Vaping is one of the newest and most popular ways for cannabis users to enjoy their products. Have you ever been standing in line somewhere, only for the sweet scent of strawberry to hit your nostrils? You look around and don’t see a strawberry vendor nearby. But, you do see someone puffing on a sleek-looking pen.
You’ve just caught someone in the act of vaping. It’s probably more prominent than you think.
An essential piece of equipment vapers need is a cartridge. A cartridge contains the liquid that will be vaporized and inhaled. When it comes to choosing a cartridge, you have a surprising number of options. We’ll break down what they are so that you can choose the best vape oil cartridge for you.
We will also look at what vaping is, why it is so popular, and how to do it.
What Is Vaping?
Vapes, electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes are common among young people. These are electronic devices that heat a liquid and turn it into a vapour. The users then inhale the vapour, taking it into their lungs and experiencing the effects the product has to offer.
One common question people have about vaping is what makes it different from smoking or using a bong? The product you are inhaling is what sets it apart.
Smoking burns the flower, and then you inhale the smoke from the cannabis. For some, this smoke is harsh, and their lungs may not be able to handle the smoke well. It can sometimes be filled with other contaminants as well.
When vaping, you aren’t taking in smoke, but rather you are breathing cannabis vapour. This creates a smoother, gentler experience for users, and some may tolerate this better than inhaling smoke.
Vaping, like smoking, offers relatively fast-fitting effects. Most users will begin to feel effects within 15 minutes, but some can take effect faster depending on the oil you are vaping. Effects generally last an hour or two.
Types of Vaping Devices
Just like there are different types of vape cartridges, there are also different types of vaping devices. Today, we’ll focus on pen devices as these are more popular and common.
Vape pen devices are discreet and may, at first glance, look like a regular pen. They contain:
- A battery (can be rechargeable or not if you use a disposable pen).
- An e-liquid cartridge that contains the product you are vaporizing.
- A coil element, which heats the product and creates the vapour you inhale.
When it comes to vape pens, you can find disposable ones, which you use once and throw away, or you can use rechargeable ones. These allow you to replace or refill the cartridge and use them again and again.
How Vaping Works and How to Do It
So, how do vape pens work? It’s easier than you may think.
The cartridge in your pen is filled with cannabis oil, distillate, or live resin product. When you use your vape pen, you’ll first turn it on. The coil will then heat your oil and create a vapour that you’ll inhale through a mouthpiece.
Depending on the type of pen you have, you can control the temperature of your product (some people prefer vaping at lower temperatures to preserve the product’s terpene profile), or your pen may just have one temperature setting.
Vaping itself is a pretty straightforward process. Usually, you just need to attach your cartridge and battery to your pen and start puffing. The hardest part can sometimes be picking the oil you want to use and choosing which specific device you want.
Although vaping is simple, here are some tips to help you have a good first experience:
- Avoid oil leaking out by holding the pen upright.
- Be sure the cartridge is completely attached, so no product leaks out.
- Start with a low dose (a puff or two) and wait to see how you react.
- If possible, start your temperature lower and increase as needed.
- Read the instructions before you start using your new vape pen. This will give you the details of how best to use it, enjoy your cannabis, and care for your vape pen.
What Is a Vape Oil Cartridge?
A vape cartridge is a glass container pre-filled with cannabis oil. It generally can hold a gram or half-gram of oil. When you choose your vape oil cartridge, you not only need to choose the right type of cartridge, but you also need to decide what type of product you want to vape and be sure you know what type of oil it contains.
First, let’s look at different vaping oil options out there.
- You can choose oils that contain different products. For example, there are THC oils on the market as well as oils that contain only CBD. There are also products that contain all the different compounds found in cannabis, giving you the benefits of both.
- Cannabis oils can also be made from different cannabis strains. If you have a favourite strain, ask your dispensary if they have oil in stock made from this strain.
- You’ll also want to know the type of oil your new cartridge contains. Full-spectrum cannabis oil contains all the complete profile of the cannabis plant used to create it. Broad-spectrum will contain the majority of cannabinoids in a plant but without any THC. The final type of oil, isolate, will contain only one compound, whichever the buyer wants (such as THC only or CBD only).
- You can choose between unflavoured cannabis oil or flavoured ones. There are tons of flavours for you to choose from, like fruity flavours and sweet, chocolatey ones. Choose your favourite flavour, and you’ll likely be able to find a cartridge to fit it.
