If you’re newbie to the wide world of weed and unsure of how to smoke it or to toke it, and if you are wondering how to use a vape pen for the first time, then you have come to the right place; we are here to enlighten you on how to vape weed! Don’t sweat it if you don’t know wax weed from THC cartridges, or if you are confused about the difference between a marijuana vape pen or a cannabis oil pen – we will attempt to make it all clear, or at least clearer. Vaping and dabbing has become arguably as popular as puffing on a weed pipe or toking a joint, maybe moreso with concentrated oil cartridges and dab weed, or wax weed. Vaping weed will get you higher, faster with more potency than traditional cannabis combustion consumption. Both push button vape pens and buttonless vape pens are small, portable and more discreet than pipes, bongs or dab rigs when it comes to blazing on the go or even sharing a smoke sesh with friends! We were all first timers to weed at one point, so sharing stoner wisdom helps us all, and who doesn’t want to know how to use a dab pen? So, read on, o’ seeker of weed vaping knowledge!
(Dry herb chamber from a marijuana vape pen, image from Sarkazz Vapes on Instagram)
Portable vapes for pot smoking are kind of the bastard children, or maybe cousins, of e-cigarettes and tobacco vapes, which came first. Vaping weed has caught on as cannabis legalization has spread because some ganja guys and gals feel the vapor is purer than pot leaf burning with fewer particulates, thus less coughing; also weed vape pens are easily portable and discreet when you are out and about. Plus wax weed and THC cartridges, the most popular ways to vape or dab weed, are concentrates and thus stronger than burning regular ol’ leaf weed - cannabis concentrates contain very high THC levels of around 40 to 80 percent versus 20-25% for weed pipes and joints. Even leaf can be used, some say more effectively than a lighter and pipe, in a weed vaporizer. Come then, let us now explore the ways and means of vape pens for weed – and a few other weed vaporizer contraptions!
(Prefilled vape oil cartridge, image from Concept Distro Ktran on Instagram)
How to use a Vape Pen:
There are actually a couple kinds of weed vape pens, there is the dry herb vape pen and the oil pen. Dry herb vapes heat your pot leaf to the point at which cannabinoids and terpenes become gaseous vapor without actually combusting the cannabis plant matter – some find the herbal vapor less irritating than typical weed smoke. Pre-loaded cannabis oil vape cartridges, hash oil vape pens, and disposable wax pens are types of oil pens, there are also oil stix pens that have empty vape cartridges or refillable vape cartridges that you fill with your own homemade vape oil. The difference between the two is that dry herbal pens burn leaf at regular strength while the oil pens all burn concentrated oils, both types offer a smoother toking experience than weed pipes, joints or blunts. You can opt for a buttonless vape pen that you just draw from to use, or learn how to use a push button vape pen, which sounds simple enough, but some pens have various modes that are activated by clicking the button in a sequence.
Dry Herb Weed Pen
1) Use fresh ground herb; maybe a couch-locky indica like Sweet Tooth, a balanced hybrid like White Fire OG, or an energizing and brain-boosting sativa like Power Plant.
2. Pack some herb into the vape pen’s removable, refillable chamber.
3. Click the pen on.
4. Some weed pens have a push button to activate the heating element; if so, then depress this and inhale from the mouthpiece; if there’s no push button, just inhale to start vaping your weed.
5. Remove the pen from your mouth and exhale your vapor. It’s that simple! Depending on the size of your refillable vape cartridge, you should have enough weed in the chamber for 3-4 pulls, the last pull will show hardly any vapor when you exhale.
6. Then you simply refill the empty vape cartridge when you want to smoke more weed.
Here is a video demonstration of using a dry weed vape pen:
(Vape pen with refillable cart for wax oil or dry herb, image from Budtank Doris720 on Instagram)
Oil or Wax Weed Pen
1) Make sure you know how to charge a weed vape pen; when initially purchased, your weed vape pen - whether the dry herb vaporizer pen above, or an oil pen or wax weed pen – has to be charged for several hours before you can first use your vape pen for weed or a vape cartridge. After the initial charge, you’ll have a day or two's worth of usage before the charge weakens and it stops vaporizing your weed or concentrates; then you have to screw the threaded end into a USB or wall charger and let it recharge for an hour or two. Usually the push button or vape body has a built-in LED light indicator that glows red while it is charging and then turns green when it is ready.
2) Attach the oil cart, THC cartridge, CBD cartridge, or wax weed dab cartridge to the battery, which is the vape pen body. There’s usually a plug or cover on one end of your oil cartridge, so remove that and set it aside – you’ll want to recover the screw-in end when you decouple it from the vape pen body because vape pen cartridges do leak sometimes in warm rooms or in direct sunlight. Then you simply screw the vape cartridge to the battery pack and turn the thing on with the push button.
