How to Choose a Vape: A Guide to Cannabis Vaping

Jun 18, 2024by Mike Terry
A man is smiling and holding a vape cartridge against a violet backdrop


Cannabis vaping has become increasingly popular in recent years as an alternative to traditional smoking. With the wide variety of vape pens, cartridges, and accessories available, it can be challenging to know where to start when choosing a vape setup.

In this guide, you'll learn about the different types of cannabis vapes, their benefits and drawbacks, and how to select the best vape for your needs and preferences.

Key Takeaways

  • Cannabis vaping offers a discreet and customizable alternative to smoking, with devices ranging from compact vape pens to robust desktop vaporizers.
  • Vaping preserves more cannabinoids and terpenes compared to smoking, making it a more efficient use of cannabis material and potentially saving money over time.
  • Vapes use conduction, convection, or hybrid heating methods, each offering different advantages in terms of vapor quality, efficiency, and user experience.
  • Important features include precise temperature control, battery life and charging options, chamber size, and ease of maintenance.

What is Cannabis Vaping?

Cannabis vaping involves heating cannabis oil, wax, or flower to a temperature that creates an inhalable vapor without combusting the material. This process allows you to consume cannabis without the harmful byproducts associated with smoking, such as tar and carbon monoxide.

Vaping has gained popularity among cannabis consumers for several reasons:

  • Discreet and convenient: Vape pens are compact, portable, and emit minimal odor, making them suitable for discreet use on the go.
  • Customizable experience: Many vape pens allow you to adjust temperature settings, giving you control over vapor production and the intensity of effects.
  • Potential health benefits: While more research is needed, vaping is generally considered less harmful than smoking due to the absence of combustion byproducts.

For a deeper understanding of how cannabis components like live resin differ in vaping, check out this comparison of live resin and solventless concentrates.

Why Choose Vaping Over Smoking Cannabis?

Vaping cannabis offers several advantages compared to traditional smoking methods. One of the most notable benefits is the reduced odor. Vape pens produce a less pungent smell that dissipates quickly, making it more discreet for users who prefer to keep their cannabis consumption private.

Vaping also allows for a more efficient use of cannabis material. When you smoke, a significant portion of the cannabinoids and terpenes are lost due to combustion.

Vaping, on the other hand, heats the cannabis to a lower temperature, preserving more of the plant's beneficial compounds. This means you can achieve the desired effects with less material, saving you money in the long run.

Temperature control is another key advantage of vaping. Most vape pens and devices allow you to adjust the temperature settings, giving you greater control over the vaping experience.

Lower temperatures produce a smoother, more flavorful vapor, while higher temperatures can result in more intense effects. This customization enables you to tailor your vaping session to your specific preferences.

Finally, vaping is often considered a healthier alternative to smoking. When you smoke cannabis, you inhale a variety of harmful substances, including tar and carbon monoxide. These byproducts can irritate your lungs and increase the risk of respiratory issues.

Vaping, while not entirely risk-free, eliminates the combustion process and produces a cleaner vapor, potentially reducing the negative health impacts associated with smoking.

Learn more about how to use live resin in your vape with this guide on live resin disposable carts.

Selecting Your Vape Yype

When choosing a cannabis vape, you have several options to consider based on your needs and preferences. The three main types of vapes are:

Vape Pens

Vape pens are compact, discreet, and easy to use, making them a popular choice for beginners and on-the-go consumers. They are designed to work with oils and waxes, and typically consist of a battery, heating element, and cartridge or chamber. If you want to try these out for yourself, check out Mellow Fellow's selection of disposable vapes.

  • Pros:
    • Portable and discreet
    • Simple to operate
    • Affordable entry point
    • Wide variety of oil and wax cartridges available
  • Cons:
    • Limited battery life
    • Not suitable for dry herb
    • Some models may have lower vapor quality

Portable Vaporizers

Portable vaporizers offer more versatility than vape pens, as they can often accommodate dry herb, oils, and waxes. T

hey feature larger batteries and more advanced heating systems, resulting in better vapor quality and longer sessions. We’ve also got various vape cartridges available at Mellow Fellow.

