Though the cannabis industry is saturated with design-centric and thoughtful luxury products, the same cannot be said for the equally competitive vape market. Vapes can provide hard hits that feel like they burn right through your the lungs and sometimes only function for a short while before falling apart entirely. They offer none of the flavors or strain choices that smoking flower directly offers, nor do they provide a modicum of nuance and control during use. Inspired to make vapes more than handy but frustrating devices, LA-based company Bloom (which is also referred to as Matu in Arizona and Massachusetts) innovated vape technology to rethink how the hardware and oils are made.
“It’s hard to get the same experience with a vape—the hardware’s no good and it leaks half the time,” Casey Ly, co-founder of Bloom tells us. “If you think about it, there are thousands of vape manufacturers, but there are maybe only a couple hundred big vape brands that do cannabis that are legitimate. That was our genesis.”
Since Bloom’s was founded in 2014, the team has delved into the different technologies for making vapes and resin oils and, after years of testing, they’ve released their latest: Bloom Surf. The surfboard-shaped disposable vape utilizes triple-intake technology to create an experience that more closely resembles smoking the plant directly.
“What we focused on was two things: the experience of the draw or how consistent you can get a draw, because what happens with a lot with vapes is you get a couple of good hits and then it starts tapering off, and then making sure the flavor is retained all the way through the device,” continues Ly. “All the flavors in cannabis are really light; they’re like molecules. As they’re getting heated (every time you vape, it heats), you lose the light molecules first because that’s what gets vaporized. For us, it was super-important that when you’re on hit 100, for instance, you still get that flavor.”
The lightweight, compact device easily sits inside the hand and comprises the standard elements of a vape (a battery to heat the oil, a wick and a coil for heating), but it also has an enhanced airflow system that cools the vapor during inhalation. Unlike any other cannabis vape on the market, the Surf delivers big hits yet remains whisper quiet and gentle. Pulling from the small device is almost as smooth as breathing.
Ly likens the Surf’s triple-intake system to shotgunning a beer. He explains, “You have to create a third airhole for the liquid to flow through. That’s why you pop the top. It’s the same concept with vapor; if you don’t have air coming in, then the vapor itself won’t flow because vapor acts like a fluid in many ways. With the Surf you have airflow with two little holes on each side of the cap and then you actually have one airhole at the bottom. That airhole is actually what’s doing the work to create that extra airflow, so as you’re inhaling, you’re allowing the fluid or the vapor to move very smoothly.”
For Ly and his team, refining the hardware wasn’t enough. They also developed Matu Live, high-potency cannabinoid oil that preserves strain-specific flavors and profiles. With terpenes extracted within one hour of harvesting, the live resin features at least 70% THC and about 95% of a flower’s terpene profile, delivering a vape experience that is more authentic.
Ly tells us, “Live resin in general usually refers to a plant that has been harvested before it cures. Basically, the last step of any cultivation for flower is curing because curing is where THCA converts to THC. A live plant is different because it has a lot more moisture. It’s not cured, the THCAs are retained, but the great thing about a live plant is that it’s the freshest state of the plant, which allows you to get the most flavor.”
To create Live, Bloom works with farms in California that have both cultivation and extraction on-site. After harvesting, the plants are put into a steam distillation, a more gentle way to harness essential oils that also avoids having to freeze the terpenes. These oils capture the flavor of the specific plant, and because they do not yet contain THC, Bloom ships them to their partners in various states who combine the strains with on-site extracted cannabinoids. “That allows us to basically create California live resin strains in every state that we’re in,” says Ly.
This is significantly different from how many brands recreate flavor profiles which requires using food-grade terpenes that do not result in the same nuances in flavor as the flowers’ terpenes do. Combined with Bloom’s precise vape (which they hope will be non-disposable in the future), the live resin offers a more pleasurable, true-to-strain way to enjoy cannabis on the go.
In an industry that’s saturated and ever-evolving, Bloom’s Surf and Live are truly novel additions. Refining an often overlooked element of the market, these game-changing entries push the boundary in what cannabis products can and should do.
Images courtesy of Bloom