Turning on a new vape is easy. You simply press the button five times; some devices even turn on automatically as soon as you inhale. Now you’re ready to breathe in that first puff But not so fast—before you start your vaping journey, you need to know the basics about vaping to fully maximize the experience.
A vape (or vaporizer) is a battery-powered device that turns e-liquid, extracts, oils, waxes, or dry herbs into vapor to be inhaled. These are commonly called, and sometimes distinguishable, as:
- Vape pens (or dab pens and dab rigs)
- Tanks or pods: designed for multiple uses
- Mod-pods: pre-filled or refillable vapes
Using these devices is called “vaping.”
Vapes were originally marketed as an alternative to smoking tobacco or cigarettes, but this has evolved into its own smoking culture.
Parts Of A Vape
Vapes come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. But generally, they contain the same hardware such as:
- Battery: often lithium and rechargeable
- Body or main console: has the controls of the device, e.g. power button
- Tank or cartridge: a container that holds e-juice, oils, or extracts
- Atomizer: includes a coil that heats the liquid in the tank or cartridge to create vapor
- Mouthpiece: the inhaler through which the user smokes the vapor (learn more about how to inhale a vape)
Some vapes, especially more advanced ones, have removable components that allow for customization.
How Vapes Work
A vape works by using the power from the battery to charge the coil in the device’s atomizer. When this heated element comes in contact with the liquid or oil from the cartridge or tank, it turns it into vapor which the user can inhale through the mouthpiece.
How To Use A Vape
There are two ways to turn on a vape. If using a push-button vape, simply click the button on the console rapidly five times. You should get an indication that the device is on, usually in the form of a flashing LED light. This is the same way to turn push-button vapes off.
For these types of vapes, you usually need to hold the button as you inhale to activate the atomizer. The button often doubles as a voltage regulator; by pressing it three times, you can adjust the power output that heats the e-liquid.
Nowadays, you’ll also find a lot of draw-activated vapes. These devices don’t need to be turned on before use. You only need to breathe in through the mouthpiece; this is enough to signal the atomizer to work and instantly turn the e-juice into vapor.
Customize The Experience
Many new vapes allow for a customizable vaping experience. You can choose how your device looks. There are bulky ones that scream you’re a loud and proud vaper, and there are devices that are sleek and tiny to fit comfortably in your pocket.
You can also experiment with what you’re vaping. There are thousands of e-liquids out there, varying in smell and flavor. There are also extracts, oils, waxes, and dry herbs that some devices can effectively vaporize—which has opened the door for CBD and THC vaping.
You’ll also find a lot of high-tech vaping devices in the market nowadays. These take the experience to a whole new level of customization. At the press of a button (or even through a downloadable app!), you can adjust the temperature at which your coil heats the e-juice. You can even control the airflow of the vapor to regulate how much you puff.
Some cannabis vapes even let you control the doses you inhale depending on how potent the substance is.
Ready To Vape
Now that you’ve got the basics of vaping down pat, you can start enjoying your new vape! Remember to take care of it as you would electronics—keep it charged, refill the cartridge with caution, prevent it from turning on accidentally, etc. And most importantly, vape responsibly!