The 12 Best Weed Vaporizers to Buy in 2020
Give up the smoke with a vape that’s packing some serious (but subtle) tech.
Vaping weed doesn’t reek. There’s no smoke to tear up your throat. And unless you make a spectacle of it, dubbing yourself that guy, it’s subtle. Those who vape their cannabis often do so because the dosage is easier to control—chalk that up to the wonders of technology—and the effects feel less jolting than more traditional means of getting high. (Although, folks who don’t regularly partake might find vaping to be more intense than smoking, according to one study.) To be fair, you do lose that transformative experience of coughing your esophagus out over a poorly wrapped joint or getting so high off of one rip from a communal bong that the stars fall to Earth and the moon waves hello. Hey, sacrifices must be made.
Vapes make dry herb or concentrate hot enough to activate the THC that sets you sailing, but not so hot the cannabis combusts into smoke, defeating the entire purpose of vaping. To broadly summarize the tech in the least boring way possible, there are two kinds of vape heating systems used to extract high-making chemicals and flavor from cannabis: one that uses conduction heating and one that uses convection heating.
Conduction puts your weed in direct contact with the vape’s heating element—like its coils—often getting you a faster heat time. However, if your product is too close to the heating element for too long, it’ll burn. (Simply shifting it around in the vape’s chamber is an easy fix.) Convection vapes tend to be more finicky and more expensive, but oftentimes are worth it for the vapor alone, especially if you prefer using dry herb. With these, the weed product doesn’t come into direct contact with the heating element. Instead, very hot air from the heating element circulates through the vape with every pull, indirectly vaporizing the product. On one hand, your product won’t combust, and the vapor is more even and flavorful. On the other, convection vapes can take longer to fire up, so patience is a virtue. These days, vapes can stick to one type of heating system or the other, but many market themselves as neither or both.
If you’re here, reading these words, then you’re likely already sold on vaping weed in one of its forms. But we’d be negligent to not quickly run through the science of weed vaping. Going the smoke-free route with a vaporizer is considered “likely less harmful than smoking” marijuana, because smoke itself is bad for your lungs. You know, the whole Joe Camel thing. The CDC has linked lung illness and some deaths to vape products with THC—remember the vape outcry of 2019?—but the big asterisk is that the THC products to blame were for the most part acquired from bootleg, black market sources. The lesson here is don’t be an idiot about where you get your concentrate. And because, annoyingly, marijuana is still illegal under federal law, hard-hitting research about vaping it remains scarce in these early days of legalization.
Speaking of legalization, getting high continues to be something of a political act, not just in terms of fighting for legality, but in terms of fighting for social justice in the cannabis industry. Even as it booms, the industry is rife with inequality, serving the well-funded startups and venture capitalists more than it does the grassroots efforts that made cannabis legit. Buy a real nice vape for yourself, then make the effort to purchase product from dispensaries and companies that fight for incarcerated people locked up for nonviolent drug offenses, invest in the BIPOC communities that are being boxed out of the industry, or fund political initiatives to end the so-called war on drugs, which has long given police an excuse to target people of color.
We know you just want to vape, but vape smartly. Here are a dozen of the best—and best-looking—weed vaporizers you can get right now. Pair one with quality flower or concentrate (or both) and get to it.
Here are the best (and best looking) weed vaporizers and marijuana vapes you can buy online right now, and everything you need to know about vaping cannabis before you do.
Best Wax/ Dab Pens of 2020
KandyPens Crystal 2
The Crystal 2 is a high-end, durable Dab Pen. The “Coilless” quartz bowl and the glass mouthpiece produce flavorful vapor that remains pure and tasty throughout the entire session. It also has adjustable airflow and a large (1200mAh) battery that outlasts “thinner” pens. The Crystal is simple enough for beginners and powerful enough for advanced users, making it the best wax pen of 2021.
The Puffco Plus is a heavyweight when it comes to producing smooth and tasty vapor. It’s a sleek-looking vape that features a dab tool built into it, which means there is one less accessory for you to carry around. The battery life is a little disappointing, but the short charge time makes up for it. For $90, this is probably the best price to performance ratio you’ll find, making it an incredible value.
Dr Dabber Stella
Dr. Dabber Stella is a sleek-looking vape that produces stellar vapor flavor. It features a Temperature Coefficient Resistance which prevents the wax from getting burned. Also, the ‘floating coil’ design helped with dispersing the heat properly. For a $100 vape, this is suitable for both newcomers and experienced vapers who prefer vapor flavor above anything else.
The 5 is a low-cost wax pen that is capable of producing intense and strong vapor. It has a thick and sturdy build with a long battery life that can last for a couple of sessions. It is a real lungbuster of a vape pen but if big clouds are what you want, then big clouds are what you’ll get. However, if you favor flavor over vapor production, there are probably better options out there.
G Pen Nova
The G Pen Nova is simple, portable, and produces average quality vapor that can jump-start your day. It has an integrated dab tool that makes loading the wax at ease, and sesh mode for a longer and lung-filling session. It’s also compatible with THC or CBD carts if you want to vape oils. So, if you’re a newcomer that doesn’t mind a slower heat-up time and low battery life, this is one of my highly recommended affordable vapes.
