Vaping is all the rage lately. If you think about it, it is the modern-day equivalent of the ever popular smoking fad that came about in the early 1920s. However, vaping and smoking are 2 different methods of consumption and involve different tools to get the job done!
Smoking typically entails a marijuana cigarette, usually made of a filter and finely ground cannabis flower wrapped in paper. The joint is burned after being lit by a flame, and then the smoke is inhaled directly.
Vaping is a little different. Not only are different tools used when vaping, but the process is dissimilar, too. Despite common misconceptions that e-cigarettes and vapes are the same, this is precisely that — a misconception. Also known as vapes, vaporizers are the instruments that are used for vaping.
Unlike cigarettes, vaporizers are battery-operated. There are no flames involved, but instead, a simple push of a button activates the vape, and you are then able to inhale the vapour. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
However, if you are not incredibly well acquainted with vaping, then you might be overwhelmed by the differences of an e-cigarette vaporizer, a THC vape pen, and dry-flower vaporizers. There’s a lot of variety out there in the vaping world, and vaping might end up being the strangest switch you’ll ever have to make.
In this article, we’re going to be talking specifically about THC (cannabis) vape pens and cannabis flower vaporizers and how to best use each one!
Vaping 101: How Do You Vape?
Vaping is an entirely different experience compared to traditional smoking. Instead of directly breathing in the combusted smoke as you do when smoking a joint, you breathe in vapours instead. Vaping is considered a healthier way of consuming cannabis and cannabis concentrates because there is no combustion involved and nothing else is being inhaled.
Vapourizers work by either convection or conduction heating. Convection will “bake” your cannabis flower or concentrate into vapour while convection heating will physically heat up your product through contact with it. Unlike smoking, there are no rolling papers or filters required – just finely grind your flower, insert it into the chamber and vape away!
The 3 Most Common Types of Vaporizers
E-cigarettes are up for debate in the sense that some people view them as a type of vaporizer, while others think they are in a category of their own. For the sake of this discussion, we’re going to omit them from the category of vaporizers because they do differ, even if it seems so minimal.
The three most common types of vaporizers include:
- Pod Vapes
- Vape Pens
- Flower vaporizers
How to Vape With Each Kind of Vaporizer
While every vaporizer out there has a similar make and build, your vaping experience will be different from one vaporizer to the next.
Pod vapes are made up of 2 main components, which are:
- THC Pod
When vaping with a pod vape, you inhale through the mouthpiece each time you want to use the pod. The coils that hold the pod in place automatically heat up and produce vapour when the battery is inhaled.
Simply refill the e-juice pod whenever it runs low, and pay attention to the LED power indicator so that you know when your battery is running low. With only two components that comprise the entire piece, pod vapes are very to-the-point and minimal.
Vape pens are comprised of:
- Charging Port
- Coil Head
- Power Button
- 510 Connector
Vape pens are arguably the most popular type of vaporizer out there. The reason for their popularity has a lot to do with their discreteness and accessibility of use. The vapour produced by these vapourizers is odourless and fades rapidly so they can be used almost anywhere.
They are best when used during shorter time periods, seeing as they don’t have the most impressive battery life. This is not so much a flaw as it is an intentional design because vapes are intended to be used on-the-go.
By drawing in vapor through the mouthpiece, the battery heats the coil head, which then turns the THC distillate into vapor. Distillate is a form of cannabis concentrate that’s translucent and amber in colour. The potency of distillate can range from 80% to 95% potency and is interchangeable through cartridges.
The distillate vapor leaves the vape pen as you draw it out, and just like that, you’re vaping with a vape pen. Unlike pod vapes, some pens require a power button to be pressed before the coils can actually heat up and vapourize the distillate.
Most flower vaporizers will have six primary elements to them, including:
- Charging Port
- Display Screen
- Power Button
- Temperature Control Button
Flower vaporizers are best suited for people already experienced with cannabis use. If you already have experience with other forms of vaping, you might find that you actually prefer flower vaporizers over everything else.
Unlike the previous 2 types of vapes, flower vaporizers don’t have pods of THC distillate cartridges – flower vaporizers turn finely ground cannabis into vapour. Flower vaporizers do this through 1 or 2 heating methods; convection or conduction.
In essence, a flower vaporizer is a miniature sized oven. Through one of the two heating methods mentioned earlier, the vaporizer will “bake” the cannabis in the vaporizer’s chamber, producing vapour which you can inhale.
Many experienced consumers prefer this style of vapourizer for its fine control over temperature. Users can opt for a tastier, more terpene-filled low-temperature experience or a potent, effective high-temperature bowl. The cannabis that you’ve already vaped can even be repurposed into cannabis oil or sprinkled onto ice cream and consumed as-is! The temperatures within the cannabis vaporizer “activate” the cannabis and make its effects available without any combustion or vaporization.
Flower vaporizers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many are designed for on-the-go use but there are also “desktop sized” variants which can be used similarly to a bong or a pipe. Keep in mind that unlike the 2 previous types of vaporizers we’ve covered thus far, flower vaporizers use of fresh cannabis leaves a pungent, lingering smell.
Concluding Thoughts on How to Vape
If you’re wanting to consume cannabis in a more discreet way or simply want to reap the health benefits of combustion-free consumption, vaping cannabis is the way to go.
The type of vaporizer that you choose to use totally depends on your preferences. We recommend taking your experience and skill set into account when deciding on a vaporizer, but no matter which one you elect to use, vaping always gets easier with practice.