What is a THC vape pen and how does it work - Tetrahydrocannabinol vaping 101

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The term THC vape pen is something you’re probably familiar with. However, it can mean different things to different people. From pen shaped vaporizers used to vaporize marijuana buds to eGo/510 threaded batteries that work with pre-filled oil cartridges, they are all referred to the same way.

That’s why we decided to shed some light on the matter. We are going to present the different types of THC vapes and explain how they work.

What is THC and how does it compare to CBD

THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of the two main cannabinoids naturally found in the cannabis. It is responsible for most of the plant’s psychological effects, acting on cannabinoid receptors from different areas of the brain.

The second important cannabinoid is called CBD or Cannabidiol. This one has different properties and effects on the human body, and it’s considered legal in most of the US and EU. You can even make your own CBD juice for vaping by using distillate and a PG/VG mixture.

The main difference between these two chemicals is that THC gets you high, while CBD doesn't.

THC vape pen

Can you vape THC

Smoking has probably been the most well-known method of getting THC into the system. This process involves using the dried and cured flowers of the female cannabis plant. But smoking also produces some unwanted by-products like tar, ash and the dozens of potentially harmful chemicals generated through combustion.

This is where weed vaporizers come in handy. These devices heat up the plant mixture to a specific temperature, without setting it on fire. Unfortunately they are much bigger than regular vape pens and they are not exactly stealthy.

Smaller THC vaporizers include a wide range of marijuana vape pens, as well as electronic devices for waxes and concentrates. However, dry herb pens are not exactly similar to THC vape pens, since they only vaporize tiny amounts of the substance.

THC vape pen basics: concentrates

When vaping dried cannabis buds, the concentration of THC if only 15 - 25%. Concentrates on the other hand take this threshold to a whole new level with a THC strength of 60 - 80%.

The most commonly known THC concentrates are: oils, waxes, shatter, resins, and distillate.

Most THC vape pens are intended to be used with concentrates. These devices have quartz rods wrapped in titanium wire for the purest flavor possible. Some models use a fully ceramic chamber for more heat retention.

A THC vape pen consists of an internal battery, a chamber for the concentrate and a mouthpiece. The battery may or may not have adjustable power settings or temperature control, but it’s usually pocket friendly and operated with a single button.

Tip: The MigVapor WASP is one of our favorite vape pens for waxes and concentrates

THC vape oil cartridges

Another way to enjoy Tetrahydrocannabinol is with THC oil cartridges. These pre-filled 510 threaded containers are usually made from glass and stainless steel and are compatible with THC vape pen batteries.

THC vape cartridges

THC vape oil cartridges are easy to use because they take the guesswork completely out of the equation. You just connect the cartridge to the battery and it’s ready to vape. They are ultra portable and help administer precise doses of the substance. They work in the same manner as CBD vape cartridges, and can be used with the same type of batteries.

There are two types of cannabis vape oil: distillate and CO2 extracted. Distillate THC oil is highly refined and powerful, but thicker and harder to work with. It requires a thinning agent when used inside pre-filled cartridges and doesn't include any terpenes.

CO2 extracted marijuana vape oil has more controlled viscosity and doesn't require thinning agents. This oil has a high concentration of terpenes, which give it its strain specific flavor.

How to use a THC vape pen

In the case of a prefilled THC oil cartridge, you simply need to connect the cartridge to the battery. Then you need to turn on the battery by pressing for 3 or 5 consecutive times on the button. An LED light will usually notify you that everything is up and running, and you will need to keep the button pressed each time you inhale from the mouthpiece. Once the cartridge has been depleted, you can simply swap it for a new one.

Tip: THC cartridges are also compatibles with oils vaporizers like the Steamcloud Mini.

For THC concentrates pens, the process is slightly different. Here you will need to take off the mouthpiece and place a small piece of concentrate inside the chamber, preferably directly onto the coils. Then you need to place the mouthpiece back on and turn on the battery by pressing the button for five consecutive times.

Keep the button pressed when inhaling, and release it halfway through. Since these THC pens are a bit more complex than their oils counterparts, you will probably need to read the manual first for more in depth info on the operating mode.

Tip: The Saber Vape pen for waxes and concentrates offers great performance at a very affordable price.

Disclaimer: THC is an illegal substance in many areas of the world. Medical use is allowed by some states, including most of the US. Make sure you become familiar with your country's laws on marijuana before making any type of THC based purchase.

Posted by Dave Allan

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Former pack-a-day smoker, I discovered electronic cigarettes back in 2011. Since then vaping has slowly turned into my hobby and my full time job. I’ve tested hundreds of e-cigarettes and mods across the years and constantly used my knowledge and experience to help others make the switch. I’m passionate about technology, I enjoy reading and I love big flavorful clouds.


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