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How to use a vape pen: Tips on getting the most out of a marijuana vaporizer

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Editor s note: Especially in this still-new legal cannabis space, there s no shame in even the most basic questions. A lot of readers have reached out asking us how to use a vape pen, and so we tapped our Seattle-based vape critic Ben Livingston to pen an introductory how-to on vape pens, vaporizers and beyond.

How To Use a Vape Pen: step-by-step instructions

Here is the essential information on the best way to operate a fresh-out-of-the-box vaporizer — and how to use a vape pen properly so you don t wreck your new purchase:

Step 1. Plug it in

Vape pen batteries typically require several hours of charging before use. The moment you get it home, use the manufacturer-supplied charging apparatus to start refueling those lithium ion cells. Waiting for vape pen batteries to complete their initial charge is as disappointing as realizing the Christmas-morning Power Wheels toy takes 10 hours to charge, so plug them in early and often.

Step 2. Read the manual

I don t actually do this, but it frequently seems like a good idea. Well-designed products should provide intuitive functionality, but sometimes a pinch of preparation can save a cup of catastrophe down the road. At the very least, know whether the vape pen is designed for pre-filled disposable oil cartridges, flowers, oil and propylene-glycol mix, or unmixed oil typically called wax or shatter.

Most vape users run their paraphernalia without any herbs or oil for the first time, in hopes of burning off any factory flotsam that might otherwise enter the lungs when vaping. This doesn t ensure you won t inhale deleterious metals or other compounds, but it likely reduces that risk. Go outside and turn it on the highest setting for 30 to 90 seconds.

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4. Load the tank

Pre-filled cartridges are simply attached to the battery. Unmixed oil — wax, shatter, etc — is often dabbed in small amounts directly onto the atomizer or surrounding wick. Oil mix is typically loaded into a tank that wicks or drips onto the atomizer. Ground flowers sit directly on the atomizer or inside a metal chamber heated by it.

Most vape pens heat up automatically when the user inhales, while others turn on with a push button. A light will indicate that the unit is on. Put the mouthpiece to your lips and draw in a breath of atomized cannabis oil. Pull in some clear air at the end of the puff to push all those pot particles into the lungs. Hold it for a few seconds, but don t be that stoner trying to hold your hit indefinitely — it makes everybody dizzy, not just you.

6. Check your head

Most vape pens use cannabis oil, which is a highly-concentrated form of the flower. Go easy on that thing; it s pot paraphernalia not an oral fixation pacifier. Take a minute to get your bearings and check your gauges before tapping your toker again. The entire universe awaits your exploration in the space between vape pen puffs. Breathe deep and embrace this amazing world.

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The Ultimate Guide to Using a Dab Pen

Buying a portable vaporizer isn’t always easy for first-time users, as there are several devices available that function in different ways. One of the most notable differences between vaporizers is whether they use dry cannabis flower or cannabis concentrates.

Dry herb vaporizers use heating systems to produce vapor from cannabis flowers, while a dab pen, also known as a wax pen, is used to produce vapor from cannabis concentrates. There are some high-end vaporizers capable of vaporizing both concentrates and dry herb, although they tend to be very expensive.

Each type of cannabis product offers a distinct taste, consistency, and high, so it’s worth exploring each type of product to see what you prefer. While dabbing rigs, which are similar in design and function to a bong, are a common way to consume concentrates, a dab pen offers one of the easiest and cleanest ways to smoke wax, shatter, oil and any other concentrates.

What is a Dab Pen?

A Dab pen is a type of vaporizer used specifically for cannabis concentrates. A relatively new type of vaporizer, dab pens (also known as wax pens) first hit the market in around 2009, offering a quick and easy way to vape cannabis concentrates.

They are similar in design and function to a dry herb vaporizer, consisting of an atomizer, coil, and mouthpiece. The concentrate is placed on the coil which is then heated by the atomizer, producing a rich cannabis vape that is inhaled through the mouthpiece.

