The Ins and Outs of Vaping Cannabis Oil

The invention of vape pens has revolutionized the way many people consume cannabis. For many, vaping is becoming a preferred method of consumption because of its portability and discreet nature. Written by Anna Barberena.

The invention of vape pens has revolutionized the way many people consume cannabis. Instead of needing to stop what you’re doing to roll a joint or plug in a bulky machine like a Volcano, vape pens are a discreet, portable device small enough to fit in your pocket that allows you to consume almost anywhere. No expertise is needed to utilize vape pens in the way some other forms of consumption require, making them a go-to for many consumers. All you have to do is make sure the components are charged and attached to one another and press a button. For many, vaping is becoming a preferred method of consumption because of its portability and discreet nature.

What is Vaping Exactly

While vaping may seem similar to smoking they are actually quite different. When you smoke cannabis, the product is burned which activates the compounds inside the flower. The use of fire to heat the plant material creates the smoke in which most of us are familiar. When you vape cannabis oil, however, the oil is heated to a high temperature which transforms the cannabinoids and terpenes into a vapor which is then inhaled. Since the plant material has been removed from the oil, leaving only the cannabinoids and terpenes behind, only a vapor is formed.

What is Vaping Exactly

How is vaping different from using a flower vaporizer?

In a nutshell, the availability of botanical compounds, like cannabinoids and terpenes, will determine how quickly effects are felt, the duration of effects, and the level of depth of the experience (which also depends on the cultivar and unique biochemistry of the person consuming). While the onset and duration of effects are very similar, vaping flower may offer a more nuanced experience when compared to vaping cannabis oil because of the presence of all the compounds in the plant material.

The effects of vaping flower and vaping cannabis oil are usually felt within a few minutes with peak effects settling in after 20 minutes. For most people the effects are experienced for between one to four hours. It is the experience itself, the nuance of how the effects settle in and the journey you go on while you’re stoned, that usually differs so greatly between these consumption methods.

Are there different styles of vape pens?

There are several styles of vape pens to choose from as you begin to dive into vaporizing cannabis. Each one has its own application and function to consider.

  • Reusable Vape Pen: This style consists of a 510 threaded battery that can be used multiple times allowing you to choose between a variety of vape cartridges. This style makes it easy to try new cultivars or extraction types that are offered by different brands. If you are someone who likes to have different experiences throughout the day this style makes it easy to change what you’re consuming at any time.
Are there different styles of vape pens?

Disposable and Pod Vape Pens

  • Disposable Vape Pen: The pre-filled cartridge is directly attached to the battery and typically cannot be removed. Once the oil is consumed the whole device is thrown away and you purchase a new one. Some of these devices are rechargeable but they usually are not. This style is usually a draw activated device so you simply inhale through the mouthpiece to activate it.

  • Pod: This style of vape pen is very similar to the reusable 510 threaded style in that there is a pre-filled vessel that is then attached to a battery. Instead of the cylindrical 510 vapes, the pre-filled container looks like a small pod. The components usually attach to one another through a magnet and they usually have a no-button, automatic draw function.

Disposable and Pod Vape Pens

How do I use a vape cart?

  • Make sure your battery is charged. Familiarize yourself with any features it may have such as turning on/off with 5 clicks of the button or 3 clicks to change temperature (if applicable).

  • Attach the cartridge to the battery. You want the cartridge to be snug to the battery but not too tight.

  • Inhale gently for 2-3 seconds. Hold for 1-3 seconds. Exhale slowly.

  • Wait at least 15 minutes before taking another hit to allow for the effects to settle in. Many consumers are over consuming before really allowing the totality of effects to be felt.

  • If you are going to leave the battery attached for a while in between sessions make sure to leave it on a stable surface (not in your pocket or bag) and upright if possible.

Important Notes on Vape Pens

  • While 510 inputs may fit together and are generally compatible, not all 510 cartridges and batteries will work well together. The viscosity of the oil and the temperature a battery can achieve are the two primary culprits at large when the components aren’t working well together.

  • If the oil inside a cartridge is thick and viscous the temperature needed to vaporize the oil will be higher. If the oil appears thin, the temperature needed will be much lower.

  • With a lower temperature, you get more flavor and less vapor because terpenes are more delicate than cannabinoids and will degrade at high temperatures. With a higher temperature, you will get more vapor and less flavor because the terpenes have been burned off.

Important Notes on Vape Pens
  • There are many companies that make their vape pens with proprietary technology. This means that the cartridge and battery need to come from the same company in order to work correctly. This is more often seen with pod systems than 510 threaded vapes. For example, the 710 pods cannot be used with a Stiiizy battery and vice versa.

  • If you see crystals inside of a vape pen, do not fret! THCa and CBDa are crystalline at room temperature and can appear with certain extraction types if they have not been thoroughly emulsified in the product.

Taking Care of a Vape Pen

With only a few simple tips you can negate a lot of frustration with batteries that do not seem to work or die long ahead of their expected time.

Do not overcharge the battery.

Most batteries only need an hour or two to get back to a full charge. I recommend charging the battery while on the computer or relaxing at home so you can keep an eye on it and remove it from the charger once it’s done. If the battery is charged overnight, it is possible to damage the interior of the hardware.

Do not use any other cable to charge it other than the one it came with.

The cables will allow a certain amount of energy through the hardware so if you plug it in with a cable for another electronic device it could potentially damage the components.

Taking Care of a Vape Pen

More Vape Pen Care Tips

Remove the cartridge from the battery after use.

When the cartridge and battery are attached throughout the day, most people will put the device in a pocket or a bag. Inside those compartments, the threading that connects them can warp if pressure is applied.

Turn off the battery after you’re done using it.

This one is often overlooked but can make a big difference in the overall life of a battery. By shutting down the battery there is time for the internal components to take a break from their intended use. This allows time for the battery to “rest” so the components do not become overworked. While this does not apply to all batteries, such as a stylus, it is still important to keep this in mind when applicable.

More Vape Pen Care Tips


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