressure: 0.02 mmHg ( 25 °C)

Citronellol is a monoterpenoid, closely related to Geraniol, and is found in geraniums, rose, some citrus rind. It has been used as a natural mosquito repellent for over 2,000 years, and to preserve fabric from moths. Like many other terpenoids, it is anti-biological, anti-inflammatory, immuno-regulating. As an anti-biological, it is well known for being aggressively anti-tumor. Also like many other terpenoids, it has a very low toxicity, having a high level of GRAS status and a high LD50 of 2650mg/kG of body weight.

 

Caryphyllene Oxide

Formula: C15H24O
Molecular Weight: 220.35046 g/mol
Boiling Point: 257 °C (495 °F) 
Vapor Pressure: NA

Caryophyllene oxide is the oxidation product of beta-Caryophyllene. It is well known for it’s anti-biological activity against fungus and tumors. It is also anti-oxidant. It may well play a roll in improving uptake of CBD/CBC in the CB2 receptor.

 

α-Pinene

Formula: C10H16
Molecular Mass: 136.1252 g/mol
Boiling Point: 155 °C (311 °F) 
Vapor Pressure: Not Available

α-Pinene is one of the principle monoterpenes, and is important physiologically in both plants and animals, and to our environment. α-Pinene tends to react with other chemicals, forming a variety of other terpenes (like D-Limonene) and other compounds. α-Pinene has been used for centuries as a bronchodilator in the treatment of asthma; ever notice how your lungs seem to open up when hiking through a pine forest in the warm summer? α-Pinene is also anti-inflammatory. It’s found in conifer trees, orange peels among others, and known for it’s sharp sweet odor. α-Pinene is a major constituent in turpentine.

 

Limonene

Formula: C10H16
Molecular Mass: 136.1252 g/mol
Boiling Point: 176 °C (349 °F) 
Vapor Pressure: 1.50 mmHg ( 25 °C)

D-limonene is a cyclic terpene of major importance with a strong citrus odor and bitter taste. D-limonene was primarily used in medicine, food and perfume until a couple of decades ago, when it became better known as the main active ingredient in citrus cleaner. It has very low toxicity, and humans are rarely ever allergic to it. Medicinally, Limonene is best known for treating gastric reflux and as an anti-fungal agent. It’s ability to permeate proteins makes it ideal for treating toenail fungus. Limonene is also useful in treating depression and anxiety. Limonene also assists in the absorption of other terpenoids and chemicals through the skin, mucous membranes and digestive tract. It’s also been shown to be effective anti-tumor while at the same time being an immuno-stimulant. Limonene is one of two major compounds formed from α-Pinene.

β–Caryophyllene

Formula: C15H24
Molecular Mass: 204.1878 g/mol
Boiling Point: 160 °C (320 °F) 
Vapor Pressure: 0.01 mmHg ( 25 °C)

Beta-caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene found in many plants including Thai basils, cloves and black pepper, and has a rich spicy odor. Research has shown that β–Caryophyllene has affinity for the CB2 endocannabinoid receptor. β–Caryophyllene is known to be anti-septic, anti-bacterial, antifungal, anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory.

 

Humulene

Formula: C15H24
Molecular Mass: 204.1878 g/mol
Boiling Point: 198 °C (388 °F) 
Vapor Pressure: 0.01 mmHg ( 25 °C)

Humulene is a sesquiterpene also known as α-humulene and α–caryophyllene; an isomer of β–caryophyllene. Humulene is found in hops, cannabis sativa strains, and Vietnamese coriander, among others. Humulene gives beer its ‘hoppy’ aroma. It is anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anorectic (suppresses appetite). It has commonly been blended with β–caryophyllene and used as a major remedy for inflammation, and is well known to Chinese medicine.

Source: https://www.steephill.com/science/terpenes

 

BACK TO TOP

 

 

 

Is My Battery Capacity Legit?

By Jonathan

 

Here is a dirty secret about the Chinese factory business and many of the trading companies. When you’re online and sifting through DHGATE or ALIBABA, looking for the best price for your vape batteries, there is a chance that the mAh rating that you’re buying and what you’re actually getting don’t match.

In China, we have the luxury of visiting various trading companies and factories every week. As we collect samples, our engineering department takes them apart to see what is really inside them before we make any purchasing decisions.

