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How Does Cannabis Vaping Work?

One of the most trendy ways to experience the effects of cannabis is vaping. Vaping involves inhaling a vapor generated by an electronic cigarette or vape pen.

There are many types of cannabis vaping products available on the market for those who are content with simply smoking weed. They include concentrate vaporizers, herb vaporizers, tabletop vaporizers, portable vaporizers, and more. Many offer high-tech features such as temperature control.

In this article, you’ll learn how cannabis vaping works. You’ll also learn how to determine the best vaping devices and cannabis forms to use, the different heating elements involved, and the overall effects of cannabis vaping.

Keep reading to learn more.

Vaping Cannabis Starts with Vape Pens

A vape pen is a vaping device that heats up a vape cartridge or tank to produce vapor. It’s called a pen because of its cylindrical shape and pocket-sized look.

Vape pens are more modern versions of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes. Today, vape pens have longer run times and larger battery capacities. You can also switch out their atomizers/cartridges.

Vape pens are utilized to inhale cannabis in the form of pre-filled tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) oil and cannabidiol (CBD) oil. You can use a vape pen with an atomizer to vape substances other than cannabis as well.

Here are the two types of vape pens:

Rechargeable Vape Pens

A rechargeable vape pen is a rechargeable, battery-powered device used for vaping with a cartridge or atomizer.

Disposable Vape Pens

Disposable vape pens, like these Delta 8 vape pens, consist of an internal battery, a coil, and a pre-filled tank that you can dispose of after use. You can recharge or refill a disposable pen until the medium (cannabis) is all consumed.

Rechargeable and disposable vape pens can be draw-activated and push-button. Unlike push-button vape pens, draw-activated vape pens have no buttons. A draw-activated vape pen becomes activated as you puff on it.

Choosing Your Cannabis Product

Cannabis usage is either recreational, medical, or both. The forms of marijuana used in vaping include concentrates, oils, and dried cannabis flower. They all contain cannabinoids such as THC (causes psychedelic effects), CBD (known for its claimed therapeutic benefits), and terpenes (responsible for the aroma and flavor).

Here are some of the different cannabis forms cannabis users can purchase from their local dispensaries for vaping weed:

Cannabis Vape E-Liquid

A common form of marijuana vaping e-liquid is CBD vape juice, which looks like nicotine e-liquid. You can use a standard vape pen to inhale CBD vape juice.

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis vaporizers usually have re-fillable marijuana oil cartridges connected to the battery. Start vaping at the lowest setting to prevent dry or burnt hits. If you’re a novice THC oil vaper or new to cannabis consumption in general, taking a small puff and waiting a few minutes to feel the effects are advisable for a more enjoyable experience.

Dabs and Wax

Dabs and wax are concentrated forms of cannabis smoked in vape pens. They’re made by pouring butane over cannabis. Vaping dabs is an excellent consumption method if you want to inhale highly concentrated THC.

Dab vape pens have more airflow than standard vape pens. They also have atomizers with quartz or ceramic coils to handle higher temperatures necessary for vaping dabs. You can use a dab tool to place a small amount of dab into your vaping device’s heating chamber. Before vaping, you have to press the button first to preheat the dabs.

Dry Cannabis Buds

You’ll need a dry herb vape pen or portable weed vaporizer designed for proper combustion of dry plant material. Regular vape pens may have dry weed attachments but don’t provide the best dry cannabis vaping experience.

Vape pens have heating elements that heat cannabinoids, forming an inhalable vapor carried to the lungs for blood absorption. Learn more about how these heating elements and vaporizers work below.


Heating Elements in Vape Pens

Cannabis vape pens have heating elements or coils. A heating element is a coil of material connected to a power source (e.g., battery) to generate heat. It carries and distributes the heat into the vape pen to activate the cannabis concentrates, oils, or dried flowers.

Cannabis Product

Heating elements have different types, depending on the material used. The heating element’s material significantly affects the vapor absorption and the user’s vaping experience. It’s important to keep in mind that choosing the right heating element is crucial to get rid of byproducts that cause harmful health effects and affect the medium’s flavor and aroma.

Metal Heating Elements

Metals conduct heat quickly. Hence, metal heating elements allow users to vaporize the cannabis extract fast. This heating element also adapts to temperature changes excellently. But metal precipitation can pollute the inhaled vapor. The heated metal particles can damage the lungs, causing respiratory health problems. Furthermore, metal heating elements can produce a metallic or burnt taste.

Glass Heating Elements

Unlike metal heating elements, glass elements don’t affect the flavor and aroma of cannabis. Glass heating elements are excellent heat conductors for dab rigs. However, they’re too fragile for a cannabis vape.

Ceramic Heating Elements

Cannabis vape pens work perfectly with ceramic heating coils. They have the highest boiling and melting points, capable of withstanding extreme heat.

Despite having extreme temperature resistance, ceramic heating elements are safe because they don’t degrade metal or carry metal particles. Therefore, you can enjoy a cleaner cannabis vaping experience than metal coils. They don’t cause a chemical reaction with cannabis products. So, you don’t have to worry about altered taste or scent with ceramic heating coils.

When buying a cannabis vape pen, you have to consider the quality of the heating element and the overall vaping device. A vaporizer that claims to have a ceramic heating coil can still be harmful if the other important parts are made of poor-quality materials.

Experiencing the Effects of Cannabis Vaping

Vaping cannabis provides the fastest onset of effects. Concentrated cannabis oil and dabs have an instant onset of effects that last one to two hours.

The physiological and psychological effects of vaping cannabis may depend on the strain. For instance, vaping a Sativa-dominant cannabis strain can cause euphoria and promote creativity, whereas an Indica-dominant marijuana strain causes relaxation and ‘couch lock’ effects.

Sativa-dominant strains usually have high THC levels, causing increased energy levels. On the other hand, Indica-dominant strains usually have high CBD content. However, the specific effects of a strain may not solely depend on whether it is Sativa or Indica but rather on the overall cannabinoid profile. Overall, different cannabis strains have unique effects, depending on the specific THC and CBD content ratio.


Vaping is one of the most common ways to enjoy cannabis. By choosing the right vaping device, cannabis form, and heating element, you can experience the pleasant and therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Choosing a high-quality vape pen can improve your overall vaping experience.

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