Vape Pens. What are they and how do they work? What’s the difference between disposable vape pens and a battery with pre filled vape cartridges? What’s a concentrate vape pen and how is it different than a bud vaporizer?

We’re going to answer these questions and provide information about “best of’s” in this blog post all about Vape Pens!

How Do Vape Pens Work?

Let’s take a peek under the hood with some help of the good folks at TheCannabist:

1. The tank

The cannabis oil holder is usually called a tank if refillable, or cartridge if it’s intended for single-use. It’s also typically combined with the atomizer as a single unit. Tanks are usually polycarbonate plastic, but glass and stainless steel tanks can also be found.

2. The atomizer

The little heater in a vape pen is called an atomizer. Fancier versions are called cartomizers, clearomizers or other new jargon, but they are still atomizers at heart — that pint-size heating element converts liquid to tiny airborne droplets. Atomizing is what we should really call vaping, but that’s a lost cause for sure.

If you dab a bit of oil on the heating element, that product will likely be labeled an atomizer. Surround the atomizer with polyfill material to keep it saturated with oil from a separate tank and it’s a cartomizer. Drip the oil from a separate tank onto the atomizer using a silica wick and it’s a clearomizer. The wick can be swapped for cotton, steel mesh, or other “premium” materials.

3. The sensors and software

Some vape pens automatically turn on when the user inhales through it, while others use a push button to toggle the heating element. Both of these methods require sensors to determine when the user is inhaling or button-pushing. Embedded software controls the various pen parts.

4. The battery

Vape pen batteries must provide enough current to power a tiny heater that reaches 400 degrees in mere seconds. So, just like your cell phones and other power-hungry devices, vape pens use rechargeable lithium ion batteries, which have high energy density. They also have a very small chance of exploding if improperly charged.

Disposable Vape Pens vs a Battery Pack with Vape Cartridges

Starting with disposable vape pens, the first issue is how do you correctly dispose of it? They ARE really convenient and reasonably priced, what could be the problem? The issues with these pens focuses on two component parts:

  • the battery
  • the residue or remaining concentrate

The challenges are the batteries aren’t typically easily recyclable because they’re part of the chassis of the disposable vape pen and the residue or remaining concentrate is considered – are you ready – a hazardous material.

While you can’t throw vape pens and batteries into the recycling for curbside pickup, they can still be recycled through the right facilities. The easiest way to ensure your old vape pens and batteries are disposed of properly is to bring them to your local Hazardous Materials Management Facility (HMMF).

On the other hand, Vape Pen Batteries are units which contain a rechargeable battery to which the user attaches a vape pen concentrate cartridge. The cartridges however still present a problem, specifically due to any residue left in the cartridge.

You might wonder, why can’t cannabis oil cartridges be recycled after use? Vape pens and their cartridges are made up of many different materials in minuscule quantities. Because of the complexity of these products, traditional recycling facilities have no method to extract the desired resources.

Dealing with spent cartridges is a specialized field. Anytime you want to recycle something as unique and complex as a vape cartridge, you need a large quantity that can sustain the business offering the service.

With no shortage of cartridges, this brings us to the second problem: Why can’t we collect vape cartridges? When states began to transition to legal markets, regulations were put in place to deter illegal resale activity. The fear was that items like cartridges would be collected and trace amounts of cannabis oils could be extracted to produce an unregulated black market product. Because of this, it is illegal for businesses to allow for drop-off bins for cartridges.

So – what’s a conscientious consumer to do? It seems the most appropriate path to take is to find a Battery system which you like, purchase the vape pen concentrate or oil you like and recycle those used cartridges at your local HMMF location.

Or – you could use a Dried Herb Vaporizer. Let’s Discuss!

If you decide that using a vaporizer for dry herbs is the right choice for you, you’ll quickly find there are several different types to choose from.

  • The most common type is a portable vaporizer, which allows you bring your vape with you just about anywhere you go. Portable dry herb vaporizers come in all different shapes and sizes, so you will have plenty of options to choose from including many that are incredibly discreet.
  • If you plan on enjoying your herbs at home, you should look into purchasing a desktop vaporizer. These units are usually much larger in size and often more expensive. However, they are capable of producing the best quality vapor and are generally built to last longer.
  • The last type to consider is a dry herb vaporizer pen, which is usually the least expensive and is considered the lowest quality. A vaporizer pen for dry herb is basically a portable vape that is shaped like a pen and resembles an E-cigarette closely. It is important to note that these types of units typically have a dry herb heating chamber where a heating coil is utilized in order to heat the herbs. Unfortunately, this type of heating mechanism actually burns the material rather then vaping it. Therefore, it is very important that you spend time researching the device to ensure it functions as a true vaporizer before buying one.

For your convenience, we’ve pulled together information about the “Best Vape Pens” and present it to you here in this convenient chart:

Vape Pen CategoryPlaceNameRating (1 to 10)
Best Weed Vape Pens for THC Oils1stKandypens Special-K9.6
2ndPCKT One Plus9.6
3rdO-Pen Vape9.2
Best CBD Vape Pens1stCBDfx Terpenes Vape Pen9.6
2ndCBDfx Vape Pen9.5
3rdHemp Bombs Disposable9.4
Best 510 Thread Batteries1stKandypens Special-K9.6
2ndPCK one Plus9.6
3rdMig Vapor Migi Pro9.4
Best E-Liquid Pens1stFreemax Twister 80W9.4
2ndInnokin Plexar9.3
3rdSMOK Stick V9 Max9.2
Best Dab Pens1stKandypens Crystal9.7
2ndKandypens Prism9.6
3rdMig Vapor Wasp9.5

If you’d like to learn more about cannabis culture, cannabis production and the convergence of wine and weed consider Booking a Happy Travelers Tours Wine-and-Weed Tour!