90%

We sampled 10 different sellers and received battery samples with a 900 mAh capacity.

9 out of 10 batteries were rated lower than what the batteries were labeled as.

5 of out 10 were lower than 650 mAh capacity.

While some buyers may not care as long as the batteries work when the arrive, we certainly want to ensure that what we are selling and what we are delivering are exactly the same.

 

Tips & Tricks

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to test your batteries, so before you go ripping apart your battery, simply weigh the batteries compared to other similar models with a same mAh capacity.

 

 

Inside of your vape pen isn’t much; a battery, a few wires and a circuit board, so if you’re battery feels unusually light in your hand when compared to other batteries, you more than likely have a battery that has been mislabeled and sold as a higher capacity so the seller can make higher profit margins.

At the end, you really do get what you pay for.

 

BACK TO TOP

 

 

 

Why are my cartridges consistently inconsistent?

by Jonathan

 

When you open up the inside of a ceramic coil cartridge, they aren’t really that complicated. So why does it seem like so many factories struggle producing a cartridge that doesn’t leak, or burn consistently, or connect properly, and so on?

This problem doesn’t only exist with cannabis-related oils either. The e-cig and vape industry have been around for a very long time. You would think that products would mature and improve over time – and while the designs and features have, we still continue to see leakage as a major problem. The difference is that e-juice costs pennies to produce, our cannabis oils required the blood, sweat, tears and love from cultivators and extractors.

 

There are several reasons why Chinese factories are at a disadvantage when it comes to making cartridges, but I will focus mostly on the biggest reasons that we see today.

 

INCONSISTENT SUPPLIERS

There are ONLY a select few factories that produce most of their materials that go into their products. This is the reason that Smoore Electronics, the makers of CCELL cartridges have been able to deliver tremendously better consistency over the past several years.

99% of all factories in Bao’an (manufacturing district of Shenzhen) are simply assembly shops. These are labor-intensive warehouses – that often look like war zones, set up with production lines and Chinese factory workers buzzing like an ant hill, doing hand assembly.

These assembly shops are like putting together LEGO’s, where the factories utilize multiple LEGO suppliers because if their main guy is out, then the whole factory comes to a stop and the workers… aren’t working. Not good, if you’re a factory owner.

To most of these factories, all these parts look the same so when they are sourcing these parts, they never notice that the supplier may have changed the material. Hell, even the supplier’s supplier may have changed a material without them even knowing.

For example, we recently ran into an issue where the silicone gasket that we received from the same supplier had a different feel to it. Upon further inspection and testing, the silicone was harder than the ones we previously used. While this doesn’t seem like a major issue, it now created a product that was slightly different than the last. It’s like making your favorite Screwdriver, always using Grey Goose and then suddenly changing to Absolut Citron.

 

 

To the factory, they believe they are selling you the exact same product because nothing has changed within their production line. However, these minor and unknown changes to materials can result in massive failures and nightmares for us oil extractors that worked so hard to create that terp-infused nectar we slaved over.

The real problem is that many of these factories don’t even understand these problems exist and even if they did, most don’t have the proper technology or knowledge to do anything about it anyway.

 

LAST-MINUTE ASSEMBLY CONCEPT

Don’t you always wonder how your Chinese salesperson can offer you a new product that you had just asked about a week ago?

Another issue we see is that much of China has a “Last-Minute Assembly” concept. This makes factories incredibly agile and flexible, yet at the same time, terribly inconsistent.

Chinese factories are always looking to make new products because the competition is incredibly fierce and margins are razor thin. Therefore, most factories aren’t making a ton of inventory and filling up a warehouse for future sales because they simply can’t afford to risk making products they can’t sell.

They are simply an “Assembly on Demand” shop.

Because of this “Last Minute” mentality, they often scramble to source materials from whatever supplier that will deliver the fastest and cheapest. Unfortunately, this model is what creates havoc to the customer and end-user because of the lack of consistency. Again, it isn’t that these factories don’t know how to assemble products well, it’s simply that the parts are coming from all over and while they may look like the right part to the naked eye, these materials can be dramatically different.

 

SO HOW DO WE DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY?

