Vaping for Beginners: Ultimate Guide for 2020
Everybody’s got to start somewhere right? Here at VapeActive we value the experiences of our customers at all levels – especially the ones taking the first step towards this safe and healthy lifestyle. That’s why we’ve prepared an extensive guide for all our customers wanting to delve further into the practice of vaping and the use of vaporizers in general. We’ll talk about vaping’s past, present, and future, and boy do we have a lot in store for you. So, hold on to the edge of your seat because you’re about to read the most comprehensive guide for vape beginners this 2020.
- Brief History of Vaping
- Why Do People Vape?
- Who’s It For?
- Different Types of Vaporizers
- Desktop Vaporizers
- Portable Vaporizers
- Vape Pens
- Mini Vapes/Pod-Based Vaporizers
- Varieties of Vaporizers
- Dry Herb Vaporizers
- Wax Vaporizers
- E-Juice Vaporizers
- Oil Vaporizers
- Vape Anatomy
- Common Vaping Misconceptions
- The Actual Benefits of Using a Vaporizer
- How to Use A Vaporizer
- Proper Vaping Etiquette
- Vaporizer Care and Maintenance
- The Importance of Maintaining Your Battery
Brief History of Vaping
While vaporizers may seem to be a new and a contemporary technology, the inspiration and the practice of vaping has been around for ages. Vaping’s roots can be traced back to the times of ancient Egypt. This early civilization used hot stones to heat herbs and oils. In India, the first version of the shisha was introduced thousands of years ago and was the foundation of the modern-day vaporizer. Of course, today’s vaping devices have gone through many iterations and one of the earliest ideas came from a man named Joseph Robinson in 1927. Decades later, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania scrap metal dealer Herbert A. Gilbert filed for patent for what could actually be the first vaporizer. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find enough the right people to back him up and mass produce his invention.
We would not see a solid representation of these ideas not until the late 2000’s when a pharmacist named Hon Lik and a company named Dragonite International, formerly named Ruyan Group manufactured what is now the modern-day vaporizer. The first commercialized vaping device followed a design that was based on atomization using ultrasonic technology. It was equipped with a piezoelectric ultrasound-emitting element that yields vapors used to deliver nicotine. Today, vaporizers use modernized heating elements to effectively and efficiently vaporize different kinds of materials, from herbs, wax concentrates, e-liquids, and essential oils.
Why Do People Vape?
Consumers use vaporizers for a myriad of reasons but one of the most common purposes of vaporizers (as what it was originally designed for) is a safe means of nicotine delivery. Hon Lik, the man we talked about earlier, was himself a heavy smoker. The average cigarette smoke carries more than 4,000 chemicals – 400 of which are considered toxic and at least 69 are known carcinogens. Hon Lik sought various ways to rid himself of smoking by using several nicotine replacement therapies like patches but it wasn’t until he had a restless night and a fair share of bad dreams that he dawned upon the idea of a vaporizer.
Today, vaporizers aren’t just used as nicotine replacement therapies. They are used to administer not just nicotine but also are considered as a safe and effective means of delivering therapeutic and curative active ingredients from a slew of botanical strains. The use of vaporizers for medical purposes have been the realization of Hon Lik’s dream as it is his goal to see that someday, large pharmaceutical institutions see vaporizers as a viable means of nicotine delivery and a feasible means of material consumption. Having said, many people use vaporizers as a safe means of nicotine delivery. A way to enjoy nicotine consumption without the hazards of inhaling smoke from combusted plant matter. A large number of vaporizer users also utilize these devices for medication. As a way to experience fast relief from pain and anxiety, without having to take chemical-based medicines.
Who’s It For?
Vaporizers are used by a variety of individuals. While a large number of its concurrent users use vaporizers for casual and recreational purposes, many still utilize vaporizers for medicinal reasons. Vaporizers help aid athletes achieve muscle relaxation from cramps and spasms during and after training, professionals who still need to function properly while dealing with anxiety, stress, and PTSD rely on vaporizers to help administer fast and reliable means of medication. Smokers who are tired of the negative and harmful effects, both physically and socially, of cigarette smoking rely on vaporizers for a healthier means of nicotine delivery. Having said, if you find yourself in any of these categories, using a vaporizer will suit you well.
Vaporizers are also the choice for people who like to experience smoking without its adverse effects. Since vaporizers work by creating vapor and by heating materials below the point of combustion, they’re generally considered as a safe means of enjoying the sensation of inhaling and exhaling vapor instead of smoke. There are a lot of flavored e-liquid and e-juice blends that do not contain nicotine. Therefore, even non-smokers can experience what smokers feel when smoking without the guilt.