3) Wax weed vapes have a ceramic chamber at the top to add your wax weed, cannabis shatter, pot crumble or whatever concentrate you have on hand - you can even smoke leaf in these, but they’re pretty small, about the size of an eraser. So, if you have this kind and want to know how to vape wax weed, just scoop it out of its container and place it in the ceramic chamber with some tweezers or a nail head. Some wax weed vapes have a globe with a mouthpiece atop that fits over the ceramic refillable vape chamber, and when you push the button for the heating element, the globe fills with vapor which you then draw out through the mouthpiece – we have a globe vape pen like this and it’s a great way to smoke weed concentrates!
4) If you have a buttonless vape pen, all you have to do once the oil or THC cartridge has been attached is put the mouthpiece to your lips and draw in for 3-4 seconds, and then hold it for a beat, then quickly exhale – like taking a deep breath. THC and other cannabinoids enter your system within a couple of seconds, so wait a few minutes – up to 10 minutes for those new to vaping or dabbing wax weed or oil concentrates. With a push button vape pen, you have to push and hold the power button just before and as you draw: some have sequences of button clicks that adjust the vaping temp from low (3 volts) to high (6v), depending on the density of your oil. Other vape pens have you double-click to preheat the oil vape cartridge for 10 seconds before you draw your hit.
5) Then you can hit at your leisure, lather-rinse-repeat; refilling your wax or oil as it is used up, or replacing oil cartridges when they are emptied. When you are done you usually deactivate a vape pen by clicking the power button five times, which is also how you turn the thing on. If your vape pen isn’t working, check to make sure that it is turned on and/or charged.
(Push button vape pens, image from O2 Vape on Instagram)
Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most Out of Your Vape Stick or Vape Pen:
- Some popular brands of cannabis oil vape cartridges include the Captain Bubba Space Vape cartridge; Claw Concentrates, The Clear cartridges, THClear and Bloom vape cartridges. Popular vape pens include Alpine Vapor – which makes several varieties of disposable wax pens or oil pens that can be discarded after they have run dry; also well-regarded is The Clear vape pen that accommodates their own oil cartridges as well as other 510-thread standard vape battery bases.
- You can turn wax into oil for vape pens using products like Wax Liquidizer , which is a chemical agent that claims to be able to turn weed wax into vape juice in seconds, that you can take a $100 worth of cannabis concentrates and turn them into about $800 in weed vape oil, that it will create stable concentrate infused vape oil, and that you can save money by using your own refillable vape cartridges. Apparently, all you have to do is add 2ml of Wax Liquidizer and 1 gram of your favorite concentrate to a microwave-safe container, zap it in the microwave 10 seconds, then stir until you have an even, smooth consistency, draw the infused vape oil into a measuring syringe, then fill your add to your refillable vape cartridges, attach to your oil vape pen and enjoy!.
Here is a vid on using Wax Liquidizer to turn your wax into oil for vape pen:
- Colored vape smoke can be achieved by using colored gel spot lights that shine through the vapor cloud when you exhale, or if you photograph the vape smoke then you can use various photo filters to add colors to the vapor; using chemical agents to create colored vape smoke is potentially dangerous to your lungs, and many people vape weed to avoid the chemicals and particulates from regularly burning pot!
- Some vape pens adjust temperature by clicking the power button and cycling through low, medium and high settings. If you want to know the best temperature for vaping weed, then we can tell you that it will depend on the effect that you are going for - if you want slightly more of a buzz than the lowest temperature setting (probably under 330°F) , but still don’t want to get all-out stoned, then medium settings have a temp range between about 340-390°F; the highest setting is over 390°F which could give you a very intense high and maybe some psychedelic trippiness, but is good for treating acute anxiety, stress, insomnia and severe pain.
- If your disposable vape cartridge is not working, then maybe your oil cartridge is not properly connected to the battery. Disconnection is caused when the battery contact on the cannabis cartridge has been pushed too far up into the base of the cartridge, causing a loss of battery connection. Most marijuana vape pen manufacturers recommend that you only screw in the cartridge to the battery just until all threads meet; screwing pen vape and battery too tightly together can sometimes push the heating element in too far. To make sure that the element is pulled out so it is flush with the bottom of the cartridge take the tip of a pocket knife, or the tip of a box cutter works well, pull up the heating element so the element is flush with the bottom of the cartridge.
(Volcano vape with bag attached, image from Tigon69 on Instagram)
Lastly, Here are Those 7 Devices First-Timers Will Love:
1) Volcano Desktop Vaporizer
A desktop vaporizer is generally not portable, because they are larger and corded, so you have to plug them into a wall outlet. They generally have knobs or digital controls that allow you to precisely adjust the temperature to get optimum vaporization of your weed. Some desktop vapes have hookah-like hoses you puff your vape from, or a balloon-like bag that fills with vapor which you then inhale from. The Volcano is a desktop vaporizer made by Storz and Bickel that is immensely popular and retails for around $479.00 USD.
