When it comes to a cannabis vape pen, you have a ton of options — from the oil to the pen itself. Boardroom breaks down what to look for.
A vape pen is an excellent way to enjoy the benefits of cannabis without the manual work of breaking down buds, rolling them up, or torching up bangers to hit dabs. However, if you’ve never purchased one, then all of the brands, types of oils, and types of vape pen systems may seem overwhelming.
To help ease the process, here are some tips on shopping for a proper cannabis vape pen.
What Is a Cannabis Vape Pen?
Cannabis vape pens are handheld battery systems that pair with cannabis oil cartridges of different sorts. When you inhale them, they heat (not burn) your cannabis oil, producing a vapor (not smoke) that allows you to take in a variety of cannabis compounds, namely cannabinoids and terpenes.
Pens’ portability and ease of use make them a favorite among consumers. Additionally, you can try a bunch of different versions of cannabis hash oil, and vapor is easier on the lungs than inhaling smoke.
How to Shop for a Vape Pen
No matter which type of consumer you are, there’s a cannabis vape out there for you.
Shopping for one is simple:
- Step 1: choose your cannabis vape oil
- Step 2: choose your cannabis vape pen
Choosing your cannabis vape oil
It’s important to know which type of pen you want, but it’s even more important to know the type of oil you want to vape.
Most of the choices boil down to three umbrellas: distillates (with added terpenes), live resin, and live rosin.
Distillate Vape Pens
For the average consumer, vaping is more about the flavor and high, so distillate oils do great numbers. The extractors have distilled the cannabis oil down to almost pure THC, with THC percentages as high as 90%. In other words, you get extremely baked. Then they add either artificial terpenes, botanical terpenes, or cannabis-derived terpenes for flavor, which is why you get vape pens with bold tastes.
These pens will for sure get you high, however, distillate and terpenes don’t provide the full-spectrum experience of cannabis — or the entourage effect — since they are made from isolated compounds versus an oil with a strain’s full chemical profile.
Full-spectrum extracts are imperative if you want the true medicinal/health benefits that come from vaping cannabis. Unfortunately, distillates won’t provide that, but live resin and live rosin can.
Resin Vape Pens
A full-spectrum cannabis oil is one that has all of the original compounds of the cannabis flower it came from. Live resin pens have that.
Live resin is a type of solvent-based extract that begins with fresh frozen flower as its starting material to lock in the plant’s trichome density and chemical profile immediately upon harvest. It is great for medical consumers, and for people who just want the full flower experience. The only kicker is that it uses a solvent, which interrupts that true natural chemical profile of the flower. Most people don’t care too much about that, as the product on the shelves has successfully purged the oil of the chemical solvent used to buy it. But still, there is a small alteration in the plant’s profile from solvent interference.
Rosin Vape Pens
Live rosin is also made from frozen flowers, but it doesn’t use a solvent in the process. Solvent-less rosin vape pens are excellent for concentrates enthusiasts who want the experience of smoking a certain strain, but without any of the negative byproducts of inhaling smoke. They’re also great for consumers who want the peace of mind in knowing that their vape oil never needed to purge any solvents at any stage of the extraction process. All in all, vape pens with rosin are seen as the most superior type of weed vapes.
Choosing your Cannabis Vape Pen
Hardware-wise, the first type of pen you’ll be looking at is a 510-thread battery. Then, you’ve got proprietary pods, which are brand-specific batteries that work with brand-specific oil pods. There are also disposable pods, which are another style of brand-specific pen.
510-thread Cannabis Vape Pens
This is the most common type of cannabis vape pen. 510, if you’re wondering, refers to the type of screw that joins the battery with the cartridge.
These pens are cylinder-shaped and fit into your pocket with ease. They are also cheap and available at any dispensary or head shop without issue. Some companies, like Vessel, make higher-quality 510-thread pens that have various temperature options so that you can always adjust your cartridge for optimal flavor intake and bigger clouds of vapor.
Brand-specific (proprietary) Vape Pens
When you think of brands that are specifically known for vape pens, names like STIIIZY, PAX, and AiroPro come to mind.
These brands have proprietary battery systems and proprietary pod systems that bring all of the creation processes in-house. These systems tend to be a little bit more expensive, but also provide a higher-quality experience because the companies have really dialed in their heating technology and the way that technology pairs with their specific oil cartridges, offering personalization abilities.
Disposable Vape Pods
Disposable vape pods are one-and-done pods that you neither refill nor recharge. You just pop them out of the box, vape until they’re empty, and recycle them wherever appropriate. You don’t have to choose a battery, just the brand, and you’ll be enjoying a nice high in no time. As with all types of cannabis vape pens (and oils), just make sure that you are purchasing your disposable pods from reputable brands that are known for consistently putting out high-quality products.
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