Concentrate vape cartridges are super popular. With good reason, they are affordable, readily available, and come in as many types and varieties as the dry herb that is used to make them. We've recently added a few options for using concentrate pen cartridges to our shop so we'd like to give you an in-depth rundown on how these cartridges work, and what differentiates them form dap pens and dry-herb vaporizers.
Although vape pens are meant to be easy to use, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit more about them when you’re just getting started. If you’re unboxing your new gadget right now, this post will help you sort out that ultimate question – how to use a vape pen correctly? It doesn’t matter if it’s a concentrate pen or a dry herb pen the systems are fundamentally the same.
What to do first with your new Vape Pen
Well, you’ve unboxed your vape pen, but now what? It’s pretty tempting just to plug it in and having fun with it once it’s charged, isn’t it? Still, that wouldn’t be the best first move because a lot of things can go wrong. Here are a few tips on how to use a vape as a pro from day one.
Read the Manual
Sometimes the manual is just a pamphlet, sometimes its a twenty-page booklet written in broken English. Either way, dig in and read it cover to cover because there is always something that you didn't know about your vape pen, but is essential to its use and maintenance. Charging cables are a subject that varies greatly, and you should definitely be aware the best connection and charger to use with your vape.
What are you Vaping?
There are three distinct materials you can use: vape juices and oils, dry herbs, and concentrates. Generally, you can’t use one pen for every ingredient, at least, not without some additional equipment. You might think that vape juice and hemp oil are interchangeable, but you would be mistaken.
It's important to remember to use your vape pen only to vape the material it supports. In other words, if you have a dry herb vape, don't try and load it with concentrates, it will wreak havoc on it and waste your dabs. Some vaporizers have swappable parts that allow you to switch between loose leaf and concentrates. Make sure you know what needs to be done when you’re switching between modes.
Charge it, and Load it
Before you hit that go button, make sure that your pen is fully charged. Most vape pens use built-in batteries so you will have to connect them to a charger until they are fully loaded. Use the charging cord that came with the package – some pens don’t take kindly to other charging cables and will short out if charged incorrectly. Also, remember to re-charge on a cycle, let your pen charge go down, and then put it on the charger until it is fully charged, and then pull it off.
Regardless of what you vape on, it’s vital that you have control over it and use common sense. If you’re vaporizing dry herbs or concentrates, you need to be extremely conscious of your usage rate and amount of intake when you vape.
Just because it’s acceptable and available doesn’t mean you should abuse it. You can always have too much of a good thing. Use common sense and go slow and low until you reach a comfortable place and try and stay there.
For the best tasting and best quality sessions be sure to keep your pen clean at all times. Most of life is upkeep, that's especially true with the tools you use to enjoy your life. Keep it clean and functioning well and it will keep you blazed.
Use Fresh Herbs
The better quality your herbs, the better your vape session will be. If you are using dry herbs, an adequately cured but still fresh bud is best. And make sure to grind it as finely as you can. Many grinders will have
The Right Temp
Your vape temperature is another critical part of the mix. This will depend on your style and what you’re after. Different cannabinoids evaporate at various temperatures (producing different levels of high). Experiment a bit until you find a sweet spot that works for you.
Avoid Burning Your Herbs
You aren't going through all this trouble just to combust on accident. Generally, you should never need to use your vape on it's highest settings. Vapes have an upper and the lowest temperature but for most, its the middle settings that are ideal for vaporizing.
Pack That Oven Right
Get the finest ground you can use so that your oven walls and airflow can make contact with the most substantial amount of bud. This might sound like you need to cram in as much weed as you can, however, what you really need to do is pack very finely ground bud evenly without condensing it so much to cut off airflow.
Take a measured hit
Don't take long hard hits from your vape pen, it's not a joint. If you hit it too hard, then it cannot heat the air as it passes through the oven, or you may suck up more concentrate fluid that can be vaporized and waste some valuable dabs.
The trick here is to take even, short puffs the way you would a cigarette or cigar. These short quick puffs will build up to the big draw you want without overheating the vape or the mouthpiece.
Where are the cartridges?
Pre-loaded cannabis oil vape cartridges, hash oil vape pens, or even disposable wax pens can be found in every legal dispensary all over the country and even a few states they shouldn't be in. These relatively new and interesting devices have saturated the cannabis concentrate market over the last few years, quickly becoming the preferred concentrate-based product for both the beginner and seasoned cannabis enthusiasts.
However, when it comes to picking the right pre-loaded disposable pen, many factors stand in the way of making the best decision. Although many of these products seem fundamentally the same, many nuances differentiate them from one another.
Why Choose a Pre-Filled Oil Vape Cartridge?
If you’re new to pre-filled oil vape cartridges, there are many benefits to using them that I’ve outlined below.
Ease of Use
Deciding to use a pre-filled oil vape cartridge takes the guesswork out of getting high. Counter to other methods of using concentrates such as a dab rig or even portable vape pens which require self-loading, a vape cartridge is usually as easy as just screwing on your pen. At most, these products may need you to push a button and inhale. After you do that, it's up to you to decide how to have fun, or just relax.
Pre-filled oil vape carts are the easiest method of enjoying hash oil while on the go. Their sleek and minimalist design allows for discreet vaping, free of the distracting qualities that larger setups or raw cannabis products may carry (such as noticeable smoke or odor).
For uninitiated cannabis concentrate users, dosing can be an essential concern. Nobody wants an overwhelming experience when trying to enjoy cannabis oil products responsibly. Unlike dabbing, using a pre-loaded vape pen allows for a controlled dose with each inhalation. You can start low and go slow like you always should.
