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What is a Vape Pen? High There’s Beginner’s Guide

What is a Vape Pen? High There’s Beginner’s Guide

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Vaporizers (or ‘Vapes’, to most people) are a revolutionary alternative to traditional smoking. They don’t require any tobacco to be burned, as a battery heats an e-liquid or vape juice into an inhalable vapor.

Although certain vapes may resemble alien gadgetry from the future, the truth is that the technology behind them is actually relatively simple and easy to get your head around (once you get past all the flashing buttons and lights).

Since they first hit the US market in 2007, vapes made a considerable splash and have grown consistently in both popularity and variety ever since. Today the world of vaping and vaporizer pens is a massive and varied one, and vape pens come in all shapes, sizes, and capacities to suit every smoker’s needs.

In today’s article we’ll delve deep into the hazy world of vape pens and vaporizers, and hopefully clear the air on a vape pen and how you could find the perfect one for you.

A man holding a vape pen, by lindsayfox via Pixabay

What is a Vape Pen & How Do They Work?

Vaping as we know it today emerged in China around 2003, when a pharmacist named Hon Lik created an electronic device designed to heat a nicotine-based oil to create a smokeless vapor.

Lik’s attempt to replace traditional tobacco cigarettes with e-liquid was not the first of its kind; tobacco company scientists and R&D departments had been working on aerosolized nicotine-delivery systems since the early 1960s. However it was this new method that proved massively successful – First in China and, shortly after that, the rest of the world.

Anyone looking into vapes for the first time is likely to encounter several names for the same sort of devices – such as e-cigarettes, vapor pens, etc. – so it’s understandable to be a bit confused about the nuances of each device.

Fundamentally, a vape pen is any device that uses a heating element within its battery to heat an oil-based liquid that may contain nicotine or cannabinoid derivatives such as THC or CBD. Inhaling this vapor has the same neurological and physical effects as smoking but without the harshness or heat associated with burning tobacco.

The Component Parts of a Vape Pen

Battery

The battery is by far one of the most important parts of any vape pen device. One of the first things you’ll likely notice when studying the anatomy of vape pens is that their batteries vary massively from one device to another.

Principally there are two main types of vape pens: Open system pens and closed system pens. Both systems rely on batteries for power, but open system pens usually have a larger battery capacity as they are removable. In contrast, closed system pens are self-contained and therefore can only be used with pre-filled cartridges.

Lithium-ion batteries are the most commonly used battery within the vaporizer market, as they are rechargeable and long-lasting – although there are plenty of others to choose from.

Atomizer

Another crucial part of any vape pen or vaporizer box mod is the atomizer. This is a fundamental part of any vape, as an atomizer is a heat-resistant component that vaporizes the liquid inside the chamber to create the vapor you inhale.

Atomizers are either separate from the vape itself or attached to the heating chamber – depending on the specifics of each type of vaping device.

Sub-ohm tanks are some of the most popular atomizer options for serious vapers, as they use coils that run at a low resistance level of less than 0.5 ohms. This means that the vape can generate thick vapor clouds without overheating and create the sweet-smelling smoke-machine effect many vapers enjoy.

Heating Chamber

The heating chamber is, in many ways, the heart of any vape device. It is here that the contents of the vaporizer are held – be it cannabis oil cartridges, CBD, weed, nicotine vape juice, or whatever else.

Size is an important factor in vaporizer heating chambers, as it dictates the quantities that the vape can hold – although it is not the only thing to be aware of.

The most common material used to build heating chambers is ceramic, as it is non-reactive and therefore will not burn or produce a harsh taste or smell when heated. Other, more high-end vapes sometimes use glass-made heating chambers, as glass is also non-reactive but is less porous, making cleaning it far easier.

Stainless steel heating chambers are also found within more premium vapes, as it is again non-reactive and easy to clean.

Indicator Light

Certain types of vapes also have built-in LED indicator lights. Devices with indicator lights provide users all the information they need about the functionalities of their vape – such as the battery percentage.

These LED lights are often found close to the charging port or on the button you use to ignite the vape, and usually follow a color-coded system (moving from red to green) for optimal clarity.

Some vaporizers – such as box mods – also tell users the number of puffs they’ve taken, which can be a great tool for anyone using CBD or THC as they can easily keep track of their dosages.

Mouthpiece

Finally, the mouthpiece is another part of a vape pen that no device can go without. Often referred to as a ‘drip tip,’ the mouthpiece of a vape pen directly connects to the atomizer and allows the user to inhale. The most common type of mouthpiece is known as a 510 drip tip.

This is understandably slightly confusing for some, as a 510 thread is also the name for the type of battery used in most vape pens. However, a 510 drip tip is purely a vape pen component that sits at the end of the mouthpiece.

The Different Types of Vape Pens

E-Cigarette

The e-cigarette was the first type of vape to hit the US market, way back in 2007. Since then, it has become a massively popular (and, according to some, healthier) alternative to smoking tobacco.