  • Pros:
    • Compatibility with multiple material types
    • Improved vapor quality and flavor
    • Longer battery life
    • Customizable temperature settings
  • Cons:
    • More expensive than vape pens
    • Slightly larger and less discreet
    • Requires more maintenance and cleaning

Desktop Vaporizers

Desktop vaporizers are designed for stationary use at home and offer the most robust vaping experience. They typically feature powerful convection heating systems, precise temperature control, and larger herb chambers.

  • Pros:
    • Superior vapor quality and flavor
    • Ideal for group sessions or heavy users
    • Highly customizable experience
    • Durability and longevity
  • Cons:
    • Not portable
    • Higher price point
    • Requires a power outlet

When selecting your vape type, consider factors such as portability, discretion, ease of use, and the type of material you prefer to consume. Vape pens are best for those prioritizing convenience and discretion, while portable vaporizers offer a balance of portability and performance.

Desktop vaporizers are ideal for home use and those seeking the ultimate vaping experience.

Making an Informed Decision

Five different colored vape cartridges are kept on a pink surface

The wealth of information available online about cannabis vapes is immense, making research a key step in the decision-making process. Engaging with this wealth of data can guide your choices:

  • Scientific research, as found on platforms like PubMed, offers insights into the physiological impacts of vaping cannabis, helping you understand the health implications.
  • Studies from credible sources like Johns Hopkins Medicine detail the differences between vaping and smoking, illuminating the unique benefits of vaping.
  • Customer reviews and expert opinions shine a light on real-world use, reliability, and performance of various vape models, providing practical insights that can influence your choice.
  • Features enhancing the vaping experience, such as battery life, vapor quality, and heat control efficiency, become clearer through these reviews, aiding in your selection process.

 Evaluate Heating Method

When shopping for a cannabis vape, pay attention to the heating method employed by the device. The two primary heating methods are conduction and convection, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.

Conduction Heating

Conduction heating involves direct contact between the heating element and the cannabis material. This method heats the material quickly, but can result in uneven heating and potential combustion if not carefully controlled.

Conduction vapes are often more affordable and compact, making them a popular choice for beginners and those on a budget.

Convection Heating

Convection heating, on the other hand, uses hot air to evenly heat the cannabis material without direct contact. This method produces a smoother, more flavorful vapor and reduces the risk of combustion.

Convection vapes typically offer better temperature control and efficiency, but may come at a higher price point and require more maintenance.

Hybrid Heating

Hybrid heating combines both conduction and convection methods to offer the best of both worlds. These vapes use conduction to quickly heat the material, while convection ensures even heat distribution and optimal vapor quality.

Hybrid heating vapes are becoming increasingly popular as technology advances, offering a balance of efficiency, flavor, and user-friendliness.

When evaluating heating methods, consider your priorities in terms of vapor quality, efficiency, and budget. While conduction vapes are more accessible and affordable, convection and hybrid options offer a more refined vaping experience for those willing to invest in higher-end devices.

Look for Key Features

When choosing a cannabis vape, several key features will impact your overall experience and satisfaction:

Precise Temperature Control

Look for vapes with accurate, adjustable temperature settings. This allows you to fine-tune your vaping experience and optimize vapor production for your preferred cannabis strain or concentrate.

  • Lower temperatures (around 320°F-350°F) produce a smoother, more flavorful vapor, ideal for tasting the nuanced terpene profiles of your cannabis.
  • Higher temperatures (380°F-430°F) yield more potent vapor and stronger effects, but may compromise flavor and increase the risk of throat irritation.

Digital displays and precise temperature adjustment capabilities are hallmarks of high-quality vapes.

Battery Life and Charging

Consider the battery capacity and charging options when selecting a vape. Look for models with long-lasting, rechargeable batteries that can accommodate extended vaping sessions without frequent recharging.

  • Some vapes feature removable batteries, allowing you to swap in a fresh battery when needed, while others have built-in batteries that require charging via USB or a dedicated charger.
  • Pass-through charging, which allows you to use the device while it's plugged in, is a convenient feature to look for.

