Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 8, 2023

Apart from smoking joints and blunts, dabbing, using tinctures, and consuming edibles, another popular way of consuming weed is vaporizing it. Vaping weed is a more discrete method of consuming cannabis, and in the last couple of years, the use of cannabis vapes has increased significantly, which is why in this article we’ll talk all about vape pens.

The information provided below will be especially beneficial for all of you first-time vapers. We’ll discuss what vape pens are, how to use your pen for vaping weed, as well as what types of vaporizers you can find in your local dispensary and on the weed market in general, so read on.

What Are Vape Pens?

Vape pens, or vaporizers, are devices which produce vapor by heating the cannabis flower or concentrate which is then inhaled by the user. The increased temperature activates both the terpenes and the cannabinoids and unleashes their psychoactive and sedative effects.

Vape pens have revolutionized the cannabis market due to being rechargeable battery-operated devices that are discreet, portable, and used by cannabis aficionados all over the world. Characterized with a cylindrical shape and atomizers, these pens are an improvement over their predecessors – the e-cigarettes. 

Vaporizers have become quite the rage as a result of their precise temperature controls which allow the user to choose their preferred temperature for heating up their herb. Compared to smoking cannabis, using vape pens allows the users to preserve more of the quality of terpenes and cannabinoids.

Common Vape Pen Parts

Vaporizers are made from the following parts:

  • Cartridge (holding the liquid solution or e-juice);
  • Heating element (atomizer);
  • Power source (battery);
  • Mouthpiece.

Types Of Vape Pens

As the vaporizer market expands, so do the types of vape pens. Read on to find out what types of vape pens you can find at your local dispensary or online. Generally, they come in two categories:

  • Rechargeable vape pen (battery-operated vape pen which can be used over and over);
  • Disposable vape pen (all-in-one vape pen which isn’t refillable or rechargeable, and should be disposed of after use).

Tabletop Vaporizers

These vaporizers offer precise temperature control and can be used with both flower and concentrate. They come with either a bag or a long tube attached to the heating chamber which makes it easy for the vapor to quickly reach the mouthpiece. Since they operate in the same manner, dag rigs are regarded as tabletop vaporizers. 

Portable Vaporizers

These small vaporizers enable users to transport them with both ease and discretion as they have a less potent aroma and are smaller in size compared to regular vaporizers. They often have a temperature control element, though it may not heat with the same precision as the tabletop vaporizer. Portable vaporizers are reusable and can be used to consume concentrates such as shatter, budder, badder, but also cannabis flower. So, according to the weed product that’s used, there are different types of portable vaporizers, including:

  • Dry herb vaporizers;
  • Wax vaporizers;
  • Hybrids.

Vape Pens

Vape pens are generally regarded as vaporizers which use only cannabis distillate and oil cartridges filled with hash oil, CBD oil, and others. They’re not quite reusable, but also not disposable since you can reuse the battery but need to swap out the vape cartridge after it’s used up (although you can also find all-in-one disposable vape pens). 

There are different types of vape pens as well – some have buttons, some don’t, some have a long battery life, others have a shorter one, etc. Generally, the pen batteries that most vape pens come with are the 510 thread ones. The term “510 thread battery” is related to the length of the batteries, or 10 threads at 0.5 mm per thread.

Using a Vape Pen for THC and CBD

No matter if you’re using a disposable or a reusable vape pen, you need to know how to use it in order to get the most out of your buck. So, if you want to learn how to vape using a vape pen, continue reading.

Consuming Cannabis Oil and Distillates

Vaping oil cartridges and cannabis concentrates are a great option if you’d like to try out a vaporizer for the first time. These cannabis oil cartridges are a great option to use with the classic weed pens which are compatible with the 510 threaded cartridges. To use them, turn the pen on, inhale a small amount of the psychoactive vapor, and wait for a few minutes before going in for another inhale.

Consuming Dabs and Wax

Dab pens give users more airflow compared to standard vape pens, and the materials used for the atomizers (like quartz and ceramic) are made to withstand higher temperatures. Compared to vaping oil cartridges, dabs used in dab rigs require you to preheat them prior to smoking them. Finally, use the dab tool or dabber to add the concentrate inside the chamber.

Consuming the Cannabis Flower

Now, let’s go over how you can use both tabletop and portable vaporizers to vape the cannabis flower.

Tabletop Vaporizer

These stationary vaporizers need to be plugged in and turned on before you start vaping. After you turn the vaporizer on, wait for it to heat up, and meanwhile grind the flower and place it inside the heating chamber (while making sure that you have proper airflow and aren’t just cramming the weed in). Finally, all that’s left to do is set the temperature and inhale the cannabis vapor from the mouthpiece of your dry herb vape pen.

Portable Vaporizer

Portable vaporizers are used similarly to tabletop ones. The most important thing to remember about portable vaporizers is that you should always have a charger nearby in case you forgot to charge the device. As with tabletop vaporizers, make sure you leave adequate amounts of room for airflow.

Vaping a Vape Pen for CBD

If you’re looking for something similar to nicotine, you may want to give CBD vape juice a try. This is similar to a nicotine e-liquid which provides a tighter draw from the vaporizer. Remember to only vape a CBD cartridge or CBD vape juice, and not tinctures as those are more potent. Start smoking as if you were vaping a regular vape pen holding weed.

Final Thoughts on How to Use a Vape Pen

For a better first vaping experience, the best thing you can do is research. Figure out whether you want a vape pen with rechargeable-batteries or you want a disposable one which needs to be thrown out after one use. Always start at a lower temperature and go higher if you like the taste of your vapor, but be careful not to go over the recommended temperature for heating the oils.

We hope you learned how to use this popular and versatile cannabis device, and figured out why you would use one or the other. Enjoy and cherish the moment while you’re having your first inhale of vapor, and who knows, this may become your favorite method of consuming cannabis.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.