Next, let’s look at the type of cartridges out there and how that determines what product you’ll be vaping.
- CO2 cartridges are the most popular and common vape cartridges. These cartridges will contain product extracted using CO2 as a solvent. This method helps retain as much of the strain’s original flavour as possible.
- CO2 distillate cartridges are the next popular and quickly gaining on CO2 carts. These are extremely potent and created using winterized concentrates such as CO2 or BHO and chilling them and the plant at low temperatures. This process causes the THC to concentrate even more, giving you a very potent product that can have THC levels of around 90 percent or more.
- Live resin cartridges are relatively new to the market but are quickly gaining traction. They can be harder to find and a bit more expensive, but they offer the full flavour cannabis has to offer. That way, it preserves the flower’s terpenes, leaving manufacturers with the most flavourful product they can make. For the discerning vaper, live resin cartridges are worth the money.
Whew, you have a lot to think about when choosing your oil cartridge. The type, the product it contains, the price, and finally, you’ll need to make sure it will even fit your pen. Your vape pen may come with a cartridge (if not, consider buying a kit that will include everything you need to start vaping).
You can then either refill this cartridge as you want or purchase other cartridges and replace them when the other one runs out.
If you buy replacement cartridges, you’ll want to make sure you choose one that fits your pen. An ill-fitting cartridge will leave you unable to vape and will be a waste of your money.
How to Refill Your Cartridge
You can choose between disposable vape pens. You have the option to toss them as soon as you have finished them (or the battery runs out), or you can reuse ones you already have. This is ideal if you buy cannabis oil in a bottle rather than buying a bunch of pre-filled carts.
Refilling your cartridge can be a little tricky, though. After all, you are trying to remove liquid from a bottle and put it into a relatively small space. If not done correctly, you could find yourself with a big oily mess.
Here are some tips to help you refill your cartridge without losing product and making a mess you have to clean up after.
- Use a syringe to transfer the oil. It can suck the cannabis oil you plan to vape out of its original container and allow you to transport it to the cartridge. A small syringe will fit perfectly at the opening of the cartridge, making refilling it easier than ever.
- Work over a towel or dab mat (if you have one). This will collect anything you happen to spill or any drops that leak out and will make cleaning up after much easier. Plus, it protects whatever surface you are working on.
- If you are putting in a different oil, make sure your cart is entirely empty of e-liquid before refilling it, or you will end up with a mix of the two oils. This can impact your experience and may give you a stronger high than you anticipated. Although your cartridge should be empty if you use the entire thing, you can also rinse it out if you see some liquid left in there before you refill.
Which Cartridge Is Right for You?
We’ve covered a lot so far: what vaping is, how it works, its benefits, and the different choices you have when it comes to the device you use and the oil you enjoy.
Next, how do you know which cartridge is right for you? A disposable? Pre-filled? CO2 or live resin cartridge? Or is one you can refill the best option?
It really is a matter of personal preference.
If it is your first time vaping, you may enjoy the ease and simplicity of using a disposable pen. You unwrap it and start vaping; no need to figure out how to put it all together or charge it up before using it. Just be sure you dispose of the pen properly once you have finished.
If you plan to vape, long-term pre-filled cartridges are a great way to go. You can just swap in the one you want each time you get ready to vape. There are tons of flavours out there, allowing you to get a collection of your favourites. Just make sure you dispose of the carts properly, or you could keep them to use on your own later.
If you have a lot of cannabis oil in bottles that are suitable for vaping, you can always refill old cartridges with it. This option cuts down on waste and is more economical. You spend money on the bottle, but it will likely last quite a while (depending on how often you vape).
Of course, you’ll also need to find a cartridge that fits your pen and allows you to vape the product of your choice, whether that be live resin or a CBD-isolate product.
As you weigh your options when it comes to finding the right vape oil cartridge, don’t hesitate to contact your dispensary and ask for assistance. Or, find a friend who is experienced with vaping and is willing to help.
There are many other ways you can enjoy cannabis if vaping ends up not being the best option for you. You may feel overwhelmed by your choices or find that inhaling anything is not the easiest process for you.
The good news is there are tons of other ways you can enjoy cannabis without inhaling vapour or smoke. And new products are popping up on the market every day. You can:
- Try weed edibles such as a brownie, cookie, or gummy candy.
- Use a cannabis capsule (pill).
- Make a cannabis drink using a mix.
The options are endless. Your dispensary is happy to answer any questions you have about vaping or help you find the best cannabis product for you.