What’s a Vape Pen?
Vape pens have burst in popularity recently, especially among teens and young adults. But, what is a vape pen, and why are they so popular?What do vape pens even do? Keep reading to find out.
What is a Vape Pen?
A vape pen is a battery-operated device that is used to allow a user to inhale an aerosol containing nicotine, THC, and other flavorings and chemicals. Vape pens were initially created as an alternative to traditional cigarettes. Sometimes called e-cigarettes, these devices resemble things ranging from traditional cigarettes to pens and USBs.
Regardless of design, function, or use, vape pens all work the same way. For example, a cartridge, reservoir, or pool holds the liquid. It is eventually heated by an atomizer that releases a vapor that contains nicotine, THC, and other flavorings. There are more than 460 different brands of vapes on the market.
Benefits of Vape Pens
Vape pens have a few advantages over smoking flower, including:
- They are convenient and discreet — The vape pen’s cartridges are small, transportable, and pre-filled. It’s far easier to carry a vape pen than it is to carry flower, smoking devices or rolling papers, and a lighter. Smoking a vape pen is also much more discreet than smoking flower, and does not have the strong odor that smoking cannabis does.
- Vapes are less harmful — Research shows that when cannabis combusts when it is smoked, the smoke the user inhales contains at least 100 toxins — some can cause cancer. Since vaporizers don’t heat marijuana to the point of combustion, people who vape cannabis aren’t exposed to these toxins. Although there is not yet any long-term research on vaping, a 2010 study of 20 daily cannabis smokers who had existing lung conditions found that only one month after using a vape instead of smoking, they demonstrated “meaningful improvements” in their lung health.
- Vapes are cleaner —Vape cartridges are disposable, meaning there is no sticky resin to clean up. The only output is water vapor — no smoke, ash, or overall mess.
There are also a few disadvantages of vaping instead of smoking flower, including higher prices, fewer strain varieties, and potential health risks surrounding cutting agents.
What goes in a vape pen?
There are a number of cannabis extracts that can fill vape pens, including:
- Distillate — The most common, distillate is a highly refined oil that contains just a few cannabinoids that are focused on THC or CBD.
- Specialty concentrates — These concentrates, like CO2 oil, Shatter, and Full Spectrum Extracts, contain all of the marijuana plant’s cannabinoids to result in a different experience.
Why are some oils different colors and viscosities?
Thinning agents. Thick distillates can be thinned through mixing them with vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, naturally-derived terpenes, and strain-specific terpenes. These all allow the pen’s wick to easily absorb the oil and will vaporize the oil with less energy from the battery. But, they can also change the oil’s color. These thinning agents can also impact the vape’s appearance and taste.