Vaping has become one of the most common ways of consuming cannabis. Vapor is cleaner, smoother, and more flavourful than smoke. Vape devices are also more accessible and available than ever before, making it easier for people to enjoy everything that vaping has to offer. But just how exactly does vaping work?!
Many people turn to vaporizers (aka vapes or vape pens) as a convenient alternative to smoking. There are several advantages to vaping instead of smoking.
For starters, vapor is generally considered to be cleaner than smoke. It’s believed that cannabis vapor contains fewer toxins and carcinogens than cannabis smoke.
Additionally, vapor tends to be more flavorful than smoke. That’s because that smoky tinge isn’t there to cover up the taste of the delicious terpenes.
Vapor also dissipates into the air much more quickly than smoke. This means that the cannabis’ signature skunky scent will carry away and disappear much more quickly than with smoke. If you’re trying to keep the smell down, then vaping is likely a better choice than smoking.
In general, there are 3 different types of cannabis vaporizers: Portable vapes, desktop vapes, and 510 thread vape pens.
Desktop vapes are stationary plug-in units that must be plugged into a wall in order to work. Portable vapes, as their name suggests, are battery-powered handheld units that are used for vaping on-the-go.
510 thread pens are tiny pen-shaped units that fit conveniently into the palm of your hand. After being charged, they can be connected to any vape cartridge in order to instantly produce vapor.
Both desktop and portable vapes rely on one of 3 different types of heating: convection, conduction, and hybrid.
Conduction heating units work by heating up the chamber that comes into direct contact with the flower inside, creating vapor. It’s kind of like boiling water in a pan on the stove. Conduction units heat up quickly, but have a tendency to burn flower.
Convection units work by pushing hot air upwards from the heating element and through the chamber, creating vapor when it comes into contact with the flower. Kind of like cooking something in the oven. Convection heating units tend to vape flower more evenly but typically require a longer heat-up time.
Hybrid heating units use both kinds of heat, but they tend to take longer to heat up and can produce overly hot vapor.
510 thread vape pens work by heating up the point where the cartridge connects to the battery (the bottom of the atomizer). This connection heats up the oil in the cartridge chamber, turning it into vapor that is then inhaled through the mouthpiece.
Each vape model works a little bit differently.
When using a desktop or portable vape, the first step is to load the chamber with flower or concentrate. Then, make sure to set the vaporizer temperature at somewhere between 370F and 400F. Any higher than this and the flower or concentrate could combust, producing smoke instead of vapor. When the vape reaches the set temperature and lets you know it’s ready, go ahead and inhale through the mouthpiece.
To use a 510 vape pen, take some time to charge the pen battery. When it’s good to go, just connect the cartridge to the battery by screwing it in. If your battery has a button, then hold it down as you inhale to produce vapor. Some batteries simply fire up upon inhale, without the need to press any button.
Vape cartridges can be filled up with a variety of different oils. The three oils that you’re most likely to come across are distillate and live resin oil.
Distillate is an oil produced through a distillation process that systematically strips away compounds, leaving behind only THC and a number of terpenes. Distillate can reach massive THC levels that are sometimes close to 99%. If you’re looking for a heavy dose of intoxicating THC, then you can’t go wrong with distillate.
If you’re after terpenes more than THC, then live resin oil may be a better choice. While live resin oil is not quite as potent as distillate, it can definitely be more flavourful. If you’re looking for a super flavourful vape, then live resin cartridges are the choice for you.
In 2019, international headlines were made when many people became sick with a mysterious lung illness due to using vape carts. However, in time, it became clear that the vape carts causing this illness were counterfeit, and not made to professional safety standards. In fact, it’s believed that the cartridges causing injury contained a dangerous ingredient not found in legitimate vape carts: vitamin E acetate.
The cartridges containing vitamin E acetate were found to be made by counterfeiters and illegitimate brands seeking to take advantage of the rise in popularity of vaping. So is vaping cartridges really safe? As long as your cartridge is made by a reputable producer and sold by a reputable distributor, you can rest assured that it will be free of potentially harmful additives like vitamin E acetate. The danger is in buying cartridges from black market sources or untrustworthy distributors that may be selling low-quality cartridges that don’t hold up to safety standards.
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