Different Types of Vaporizers
Through the years, vaporizers have gone through different iterations spanning various types of devices. Each type offers different sets of advantages that target a certain type of consumer, niche, and market. Because of the continuous growth of the vaporizer industry, many companies have started making vaporizers of their own design and engineering. Today, there are four known types of vaporizers. Desktop vaporizers are large and bulky devices and are commonly considered by users as a device for home use – not only because of their size but also because of their performance. Portable vaporizers are downsized versions of desktop vaporizers that offer the seemingly perfect mix of portability and performance. You also have vape pens, vaporizers that are designed and engineered for concealment and versatility and lastly, mini vapes. Devices that are crafted for concealment and convenience.
Regarded as the golden standard in vaping, desktop vaporizers remain the top choice of professionals who require medical-grade performance and exceptional reliability. Some of the best examples of tabletop vaporizers are products from Storz & Bickel. The Volcano Vaporizer has always been an icon, and now, decades later after its release, it still remains a relevant piece of equipment even for newer vaporizer users. The idea behind the success of these type of vaporizers is its sheer size. Because they’re generally larger than any type of vaporizer, they can pack bigger and better technology making them capable of more demanding and longer vaping sessions as.
Desktop vaporizers are also seen as more reliable devices since they draw power from a stable source, like your wall socket. Although these devices are considered as dinosaurs in the industry, many still patronize desktop devices for their durability and resiliency making them a good investment. The cost of a desktop vaporizer can sometimes be pretty steep but the payoff is oftentimes worth it, which only proves that in vaporizers you always get what you pay for.
A little smaller than desktop vaporizers, portable vapes compare the nearest to desktop devices in terms of performance. Portable vaporizers are an early attempt to merge portability with performance and was a good example of what early designs and engineering was able to achieve. Notable portable vaporizers are the Air and the Solo vaporizers from Arizer. These portable vaporizers are so good they even had V2 models.
Portable vaporizers are prized for their ability to vaporize different materials and yet maintain the integrity of the active ingredients found in the respective components. They are able to faithfully preserve the essence of botanical plant matter as well as other extracts allowing consumers to enjoy the benefits of each material without having to sacrifice performance over portability. Portable vaporizers are the closest alternative one can get to a desktop unit. Manufacturers are able to outfit portable devices with decent sized ovens, fans, and other heating elements that allow them to generate high-quality outputs even for their portable build.
Vape pens are designed with the on-the-go consumers in mind. Those who want to squeeze in a few hits here and there while still maintaining mobility. Although generally seen as less powerful devices, vape pens are considered as entry level vaporizers mainly because they’re less expensive and are easier to operate. Vape pens are often equipped with only the essential parts, enough to run a vaporizer and heat up materials at an optimum level. They’re not always packed with advanced features but they still make for great devices especially if you’re the type of individual who’s always at their feet.
Vape pens are excellent when it comes to fast but reliable sessions. They can only pack a small amount of material because of the limitation their size pose but they always make up for it by allowing you to take them anywhere you need to go. Vape pens are seen as good introductory devices since they won’t cost you an arm and a leg and they won't make vaping look like a daunting task. Some of the more popular vape pens are the ones from Dr. Dabber. For years they’ve been one of the leading names in the vape pen industry with products winning various awards from highly-acclaimed award giving bodies.
Mini Vapes/Pod-Based Vaporizers
Mini Vapes or Pod Vapes are a new breed of vaporizers that are geared towards convenience and concealment. There's a reason why they’re called mini vapes, they’re so small they easily fit right into the palm of your hands. They also are outfitted with draw activated batteries and do not have any buttons on the which allows easier utilization of these pod-based vaporizers providing consumers with a more natural feel when vaping. Instead of using a power button, pod-based vaporizers use a mechanism that has two metal sheets in them. This mechanism allows air to pass through which also uses the force of the vacuum created by the power of the air when you suck on the device’s mouthpiece. As the air passes through the mechanism, the lighter sheet of metal is pulled upwards. Once both metal sheets make contact, it creates a circuit which then activated the heating element. The earlier versions of pod-based vaporizers were designed for use with nicotine-based e-liquids while newer versions allow the use of conventional materials through different pods.
The Yocan Evolve 2.0 runs on a hybrid pod system that allows users to vaporize different kinds of extracts for a flexible and versatile vaping experience.