Types of cartridges
Familiarize yourself with the many types of pre-filled oil vape cartridges on the market so you can purchase the one that best fits your needs or preferences.
Cartridges vs. Disposable pens
When choosing a pre-filled vape pen, there are several hardware options. Some products are offered in tanks that typically come formatted with a 510 threaded standard vaporizer battery insert. These tanks can fit on any battery that receives the 510 threading, and now almost all battery tanks come in this form. The exception to this is when you purchase pre-loaded tanks designed by companies to fit their personalized batteries. An example would be the PAX Era Pods, which are intended to be used with their vaporizer/battery systems.
Alternatively, many pre-loaded vape pens are available as “disposables,” containing a pre-charged battery designed to support the vape until the tank empties. These pen varieties require no charging and are meant to be disposed of after use. They contain no threading and are not intended to be removed from the battery.
For a vaporizer cartridge to function correctly, its contents must have the correct viscosity. Otherwise, the oils are either too thick or too thin to be able to vaporize within the device. Cartridge manufacturers utilize several methods to create the ideal oil for their pens.
CO2 Oil: Certain high grade winterized CO2 oils are uniquely compatible with vaporizer cartridges because they do not require additives of any kind to meet the viscosity levels needed to vaporize in an atomizer. If made correctly, these oils are able to retain modest levels of plant-based terpenes, which act as natural thinning agents as well as give the oils their signature strain-specific flavors.
Distillates: A cannabis distillate is a highly refined oil containing pure cannabinoids and almost nothing else. The benefit to using distillates in vaporizer cartridges is the oil can be produced from a variety of starting materials. Any hash oil variety from CO2 to BHO and everything in between can be purified into a distillate with the right hardware. The drawback to using distillates in vaporizer cartridges is that because there are no residual terpenes left behind, there is nothing to cut the viscosity of the material. For a distillate to be used for cartridges, a thinning agent of some kind is required.
Additives: Additives are sometimes used in vape cartridge oils as a supplemental thinning agent. In some cases, methods have been taken to “cut” or infuse various hash oils with certain substances such as polyethylene glycol (PEG), propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), or even medium chain triglycerides (MCT) such as coconut oil in order to maintain a less viscous and lasting oil consistency favorable to conventional atomizer functionality. This process has become controversial due to raised health concerns and products containing these thinning agents are showing up less on the market as of late.
Terpene Infusions and Strain-Specific Flavorings:
The use of terpenes has been found to help lower the viscosity of hash oil as well as increase flavor and aromatics, making them a potentially safer alternative to other cutting agents. Terpenes not only add flavor and aromatics to your session, but they can also help alter the effects of a product due to their ability to influence how cannabinoids interact with our system. This is known as the "full spectrum" effect.
There are several ways to use terpenes with pre-filled vaporizer cartridges. Some manufacturers rely on CO2 based extractions which when refined by use of ethanol can actually retain plant-based terpenes at a percentage helpful to achieving viscosity. This is how manufacturers are able to sell flavors based on natural strain profiles. Furthermore, natural cannabis-derived terpenes profiles that have been fractioned through refinement can be re-added to hash oils in small percentages, creating a natural spectrum of flavor and effect while also giving an oil the correct consistency required to function in a cartridge.
But food-grade terpene flavorings are arguably the most prevalent as well as the lowest quality additives used in cartridges. Terpenes cannot only be found in hundreds of natural foods as well as can be synthesized.
Labels that describe an effect
Many times, pre-filled oil vape cartridges are labeled and marketed by their supposed effect on the user. Products of this variety tend to claim they provide “relaxing” or “energetic” results, with some often being labeled as indica, sativa, or even hybrid. When infused into a product, these terpene combinations are designed to give the impact similar to what you would find in particular cannabis strains.
Whether they’re infused with food-grade terpenes or naturally-derived terpenes extracted from cannabis strains, many of these products incorporate carefully mixed combinations similar to what would be traced in a strain or strain type. How well these infusions imitate the strain varieties they copy is questionable; however, products with terpene mixtures tend to give a more enhanced experience than a similar product containing one or no terpenes.
Although many hash oil pen varieties are labeled by flavor or effect, some focus on cannabinoid concentration. Aside from the typical high-THC product that most pens offer, some manufacturers offer products containing elevated levels of cannabidiol (CBD).
High-CBD Vs. High-THC
High-CBD pens may or may not contain added flavorings, but they do guarantee a ratio of THC to CBD that is far less than other pens. Many people prefer the non-euphoric and devastating effects of CBD compared to THC. These types of pens offer great medicinal benefit to those looking for CBD in an easy-to-consume product.
The zenith of pre-loaded oil cartridges is undoubtedly full-spectrum extracts. These products are created using the entire spectrum of bioavailable compounds found within a cannabis strain. A full-spectrum oil does not add, reintroduce, or eliminate any active compound within the plant and offers a flavor and effect far superior and multidimensional to most competitors.
Full-spectrum cartridges are hard to come by and are only offered in specific markets; their price tends to reflect their rarity as well. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a market where these products are available, it’s highly recommended to pay the extra cost to have the best quality experience.
Browse Cannabis Vape Pens
All in all, there are many types of pre-filled oil cartridge varieties to consider, each one with its pros and cons. If you’re interested in learning more about these types of products, always ask your local budtender before committing to a purchase.
Vape pens are not difficult to use, but you have to know the best practices if you want to have your best vaping experience. Make sure to drop down to the comments section and ask any questions or for advice. We will do our best to help!