Whether walking down the Venice Boardwalk, scooting along in traffic or sitting outside your favorite coffee shop, it’s no longer strange to see and smell a large plume of flavorful marijuana vapor bellow out of someone’s mouth.
That’s because more and more people are embracing vaporizing, or vaping, as their preferred method of consuming cannabis.
Here we’ll take a look at some disposable vape pens to suit any mood or condition, along with some suggested brands and helpful tips on how to find the right one for you.
Vaping is the process of heating marijuana flower or extracts to a temperature hot enough to cause it to vaporize but, and this is important, without burning it. Water vaporizes at 212 °F, so most agree that vaping between 350 and 400°F is best for cannabis.
Essentially, what happens is the vape pen powers the heating chamber, which in turn provides the heat needed to warm up the cannabis oil, which produces the vapor that you smoke. Then you pull the vapor through the mouthpiece and inhale.
It’s a pretty simple and straightforward process.
Perceived decrease in health risk, numerous choices, and convenience make vaping much more appealing than smoking; and with both tabletop and portable solutions like disposable pens, they can be enjoyed from anywhere.
Smoke of any kind, including marijuana, contains harmful toxins. This study looks at the toxins in marijuana smoke and compares them to that of cigarettes. Though it’s never caused a fatality, the study found marijuana smoke had nearly 20 times higher levels of ammonia than tobacco.
Vaping avoids these unwanted toxins entirely, resulting in increased respiratory function among former smokers, according to a study by the Harm Reduction Journal in 2007.
Vape pens are cannabis devices designed much like e-cigarettes, making them generally small, thin and discreet. They can cost as little as $15 or as much as $200 and require maintenance like recharging the battery and refilling the cartridge.
As is the case with all vape pens, there’s a light that indicates when a dosage is complete. Many have a button that must be pushed while inhaling in order to activate the heat source.
Most of the pens that require maintenance are also interchangeable. There are five main parts to a vape pen; in order from bottom to top: battery, button, tank/cartridge, atomizer (heat source), and mouthpiece. The majority of pens made now follow an industry standard known as 510 threading, which allows you to interchange almost any cartridge onto any battery.
If you’re thinking of experimenting with vaping before you buy a potentially expensive pen that you’re unsure how to maintain, let alone if you’ll like it or not, consider disposable vape pens. These pre-loaded devices require no maintenance, cost less, and can be thrown away when empty.
Using your vape pen comes down to 5 simple steps.
1) Make sure your device is fully charged before you try to use it.
2) You should read the owner’s manual and get a good sense of which buttons do what. Traditionally, buttons on vape pens serve three main functions: Powering the device on and off, pressing and holding to take a hit, and then the button that allows you to change the temperature on the device.
3) Put the device together. Usually, this means assembling the mouthpiece, the battery, etc.
4) Load up the vape pen with your cartridge. Almost all cartridges nowadays come pre-packaged and easily screw into the device, which significantly minimizes the assembly time.
Once your pen is fully assembled, fully charged, and you are familiar with the device-buttons, it’s simply time to smoke and enjoy!
Disposable vapes are to vape pens what training wheels are to bicycles. They’re available at most dispensaries and cost around $15-20. Coming in a variety of brands and strain specific flavors, disposable vape pens don’t have rechargeable batteries so you don’t have to worry about a dead battery unless all of the extract is also gone—in which case, you’d just throw it away.
With disposable vape pens, there’s often no button required to activate the heat source. Just inhale and wait for the light to indicate a complete dose. So rather than being the dumb friend who tries to inhale without the button, you’ll be the dumb friend who doesn’t inhale at all because you can’t find the button in the first place. It’s okay, we’ve all been there.
While there are several brands and flavors to choose from, finding the right one(s) can be overwhelming; so we’ve made it easier. Here are a few simple things you can do to optimize your vaping experience.
It may seem like common sense, but the best way to know if your oil cartridge is empty is if it feels significantly lighter than full. You can also tell if you hold your cartridge up to the light, and it looks like all of the liquid was absorbed. You will also find that if you continue to vape from an empty cartridge, the aroma from the cannabis oil will be much weaker, and instead, you will experience more of a harsh, smoky scent.
This question largely depends on the type of vape pen that you’re using. The biggest difference between traditional vaporizers and vape pens is that most vape pens were strictly designed to handle solvent-based cannabis oil.
This is actually a very prevalent debate amongst the dabbing and vaping community. Many people chose dab pens over vape pens because they are typically designed to handle multiple types of concentrates and often “smoke smoother.” On the other hand, there are those who prefer vape pens because they are much easier to maintain, clean, and refill.
Yes, there are different types, but it really only comes down to two main types. There are those that have a box mod and those that do not. Other than that, other differentiators would be battery power, product design, unique features, and overall performance. Just remember that the overwhelming majority of vape pens without box mods are basically the same.
It’s important to remember that most vape pens are strictly designed to handle solvent-based cannabis oil. If you attempt to fill your vape cartridge with other types of cannabis concentrates, be wary that it could be dangerous, and you will likely damage your vape pen.
This is the million-dollar question. At the moment, there is not enough public research available that one can conclusively say how vape pens affect the human body.
