Cannabis is a unique beast compared to most consumable products. While you cook steak a number of different ways, you’re only going to eat it. Coffee or alcohol can only be drank.But cannabis can be eaten, drank, smoked, applied topically, put into lube, and, also, vaporized. And that’s just the beginning.
While there’s a million ways to skin the canna-cat, vaping is one of the most health-conscious and effective. You retain more cannabinoids than traditionally smoking and it’s less harmful on your lungs. It may look like smoke, sure, but the way the product is heated doesn’t actually combust the material.
Plus, they’re discrete, last a long time, and easy to carry around.
Vapes are comparable to e-cigarette devices; just replace the nicotine aspects with cannabis. Some pen’s power and, in some cases, temperature can be controlled with a simple button-operating system. Just a few clicks will cause the device to heat flower, wax and oil concentrates into potent and relaxing vapors.
Additionally, some operate just by the simple pull of your inhalation.
But what exactly is going on inside these pens and how do they function? Vape pen components can be broken down into three co-dependent parts: the chamber (or cartridge), atomizer, and battery. Additionally, some smaller parts help them all work together.
Keep in mind that vape pens come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. When using disposable pens, all of this anatomy is hidden behind a casing because there’s no need to actually replace a cartridge or charge a battery – once it’s out, it’s out. So if you purchase a vape pen that doesn’t have a clearly defined cartridge, battery, etc… don’t worry. It’s all there, it just looks a little sleeker.
For many non-disposable pens the mouthpiece may be its own separate item. This is, quite literally, the piece where you put your mouth to inhale and draw out the vapor. It’s fairly self-explanatory.
Disposable ones may be a little harder to find simply because they’re designed to be more discrete, but a good telltale sign is a little hole to inhale through.
The chamber (or cartridge)
The chamber (or cartridge), in single-use devices, is where cannabis flower, wax or oil concentrates are stored. For refillable pens, think of it as a tiny, personalized kiln where cannabis is loaded and unloaded.
For single-use pens, as mentioned above, cartridges are pre-loaded with cannabis oil or wax concentrates and when emptied, are, well, disposed of.
The atomizer is powered by the pen’s battery and is the mechanism that heats the chamber or cartridge. This small apparatus houses coils that reach temperatures high enough to vaporize the cannabis’ molecules into consumable and calming clouds.
More premium vape pens use a rechargeable lithium ion battery. This battery powers the atomizer, generating enough power to heat to desired vaporizing temperatures in just seconds. Most batteries get multiple uses out of a single charge.
However, single-use vapor pens contain smaller batteries with just enough juice to power the device for a specific amount of dosages.
LED Light Indicator
Some disposable pens will use LED lights to help determine the difference between the mouthpiece and the bottom, lighting up to let you know that the system is being engaged when you draw on the mouthpiece.
Non-disposable ones will you use a small LED button to let you know where to press when inhaling to engage the system, and also how much battery you have left.
Vapor pens are far from rocket science. While offered in an overwhelming variety of brands, designs and formats, knowing their basic functions and formats will help you to dip your toe into this exciting trend.
Now that you know how vape pens work, it’s time to narrow down the options to one that works for you and your lifestyle. It just happens that we, so conveniently, have a list of our favorite vape pens on the market today, running the gamut from CBD-only, refillable, and disposable.