Today’s vaporizers are designed to take on a wide array of materials with the most common being dry herbs, wax concentrates, essential oils, and e-juice blends. Dry herb strains are commonly derived from cannabis, either sativa of hemp which provide consumers with the benefits native to the plant matter. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found on the cannabis plant, there are several known cannabinoids but two are predominant in each cannabis strain. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive proponent of the plant. On the other hand, CBD or cannabidiol is the curative compound that gives the plant its therapeutic properties. The legalization of cannabis use for medical purposes have created a widespread development in both the cannabis and the vaporizer industry.
Concentrates are a by-product of the cannabis plant where the main proponents are extracted to form a concentrated substance. Wax concentrates are known to be more potent than the actual flowers but the actual herbs provide consumers with better aesthetic overall in terms of flavor and aroma. They are generally more solid and come in different consistencies from brittle ones to gooey ones. Essential oils are also concentrated cannabis extracts but are in liquefied form. On the other end of the spectrum, e-juices are flavored e-liquid blends that may or may not contain nicotine, a common material for those who are former smokers or those who are trying to quit making vaporizers all the more significant in the smoking ecosystem.
Varieties of Vaporizers
Vaporizers have been made to adapt to the growing number of materials used in vaping. There are dry herb vaporizers, wax concentrate vaporizers, oil vaporizers and e-liquid vaporizers. While there are devices that specialize on one type of material, there are other devices that can accommodate two different materials or even more. These are called multi-functional devices, vaporizers that will fall in the category of whichever materials it can vaporize.
One good example of a multi-functional vaporizer is the PAX 3, it can vaporize both herbs and wax concentrates without having to change or alter its form. All you need is an adapter or a concentrate insert so you can change the way the PAX 3 vaporizes certain materials. Multi-functional vapes are coveted because they’re often seen as 2 vaporizers for the price of one. Consumers do not need to buy different devices in order to use different materials. They can break away from the limitations of what other products its size and price point can offer.
Dry Herb Vaporizers
These types of vaporizers are commonly seen on larger varieties; like desktop vaporizers and portable vaporizers. That's because dry herb vaporizers often use a special heating element that requires a certain amount of real estate or available space. Some of the more expensive fry herb vaporizers boast fully functional convection ovens. Convection dry herb ovens use hot air to effectively and efficiently permeate dry herbs in order to extract its active ingredients without burning the materials. Convection vaporizers are often preferred by connoisseurs because they yield smoother and more flavorful clouds of vapor. Conduction dry herb vaporizers are another common type of dry herb vaporizer. Instead of using an oven that utilize hot air to vaporize botanicals, conduction vaporizers use a heated surface to bring your herbs to a temperate where the active compounds can mix with the vapor. Conduction vaporizers are often known for their potent yields because they can reach higher temperature levels faster.
There is also a special type of dry herb vaporizer that uses both heating technology. Some vaporizers use both conduction and convection technology in vaporizing your herbs. This works by outfitting the chamber with a conductive layer of either metal or mineral like ceramic and using a ventilated space for hot air to pass through. Hybrid dry herb vaporizers are known for their production of fair vapors that are both potent and flavorful.
Because dry herb vaporizers are known to be generally larger devices, wax vaporizers, on the other hand, enjoy the liberty of having to occupy a smaller build. That's because wax vaporizers only require a small amount of material in order to get you where you need to be. Because concentrates are more potent, a small glob of wax can go a long way. Because they require only a small amount of material, they can virtually be smaller than other devices. That’s why wax vaporizers are common in smaller varieties like vape pens and mini vapes.
While dry herb vaporizers use a variety of heating technologies like conduction and convection heating, wax vaporizers dwell within the realm of conduction heating for obvious reasons. They use different kinds of heating elements to adjust to different levels of temperatures and facilitate different environments suited for whichever type of result wax consumers want to achieve. Wax vaporizers use two minerals for their heating elements predominantly; quartz and ceramic. Ceramic heating elements are known for their inert properties. While they’re not the best catalyst of heat, they can facilitate low and slow heating. Low heat allows the concentrates to produce better flavor and smoother vapors. On the other hand, quartz creates the ideal environment for fast and immediate heating of wax concentrates. This is why quartz heating elements are known for producing larger vapors that can sometimes be harsh with increased potency.
E-Juice Vaporizers require a thinner type of material, that’s why the heating elements utilized on e-juice vaporizers are made of cottons wrapped in coils. This is so that the cottons can absorb the e-liquid and in turn vaporize the material with the use of the heated coil. E-Juice vaporizers use a wide variety of batteries, you can see ego style batteries to larger and more advanced box mods with temperature control features built in them. E-Juice atomizers come in two common forms, an RDA or a rebuildable drip atomizer and an RDTA or a rebuildable drip tank atomizer. The difference between both is that the former requires you to constantly drip e-juice in the atomizer while the latter holds a certain amount of e-liquid inside a receptacle called a tank.
