Vaping — you’ve probably heard of it (especially in the last few years). To some, it's an enjoyable way to consume high-quality cannabis. For others, it’s a little controversial.

Now that the cannabis market has been flooded with dab pens, disposable vape pens, and other cannabis vape products, it’s no wonder why some of us feel overwhelmed with options.

We’ve also seen new types of weed pens and vaping devices that didn’t exist even a few years ago. From dry herb vaporizers to disposable weed pens and more, it’s time to take a big-picture perspective on the world of weed vapes and how they all work.

To set the record straight, we put together a brief guide to vaping, including the different kinds of vaping, how to vape, different vape accessories, cartridges, and more. Check it out below!

What Is Vaping?

A simple question with a simple answer. Vaping is essentially the act of heating up cannabis (either in flower or concentrated form) into an inhalable smoke or vapour.

We’ll explore various types of mechanisms that are used to heat the cannabis material, but the fundamentals are the same across the board. These devices use conduction or convention heating methods to heat the cannabis indirectly and allow it to be inhaled at a reasonable yet effective temperature.

Unlike traditional cannabis smoking, which directly burns flower to deliver a steady flow of smoke, vaporizers tend to be more gentle and conducive to a controlled consumption experience.

Because of this unique delivery style, vaping weed comes with some key advantages. Some find that vaping is easier on the lungs and fits with broader lifestyle and health goals compared to a harsher method like smoking.

Additionally, vaping can be more discreet, allowing you to enjoy cannabis on the go without drawing attention to yourself with extra smoke and smells. Finally, depending on the THC or CBD concentration, this also is a pretty effective way to get super stoned, super fast.

It’s important to note that, yes, you can vape nicotine as well as cannabis. Since we are a brand interested in all things weed-related, we’ll only be talking about vaping cannabis in this article

How Do You Vape Weed?

Interestingly enough, some of the first vaporizers ever created were purposely developed for weed. Today, there are two main kinds of vaporizers for weed: 1.) Herb Vaporizers 2.) Extract Vaporizers.

This distinction is self-explanatory, but the differences are worth exploring. Herb vaporizers are specifically designed for use with dry cannabis flowers. The process is straightforward: just grind your herb and place it in the heating chamber before adjusting the temperature and enjoying your heated herb to perfection.

If you’re an old-school smoker and want to dip your toe into the tech-centric world of vapes, this is a great place to start, as it bridges the gap between classic herb consumption and the new wave of vaporization.

Alternatively, extract vapes offer a glimpse into the future of cannabis consumption, allowing you to vaporize products like oils, resins, shatter, and waxes. Extracts are typically much more potent than traditional dried flower, and a little goes a long way.

You’ll also find a wide range of extract types that come with unique properties and expand your horizons with different cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant compounds.

Remember that every vape device is designed for use with a certain type of cannabis product, and you want to make sure your chosen substances align with the proper use case for your device. Don’t put dried flower in an extract vape, and vice versa — this will save you a lot of headache and maintenance issues while ensuring you maximize your investments in the devices and the cannabis you purchase.

What’s the difference between Dried-Flower Vapes and Extract Vapes?

Herb vaporizers, or vapes specific to dried flower, can be differentiated between conduction, convection, portable and desktop vapes. All these vapes work by heating up the flower so the vapour can be inhaled. The only difference is the method used to heat up the weed.Conduction vapes require direct contact between dried flower and a hot element.Convection vapes also have a heating element, but instead of coming in direct contact with your flower, the heat works to create hot air that vaporizes the dried flower.Portable vapes run via battery.Desktop vaporizers, or the OG vapes, usually have the most gadgets and features. They’re also usually pretty costly and may not be the best for beginner users.

On the other hand, extract vapes come in the form of wax or oil pens, e-nails, e-rigs, and conceal batteries.Weed pens are handheld devices that vaporize concentrates including wax, oil, or any other kind of extract into a vapour.E-rigs are basically bongs for concentrates - they use water to heat up the concentrate so you can inhale it.E-nails use a hot tool called a nail that sits in the rig and heats up the concentrate directly.Lastly, conceal batteries are vapes where the oil cartridge is concealed inside the device. They’re usually magnetic and can connect to any 510 thread cart.

Some users swear by extract vapes since they're known to be less harsh on your lungs. That being said, unless you’re going for a high CBD product with little to no THC, most extracts can run upwards of 75% THC, about 3 times more than your average dried flower. For that reason we strongly recommend that new users start slow and go slow!

What Is The Most Popular Form Of Vaping Cannabis?

We’ve covered the main categories of vape devices and weighed their pros and cons, but which format reigns supreme in today’s cannabis culture? Like all things in the world of cannabis, there’s no clear winner — it always comes down to personal preference and how you want to enjoy cannabis on your own terms.

However, if you’re just getting started, we suggest taking the simplest route and minimizing complexity from square one. For the sake of ease, we’d say that vape pens or concealed vapes are probably the most popular. They’re super easy to use, are usually the most affordable, and are great for beginners.

