Vape pen on a black background

What is a THC Vape Pen & How Do You Use It?

Vape pens, vapes, THC pens—whatever you call them—have stormed the cannabis market, becoming the second-largest revenue category in the US. So if you’re in the market to give vaping a try, this is definitely the guide for you. In it, we’re going to share all the details you need to know about THC vape pens, including:

  • What is a Vape Pen?
  • How Does a Vape Pen Work?
  • What Are the Different Parts of a Vape Pen?
  • How Do You Use a Vape Pen?
  • Vaping vs Smoking: What’s the Difference?
  • THC vs CBD Pens: What’s the Difference?
  • Dab Pen vs Vape Pen: What’s the Difference?
  • Answering Vape Pen FAQs 

What is a Vape Pen?

A vape pen is a handheld, portable vaporizer. While you can get vape pens for concentrates, called dab pens, a vape pen is most commonly a discreet device designed to heat cannabis oil. Vape pens are easy and convenient to use, and, because the product heats into a vapor, it doesn’t give off that tell-tale cannabis scent

How Does a Vape Pen Work?

When it comes to smoking your cannabis product, vape pens make the entire process easy. First, the battery is charged and then attached to a pre-filled cartridge that contains the cannabis oil. The user activates the vape pen by holding or tapping the power button (or sometimes just inhaling), then the heating coil within the atomizer heats the liquid instantly. Once heated, the cannabis oil is vaporized and can be inhaled. 

What Are the Different Parts of a Vape Pen?

Many cannabis newbies opt for a disposable vape pen, as they don’t require additional purchases like a battery. However, if you’re interested in the wide variety of cannabis oil and other products available for vape pens, then it’s good to get a rechargeable pen. Those types of pens have different parts, which include:

Mouthpiece: The mouthpiece, or drip tip as they’re sometimes called, is simply where you inhale. Some can be removed and replaced, and some are fixed. You can find mouthpieces in all different materials and designs.

Battery: The battery is what powers your vape pen so that it can heat up to the appropriate temperature. Most vape pen batteries are rechargeable, and some come with a temperature dial to customize how hot you want the heating element in your atomizer. The battery is attached to the cartridge, either by screwing it on or another placement.

Atomizer: The atomizer is like your oven—it contains a heating element that’s housed in metal or ceramic. When you activate your vape pen, the coil in the atomizer heats up and your vape oil turns to vapor.

Cartridge or Tank: Most cannabis enthusiasts refer to the container that holds the cannabis oil as the cartridge. You can find a massive variety of prefilled cartridges at your local dispensary. If you ever hear someone talking about their tank, this is a container that can be filled manually with the cannabis oil of your choosing.

How Do You Use a Vape Pen? [5 Steps]

There are two different types of vape pens: rechargeable and disposable. Both function in similar ways once they’re loaded with their cannabis product. 

Step 1: Charge Your Pen

Most disposable pens come with a charged battery, so you don’t have to plug it in. Rechargeable vape pens, however, need to be charged to be ready to use when it’s time to vape. Most batteries come with their own charging cable, and can be plugged into a normal outlet or USB port.

Step 2: Load Your Cartridge and Set Your Temperature

If you’re using a rechargeable vape pen, you’ll also need to purchase a cartridge that contains cannabis oil and can be screwed into the battery. Once you have it loaded, set your preferred temperature on your battery. If your battery doesn’t have a temperature setting, then simply load the product and move to the next step.

Step 3: Vape

Vape pens can be activated in three common ways: by simply inhaling; by holding the power button and inhaling; or by pressing the power button a certain number of times and then inhaling. If you’re not sure how to operate your pen, they typically come with instructions. If you’re using a disposable pen and you don’t have instructions or a power button, chances are that you just need to inhale to activate your pen.

Step 4: Remove, Reload, Replace

Some cannabis enthusiasts choose to remove their cartridge between uses. This is up to your personal preference. Eventually, if you do use a battery with a cartridge, you’ll run out of product and need to remove the cartridge and reload your battery with a replacement product. You’ll know it’s time to replace your cartridge when you start to notice that the amount of vapor being produced is getting smaller.

Step 5: Dispose of Your Product

Whether it’s a cartridge or a disposable pen, make sure you discard it appropriately. This means taking steps to wrap a glass cartridge in a paper towel or newspaper to prevent it from breaking and cutting someone on accident.

Vaping vs Smoking: What’s the Difference?

Whether you’re vaping or smoking, you’re inhaling your cannabis product to experience its effects. The difference between vaping and smoking is that when smoking flower, you inhale the smoke created when dried marijuana bud is burned. With vaping, you inhale the vapor created when the cannabis oil is heated. Also, in order to smoke cannabis flower, you’ll need rolling papers or a pipe of some kind. To vape marijuana, you need a vaporizer that can handle cannabis oil, a concentrate, or dried flower. 

Some cannabis enthusiasts choose to vape because it’s more discreet. The vapor tends to have less of a room-filling, clothes-sticking scent compared to cannabis smoke. This makes it easier to enjoy your cannabis without affecting anyone else. 

THC vs CBD Pens: What’s the Difference?

THC pens and CBD pens are the same devices with one major difference: the product in them. Vape pens with THC contain THC and sometimes other cannabinoids that are vaporized and inhaled. CBD pens, on the other hand, prioritize CBD over THC, with some CBD pens containing no THC whatsoever. This means that CBD pens will likely give you minimal psychoactive effects compared to THC pens that are designed for the experience people expect when consuming cannabis.

A smaller difference between CBD pens and THC pens is where they can be sold. A CBD pen with less than 0.3% THC can be sold in most states outside of a dispensary. If you see a CBD pen outside of a dispensary, the product inside it is made from hemp. Conversely, a CBD pen sold in a dispensary may have more THC in it, and the product itself came from a marijuana plant.

Dab Pen vs Vape Pen: What’s the Difference?

While a marijuana vape and a dab pen do essentially the same thing—vaporize cannabis products for you to inhale—they do have one significant difference. Vape pens are portable vaporizers designed to vaporize cannabis oil or flower. Dab pens, on the other hand, are designed specifically for concentrates. You can use a dab pen to consume wax, budder, shatter, sauce, diamonds, and more.

Answering Vape Pen FAQs

Vape pens are some of the most popular devices on the market. If you’re interested in getting one, here are a few things to keep in mind:

What’s the difference between a vape and THC pen?
There is no difference between a vape pen and a THC pen. They are pens designed to be used to consume cannabis oil that has THC in it.

How much do vape pens cost?
Cannabis vape pens vary in cost. A vape pen that is designed to be disposed of once you’ve consumed the cannabis oil is typically going to cost less than a rechargeable battery and cartridge. You can expect to spend anywhere from $15 to $150 or more on a vape pen, with pens designed for dabs or flower coming in on the high end of that range. 

How do I choose a vape pen?
The best way to choose a marijuana pen is to decide what product type you want to vape—cannabis oil, flower, or dabs—and then how you plan to use your vape. If you like to cycle between different strains of marijuana, a reusable vape pen might be the right product for you. If you prefer a single strain with no added complications, you could probably get away with a disposable vape pen.

Getting to Know Vape Pens

Ultimately, no matter what type of vape pen you choose, we carry them all. Talk to your budtender the next time you’re at your dispensary to see their selection.

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.