Our company designs, engineers and manufactures Advanced Vapor Devices (AVD). We don’t own our own factories and we most likely never will. However, we have found several factories that we believe are simply better because they have more experience and money. Yes, I said it. I know it is mind-blowing to say it, but simply having more money helps because they aren’t desperate to slap products together to chase a buck.

Here are the other things we do better:

 

QUALITY CHECK ALL RAW MATERIALS

We are heavily involved in the purchasing process of raw materials with our factory partners. This means that we also don’t produce all of our products in-house (neither does Smoore), but the items we outsource, we fully inspect and if they don’t meet our criteria, we send the parts back.

This sometimes slows down our production process, but we’d rather do fewer sales and make a better product than simply make it a sales contest on who can post the biggest numbers each month.

Even as I’m writing this post, our engineer is at one of the factories going over materials.

 

FOCUS ON A FEW SELECT ITEMS

Our main factory partner is one big and bad dude (in a good way). They have the necessary experience and equipment to produce all sorts of electronics from wireless technologies to battery cell products. When we asked them to make our cartridges, they asked us why we were asking them to do such a simple task. We quickly convinced them that more competition in the industry for who can be the top vape device king was a good thing.

Therefore, we focus purely on making one product at a time – perfecting the design, sourcing of materials and building consistency within our production lines so that we can replicate our process no matter what factory we work with.

We believe these very basic principles have helped us create a product that works very well and provides the level of consistency at a price point that is currently lacking today.

For more information on our Advanced Vapor Devices (AVD), feel free to check us out at www.avd710.com (currently under construction) or by dropping us a note here.

 

BACK TO TOP

 

 

Do Plastics Really Leach THC?

by Jonathan

 

Many of our customers have heard the rumor that plastic will leech THC and essentially suck all of the ‘good stuff’ from their oils. But very few have been able to provide hard evidence that this is true, so we did a little research to find out.

We found the following information published on Pubmed.gov, a division of US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. We figure this information must be fairly legit, unless you’re one of those conspiracy theorists that believe Government Information is simply propaganda meant to brainwash our poor helpless souls.

 1986 Jul-Aug;10(4):129-31.

Tetrahydrocannabinol stability in whole blood: plastic versus glass containers.

Abstract

The stability of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in whole blood during storage was investigated. Two types of containers were used: plastic tubes (polystyrene) and glass vials. Freshly drawn blood was spiked with 10 pmol THC/mL and stored for four days at room temperature (20 degrees to 25 degrees C). The material was kept for four weeks at -20 degrees C. Blood samples from 16 persons apprehended by the police on suspicion of cannabis smoking were collected into the two types of containers and stored frozen (-20 degrees C) until analysis. THC was quantified by capillary column gas chromatography/electron impact mass spectrometry (GC/EI-MS) combined with selected ion monitoring (SIM). Deuterium-labeled THC (THC-d3) was used as internal standard (IS) and was added to the samples immediately prior to extraction. The THC level remained unchanged in glass vials. Samples from the plastic containers had lost 60 to 100% of their THC during storage. In 13 authentic samples, the THC level in blood from the plastic containers varied 0 to 87% from the level in the same blood stored in glass vials. The IS was undetectable in some of these samples.

PMID: 3018361

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3018361

“The THC level remained unchanged in glass vials. Samples from the plastic containers had lost 60 to 100% of their THC during storage. In 13 authentic samples, the THC level in blood from the plastic containers varied 0 to 87% from the level in the same blood stored in glass vials.”

BACK TO TOP

 

Is China Really Cheap Anymore?

by Jonathan

 

In 1986, the South Korean car maker, Hyundai began to sell cars in the United States, and the Excel was nominated as “Best Product #10” by Fortune magazine, largely because of its affordability. However, I don’t know any of my friends who immediately ran out to buy one – and if they had, I’m certain they never would have admitted it. Because let’s face it, South Korean products were known for being cheap, not for exactly being good.

In 1998, Hyundai began to overhaul its image in an attempt to establish itself as a world-class brand. By investing heavily in the design, manufacturing, and long-term research of its vehicles and adding a 10-year or 100,000-mile (160,000 km) warranty, Hyundai was ranked second in “initial quality” in a survey/study by J.D. Power and Associates by 2004. Today, Hyundai is now one of the top 100 most valuable brands worldwide.