E-cigarettes aim to replicate the experience of smoking and are therefore often shaped to resemble cigarettes and are mostly draw-activated – which means they don’t require a button to operate.

Typically, e-cigarettes come in two varieties: Disposable vapes and refillable vapes.

Disposable vape pens usually come with cartridges of pre-filled e-liquids, which vapers attach to the vape pen and smoke until they are finished.

Refillable vape pens give users the option to refill them with nicotine-based e juice manually.

Both types of e-cigarette will come with a “Warning: This product contains nicotine” disclaimer (or something similar), to inform users that the nicotine within is an addictive chemical.

CBD Vape Pen

Another type of vaporizer pen that is rapidly growing in popularity is a CBD vape pen. CBD is a non-psychotropic derivative of the cannabis plant extracted from hemp and turned into an oil (with a THC of less than 0.3%).

Part of the reason CBD oil has become so widely used in the vape community is its perceived health and therapeutic values – as it can produce feelings of calm and relaxation. A CBD vaporizer pen is one of the fastest ways to experience the therapeutic effects of CBD, as inhaling vapor from a pen goes directly into your bloodstream far quicker than other methods of delivery.

Additionally, using a CBD vape pen is considered healthier than smoking, as when you burn anything, carcinogens are released, whereas vapor is far cleaner.

THC Vape Pen

A weed pen vape or THC vaporizer is another vaping device that is rapidly growing in popularity here in the US, where THC use is legalized.

THC vape pens have soared in popularity largely due to their convenience and powerful effectiveness, letting users get the best possible effect out of their cannabis distillates.

Structurally, a THC vape pen is quite simple, and mostly comes in two forms, much like CBD vaporizers: Prefilled and refillable pen cartridges.

Prefilled pen-style THC vapes are by far the easiest to use, as all users do to operate it is screw a cartridge into the battery, press the button to heat the THC oil within the atomizer, and start puffing.

Refillable THC vape pens are also fairly simple to use, with the primary difference being that the cartridge is empty to begin with, and must be filled up by the end consumer with a separately-purchased THC-based oil.

A vape pen cartridge, by haiberliu via Pixabay

How to Use a Vape Pen

Make Sure it is Fully Charged

Though it may seem somewhat obvious, there are plenty of people who’ve returned ‘defective’ vape pens only for it to later transpire that their pen was simply out of charge.

When you get a new pen vape product, the first thing to do is place it on charge for between two and four hours using either a micro USB or external battery charger. Once the vape pen is fully charged, it will usually flash a colored (typically green or white) LED or other form of light.

Fill the Chamber of the Pen

Once you’ve made sure your refillable pen vape has charge, the next thing to do is fill the chamber of the pen with the e-juice of your choosing.

To make sure the coils within the chamber fully absorbed the e-liquid, we advise you to wait around 5-10 minutes before you begin vaping.

Turn On the Device

Finally, you can turn your vape pen on and begin vaping.

Different devices have different ways of activating them, so always check your user’s manual to see what the specific trigger sequence is for your vape. Many vape pens will ask the user to press the main power button a number of times in rapid succession (typically either 3 or 5) to turn the vape on.

If you want to change the heat settings on your vape the same applies, though usually with a different button press combination; either holding the button down or pressing it rapidly 3 or 5 times is a typical example for swapping between the various voltage settings.

If you are vaping CBD or THC, we recommend starting on a low voltage to begin with, before working things up higher thereafter as you see fit.

The Benefits of Using a Vape Pen

Portable & Lightweight

Though it may seem somewhat obvious, there are plenty of people who’ve returned ‘defective’ vape pens only for it to later transpire that their pen was simply out of charge.

When you get a new pen vape product, the first thing to do is place it on charge for between two and four hours using either a micro USB or external battery charger. Once the vape pen is fully charged, it will usually flash a colored (typically green or white) LED or other form of light.

Easy to Use

Another massive appeal of vape pens is their simplicity.

If you require instant relief through a hit of nicotine, THC, or CBD, then vaporizers can provide you with the perfect solution at the click of a button.

Vaporizers are straightforward devices to operate once you grasp the basic essential principles and provide users with instant and reliable relief almost instantaneously.

Discreet

Vape pens are also massively popular for anyone who wants a more discrete way to enjoy nicotine, THC, or CBD. As the heating element inside vape pens doesn’t burn anything (they only produce a smokeless vapor) the smell produced dissipates in a far shorter time than traditional smoke would.

Additionally, as most vape pens are thin (pen-shaped) devices, they don’t always look like you would expect a smoking device to look.

This again attracts many people to vapes over traditional smoking methods, as they let you enjoy the product within your vape – without bringing too much attention to yourself in the process.

Wrapping Up

Again, vape-style cigarette devices for THC and CBD can often seem like futuristic tech, difficult to understand and unwieldy to look at for the uninitiated. But they don’t have to be, and we hope our advice in today’s article has give you the confidence you need to get out there and explore the world of vaping more in-depth. Enjoy!

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