E-Juice vaporizers are popular amongst smokers and even hobbyists who enjoy flavored e-liquids. E-Juice devices have two common builds, one is for cloud chasing and the other is for flavor chasing. Cloud chasing is a term used for the act of drawing large and visible clouds of vapor for aesthetic purposes. There are even competitions held for cloud chasers who perform tricks in a sort of cloud-bending fashion. On the other hand, you have the flavor chaser build, this build focuses more on emphasizing and elevating the flavors and the tastes of the e-liquid.
Oil Vaporizers are similar to wax concentrate vaporizers but have a slightly different makeup. They are smaller since they require less power to vaporize oils thick or thin. This is why oil vaporizers are seen and are considered as stealthier devices. Furthermore, oil vaporizers are favored by medical consumers especially those that use essential CBD oils. They are a good way of delivering and administering CBD into the body. The vapors are absorbed by the lungs to the bloodstreams and into the brain where CBD receptors bond to the active ingredient.
Likewise, those dealing with medical conditions but still require to attend to certain needs find that the portability and convenience of using oil vaporizers make for a truly suitable experience.
While each vaporizer type uses different parts, the average vaporizer uses three basic components. A power source, a heating element, and a mouthpiece.
A power source is where your vaporizer draws – power. It could be in the form of a wall socket or a rechargeable battery pack. There are certain advantages to using tethered power sources, like stability and reliability but a rechargeable battery pack allows for portability and freedom of movement. Many consumers sacrifice reliability for portability.
A heating element is a key component to your vaporizer as it provides your device with the means to vaporize your select materials. Heating elements come in many names; atomizers, coils, and nails amongst others, they also come in different builds but all heating elements have one common goal – to provide optimum heating so your materials.
A mouthpiece does more than providing the extracted vapors a means of delivery where you can easily draw from your device, in most cases mouthpieces are outfitted with mechanisms that improve airflow, or in some occasions can be a section of the vaporizer where one can connect certain attachments like glass bubblers, balloons, and the likes.
Common Vaping Misconceptions
To the uninitiated, vaping and vaporizers may seem fairly new. That’s because, while vaporizers have been around for decades, their popularity and their acceptance as a mainstream activity has not been for a while. Vaporizers have had its fair shares of myths and misconceptions and here are a few.
Vaping is worse than smoking:
Many individuals first think of vaporizers as a new kind of sorcery. Heck, even some doctors advise their patients to steer away from vaporizers and smoke instead. We can’t blame them, while there are some formal and clinical researches done on vaporizers and vaping in general, they are still seen as insubstantial or lacking in considerable evidences that prove vaping is generally safer than smoking. However, today’s advancement in technology sheds new light to this misconception which is why vaporizers are now considered as a medical tool by doctors and physicians.
All vaporizers explode:
It’s true that a few years ago, uneducated individuals see vaporizers as bombs. Reports of exploding devices here and there made even the experienced wince and doubt if vaping is truly a safer alternative. It is true especially amongst vaporizers made with cheap parts and components. However, due to the development of today’s technology, many manufacturers and consumers alike were able to rule out that almost all cases of vaporizer explosions were caused by mishandling and poor device maintenance. Which is why today’s vaporizers are often equipped or are outfitted with a battery protection of some sort which automatically shuts off or severs the connection between the battery and the heating element. Nowadays, vaporizers are generally safe and the more consumers are educated about how to properly use them, the better it is for vape users and the people around them.
Vaping is a gateway to smoking:
Contrary to common belief, vaping is not a gateway to smoking. Instead, many consumers who use vaporizers are on their way to quit or ditch the habit as vaporizers are often used as a healthy alternative or a smoking cessation tool. Studies show that quitters who use nicotine replacement therapies, such as vaporizers, have better chances of success than those who quit cold turkey. Vaporizers are now considered as effective means of transitioning from smoking conventional cigarette to weaning nicotine consumption during or before quit day.
Materials consumed in vaporizers are full of toxic chemicals:
An absurd misconception that seems pretty ridiculous especially for advanced and experienced vape users. Vaporizers are designed to deliver smoke-like output in the aim to provide consumers with a healthier, less-toxic, and a less-synthetic means of consuming nicotine and the active ingredients in select botanical strains. Having said, the materials used in vaporizers are formulated using similarly natural and organic products that are often found in common consumables.