2) Dab rigs
Dabbing is a method to inhale cannabis vapor from weed wax, dab weed or even hash oil through a dab rig. Dab rigs utilize a handheld torch with a type of bong, or water pipe, that has a heating element that allows fast vaporization of cannabis concentrates when the torch flame is applied. The dab rig heating element is referred to as a skillet or a nail, which is most often made from titanium, quartz or sometimes glass. Dabbing is what you call it when vape smoke, created when the skillet or nail is heated by the torch, collects in a chamber and then you release it through the mouthpiece and breathe it in. Dab rigs come in a variety of colors and styles, with prices that vary from $25.00 to over $400.
3) Pax Weed Vaporizers
Pax makes a number of cylindrical portable vapes with a chamber on their base that you put your leaf or weed wax in. The mouthpiece on top acts as the power button, so you push this down, and then the LEDs on the front of the Pax vape begin to flash - after about 30 seconds, the lights turn green and the Pax marijuana vaporizer vibrates to let you know that it’s time to inhale. Pax weed vapes cost around $200-$250.
4) Rove Battery
Rove makes battery base vape pens and oil cartridges to use in their oil vapes. Rove pen vapes are standard 510 gauge, so they work with any prefilled oil carts or refillable vape cartridges, though the manufacturer states that it is best to use their own vape oil cartridges. Rove battery packs retail at $15 for a basic oil pen and their prefilled cannabis oil carts cost about $30 -$35.
5) Vertex 350 VV
Vertex makes a series of push button vape pens; the Vertex 350 VV model is simple enough to use; like many oil stick battery bases, you depress the single button five times to switch it on, twice to preheat and three times to adjust the voltage. The Vertex 350 VV is also 510 standard threaded and can be used with leaf if you have an empty vape cartridge to put your leaf in, or put weed wax in, and it works with most prefilled oil carts. You can expect to pay under $15 for the Vertex 350 VV.
6) Eureka pen
Eureka makes disposable wax pens (they also make prefilled oil carts and standard 510 battery base vape pens), available in California and Colorado, and prefilled with 300 mg of vape oil and available in sativa, hybrid or indica vaporizer cartridges. The fastest-growing weed vape pens are disposable wax pens because they are inexpensive, portable, convenient and so easy to use - most disposable wax pens are buttonless vape pens so all you have to do is draw from the mouthpiece to get some vapor going; when you are done you toss it in the trash and buy a new one. Eureka oil sticks cost about $25 and are good for about 150 hits.
7) Vape Pen Kits with Carrying Case
Companies like O2 offer sleek-looking vape pens for weed complete with carrying cases for your vape pen battery with 510 thread, and compartments to store your prefilled or refillable vape cartidges, the USB charger and AC adapter, as well as a car charger, for about $59.95. Many of the top weed vape brands offer similar high-end kits with travel case options.
(Using a dab rig to vape wax, image from Stoner Girl Daily on Instagram)
There you have it, how to use a vape pen isn’t really overly-complicated, even if this blog post is a bit long! But now you have a thorough overview of marijuana vape pen usage, for dry herb, weed wax or THC oil cartridges. As you learn how to vape weed and gain in experience, you can start with a disposable wax pen and then graduate up to reusable vape sticks, using either prefilled oil cartridges or refillable vape cartridges. While disposable buttonless vape pens are as easy to use as putting your lips on the mouthpiece and drawing the vapor in, how to use a push button vape pen isn’t too difficult to master, and sequences of button clicks can help you adjust the temperature of your leaf, weed wax or hash oil for optimum vaping. We’ve given you some tips on how to turn wax into oil for vape pen, the best temperature to vape weed and even how to fix a vape pen cartridge if your refillable or disposable vape cartridge is not working. Lastly, we ran down some nifty weed vaporizer contraptions for you to consider when you decide how to smoke wax or even dry herb! We have held your hand a little as you discovered how to use a vape pen for the first time, now it is time to take that knowledge, get yourself your own weed vaporizer and thumb the push button to enjoy some refreshing leaf, dab weed or THC oil vapor – just stay away from the colored vape smoke, not a good idea!
Finally, here is a vid on filling refillable vape cartridges :
Researched and written by David and Leah Kaye Weathers.
||David and Leah Kaye Weathers are a freelance cannabis writing and graphic designing husband and wife team from Lansing, Michigan. They are passionate advocates for medical and recreational cannabis legalization in the United States. They enjoy not only smoking and vaping, or dabbing, marijuana but also cooking with weed infused veggie oil. They like to spend their free time wandering along nature trails in search of the perfectly chillaxing spot for a smoke sesh.
(Cover image: A row of weed vape pens, image courtesy of The Herbsomm on Instagram)