Vaping has become big business in a very short time. Spurred by the widespread ban on smoking tobacco in public places, and further boosted by the legalization of cannabis in many US states, the vape market has undergone rapid expansion with new brands, products and technological developments pushing the sector forward.
Vaping can be a safer alternative to the traditional cannabis joint. It’s also more convenient in many ways. Although some users still prefer the traditional method – after all, there is something of a routine involved that is part of enjoying cannabis in rolling a joint – others are coming around to the benefits of the vaping method.
One problem faced by newcomers is that of understanding the various different vape devices and what they are specifically for. In this article we’re talking about cannabis vape devices that use one of two mediums: cannabis oil, or cannabis wax. What’s the difference, and which is best? Let’s begin by looking at cannabis oil and wax as substances.
What’s the Difference Between Oil and Wax?
The cannabis plant has been under much scrutiny of late with claims of it being a health aid growing. Indeed, medicinal cannabis can be legally prescribed for certain conditions. Where do oil and wax come in?
Both cannabis oil and wax use extracts from the cannabis plant. Cannabis consists of many elements – tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is one, cannabidiol – the popular CBD – is another – which can be extracted from the plant using various methods. In fact, there are thought to be more than 100 of these elements – known as cannabinoids and terpenes – in the plant. Research is ongoing into the use of these compounds.
Put simply, once extracted the cannabis compounds can be mixes with a carrier – either and oil or a wax – this cannabis oil, and cannabis wax. These are also described as concentrates, and you will come across the term ‘dabbing’ and ‘dab pen’ – this is another name for using cannabis wax.
Each has its benefits. Wax is easy to carry around and simple to put into the compartment for heating – we’ll talk more about how a vape pen works shortly – while cannabis oil is often supplied in pre-filled cartridges. Why are we talking about a separate device for each substance? Here’s a brief explanation.
Can One Vape Pen Be Used for Both?
With the development of the vaping market over the years, the technology of vape pens has been improving. They can be used for evaporation on a variety of media. Available types include the CBD vape pen, disposable vape pen, dab pen, oil vape pen, and more. As the market grows so new vocabulary keeps getting added to the already commonly used vape jargon.
We’ve already mentioned the wax or dab pen, so why do we recommend a different pen for each substance, and why is it called a pen? In the early days of vaping the devices were larger and somewhat obvious. A clear need for a more discreet and portable vaping device was recognised by the manufacturers. The vape pen was born, so called because it was shaped as a pen is. Nowadays a vape pen can be any of several shapes, but the name has stuck.
There are optimal temperatures at which both wax and oil will atomize, but they are different. A combined vape pen – one that comes with changeable compartments – will be a compromise. The optimal temperature for vaping wax lies between 350 to 400°F. That for oil is between 315 to 385°F. There is a crossover there, but it’s clear that the heating element needs to be specific to the substance you wish to vape.
Before we go on to explain how a vape pen works and why those temperature ranges are important, we recommend you check out Vape4Ever for more and the latest cannabis vaporizer products.
How Does a Vape Pen Work?
The difference between smoking and vaping is in the actual substance you are inhaling. With a joint or cigarette, you inhale smoke that carries the cannabis. This smoke also contains tar and other dangerous elements that are created by burning.
With a vape pen – whatever substance you use – you inhale only vapor. Rather than burning the cannabis it is heated to a point at which it vaporizes. This is why those temperature ranges are important.
Your vape pen will have a metal or plastic case with buttons on the outside. It will also have LED lights to indicate when it is heating up, when it’s ready to use, and when the battery needs recharging.
The battery will be a small but surprisingly powerful one that powers a coil. The coil heats to certain temperature according to the settings on the pen. It heats the substance in the compartment or cartridge – your cannabis oil, wax, or even dry herb – to the point at which it atomizes. You are now ready to inhale the vapor cloud and enjoy your cannabis.
Back to those temperatures for a moment: some pens – basic models and often disposable vape pens – have one temperature setting. We strongly recommend that whether you are intending to vape oil or wax you purchase a pen with a variable voltage battery. This allows you to play with the temperature across the range and adjust the strength, feel and taste of the vapor cloud. Being able to do this means you can find your personal ideal setting.
Vape pens are simple to use – you will press a button five times, for example, to begin the process and then hold a button to inhale and that is basically it. We want to move on and look at some specific tips for oil vape pens and wax vape pens that will help you enjoy the best cannabis vaping experience, so let’s begin by talking about the oil vape pen.
Tips for Using an Oil Vape Pen
Among the most popular oil vape pens are those that come with a pre-filled cartridge. This can contain a range of different strengths of oils. They will give you a good number of hits and then you simply throw away the old cartridge and buy a replacement. Other types are designed to be refilled from a bottle of cannabis oil that you purchase from a retailer. These are also popular but do require more maintenance.
Here are a few things to remember when starting out vaping cannabis oil:
– Start vaping oil at lower temperatures or you could risk burning out the cartridge before you have used all the oil. This is a part of the learning process.
– If you find the vapor too harsh turn down the voltage. You may also wish to let the coil cool down for a couple of minutes to see if that helps.
– Consider the battery power of a pen you are interested in. A reputable online retailer will be able to help you choose the right model.
– Oil vape pens will need to be cleaned occasionally to remove residue, but less so than the wax version.
– Be certain to clean the mouthpiece regularly to ensure the best delivery.
Modern oil vape pens come in a wide range of brands, types, sizes and power levels, and there is a model to suit every budget.
Tips for Using a Wax Vape Pen
Wax is the preferred method of vaping cannabis for people who use a refillable vape pen. However, wax is a sticky and potentially messy substance that needs some experience to handle correctly. Filling the cartridge is an art that comes with trial and error, and you will get there eventually!
Here are some wax vape pen user tips:
– Always keep a filled wax vape pen upright as the wax is fluid and will follow gravity. This can impede your experience if the pen is laid on its side, for example.
– Wax pens may require more frequent cleaning – especially to the mouthpiece and the wax container – and you can find many accessories for the purpose, and most come with cleaning tools.
– Freeze your wax concentrate for easier use. Be careful not to overfill the container or you will not get the best out of your cannabis.
– A variable voltage pen is highly recommended for vaping wax.
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to brands and models, so check out the retailer we linked to earlier for more advice.
Which do you choose – a wax vape pen or an oil vape pen? The former is preferred by more experienced vapers who often then move on to a more powerful box mod vape device. The oil vape pen is a great place to start your vaping experience and is the more convenient option for the newcomer, especially a model that takes disposable cartridges.
We hope this article has helped you understand more clearly why there is a need for different devices to vape cannabis oil and wax, so take inspiration and start searching for the vape pen that fits your budget.