Vaporizers causes cancer:
Somehow connected to the belief that the materials used in vaporizers are full of synthetic and toxic materials, using vaporizers, at one point, have been believed to cause cancer. However, surprising though it may sound, vaporizers can be used to combat or negate cancer altogether. New studies show that the active ingredients in cannabis such as CBD and THC can help stifle and slow the growth and development of certain types of cancer. The use of vaporizers to administer cannabinoids into the body may be seen as a viable option especially to those who do not mind vaping.
Vaporizers can cause second-hand effects:
While it’s true that the vapor emitted by vaporizers as well as those released from the actual act of vaping will contain trace amounts of the active ingredients native to the material used, it’s far less toxic to those that come from smoking or those produced by combusted materials.
Furthermore, vapor is less dense that smoke which is why it evaporates faster which is why it would take a fair amount of vapor to cause substantial effects through second-hand exposure.
The vaping industry is not regulated:
While it may be true 20 or so years ago, the vaping industry is now a heavily regulated enterprise. Even the FDA stepped in to ensure that vaporizers do not fall into the hands of minors and that vaporizers will not be used for activities they were not intended to. Marketing strategies have been revised as well as product packaging to ensure that these products will not attract minors.
The Actual Benefits of Using a Vaporizer
While vaping and vaporizers in general, for some time have been labeled with a negative notion, they provide consumers with valuable benefits. Here are a few.
The opportunity to save money:
Vaping makes for a cost-effective means of consuming materials like botanicals, concentrates, and e-liquids. When you vaporize your select herbs using a dry herb vaporizer, you’re basically using less materials while extracting the most active ingredients out of it. Consumers who use desktop vaporizers or portable vaporizers instead of smoking a joint or lighting up a bowl gets to preserve the active ingredients of the herbs because the heat from burning the plant matter can actually kill some of the active compounds. You’ll, therefore, end up using more materials than what you would using a dry herb vaporizer.
Those who use e-juice vaporizers as a replacement for cigarette smoking can save money in the long run as the costs of tobacco cigarette can be significantly expensive compared to vaping using flavored e-juice blends on a portable e-liquid vaporizer.
A new perspective on flavors:
Using vaporizers in general will help you open up and enjoy a whole new perspective in tasting the flavors native to your choice materials.
Those who use dry herb vaporizers, either desktop or portable, are going to enjoy the unique flavors and the distinct aromas of their select botanical strains. That's because vaporizers heat up herbs without having to reach the point of combustion allowing the components of the terpenes on the herbs to be efficiently extracted into the vapor. Instead of having to taste the burnt essences of the herbs, you’re able to enjoy the natural tastes of your choice strain. On the other end of the spectrum, concentrate consumers and e-liquid consumers are able to enjoy the flavors of their extracts because wax concentrate vaporizers and e-liquid vaporizers use slow heating ceramic heating elements to facilitate a clean and distinct experience in terms of flavor.
A healthier version of you:
As we’ve established earlier, vaping is a healthier alternative and replacement to traditional means of consuming herbs, wax, oils, and e-liquids. Vaporizers in general have far fewer toxic emissions than what you’d get from smoke from cigarette. A vaporizer can provide you with positive health experiences and you will notice the difference from smoking your materials compared to vaping them. Smoke from combusted plant matter carries thousands of toxic by-products as well as free radicals which is the result of the anatomical breakdown of the components of the herbs. These toxic substances can get into your system and cause a slew of minor and major health issues.
How to Use A Vaporizer
Different kinds of vaporizers will have different means and modes of use. Beginners might find it perplexing to use some of the larger devices, like desktop vaporizers and desktop rigs, as they may require a bit of setting up while the smaller versions of vaporizers such as portable devices and vape pens are a little more self-explanatory. Nevertheless, here are some common practices on how to use each variety of vaporizer.
Using a desktop vaporizer:
Desktop vaporizers are the largest in terms of size and capacity which is why they can cater to similarly larger components like heating elements, fans, and chambers. An upside of using a large device like desktop vaporizers is that they can easily vaporize larger amounts of materials and will generally have better power that translates to better performance. The downside, these heating elements may take time to reach optimal temperature, the amount of materials placed in the herb or concentrate chamber also plays a role in the length of time it takes to vaporize your materials. Most desktop vaporizers use several components that may be attached to it either to improve your overall experience or suit a certain need. To begin vaping with a desktop vaporizer, make sure that you have a secure and stable power source. Connect the vaporizer to the power source and place it in a flat and stable platform. Load your herbs or concentrates using the inclusive receptacle and seal it with the appropriate cover. Wait for it to reach vaping temperature and begin vaping.
