Using a vape pen can seem a little like magic. You push a button, wait a second or two, then inhale. They can be a little tricky to get used to when you’re new to them.
Many people love vape pens for their ease of use, convenience, and discrete nature. You can carry vapes the size of a Zippo lighter in your pocket without anyone being any the wiser. With options like contacting an Oregon dispensary to get products delivered to your house, you don’t even need to go in to pick up what you want.
But, what’s happening inside the apparatus when you use a vape? Read on to learn a little more about the technology inside.
Parts of a Vape Pen
There’s some variation between pens, but most have about the same components. These usually consist of:
- the battery. This powers the device and takes up most of the internal space.
- the charger. This is an external part, usually micro USB or USB-C, that gives power to the battery.
- the cartridge or oil chamber. Some pens use pre-filled cannabis oil cartridges. Others are refillable chambers where you place dabs or wax.
- the mouthpiece. This part connects to the heating chamber and delivers the vapor to you.
Depending on the type of pen you have, you may also have tools like dabbers, which are metal utensils used to scoop up wax to place it in the chamber.
How to Use a Vape
If you’ve never used a vape pen before, it can be a little mystifying. But, use is actually fairly simple. Either insert the prefilled cartridge or fill the chamber with your cannabis product.
When filling a vape pen, never pick up wax with your fingers. This can degrade the oil and cause problems with your pen. Instead, always use the dab tool to place product in the chamber.
While you can, theoretically, use kief or other concentrates, be sure to use ones that are compatible with your pen. Impure kief, for instance, can clog your device or stick to your pen’s heating elements, causing off flavors.
When you are ready to use your pen, hit the button the desired amount of times for each action. Vape pens are standardized through the industry, but double-check your instructions to be sure. Most vape pens are set up like this:
- turn the pen on with five clicks.
- adjust the heat with three clicks.
- inhale while pressing and holding.
- turn the pen off with five clicks.
What Happens When a Vape Pen Is Operated?
When cannabis products are heated to temperatures between 300 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit, the cannabinoids inside are volatilized. This means that they are transformed into tiny airborne droplets that can be inhaled.
Vape pens have tiny heaters and sensors inside that heat cannabis products to exactly the right temperatures to release the THC and other cannabinoids within.
What Are the Advantages of Vape Pens?
When you smoke cannabis, the heat applied is uneven and typically higher than what is used inside a vape pen. As a result, this burns off any terpenes and minor cannabinoids. The lower heat of a vape preserves these elements, so you get a more broad spectrum experience.
Vape pens also allow you to inhale cannabis products without smoking. While some health concerns have been raised about the safety of vaping, the dangers of smoking are well-established. Many people find that vaping feels better for them than smoking does. In a 2007 study, researchers writing for the Harm Reduction Journal found that self-reported respiratory problems among people who smoked tobacco or cannabis were reduced when those individuals switched to vapes.
While there have been health scares associated with vaping, nearly all reported ones concerned nicotine vapes that were made by local vape shops. Sticking with respected brands can help reduce any potential risk.
Vaping is also more convenient than taking the time to grind weed and roll a joint or pack a bowl. You can even find disposable vape pens for times when you do not want to carry a permanent apparatus such as when you are leaving a legal weed state.
As with any other product, there are both pros and cons to vaping. Understanding the science behind it and the ways to find the safest products is key. Not sure what to look for? Talk to the service reps next time you visit a dispensary. They can guide you toward the best products for your particular needs.