A Dutch firm is aiming to bring marijuana into the digital age.
E-Njoint BV says its electronic joint is the world’s first. It contains no tar, toxins, nicotine or THC (the active chemical ingredient in marijuana); instead, it vaporizes “harmless and safe components” (propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, both of which can be found in electronic cigarettes) into water vapor, which is then inhaled.
The technology, which E-Njoint claims is compliant with “Western standards” on its Facebook page, is similar to the kind used in e-cigarettes, which turn heated nicotine-laced liquid into a vapor mist. Like e-cigs, E-Njoint’s products come in several flavors. Unlike e-cigs, the end of the e-joint has a green cannabis leaf image that lights up when users take a puff.
The company says it produces 10,000 e-joints per day, and notes that the first edition of the E-Njoint is “quite harmless and 100% legal.” A map on the company’s website shows the e-joints are mostly available in the Netherlands, and E-Njoint says it is looking for international distributors to broaden its reach.
“The E-Njoint sets a new step in electronic smoking,” the company said in a statement.
The second and third editions of the e-joint can be smoked as real electric joints. The E-Njoint Rechargeable, for example, can be filled by users with their own cannabis liquid content, the company says, and E-Njoint is working toward producing a health version of the e-joint with Tikun Olam, a medical cannabis company. If you’re really old school, the E-Njoint Vaporizer can be used to smoke dry herbs, allowing users to puff weed, the company notes.
Could such an e-joint make its way across the pond to the U.S.? That could be a while away. Although nearly two dozen states have legalized marijuana use for medical purposes, the possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use is only legal in two states: Colorado and Washington.
Much of the smokeable-products innovation in the U.S. and abroad has focused on e-cigarettes (which tobacco companies and the federal government would likely argue is an entirely different category to marijuana).
Demand for e-cigarettes, which first began to appear in the U.S. market in 2006, has soared recently and innovation in that segment has evolved, with more specialized products — known as “vapor,” “tanks” and “mods” — gaining in popularity.
E-cigarettes have courted attention in recent years as the products have been lauded as a healthier alternative to smoking regular cigarettes, especially for those looking to quit. But not all U.S. cities and states are supportive of the industry. For instance, New York and Chicago have banned the use of e-cigs in bars, restaurants and other public places, imposing the same restrictions that traditional tobacco products have faced.
And while E-Njoint promises its products use safe components, the jury is still out how safe e-products are for consumers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for example, says the potential risks and possible benefits associated with e-cigs haven’t yet been fully studied.