Various types of desktop vaporizers and how to use them:
Desktop vaporizers have the ability to cater to different kinds of attachments, these attachments are known not only to change the mode of use but also to affect the overall experience when using a desktop rig.
One of the most common is the use of a whip. Whip style vaporizers are probably one of the earliest versions of desktop rigs in which a vinyl tube is attached to the head of the desktop unit – the likes of what you see in hookahs. Whip style desktop vaporizers produce vapor as you pull hot air over your materials through the whip. Whips are normally made up of three parts; a wand, the actual whip, and a mouthpiece. Connect the parts together the wand goes to the vaporizer while the mouthpiece is where you pull your vapors from.
Pro tip: Use water to moisten the tip of the vinyl tube to easily insert both the mouthpiece and the wand.
Another popular attachment to desktop vaporizers is the balloon bag. Balloon bags may require a special adapter to connect the balloon bag to the desktop vaporizer. This is found on vaporizers with fans that automatically blow hot air on the materials to force the vapor out of the desktop vaporizer into the balloon. Simply connect the balloon bag to the desktop rig and wait till it’s filled with vapors. Once finished, remove the balloon bag from the vaporizer and attach the inclusive mouthpiece.
Using a portable vaporizer:
A portable vaporizer is no different from a desktop vaporizer, both will vaporize your materials although portable vaporizer will draw power from a battery pack instead of a wall socket. Furthermore, portable vaporizers will have the same precise temperature settings as most desktop vaporizers do.
Pro tip: Make sure to fully charge the battery for best results.
Load your portable vaporizer with the right amount of materials. For portable dry herb vaporizers determine if your portable device uses conduction or convection heating and load accordingly. This will allow just the right amount of air to pass through. Likewise, for portable wax concentrate vaporizers, load it with a sufficient amount that the wax will not spill or spit back once it’s heated. Most portable vaporizers can be powered on by holding down the power button which activates the whole system. Once powered on, set the portable vaporizer to your desired temperature setting. Wait until the portable vaporizer vaporizes your material and start vaping.
Using a vape pen:
Using a vape pen is fairly easy, because it’s comprised of only several parts, assembly and operation is straightforward. Like portable vaporizers, make sure to fully charge your device before use to achieve best results. For dry herb vape pens, make sure to grind your herbs so that it can cover better surface area. You'll also be able to pack more herbs this way. For concentrates and oil vaporizers, find a filling point and fill it only to that extent. Make sure that you leave enough space so that the materials won’t spill all over.
It’s common for vape pens to have one single button and have a single heat setting or preset temperature profiles instead of a precise temperature setting. Vape pens are normally powered on by tapping the power button 5 times rapidly, the same action turns the vape pen off. Depending on the manufacturer’s configuration, you may have to tap the power button thrice or twice to toggle through the preset temperature settings. Pressing and holding the power button will activate the heating element, once the materials are vaporized, you may start vaping.
Using a mini vape or a pod-based vaporizer:
Mini vapes or pod-based vaporizers use pods that either come pre-filled or are refillable. Just take the pods filled with your choice materials and snap them onto the battery. Most pod-based vaporizers will not have any form of switch as they are draw activated. No need for any kind of operation, just inhale and pull from the mouthpiece and you’re good to go.
Proper Vaping Etiquette
Beginners should learn not only how to use vaporizers but also how to properly vape within a society. Like smoking, there are also unspoken rules in vaping. Proper vaping etiquette is important not only because it shows that you respect the people around you but also because you as someone who uses a vaporizer, in a way, represent the community you belong to. Any misconduct of a person using a vaporizer can cause the public to turn on majority of today’s vape users. Here are some guidelines you can follow as a beginner.
Don’t vape in front of children and pets:
While vapors from your vaporizer is not as dangerous as ones from cigarette smoke, it still contains trace amounts of active compounds that may affect children and pets. Furthermore, children are more susceptible to these active ingredients and might upset their health. Having said, it’s best not to use your vaporizer in front of children. Likewise, the nicotine from e-liquids can cause unwanted results when ingested by pets, certain cannabis-based materials can also cause dogs and other pets to have abnormal heart beats, lowered blood pressure, breathing problems, and uncontrolled urinary patterns.
Blowing vapor... in front of people’s faces:
It's simply disrespectful, just don’t do it.
Closed spaces and travel:
While it’s really tempting to hit that vaporizer on the bus, in the car, and even while waiting at the stop or the train terminals and in the subways, it’s inconsiderate and rude to blow vapors no matter how good the vapor from your e-juice vaporizer smells. The same can be said for vaping in theatres and in restaurants. Most people complain that the smell of the vapor from portable e-liquid vaporizers either put them off the mood from their meal or in some fortunate cases, prompt and provoke them to order desserts.
