Vape pen, which is alternatively called a pen vaporizer, is the pocket device used for producing vapor. Its main features are the following:
Portability. Pen vaporizers are used on the go, so they always need to be compact. Not all vape pens are alike in shape: some look like the ordinary pens while the other resemble cigarettes.
Refillable nature. You can select between the refillable e-liquid or replaceable vape cartridges.
Operation on a battery basis. Unlike huge desktop vaporizers, portable vape pens do not require any other power source except a small battery. This characteristic is definitely the main reason of their unbeatable popularity.
The interesting thing with vape pens is that you can never tell whether a person is vaping cannabis, nicotine or any other vape juice. This fact greatly adds to discretion of use for marijuana vapers.
How is marijuana vaped?
Most vape pens are designed for vaping potent cannabis extracts. They can be nominally divided by three categories:
Full-spectrum extracts: those which present the undisturbed balance between the major marijuana compounds and have the best therapeutic properties (full-spectrum sauce, rosin, etc.).
THC- and CBD-high extracts with limited terpene amount (shatter, budder, etc.)
Distillates and isolates: oil or crystals that contain only separated cannabinoids with no additional components.
Though vape pens are mostly intended for oily concentrates and waxes, many models allow vaping plant marijuana. The principle of vaping is all the same: marijuana gets heated to 392 degrees Fahrenheit (temperature might differ slightly depending on the vape pen chosen) to produce a vapor for inhaling.
Using vape pens for cannabis is getting more and more common. It is believed to be healthier when smoking (because of the absence of combustion processes), and more intense and quick in effects in comparison with the edibles.
Benefits of using pen vaporizers
The study by Morean, Lipshie et al. reveals the primary motivation of cannabis vapers. Among the most common reasons to use the vape pens, there are the following:
Better taste. Cannabis is valued for its flavor. When smoked, the combustion process is ruining the unique marijuana taste and the user does not get maximum. Vapor is sometimes called “the clear smoke”, so it is appealing to cannabis consumers.
Discretion of use. It is easier to conceal the fact of marijuana consumption with vape pens. The process will look exactly the same as with vaping other liquids; it is the effect that will be different.
Portability and convenience. Vaping on the street seems common these days. It is possible due to replaceable components and battery operation. Though, it is recommended to consider carefully where you will experience the effect of cannabis vaporization in order to prevent harm to yourself or the other people in your environment.
Stronger high. Vape pens are generally used for concentrates where THC ranges up to 80-100%. Moreover, even the flower vaping provides more intense intoxication than its smoking. It is important to consider this fact if you try using a vape pen for the first time. Start easy and make preference to low dosage first to evaluate the effects.
Less harmful byproducts. Smoking involves the appearance of noxious pyrolytic byproducts that are very bad for respiratory system. Vaping is by this means healthier as it suppresses harmful components.
Due to these benefits, vaping is gaining its popularity on a daily basis. It is up-to-date, convenient and easy. However, the process has its hidden hazards.
The greatest problem with vaping is the absence of adequate research basis. Vaping being a relatively new trend, it is hard to evaluate and measure positive and negative consequences of it. Most investigations are grounded on predictions rather than outcomes. This uncertainty is a risk in itself since our generation is the one under experiment. However, there are a few health hazards regarding vaping that already have a scientific ground.
First, vaping results in more significant drug effects, greater addiction, cognitive and psychomotor performance. The key reason of it is the consumption of potent concentrates that are now made easy with portable devices. With flower smoking, one can hardly consume such high cannabinoid amounts on a regular basis. Secondly, the big problem with modern vaping is the early age of initiation. Vape pens are good-looking, easy to use and convenient. They look appealing to youth and it seems natural to repeat the example of older consumers. The reduction of initiation age is happening regularly for the last few decades.
Vape pens history
The roots of vaping techniques date back to ancient Egypt where people used to heat stones to initiate the vaporizing of plants and oils. The next vaping precedence in the history was the appearance of shisha or hookah that is still frequently used by the whole world. The general feature of all the ancient vaping devices is their immobility. They required serious preparation and could never be used on the go.
The new era of portable vape devices began with electronic cigarettes first created in 1927. In 2003, first e-cigs on nicotine basis emerged on the market. Modern cannabis users certainly make preference towards cannabis vape pens because of their compactibility, use discretion and greater potential.
