A Timeline of Vape Technology for Cannabis

on August 17, 2020

a timeline of cannabis vapes

While it may come as a surprise to you, consuming marijuana has been around for thousands of years. It definitely didn’t come in the electronic form we all know and love, but consuming marijuana by vaporizing it has long been a part of humankind’s inclination to enjoy the Earth’s natural gifts. Thanks to technology, we now have modern devices to vape marijuana—and it all started with the emergence of the Volcano Classic in 2000 by Storz & Bickel.


The Volcano, along with the Digit, remained the only modern option for a very long time. These devices weren’t portable, so if you were hoping for a fix, you had to do it at home. But with the rapid development of portable vaporizers and e-cigarettes, medical marijuana patients and enthusiasts alike now have a plethora of options available on the market.


Here’s how the cannabis industry developed over the last ten or so years to produce the vapes we enjoy today:


2008 to 2010: The Birth of the Portable Vape 

We’ll have to thank the e-cigarette industry for the 2006 success of the N-JOY e-cigarette, which propelled manufacturers to try their hand at creating an alternative portable vape for marijuana. This led to the development of the LOLITE in 2008, which was created by Oglesby and Butler. The LOLITE is widely considered to be the first portable cannabis vape and used butane to power up.


While it was effective for regulating temperature, the usage of butane raised safety concerns. This was addressed in the Magic Flight Launch Box, which was released a year later in 2009. It most resembles the modern weed vapes of today. However, the battery life left much to be desired.


2011 - 2014: Inconspicuous, Battery-Powered Vapes 

The smartphone industry wasn’t the only one to benefit from the advancement of rechargeable batteries. Enter lithium-ion batteries, which have now made its way into portable marijuana vaporizers. In fact, the Arizer Solo, which was released in 2011, took advantage of this new development. Many people still use this vape today.


Lithium-ion batteries changed the design of vapes so that it looked much more inconspicuous, allowing vapers to use it in public. Customized temperature options accompanied this much-welcomed expansion, allowing users to heat their weed into vapor in a much short amount of time. For example, the Firefly vaporizer was a bestseller when it was released in 2012 thanks to its easy cleaning characteristics and ability to heat the herb into vapor in just five to seven seconds.


2015 - 2017: Changing the Game 

This period saw unprecedented growth and expansion in the cannabis industry, as several companies worked to release marijuana vaporizers of different features and qualities in this period. For example, the Firefly 2 was just as popular when it was released in 2015 thanks to its special temperature settings that were designed to quickly heat up concentrates. It was also one of the first devices to include a smartphone app.


Expectations were set to a new standard once again when the Pax 3 was released in 2016. It offered five heat settings, with an option to customize the temperature to a specific degree through their smartphone app.


2018 - 2020: The Future is Now 

By now, vape enthusiasts are completely spoiled with the abundance of choices available on the market. Thanks to the rapid evolution of portable vaporizer devices in just ten years, cannabis aficionados can now enjoy a wide variety of options to enjoy vaping to their exact liking. The ability to vape almost anywhere you want, from the privacy of your home to public spaces (where it’s legal) is now possible thanks to the discreet designs of vape devices.


In fact, the portable vaporizers of today have improved upon even more features and customization offerings. The DaVinci IQ, a sleek and lightweight vape, is equipped with a stealth mode that dims its LED lights. Vape lovers are definitely spoiled for choice these days.



The development and progression of cannabis vapes over the last ten years have surely been one of the most fast-paced and advanced of a device to date. In the span of just a few years, vaporizers have transformed from desktop fixtures to pocketable devices that can go completely unnoticed. It’s exciting to think about the possibilities for vape devices in the years to come!


Session Vapor is an online 420 vape and e-rig shop based in Los Angeles, California. We offer everything for your vaping needs, from refillable 510 cartridges to electronic dab rigs. Need help looking for a product? Get in touch with us today—we’d love to help you out!