As a general rule, always ask for permission from people around you when vaping in public places and look for smoking and non-smoking signs as it will be acceptable in most situations to vape where smoking is permitted.
Vaporizer Care and Maintenance
Now that you know what to do with your vaporizer and the proper etiquette when vaping publicly, it’s time you learn how to keep your vaporizer in good working condition. Having a properly maintained vaporizer not only means you get to keep your device in pristine condition but it also means that you get to save money from purchasing newer parts for replacement. Different vaporizer types will need different methods of cleaning, keeping your vaporizer clean keeps your sessions health and will keep the flavors and aroma of your select materials as pure and as genuine as possible.
Cleaning your desktop vaporizer:
Make sure that the desktop vaporizer is turned off. Check for removable parts and carefully set them aside. Check the herb chamber and clean it using a cotton swab, depending on the makeup of the chamber, you can use a dry cotton swab or one that’s dipped in a solution of warm water and isopropyl alcohol. For desktop vaporizers that use cups or screens for wax concentrates, you can wipe it with the same cotton swab or if the manufacturer says it’s possible, soak the chambers into the solution you’ve made.
For desktop vaporizers that have vinyl tubing, use a damp cotton swab to remove the resin from the tube, the wand, and the mouthpiece. Be careful when cleaning desktop vaporizer parts made from glass. Make sure the components are dried out before you replace them into the desktop vaporizer. Desktop rigs that use balloons are easier to clean as balloon bags are oftentimes disposable components.
Cleaning your portable vaporizer:
Portable vaporizers require a little less effort compared to cleaning desktop devices. Also, most portable vaporizers often come in an all-inclusive package so it will generally come with some kind of cleaning paraphernalia.
Make sure you turn off your portable vaporizer. When cleaning portable dry herb vaporizers, check if your unit comes with a brush you can use to lightly whisk the herb chamber. You can also use the same brush on the portable dry herb vaporizer mouthpiece, it will remove any obstructions that can affect the quality of your vaping session, it will also remove any resin from the chamber. For portable vaporizers that use to wax concentrates, you can perform the regular burn off to melt any material buildups.
Pro tip: Remember that wax atomizers are meant to be replaced after they’ve reached a certain time of use. Make sure to check it from time to time.
Cleaning your vape pen:
Cleaning your vape pen is as easy and is similar to cleaning portable devices, make sure to check for inclusive cleaning kits. Dry herb vape pens can be cleaned by brushing the chamber and the mouthpiece. Wax pen vaporizer atomizers can also be cleaned with the regular burn offs or by wiping the edges of the atomizer with a cotton swab although most vape pen wax atomizers can be soaked in a solution of warm water and isopropyl alcohol. If you decide to soak the atomizers in a solution make sure to dry them out for half a day to ensure that the alcohol is dried out before you use your wax pen vaporizer. Make sure to clean the contacts of the atomizer and the battery with a dry paper towel or a separate dry cotton swab. Making sure the contacts are clean ensures proper flow of stored energy from the battery to the atomizer.
Likewise, wax pen vaporizer atomizers are also made to be replaced from time to time so make sure to check them regularly.
Cleaning your mini vape or pod-based vaporizer:
Arguably the easiest variety of vaporizers to clean and maintain. Since the pods are generally disposable, whether they’re pre-filled or refillable, all you have to do is clean the metal contacts. Wipe them with a dry paper towel or a cotton swab.
Pro tip: If you have a polished vaporizer and you don’t like to get it scratched or dented, use a silicone case to protect your device from minor manifestations of wear and tear.
The Importance of Maintaining Your Battery
For portable vaporizers, vape pens, and pod vaporizers, battery is an important part of the system. It's where the entire unit draws power from, it’s its main source of energy. So, it’s only befitting to give batteries proper care and maintenance, but how do you maintain a battery? While there’s no way to actually clean a battery, there are certain ways one can protect vaporizer batteries.
Almost all of today’s vaporizers come with rechargeable battery packs. While charging a battery is generally safe and straightforward, proper charging habits and the use of proper charging equipment will help maintain the lifespan and the integrity of your vaporizer battery. Here are a few pointers.
Refer to the instruction manual:
Almost all vaporizers come with at least some form of instruction manual. The instruction manual or in some cases, the external packaging, provides information about the battery capacity and the actual recharge and discharge rate of the battery itself. This information will be useful when recharging your device or when looking for a charger for your vaporizer. The instruction manual will also most likely to contain details on how long the battery needs to be charged as well as proper battery care and maintenance.