What is inside your vape pen
Pen vaporizer is a smart device where no place is wasted. Each and every small part has its application. Though different devices look differently, they are all alike in structure. The main components of the vape pen are:
Battery. This is the longest part of a pen. It is used to power the device and can be charged with the help of USB charger that either comes with the pen or can be bought separately. Some batteries start heating the concentrate automatically when the user inhales for the first time; the other ones require pressing the button to make the pen work.
Atomizer, or the heating chamber. This element is attached to the battery and is used to heat the concentrates to the required temperatures.
Container, tank or cartridge. This is a place where e-liquid is located. Tanks are refillable while containers simply get replaced when they are over.
Mouthpiece. This part is intended for transmitting vapor to the user. You simply take it to your mouth and inhale.
Vape pen accessories
Using pen vaporizers are simple – you almost do not need anything else except the pen and the cannabis liquid itself. However, having special accessories is able to make your vaping experience much more pleasant. Check the list of all of them available:
Dabbing tool. It is a must if you vape waxy or sugar-like concentrates.
Child-proof e-bottles. They have a secure top that protects liquid from spilling and from undeniable accessing by children.
Spare batteries. Though most batteries are chargeable, some users prefer having a spare one with themselves not to waste time.
Vape bands. This bands are used to protect the tank with e-liquid from breaking. They come in different shapes and colors so some users take them for personalization purpose.
Herb grinder. That is necessary for those users who vape dry herb instead of concentrates.
How you start
You already have the pen and probably even the accessories. What`s next? How to make your first vaping experience?
First thing you need to do is to learn more about e-liquids and concentrates. Check the advantages and disadvantages of them to select the best one for you. Concentrates can be solvent-based (butane hash oil, distillates) or solventless (rosin, kief, etc.). They differ in potency, flavor and effects on the body. This information will help you define the type of e-liquid for the vape pen.
After everything is ready, you can start using a pen according to the instruction for use. In general, it looks like this:
Make sure the battery is charged.
Load the vape pen chamber. If you have chosen wax, make sure you have the dabbing tool to collect a small amount and place it to the chamber. Alternatively, just place a new cartridge is you prefer this option.
Press the button (if the configuration of your pen supposes a button) and inhale. A tip for pen vapes with the button: press it just as you inhale to get the maximum hit.
Travelling with a vape pen
The accent on portability makes a vape pen a desirable companion for cannabis lovers during trips and voyages. To save your device during travelling, follow few simple advices:
Keep a vape pen in the airtight and smell-proof case. Some of the ready-made cases include place for accessories as well as for the pen.
Take a spare battery to have one always within reach and save time necessary for charging.
Take care of a proper storage for the concentrates you use. Different types of concentrates require different storage condition. Learn more to get ready beforehand.
Another appealing option is to take a disposable vape pen to your trip instead of your ordinary one. It is a one-piece unit that simply gets discarded after it is depleted. Such a pen is used to save time and trouble; moreover, it is a good idea if in your list of countries there is the one where cannabis is not legalized: you can simply leave the pen behind before you enter it.
Pre-filled cartridges: to buy or not to buy?
Vape pen cartridges have solid place in the market of vaping accessories. Is that the optimal choice for cannabis lovers?
The greatest benefit of vape cartridges is the simplicity of use. You do not need to use syringes to refill the liquid or take any dabbing tools and measure concentrates. Just replace one cartridge with the other and the work is done.
However, there is one argument against cartridges. It is the limited variety of what is inside. With refilled oils, you can vape any possible combination of cannabis products and experiment with the whole spectrum of flavors and effects. Vape cartridges are more limited: they only have a definite range of cannabis products so experiments are impossible.
In conclusion, it is worth summing up that vape cartridges are excellent for newbies and often not enough for experienced cannabis consumers.
What are “thinning agents”?
Some concentrates and distillates ae too thick for vaping purposes. To make them thinner, special agents are used. These additional ingredients can be: natural terpenes, vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, and medium chain triglycerides. And while the first one is considered ideal, the use of the other “thinning agents” require careful consideration.
A recent study has confirmed that when being overheated, the “thinning agents” resulted in the appearance of harmful formaldehydes. Using vape pens supposes permanent overheating of these agents so health hazards cannot be undervalued. It is recommended to check the packaging to learn more about the products and agents that are vaped.