Hyundai isn’t the only brand ranked among the best in the world either for South Korea.  According to the 2017 Best Global Brand Rankings published each year by Interbrand, Samsung is ranked 6th, Hyundai is 35th, and Kia is at 69th (just ahead of MasterCard, FedEx, Land Rover & Harley Davidson).

 

So why are we talking about a South Korean car company, when we are supposed to be talking about China? 

The beauty of hindsight is it’s 20/20 vision and we are seeing some very similar trends to the Asian country that just happens to be 28x bigger than South Korea.

It is well-documented that China is a major part of what makes Apple so successful. Apple also happens to be the most valuable brand in the world, worth more than $184B just for the brand.

According to a recent article published by Reuters on March 21, 2018, Designed in California, made in China: how the iPhone skews U.S. trade deficit

Using a rough calculation, that implies the iPhone 7 series added $15.7 billion to the U.S. trade deficit with China last year, about 4.4 percent of the total. That’s also about 22 percent of the $70 billion in cell phones and household goods the U.S. imported from China.

“With an iPhone, where China is just the final assembler, most of the value (contributed by China) is just the labor rather than the components themselves,” said John Wu, an economic analyst with a U.S.-based think tank, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

This current article demonstrates that Chinese labor and assembly plants are capable of powering some of the best brands in the world, so is it really accurate to presume that “Made in China” automatically means cheap?

Here are a few other brands who Manufacture in China:

L.L. Bean

Levi Strauss & Co.

Ray-Ban 

 

The reality for anyone who understands manufacturing and outsourcing, China is no longer the darling of cheap labor anymore. China maybe understands this better than anyone and has already invested heavily in other Asian countries to “outsource” their production because the local labor, real estate and cost of living is much higher today.

According to the China Labor Bulletin (CLB), we have seen Chinese high income earners nearly double their disposable income within 6 years and the trend isn’t slowing down. This phenomenon is happening in not only the big urban cities, but also now in rural markets, where many of these factories operate.

 

 

What this chart doesn’t show is that while disposable income is rapidly increasing, the work environment has also dramatically changed. It was common for most factories and businesses to expect their employees to work for up to 10 hours Monday thru Saturday, for a total of 60 work hours per week. We are beginning to see total work hours decreasing as well, which means that the hourly rate is increasing at an even faster rate.

At this rate, we may soon be saying that we don’t want Chinese products because they are too expensive.

BACK TO TOP

 

 

Trade Wars & How It Affects Me

By Jonathan (07/17/2018)

We’ve been fielding a lot of inquiries about the current trade war between China and the Trump Administration during the last several weeks. We’re not experts on trade, but we will share what we have experienced so far.

No Tariffs

To date, we have received no updates or notifications for any products we currently supply to our clients.

Shipping Rate Increases

We are under the impression that shipping rates tend to increase around this time of year and is more seasonal that directly related to a trade war. However, we have noticed that airfreight shipping has increased by roughly 20%.

If you’re being quoted FOB or EXW, then please note that you may see an increase in your total cost of delivered goods.

FOB – Indicates that the buyer must pay to get the goods delivered. (The buyer will record freight-in and the seller will not have any delivery expense.) With terms of FOB shipping point the title to the goods usually passes to the buyer at the shipping point.

EXW – This term places the maximum obligation on the buyer and minimum obligations on the seller. The Ex Works term is often used when making an initial quotation for the sale of goods without any costs included. EXW means that a buyer incurs the risks for bringing the goods to their final destination.

Shipping Delays

Recently, we have noticed that shipping has increased by 3-5 days as our packages and goods have been held up in customs for longer periods of time. We do believe this is due to the current Trade Wars and that the U.S. is applying increased scrutiny on goods coming on from China. We’ve tried to proactively inform our customers to potentially expect an extra week for goods to arrive due to these delays.

Exchange Rates

We have also noticed that current exchange rates have been favorable for U.S. buyers as the U.S. Dollar has been stronger against the Chinese Yuan. A weaker Yuan means that your dollar goes farther and can buy more goods.

If you’re trying to negotiate a better deal right now with your current suppliers, now is a good time to do it.

While we haven’t seen any major crisis due to the current Trade War (Consumer Tax Increase), we do hope that it can be resolved quickly. It’s never easy trying to manage your budget for supplies and packaging sourced from China with a looming tensions going on.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.