Due to improvements in technology, dab pens have changed over the years, with different materials and heating processes being developed to make them much more efficient. Much like any type of vape, a wax pen is available in various shapes and sizes, coming with many different features depending on the make and model.

How does a Dab Pen Work?

Dab pens are relatively straight-forward to use. They feature an atomizer, coil, mouthpiece, chamber, and battery, which combine to create a portable vaporizer. Each section is usually removeable for cleaning purposes and recharging the battery.

With most wax pens, the upper section with the mouthpiece is removed to reveal an insert chamber attached to the atomizer. Designs vary but the inserts usually a small metal container where you place the concentrate with a dabbing tool, which are usually included with each dab pen.

Simply place the concentrate into the insert inside the heating chamber, avoiding scraping anything with the dabbing tool. After the concentrate is loaded, simply turn on the dab pen by hitting the button several times – this is done to ensure you don’t turn it on by accident in your pocket.

The atomizer will then power up to the specific temperature setting required to vaporize the concentrate, which takes less than a minute with most dab pens. After this, simply press the button control the heat coil, inhale the vapor and enjoy!

A good dab pen lets you control the coil by pressing a button. This ensures the hit is completely in your control, letting you take as long or short at hit as preferred. Remember, concentrates are quite potent so it’s often a good idea to start slowly!

Dab Pen Atomizers

There are different types of atomizers used in dab pens -flat, wicked, and wickless. Each one varies in design and function, making it an important feature to consider whenever buying a new wax pen.

Flat – A flat atomizer is the newest type and probably the best, offering a nice a slow burn that produces a wonderful taste. By heating at lower temperatures and avoiding direct contact with heating coil, flat atomizers burn the concentrate much slower than other types, resulting in a much smoother vape.

Wicked – A wicked atomizer combines a heating coil with fiber wick, making it effective for soaking up runnier concentrates such as oils and waxes. Draws are thick and flavourful, burning at a mid-temperature range that is still potent but now overwhelming. Double coil wicked atomizers are also available.

Wickless – A wickless atomizer is similar in style and function to a wicked atomizer, with the absorbent wick fiber being replaced by a ceramic or quartz rod. It makes them great for thicker oil and wax concentrates, with wickless atomizers being the preferred type for vaporizing at high temperatures. This helps produce a thick, potent vape that will get you very high.

Tips for Choosing a Dab Pen

Dab pens are a fantastic way to vape, offering all the benefits of dabbing concentrates but without all the mess and effort needed to set up a rig. However, it’s important to buy the right product for you needs, so here are some things to think about when looking for a wax pen:

Battery

As a portable vaporizer you want a dab pen to have a good battery life. The best offer around 1-2 hours of vaping, which is more than enough for a few hits yourself or with a friend. Charge times should also be quick for more convenience.

Materials

The materials of a dab pen greatly impact its quality, durability, and ease of cleaning. For instance, ceramic plates are much easier to clean, while a titanium coil is great for avoiding burning tastes associated with low temperature heating, and a quartz crystal rod offers a very clean vape.

Variable Temperatures

Like dry herb cannabis, cannabis concentrates can be vaped at various temperatures, resulting in a variety of consistencies, flavours, and highs. Therefore, it’s worth getting a dap pen with variable temperatures for your ideal session.

For example, high temperatures produce a thick, potent vape that will get you seriously high, while a low temperature setting provides a tasteful, mellow vape that is great for unwinding or pain medication.

Shape and Size

As a dab pen is a portable vaporizer, you want to consider the overall shape and size of the device, especially if living in non-recreational or medical-only states. While small and compact designs are good for low-key vaping on the go, they may lack the power and battery life of bigger models.

Buying a portable vaporizer isn’t always easy for first-time users, as there are several devices available that function in different ways. One of the most notable differences between vaporizers is whether they use dry cannabis flower or cannabis concentrates. Dry herb vaporizers use heating systems to produce vapor from cannabis flowers, while a dab pen, also known as a wax ]]>