Vape pens are one of the biggest cannabis developments of the 2000s. They’ve revolutionized the way that people consume marijuana, removing combustion from the equation. Since their inception, vaporizers have matured from clunky table-bound devices to sleek, portable pens. This transformation, along with the advent of dabbing, has propelled vaporizers into the commanding spot they occupy today.
In this post, we’ll go over some of the common reasons to use vape pens. Then, we’ll survey the three types of vape pens out there.
Why Do People Use Vape Pens?
One of the main arguments in favour of vape pens comes from a health perspective. One study found that cannabis users who vaporized their weed instead of smoking reported higher levels of respiratory function than those who smoked. Marijuana needs to get hot before it can do anything – really hot. The THCA that naturally occurs in cannabis only converts into body-friendly THC after being heat-activated, a process called decarboxylation.
When you smoke weed, you heat-activate your weed by directly combusting it. While this is simple and effective, it’s not without its problems. Combusting weed creates more than 100 toxins not normally present in cannabis. Some of these toxins even cause cancer. By eliminating combustion from the smoking process, cannabis users can also take these toxins out of the equation.
That isn’t to say that vape pens are completely healthy, though. Just like they are with tobacco, vape pens aren’t considered a “safe” way to smoke – just less dangerous. Regardless of what you’re inhaling, if it’s not air, it won’t be good for you.
Vape pens also provide a much smoother, easier experience than smoking joints or pipes does. That’s because flames burn much hotter than vapes do. In fact, whenever you spark a lighter, the flame produces temperatures of 600 degrees Fahrenheit or more. In contrast, you can use a vape at half that temperature – THC only needs to heat up to 315 degrees to heat activate it.
Types of Vape Pens
Vaporizers themselves aren’t necessarily new technology – stoners have been using tabletop vaporizers for over a decade. However, it wasn’t until the advent of tobacco pens that portable vaporizers began to catch on.
There are three main types of vape pens on the market today: dry herb vapes, preloaded cartridges, and dab pens. Each of these devices has their own benefits, and none of them are necessarily the “best.” In general, all vape pens have similar anatomy. They all contain a chamber for flower or concentrates, heating element, mouthpiece, and battery. However, that’s where the similarities end. We’ve outlined the major differences between these three different types of pens below.
Dry Herb Vape Pens
Dry herb vaporizers first appeared as tabletop devices like the infamous Volcano. Now, just like computers, they’ve become smaller and more portable. The transformation from tabletop vaporizer units to pens happened sometime during the 2010s. Dry herb vape pens are designed specifically to vaporize flower, not concentrates or extracts. That makes them easier to clean than other vape varieties like dab pens, which heat up goopy, sticky concentrates and require a dedicated clean after every use.
Dry herb vape pens are moderately priced. They’re more expensive than preloaded vape cartridges, but usually cheaper than dab pens. They’re a long-term investment though, usually made from sturdy components that can stand up to years of abuse.
Preloaded Vape Cartridges
Some of the most common vape pens in dispensaries and on the internet are pre-loaded cartridges. These types of pens usually come in a kit with three main components: battery, charger, and cartridge. Batteries are rechargeable and easy to use. A consumer just needs to screw a cartridge onto a battery, and they’re good to go. Some of these types of vape pens have on/off buttons and temperature control, while others simply turn on whenever a consumer takes a puff. Cartridges are usually filled with some kind of concentrate or distillate. Full spectrum concentrates are common, as are high-terpene extracts.
One advantage of preloaded vape pens is their cost. Since they’re made from inexpensive components and feature simple controls, they’re fairly cheap. As a result, they’re a great option for a cost-conscious smoker who wants to vape concentrates while saving money.
Dab pens are one of the newest innovations in the vape pen scene. These are similar to preloaded vape cartridges, but significantly more complex and high-tech. Instead of preloaded cartridges, these pens have an empty heating chamber that consumers fill themselves.
Dab pens are essentially mobile dab rigs. Consumers can use any kind of concentrate for the task, from shatter to sap and everything in between. Generally, these kinds of pens are one-hit wonders. A user will load the chamber, vape their concentrate, and clean their chamber with a q-tip or paper towel. It’s important to keep these chambers clean, as regular use can cause significant buildup, preventing the unit from working properly.
There are two main drawbacks to dab pens. First, they’re the most expensive type of vaporizer pen on the market. While you can get a preloaded vaporizer cartridge, battery, and charger for less than $100, dab pens can run hundreds of dollars. In addition to their price, dab pens also require a lot of work to maintain. Users will need to clean their concentrate chamber between dabs, and if they don’t know what they’re doing, they can damage the unit’s coil, rendering it useless. As a result, dab pens are usually the territory of expert stoners.
Virtues of Vaporizers
Luckily for new vape enthusiasts, there’s never been a better time to vape weed. With the quantum leap in portable vaporizer technology over the 2010s, vaping has become a viable alternative to smoking flower and concentrates. Vaporizers are more affordable than ever, and their simplicity means even the biggest luddite can make use of them.
If you want to try vaping yourself, we’ve got several different types of vaporizer kits available in our web store. Already have a vape and looking for more fuel? We’ve got you covered with our peerless selection of concentrates.