Embracing Change: Sustainable Choices in Vaping

As we become increasingly aware of how our daily actions and choices affect our health and the environment, many industry sectors are undergoing significant transformations - and the vaping industry is no exception. New, semi-synthetic cannabinoids like Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) disappear nearly as quickly as they appeared as consumers are looking for more trustworthy alternatives. Disposable vapes, once hailed for their convenience, are abandoned and banned due to environmental concerns. Products that promise innovation, safety, sustainability and compliance with the strict regulatory landscape are on the rise. Today, we want to shed light on these recent developments and get an understanding of market dynamics and consumer choices that will pave the way for vaping in the future.

The Rise and Fall of HHC

HHC is a semi-synthetic cannabinoid, first described in 1940. It has rapidly gained attention on the global market after it first appeared in the USA at the end of 2021 and in Europe the following year. The substance can be made by chemically manipulating cannabidiol (CBD). HHC’s effects, however, are more similar to those of THC, the well-known psychoactive component in cannabis. But unlike THC, HHC is not covered by the 1961 and 1971 UN Drug Conventions - a fact that was allowing it to be marketed as a “legal” substitute for cannabis in some regions.

Safety Concerns and Regulatory Actions against HHC

Contrary to natural cannabinoids like CBD, the safety profile of HHC is only poorly understood. We only have very limited data that is suggesting a risk profile similar to or higher than that of THC. However, the main concern with HHC is its production process. The chemical manipulation involves the use of transition metal catalysts that are known for their toxicity - even at low concentrations. To date, there are no rules and regulations requiring mandatory testing for these metals in HHC products. Of course, this raises significant safety concerns. Countries across Europe, including the Czech Republic, UK, France, Finland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and Greece, have therefore moved to ban or restrict HHC sales. The Czech Republic's recent decision came after a tragic incident involving children who were hospitalised after consuming HHC-infused sweets - clearly highlighting the urgent need for regulation.

Shifting Consumer Preferences

As regulatory bodies proceed with the introduction of bans for HHC, there is also a noticeable shift in consumer behaviour. There is a new-found appreciation for cannabinoids with a longer history of research and long-term use. Given the increasingly clear negative health impacts of HHC and its classification as a semi-synthetic cannabinoid, many are returning to trusted options like full-spectrum hemp products. These products offer a natural solution - including CBD, minor cannabinoids, and terpenes - and also come with a comprehensive body of research supporting their safety and efficacy.

Environmental Concerns Associated with Disposables

Single-use vapes and bars contribute significantly to electronic waste and depletion of natural resources needed for the production of batteries. This means that their high convenience comes at a steep cost for our environment. And it’s not only their production that is problematic - it’s also the fact that most of these devices aren’t disposed of properly and often end up in landfill. In the UK alone, two e-cigarettes are thrown away every second, a number adding up to 5 million vapes each week. But it’s not an issue in the UK alone, it’s also widespread across Europe and the rest of the globe. The large amounts of disposables frequently cause fires in bins and waste disposal facilities.

Regulatory Responses to Disposable Vapes

Several European countries have already started to respond to these environmental and public health concerns by introducing or planning bans and restrictions on disposables. The UK is at the forefront, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announcing an all-out ban. European countries are close behind - France and Belgium are already considering similar measures. There are even talks about a ban at EU-level. Both environmental and health organisations across the continent are in support of these regulatory steps, pushing for even faster enforcement to mitigate the environmental impact and associated health risks of single-use vapes.

Rechargeable and Full-Spectrum Products

As we are becoming increasingly aware of the negative impacts of disposable vapes, rechargeable devices become an appealing alternative. Systems like Harmony’s FLOW that work with a reusable battery allow for the use of higher-quality materials and production methods. This is not only reducing waste, but also offering a more reliable and consistent user experience for those looking for a product more in line with their sustainable lifestyle. 

Natural cannabinoids, like the full-spectrum hemp extract used in Harmony FLOW cartridges, offer a richer and more balanced experience than isolates like HHC. The cannabinoids and terpenes naturally found in the cannabis or hemp plant work synergistically to enhance each other's properties. This is known as the “entourage-effect” and allows users to experience all the benefits that the plant has to offer.  

Harmony’s Commitment to Sustainability and Quality

Sustainability is at the heart of every aspect of our product and packaging design. We strictly prioritise eco-friendly materials like unbleached kraft paper and keep our supply chain as short and local as possible to minimise our impact on the environment. The majority of our production is carried out in Germany, ensuring that our products are not only made effectively and to the highest quality standards, but also ethically. But it doesn’t end there - we are also making sure to comply with European regulations for vaping products, which are among the strictest standards in the world. You can be sure our products meet all the safety and quality standards while also being less harmful for our environment. Harmony is a leader in sustainable vaping practices.


As the vaping industry is adapting to new regulatory and environmental challenges, consumers are already pushing for sustainable and reliable products. The growing safety concerns around semi-synthetic cannabinoids like HHC and the environmental impact of disposable vapes can no longer be ignored. Both brands and consumers are now embracing and prioritising health, safety and sustainability. Harmony’s rechargeable full-spectrum hemp products like the FLOW are fully aligned with these developments. We will continue to innovate to ensure a future where natural cannabinoid vaping remains a viable choice and accessible option for all adults seeking safer alternatives to smoking.

Portrait of Anna Falk

written by

anna falk - head of product

As the Head of Product at Harmony, Dr Anna Falk leads the development of our products and provides expert tips for your wellness. With over 10 years of experience in the research and development of natural products, her work is based on rigorous scientific studies.

Anna is an award-winning, internationally published researcher with a PhD in Organic Chemistry. She applies her expertise to develop Harmony's certified products that support your overall well-being. From research to development, she ensures that our products are of the highest quality and meet the highest standards.