By now, most of us have heard about CBD’s incredible therapeutic potential and have either tried it or are curious about the compound. Vaping is one of the quickest ways to feel the effects of CBD and get all the benefits the cannabinoid has to offer.
What are CBD Vape Pens?
CBD vape pens are devices designed for inhaling cannabidiol (CBD), one of the active compounds in hemp plants. Instead of igniting CBD and turning it into smoke, vape pens heat the material just enough to release vapor. Because the CBD isn’t burned, consumers can avoid inhaling all of the carcinogens involved with smoking. Vape pens come in two main varieties:
- Vape pens designed for use with oils and concentrates
- Dry-herb vaporizers used for vaping cured cannabis and hemp flowers
Vape Pens for CBD Oils and Concentrates
Vape pen kits usually come in three main parts: the base, the cartridge/tip, and a USB charger. You can use vape pens designed for concentrates with pre-filled oil cartridges or by filling your own vape carts with carrier oils and dabs like wax, rosin, or shatter. You won’t be able to vape whole cannabis or hemp flower using vape oil pens.
How to Use A Pre-Filled CBD Vape Oil Pen
Although manufacturers instructions may vary, you can learn how to use your vape cartridge by following this general procedure:
- Charging the Battery: Some disposable CBD vape oil pens come with a ¼ charge so that you can use them right away. Otherwise, you’ll need to charge the battery before you use the device. Simply screw the charger into the base and plug it into your computer or another USB outlet. After the battery is charged, remove the charger.
- Assembling the Pen: After removing the charger, screw the cartridge/tip portion onto the base.
- Using the Vape Pen: Most vape pens require that you click the power button five times to turn on the pen. Once the device turns on, press the button two more times to preheat the oil. The indicator light will flash after 30 to 60 seconds when the pen is ready to use. Press and hold the button to inhale the vapor.
- Turning Off the Vape Pen: Press the button another five times to turn off the vape pen.
Some vape pens have variable temperature controls and other special functions. We suggest that you always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get the most out of your CBD oil vape pen.
Pros and Cons of CBD Oil Vape Pens
One of the primary advantages of CBD oil vape pens is convenience. They have pre-filled CBD cartridges, which are much easier for beginners to use. Many oil-based vape pens are also disposable, making them convenient for vaping on the go. The relatively low cost provides another distinct advantage of CBD oil vape pens. Pre-filled vape pens allow beginners to try vaping CBD without investing in a costly dry-herb/concentrate vaporizer or dab rig.
On the negative side, the oil base can be a concern for some consumers. The most common CBD oil vape pen ingredients are propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG). Although the FDA classifies these ingredients in the “generally recognized as safe” category, some consumers are concerned about the potential hazards of inhaling these substances.
At this point, we really don’t know for sure. We do know that other substances typically found in black market vapes can definitely be dangerous. Consumers should only buy vape pens and CBD vapes from reputable companies that provide Certificates of Analysis (COAs) for their products. COAs are official reports issued by unbiased third-party labs that have tested the product for cannabinoid content and purity. If a company doesn’t provide a COA, don’t buy CBD vape products from them.
On the lighter side of things, the vegetable glycerin in typical CBD vape oils can produce big clouds of vapor, which are popular with some consumers. The visible vapor can be especially important for people trying to use CBD to quit smoking. You should make sure to read this before vaping with CBD.
Dry-Herb Vape Pens
Dry-herb vape pens allow consumers to vape raw cannabis and CBD hemp flowers. Dry-herb vapes work using either conduction or convection. Some dry-herb vaporizers also come with special attachments to accommodate oils and concentrates.
How to Use a Dry Herb Vape Pen
Operating a dry-herb vaporizer is considerably more complicated than using a pre-filled CBD oil vape pen.
- Prepare the hemp or cannabis: Evenly grind your flower with a hand-held grinder.
- Pack the chamber: Loosely fill the chamber, but try not to leave any large gaps.
- Using the Dry-Herb Vape: Press the button five times to turn on the vaporizer. Hold the button down to select a temperature setting. The indicator light will blink when the vape is ready. You may want to wait 30-60 seconds more to ensure that the device is fully heated. Inhale the vapor.
- Turn off the Vape Pen: Press the button five times to shut off the device. Most vaporizers will shut off automatically after a few moments.
Again, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the vaping device you purchase.
Pros and Cons of Dry-Herb Vaporizers
The main pro of using a dry-herb vape is that you can use it with cured cannabis flower, and you won’t need to be concerned about any additives. It’s also possible to reuse already-vaped buds for making edibles or tinctures.
Some of the drawbacks of dry-herb vape pens are their cost and the regular cleaning they require. Dry-herb vape pens don’t generally produce big clouds of vapor. Less vapor makes dry-herb vapes more discreet, but they may be disappointing for consumers who enjoy chasing vape clouds.
Choosing the Best CBD Vape Oil Pen
If you want to select the best vape oil pens, you’ll need to understand a little about the different parts of typical vaping devices.
Vape Pen Tips
Vape pen tips come in different sizes, shapes, and materials. The type of mouthpiece you choose will mostly be a matter of personal preference.
Vape Oil Tanks
The tank is the part of a vape cartridge that holds the oil. Tank sizes start at .5mm.
A larger inlet is better for thicker CBD oils. If you’re using a pre-filled, disposable vape pen, you won’t need to worry about making sure the oil inlet is compatible with the vape oil.
Airflow holes will either be in on the bottom near the thread or at the top near the tip. You’ll want to make sure the cartridges you buy are compatible with the location of your airflow holes. Some airflows are adjustable, which can be useful for changing the quality of the vapor.
Atomizers are the mechanisms that heat the material, creating vapor. Atomizers can be made of cotton wicks or ceramic coils. A ceramic atomizer heats the oil as it passes through and generally provides better flavor.
More precise temperature controls allow consumers to customize the vape to preserve terpenes or adapt to personal preferences. Different vape temperatures highlight specific terpenes to create a variety of effects.
Additional Tips for Selecting the Best CBD Vape Pen
- Do you want to prioritize user-friendliness or advanced functionality? If you’re a beginner, you may want to choose a vape pen with simple controls. More experienced consumers may want a wider range of temperature settings and other features.
- What materials would you like to vape? Flowers, oils, and CBD concentrates all have different requirements.
- Would you like a vape that works by convection or conduction? Convection vape pens don’t make direct contact with the oil or other vaped material. They reduce the risk of burning and help conserve materials. The downside of convection-style vape pens is their long heat-up times. Conduction models make direct contact with vaping materials. Conduction vape pens heat up faster but can be more wasteful.
- How much battery life do you require? If you vape often and don’t want to charge your battery frequently, pick a vape pen with a long charge. High-end vape pens use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
- What’s your budget? If you’re new to vaping or on a tight budget, you may be better off with a high-quality, pre-filled vape oil pen. Reusable vape pens have an extensive price range, depending on materials, styles, and brand names.
- What materials make up the components of the vape pen? Consumers should steer clear of vapes containing Teflon and other hazardous materials. Ask the manufacturer or vendor to provide third-party lab results for the composition of the pen.
- What types of cartridges will the vape pen fit? A vape pen that accepts 510-thread cartridges will be the most versatile.
- Where was the vape pen made? Inexpensive, Chinese vape pens are notoriously dangerous and may even explode when overheated.