Chamber Size and Ease of Loading

Choose a vape with a chamber size that suits your consumption habits. If you enjoy extended vaping sessions or frequently share with friends, opt for a larger chamber capacity.

  • Consider the ease of loading and cleaning the chamber. Some vapes feature magnetic or snap-in chambers for quick and mess-free loading, while others may require more manual dexterity.
  • Look for vapes with chambers that are easy to access and clean, as regular maintenance is essential for optimal performance and flavor.

Read Reviews and Compare Products

The cannabis vaping market will offer an even wider array of products and brands. To ensure you select a high-quality vape that meets your needs, take the time to research top brands and read user reviews.

  • Scroll through online forums and review sites dedicated to cannabis vaping. These platforms provide valuable insights from experienced users who can share their firsthand experiences with various devices, highlighting strengths, weaknesses, and overall satisfaction.
  • Look for patterns in user feedback, such as consistently praised features or common issues. This information can help you gauge the reliability and performance of different vape models.
  • Visit a local dispensary to view products in person and ask questions. Knowledgeable staff can provide personalized recommendations based on your preferences and experience level. Seeing and handling vapes firsthand can give you a better sense of their build quality, ergonomics, and ease of use.
  • Compare prices and warranties across different retailers and brands. While it's essential to invest in a quality device, you don't necessarily need to break the bank. Look for vapes that offer the best value for your budget, and consider factors like warranty coverage and customer support.

By conducting thorough research and comparing products, you'll be well-equipped to choose a cannabis vape that delivers an exceptional experience tailored to your unique needs and preferences.

Reasons to Invest in a Quality Cannabis Vape

Investing in a quality cannabis vape comes with a myriad of benefits that enhance the overall vaping experience. Enhanced flavor and vapor production are notable advantages.

A superior device efficiently heats cannabis to release its full spectrum of flavors and aromas without combustion, offering a cleaner and more enjoyable experience.

Additionally, cost savings from efficient use of material mean that a quality vape maximizes the potency of cannabis, using less material over time for the same effect.

Furthermore, durability and reliability stand out in high-quality vapes. These devices are built to last, avoiding frequent replacements due to breakdowns or performance issues, ultimately saving you money and hassle.

Tips for Getting Started with Cannabis Vaping

Transitioning to vaping cannabis or starting as a new vaper can be a smooth process with a few helpful tips.

First, start low and go slow to find your ideal dosage and temperature setting without overwhelming yourself. Grind flower finely for even heating, as this ensures that heat is distributed evenly throughout the material, producing a consistent vapor quality.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your device are essential to preserve its functionality and extend its lifespan.

Lastly, store material properly to maintain its potency and flavor. Containers that are airtight and kept in cool, dark places help keep your cannabis fresh.

Final Thoughts

Vaping presents a customizable, discreet, and potentially healthier alternative to smoking cannabis. Investing in a quality device that suits your specific needs guarantees the best possible vaping experience.

With a wide range of premium vaping products and expert advice, Mellow Fellow is your go-to source for all your vaping needs. Our selection caters to both beginners and experienced vapers, ensuring you find the perfect device to enhance your vaping journey.

Mellow Fellow understands the importance of a seamless transition to vaping cannabis. Visit us for a wide selection of premium vaping products and expert advice tailored to meet your specific needs.

How to Choose A Cannabis Vape: Frequently Asked Questions

Are Expensive Vapes Worth the Investment? 

Yes, as they often offer better vapor quality, more precise temperature control, and increased durability, providing a more satisfying and cost-effective long-term vaping experience.

How Do I Clean and Maintain My Vape Device?

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning. Generally, this involves disassembling the device, gently cleaning the components with isopropyl alcohol, and ensuring everything is dry before reassembly.

Can I Use Any Type of Cannabis Concentrate in My Vape? 

This depends on the vape's design. Some are specifically made for dry herb, while others accommodate oils or waxes. Multi-purpose vapes can handle various types of concentrates, offering versatility.

HHC 1ml Vape Cartridge Bundle (2 Pack) | Sativa
Mellow Fellow
$35.98 USD$24.99 USD

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