You’ll also save some money by starting small and using a disposable product to begin your vape journey. If you fall in love with the vape experience — as many do — you can venture into new territory and try out more complex, high-tech types of vaporizers that give you more control and precision.

What Are The Different Parts Of A Weed Pen?

Now that weed pens are some of the most popular devices in the game, it’s worth looking closer at how they’re designed and the components at play.

There’s generally 4 different parts to a vape pen.

1.) Cartridge — cartridges contain the cannabis oil that will be vaporized. Typically, they’re made of plastic and can be used until there’s no more concentrate inside — then you just toss the cart in the trash and buy another one! Today’s cartridges are better than ever, with a wide variety of compounds and cannabinoid profiles to try. Whether you want a highly potent THC experience or you’re just looking to kick back with some CBD, there’s a cartridge suited for your needs.

2.) Atomizer — this is the heating element that vaporizes the oil. Since this is the component that does most of the heavy lifting in the vaporizer, it also tends to be the first piece to wear out and require replacement. While disposable weed pens get thrown out before replacement is necessary, reusable rigs mean you’ll have to replace and upgrade your atomizer to keep things running smoothly. The rabbit hole goes deep when it comes to atomizers, and some experienced users even build their own coils and install wicks for maximum customization.

3.) Battery— usually a rechargeable battery, it heats up the concentrate. Some batteries have a button you need to press; others activate upon inhalation. Like atomizers, you’ll find a wide range of battery types that offer different advantages, like rechargeable functionality or longer battery life.

4.) Mouthpiece — this one is pretty self-explanatory. This part of the vape is where your vapor is inhaled! As you explore different vape types, you’ll find certain mouthpieces are more comfortable for daily use, while others allow for greater airflow or dosing precision.

What Kind Of Vape Cartridges Are There?

Just like dried flower, there are many different kinds of cartridges that you can use. There are high THC carts, CBD carts, Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid options. The choice is up to you.

For example, if you’re looking for a lower-THC cartridge with more CBD for soothing effects, we can point you in the right direction. We also have the most potent extracts and cutting-edge formulations that will test your tolerance if that’s what you’re after.

Now that cartridges are legal and more closely regulated, you know exactly what you’re getting every time. That means no more guesswork and a better relationship with cannabis consumption overall.

Burb has every type of vape cartridge you could imagine and more, with new releases dropping constantly. Don’t limit yourself to one type of cartridge or another — branch out and experience them all to make the most of your vape experience.

Is Vaping Expensive?

It can be! Just like anything that you might be passionate about, it really depends on how much money you’re willing to spend.

Remember that cartridges won’t last as long the more frequently you use them, so take note of your consumption habits and run the numbers to see how much you’ll be spending with regular use.

Vape batteries and cartridges may set you back roughly $70, whereas dab rigs and desktop vaporizers can cost between $300 and $600. If you’re new, stick to weed pens and learn as much as possible about concentrates — knowledge is power.

If you plan to use vapes for the long term, consider investing in a more durable and customizable rig. It might cost more upfront, but over time, you’ll save more cash instead of buying disposable products again and again. You’ll also learn to create the rig that works best for you, ensuring a more enjoyable experience.

The more you know and the more you’re interested, the more willing you may be to spend a little more. Plus, you’ll probably appreciate it a bit more, too. Our expert staff members are here to help you make the most economical and smart choice for your cannabis experience, whether that’s starting with a disposable pen or going all-in with a custom rig.

Meanwhile, you can always go back to basics with traditional smoking standard dried flower or using edibles. Vaping is just one of many options to consider, and it might not be your preferred style of consuming cannabis after all.

Is Vaping Safe?

With all the media and horror-stories out there, you might be a little apprehensive to try vaping. While it may seem like vaping is way more dangerous than rolling up a joint and smoking it, that’s not necessarily the case.To set the record straight, we aren’t promoting one way of consuming cannabis over the other (we aren’t scientists), but we can tell you that there is a massive difference in quality between legal market and black market concentrates.

To produce most concentrates you need to take a very important step that essentially takes out all the nasty chemicals and dangerous elements out of the extract so you aren’t consuming it - This can be a pretty expensive step. Since the black market doesn't adhere to the same regulations as the legal market, products created in the illicit market usually forego this process.

The result? People who purchase concentrates and carts from the black market end up inhaling chemicals that are extremely harmful to the human body. As a genuine point of caution, please only purchase your carts and concentrates from legal market retailers. It might be more costly, but it is 100% worth the safety and assurance that you are getting safe products.

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Want to learn more about concentrates, dabbing, and other extracts? Check our our other articles: A Guide To Shatter, A Guide To Cannabis Diamonds, What's The Difference Between CBD and CBD?, and More.

By Nadia Bortolazzo
Nadia is an MA graduate and a Digital Marketing Specialist at Burb. Her writing is guided by her interest in challenging and expanding the ideologies surrounding cannabis culture.
Instagram: @nadiabortolazzo.