I enjoyed the amazing vapor produced by the Linx Blaze and didn’t mind that the vapor wasn’t particularly thick. I loved the big atomizer bowls and how easy they are to load. I wasn’t too crazy about the auto shut-off feature but others may like it more than I did.
The Amber Rose Vape Pen is not a quick cash-in on a famous name, it is a versatile vaporizer that is both good looking and functional. It has dual functionality for wax and oil, and it is 510 thread so it works with compatible accessories. It comes with two coils, has 4 temp levels, and a 650 mAh battery. There isn’t any need to choose style over substance, with the Amber Rose Vape Pen, you get both.
Qloudup Nexus Pro
The Qloudup Nexus Pro is an upgrade to an already great vape pen. It keeps the great flavor while upping the convenience and comfort factors via a glass mouthpiece and magnetic connections. Those features and the selection of comparatively low temperatures make the Nexus Pro a great vaporizer for beginners.
Dab / Wax Pen Buying Guide
What are dab pens?
Dab Pens are also known as Wax Pens or Weed Pens and are compatible with CBD/ THC shatter, extract, Wax, concentrate, dab, etc. On this list are the best dab pens of this year, in different categories. We posted links to authorized stores and coupon codes where available. We update the list as we test new pens.
Things to consider when buying a Dab Pen
1. The CBD/THC Extracts
The CBD/ THC Extracts are available in dispensaries within legal states. These concentrates can be up to 95% THC, and give instant results on demand. If you don’t live in a legal state, you can purchase CBD dabs, such as the one from Steve’s Goods (Visit Store) or from In-Hemp (Visit Store). These are derived from hemp so they are legal in all states.
2. Coils: Quartz VS Ceramic
You can read this post for the full rundown. But basically- Quartz is typically intense (more vapor, less flavor), and Ceramic is usually soft (better flavor, less harsh). Some Wax Pens (KandyPens Amber, Prism) come with starter kits that include both atomizers so you can try and see which one suits you best.
3. Vaping Dabs VS Dry Herb
The sweet spot vaping temperature of THC Dabs starts around 410F and goes up to 500F. The good news is that to reach that temperature for a few seconds, to heat very little material, vape pens do not need a lot of power. This means that vape pens can be small and discreet, unlike dry herb vaporizers. Dry herb vapes need to stay at a high temperature for an extended “session” and require a large battery and involved usage. Dab pens are more practical and easy to use.
4. Wax VS Oil vape pens
CBD/ THC Wax (also known as crumble, shatter, dab, concentrate, etc.) is solid at room temperature. It can sometimes have “honey” like consistency, but it is not “oily.” Oil is a liquid in room temperature and has a similar consistency to olive oil. Oil usually comes in pre-filled 510 cartridges, like these from Medix CBD. Read this post to understand the differences between Cannabis Oil and Wax.
5. Price Point
As you notice at the list above, vape pen prices can vary dramatically (KP Amber- $148, GP Nova- $35) and wonder what may be the difference. Typically, with higher-end vape pens, you’d get a better battery, better kit (includes more coils, oil compatibility). The build quality may be better, keeping the air-path pure from plastic or silicone. And they would also last longer. Cheap vape pens can be good for travel or as a backup, but if you’re serious about dabbing, you should invest in a good pen.
These are a subset of wax pens, but the main difference is that the Wax isn’t placed inside the atomizer. Instead of an atomizer, concentrate straws have a heating tip on one end and the mouthpiece on the other. The tip is placed into a shallow dish of Wax when it heats up, it melts and vaporizes the Wax. The vapor is inhaled through a small opening in the tip and up into the mouthpiece. Concentrate straws are a little easier to use than dab pens since you don’t have to worry about loading your Wax into them. However, you do give up the portability of wax pens with concentrate straws.
Quartz atomizers typically heat up faster than Ceramic, and the vapor they produce tends to be harsher and denser as a result. Ceramic atomizers heat up more slowly, and their vapor quality tends to be more palatable. Ceramic atomizers tend to produce thinner clouds. If you’re a beginner, we recommend starting out with Ceramic.
There is a marijuana smell since Wax is a concentrated form of marijuana after all; however, it dissipates very quickly and doesn’t stick to clothes or hair.
Since Wax is a concentrated form of marijuana, the high it gives you is faster and more intense than what you would get from dry herb.
Some dry herb vaporizers include an accessory that allows you to use Wax. However, dry herb vapes do not tend to reach the high temperatures necessary to provide a good vaping experience. A dedicated dab pen is the best way to use Wax in a portable device.
Only solid extracts can be used in wax pens. So extracts like Wax, crumble, or budder should be used. Some Wax pens are 510 thread, and therefore, they are compatible with 510 pre-filled cartridges.
Even though they are created using similar extraction methods, Wax and oil are different when it comes to consistency. Wax is either a semi-soft substance or a hard, brittle substance, while oil is a thin, liquid substance.
THC extracts are available in dispensaries within legal states; it cannot be purchased online. CBD extracts and CBD infused products can be purchased from online and brick and mortar smoke shops and dispensaries since CBD is legal in all 50 states.
If the vape pen battery and the oil cartridge are both 510 threaded, then the cartridge can be attached to the vape pen battery. However, you should not put oil in a vape pen’s atomizer because it is not designed for use with that substance.
Looking for the best dab pen of 2021? This list will break down the top-performing vape in each category, and listed coupons to authorized dealers.