Vape pens, the ultimate way to consume cannabis discreetly, are incredibly convenient for a number of reasons. They don't carry the same conspicuous odor as a joint, they can easily fit into pockets and bags, and instead of exhaling smoke, you exhale vapor. Standard vape pens have cartridges of cannabis oil that is vaporized upon use. Decarboxylation — the process in which the cannabinoids THC and CBD are activated through high heating — happens almost instantaneously when using a vape pen, either by pressing a small button or in other models, just by inhaling.
What's going on under the surface of your vape pen?
Here are a few details on how such a small device helps deliver such a successful high.
The mouthpiece is located at the front end of a vape pen and is the part through which you inhale. Mouthpieces can be made from glass, silicone, or plastic, and are available in several shapes and variations. A mouthpiece is also sometimes called a "drip tip," because vape juices would drip through it in older models of vape tanks. The name "drip tip" still remained even after the introduction of non-dripper vape tanks.
This is the part of the pen that holds the cannabis oil. Although the names are relatively the same, a tank is usually an empty compartment with a marked fill-line that can be filled with oil manually, while a cartridge is a compartment that is already filled with oil by a cannabis manufacturer and then inserted into the pen.
The atomizer is a small heating unit that turns the oil to vapor droplets and activates the THC or CBD in the process. The most common types of atomizers are cotton wick, quartz, and ceramic. The ceramic version is the most resilient of the three because it retains heat well and holds up to higher voltages. Quartz atomizers are also pretty reliable but don't retain heat at the same level as the ceramic versions. Cotton wick atomizers are the most sensitive, as they are prone to overheating and burning at higher voltages, and need to be replaced more frequently than ceramic or quartz ones.
The Activation Trigger
A vape pen can either be activated with a power button or with a sensor that turns the device on when you inhale. Button-activated pens usually have a safety catch that requires you to click five times in a row to turn on the device, which helps prevent accidental activation. You can also adjust temperatures with the button.
The battery takes up most of the vape pen's total volume. It is usually a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It can be charged through a charger that screws onto the back end of the pen and has a USB port. Your device can be easily charged by a computer, in the car, or anywhere else with a convenient outlet and USB adapter.
The next time you use a vape pen, your understanding of the whole process will be much deeper, and you might even find yourself appreciating the small details you'd never noticed before in your vaping experience.