If you don’t already know someone who uses a vaporizer pen, you probably will soon enough! There are roughly 2.5 million Americans who are regular or occasional vaporizer users, and numbers are on the rise. If you’re not familiar with what a vaporizer pen is, this post will tell you all of the facts that you need to know!
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So, What Is a Vaporizer Pen?
A vaporizer pen is a battery-operated device that is used to release concentrated vapors from some type of material. The vapors are inhaled, so that the person using vaporizer pens can benefit from the compounds it contains. Also called a vape pen, or a vaporizer pen is small and slender. Their name comes from the fact that they are about the size of a writing pen.
Who Uses a Vape Pen and Why?
Vaporizer pens come in three types, and are typically used for different purposes.
– An Oil Vaporizer Pen is used to vaporize botanical essential oils or liquids, called e-juice. People who vape essential oils are often doing so as an alternative remedy for medical conditions. Individuals who vape e-juice often are using liquids that contain nicotine, for the purpose of giving up smoking cigarettes.
– A Wax Vaporizer Pen is most often used to vaporize waxy concentrates of marijuana, either for medicinal use or for recreation.
– A Dry Herb Vaporizer Pen may be used to vaporize dry marijuana for medicinal purposes or recreation, dry tobacco as a substitute for smoking cigarettes, or dry botanical herbs for alternative medicinal purposes.
How Does a Vape Pen Actually Work?
A vaporizer pen has three main parts:
– The battery is at the bottom of the pen. It supplies power to the vape pen.
– The heating chamber is attached to the battery, and is the place where the material to be vaped is loaded. When it gets power from the battery, the heating chamber grows hot. This warms the material up either by:
– Conduction, or direct contact, between the heating element and the material
– Convection, or indirect heating, where the heating element warms air that is then passed through the material, for more information see here.
When the material reaches a certain temperature, called its point of vaporization, it gives off vapor.
– The mouthpiece is attached to the top of the heating chamber. The user draws the vapor out of the heating chamber through the mouthpiece.
How Is Vaping Different from Smoking?
Smoking involves combusting or burning a material to release chemical compounds for inhaling. Smoke has major differences as outlined below:
– Smoke contains a low concentration of active compounds from material, and gets the majority of its volume from impurities. Some of these impurities may be carcinogens, substances that are known to increase the risk of cancer.
– Vapor contains a high concentration of active compounds, with very few impurities. The small amount of impurities that is found in vapor is less likely to be carcinogenic.
How Does a Vape Pen Compare to Other Vaporizers?
A vaporizer pen is just one of three types of vaporizers. Besides dry herb, wax, and oil vaporizer pens, people who wish to vape may also choose to use:
– Portable Vaporizers. A portable vaporizer is a handheld vaporizer that uses a battery, butane, or the flame from a lighter to produce heat and vaporize materials. Most portable vaporizers are used to vape the same types of materials that one would use a dry herb vape to inhale; however, there are some that use the same materials as an oil vape pen, or wax vape pen. Portable vapes are generally larger than vape pens.
– Desktop Vaporizers. A desktop vaporizer is designed to rest on a hard surface like a table. Desktop vapes plug into wall outlets, and require electricity to power their heating elements. Much larger than an oil, wax, or herbal vape pen, desktop vaporizers typically are the most efficient and powerful vaporizer options. They are also usually the most expensive.
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Vape Pen?
If you’re planning to start vaping, you should know that there are some definite pros and cons to making an herb, oil, or wax pen your vaporizer of choice.
Pros of Vape Pens
– Simplicity. Vaporizer pens usually have just one or two buttons, and don’t require any practice to use perfectly.
– Discreet Design. Because they are so small, vape pens are easy to conceal when you’re on the go.
– Size. Most vape pens will fit into your pocket for easy carrying.
– Inexpensive. Even the most expensive vape pens are usually lower in cost than desktop vaporizers, and similar in price or less expensive than portable vapes.
– Flexible. If you’re not sure what kind of material you will end up liking the most, you can purchase a multifunction vaporizer pen to try out different materials. It’s usually not possible to use all three types of materials in a desktop or portable vaporizer.
Cons of Vape Pens
– Less Efficient. Because a vape pen is smaller than a portable vape, it is usually less powerful. The vapor may be lower in quality, and you’re more likely to experience uneven vaporization with a vape pen.
– More Maintenance Required. Most vape pens require you to regularly replace parts like the heating coil, battery, and mouthpiece. Other types of vaporizers usually have fewer replaceable parts, making them simpler to maintain.
– Short Battery Life. The smaller battery on a vape pen will usually last for shorter periods of time than the ones used in larger portable vaporizers.
– Dependence on Batteries. So far, no brand has created a vaporizer pen that runs on butane, or that is powered by a flame lighter, so you will have to deal with recharging a battery if you choose to purchase a vape pen.
See FDA Regulation on vape pens here