With that being said though, it’s important to remember that inhaling any type of smoke is not considered to be good for you. When it comes down to it, you’re inhaling a vapor that may be full of toxins and carcinogens, which is likely to cause harm or damage from prolonged use.
We strongly suggest that you take the time to understand any potential health risks associated with vape pens before purchasing one. In addition to that, we also recommend that you use your vape pen to only smoke legal concentrates.
When taking apart your vape pen for cleaning, you first want to ensure the pen is no longer hot. From there, your best bet is to treat cleaning each section of the pen differently.
If you start with the mouthpiece, it’s best to take a Q-tip, dip it in isopropyl alcohol, then slowly dab and rub the Q-tip against it until you have removed all the black residue.
For the atomizer, the best way to clean it is to let it soak in isopropyl alcohol overnight. Once it has soaked, you will want to rinse it thoroughly and let it dry before using it again. Try to stay clear of using cotton swabs to remove any residue. It’s very likely that material from the cotton swab will get stuck on the atomizer, and can cause damage once you turn it on and heat it back up.
If it appears your device isn’t working, there are a handful of things you should check before declaring it broken.
A common mistake that’s often made is not turning the device on. This may sound silly, but before assuming your device is damaged, make sure you didn’t overlook this simple step.
Another factor that often snags people is the batteries. There are three main things to check when it comes to batteries, and you should use the process of elimination to determine which of the three main things is causing the problem. First, you need to check if the battery cover is fully closed and in place. Second, you should check if the batteries are uneven and power is not actually going to the device. If neither of those two things is causing the problem, then you will want to try replacing the batteries to see if they just got to the end of their lifespan.
If your device is turning on but is not dispensing smoke, it may be because there is residue blocking the connection. You’ll want to check if any oil seeped out of the cartridge and obstructed the mouthpiece or the battery circuit.
There are some vape devices on the market that have something called “stealth mode.” This particular setting allows the device to work when the screen is off or unlit. To check if you accidentally turned this mode on, see if the device is heating and allows you to smoke. If so, then it may be a simple fix of toggling stealth mode off in the settings.
Once you have checked these few things and none seem to have worked, you may have damaged your device beyond repair. Do you remember if the device fell into or came in contact with an excessive amount of water? If so, there could be an interference with the internal connection, and the device could be permanently damaged.
There are seemingly countless brands making disposable vape pens and there’ll be plenty more to come. It’s really a matter of which brands your dispensary carries and how specific your tastes are. Most vape pens behave as expected, but occasionally some have issues getting a full dose from a weak battery, faulty heat source or damaged cartridge.
We encourage you to try all the brands until you find the one (if any) that’s right for you; but to speed up that process, here are a few reputable ones.
Sleek, smooth and silver with the signature logo, the FlavRx pen is a great one to start with because it comes in several of the most popular strains and the pull is smooth. Plus, it’s so discreet it can fit right in the palm of your hand. This pen’s good for about 150 hits and every hit tastes just as good as the first. Flavored to taste like the flower strain, FlavRx makes for a great transition for the marijuana purists wary of artificially flavored vapes. Get one for $20-$25.
If you’re looking for a CBD product, Evoxe is a good place to start. Moderately priced at $40-$50, Evoxe uses oils made of cannabis as well as other natural herbs to include aromatherapy in crafting your vaping experience. With a small selection of products designed to both calm you down and amp you up, Evoxe is a great value for those interested in testing out vaping. Each type comes in a different color and is about the size of two stacked Chapsticks.
If you’re like me and you prefer sativas, Spliffin Quattro may be a good place to begin. This particular pen only offers six strains (three indicas and three sativas), though the sativas are the more popular: Super Lemon Haze, Tangie and Jack Herrer. Spliffin vape pens hold less in the tank than other brands but, between that and the limited strains, it’s reflected in the price—costing around $15. All their pens look the same, regardless of the flavor: skinny, pearl gold, and just over palm-sized with logo printed along the bottom.
Costing closer to $100, the innovative hmbldt vape pen was voted a “Top 25 Invention of 2016” by Time Magazine. Rather than dividing their product by strain, hmbldt pens are designed to stimulate different areas of the mind and body to improve sleep, increase blissfulness, provide pain relief, and even activate arousal. A cool feature? Rather than a light to indicate a full dose, there’s a gentle vibration. These pens are shaped like the old-school, five-in-one colored pens: small, white with a colored band around it changes between pastel colors based on the flavor.
Marked by its logo, a squared-off marijuana leaf that looks like a modified asterisks, Wildflower pens are top notch. Offering both CBD and THC options, both promising 150 doses, these disposables are a solid value at $55 for CBD and $60 for THC. Wildflower pens come in one of six flavors: four CBD and two THC. With a smooth hit, color variation between flavors and a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, Wildflower is definitely a great way to get the toes wet before diving into the deep end of vaping.
Whereas our ancestors smoked out of pipes, our children will vape. It’s cleaner for the body and the environment, involves less preparation than packing a bowl or grinding down flower, and typically no larger than an ink pen.
There’s still an underground feel to vape pen usage as the technology behind it hasn’t yet gained common sense status. We highly recommend that you explore this space and find the vape pen, disposable or refillable, that’s right for you.