Use the charger/USB charging cable that came with the device:
Ideally, the manufacturer has set proper charging specifications for your potable vaporizer battery. The charger, charging cable, and other components to charge the battery all work to maintain this specification. This is important because most batteries are susceptible to pressure and tension brought by inconsistent and incompatible flow of electricity. In most severe situations, this condition can cause immediate decrease in the battery’s lifespan or damage the battery to the point of venting.
Do not overcharge your batteries:
Whether you’re using a portable vaporizer with a removable battery or a portable desktop rig with a built-in battery pack, overcharging your battery can significantly damage its integrity. Leaving the batteries unattended especially overnight can damage the battery, some of the most common results of overcharging batteries include bloating, leaks, and frequent overheating. Manifestations of these damages can cause the battery to have a high recharge and discharge rate to the point where the battery charges faster than the normal rate and quickly drains itself at the same time.
Overcharging is often the most overlooked and yet most harmful to your batteries.
Do not over-drain your batteries:
It's common for portable vaporizers to use lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries have been an industry standard in rechargeable power sources because they’re efficient, pose longer potential lifespan, can charge faster than any type of rechargeable battery, and are generally smaller and lighter in comparison with other rechargeable batteries. However, lithium-ion batteries have a tendency of losing its capacity to hold charge the moment it’s drained of power. Having said, the more you drain your batteries, the more it tends to lose battery capacity. Most vaporizers, especially ones that have integrated battery packs will have some sort of indicator to tell you how much battery is left. Portable vaporizers often have this feature with LCD screens and vivid and accurate representation of the battery life while it’s common for vape pens and mini vapes or pod-based vaporizers to have only LED lights to represent the battery level.
Use an external battery charger:
For vaporizers that have removable batteries, it’s best to use an eternal battery charger instead of using a USB charger to charge your batteries from the vaporizer itself. Many vaporizer users may notice that using a USB charging cable to charge their portable vaporizers with external batteries experience inconsistent charging patterns, using an external charger provides a steady and constant flow of energy as opposed to using a laptop of a computer to charge your batteries. Furthermore, the heat from the charging battery may damage the internal circuitry of the vaporizer which is why it’s best to use an external battery charger.
Keep batteries away from heat:
The common culprit that cause battery failure amongst vape mods and other portable vaporizers is heat. Excessive heat will cause a battery to drain faster than it normally would and as we’ve learned earlier, the more the battery reaches the point of full discharge, the more it loses the capacity to hold charge. With that said, it’s not a good idea to leave your portable vaporizer, vape pen, or your pod-based vaporizer inside your car on a hot day. Likewise, avoid storing your devices near heat emitting appliances like your gaming desktop, refrigerators, and microwave ovens.
Check your battery wraps:
Vaporizers that have removable batteries often use 18650 batteries. These batteries are wrapped in a plastic sleeve that protects the battery from running into a short circuit. The majority of the battery’s body is a negative terminal with only the top part being the positive terminal. The battery wrap is designed to leave only the top and the bottom part of the battery exposed. Should the battery wrap get peeled, this may cause the body to come into contact with a metal object and create a full circuit which can cause the battery to overheat, vent, or much worse – explode.
The majority of vape related explosions can be traced back to improper handling of batteries. Which is why we can’t stress the importance of battery care enough because of the potential danger of mishandling a battery in a vaporizer.
As a beginner, it’s inevitable that you’ll run into different terms you won’t easily understand. Here are some common terms used in the vaping industry.
Advanced Personal Vaporizer (APV)
A more formal term for vape mods, box mods, and variable voltage mods. They're called advanced personal vaporizers due to their advanced features which set them apart from traditional and conventional portable vaporizers.
Airflow is the level or amount of air that passes through an atomizer, tank, chamber, or any receptacle that holds materials used in vaping. Airflow is often an overlooked feature amongst vaporizers that has a significant impact in one’s overall vaping experience.
A shortened term that means amperage. Amperage refers to the measurement of an electrical current or the movement of energy along a full circuit. Amperage is also used to measure a battery’s capability to handle atomizers with lower resistances.
An atomizer is an attachment used in most portable vaporizers, atomizers houses the heating element to vaporize wax concentrates, dry herb strains, oils of various consistencies, as well as e-liquids.
Another term used in lieu of the word atomizer.
A feature in most portable vaporizers, vape pens, and mini vapes or pod-vapes. Automatic shutoff features allow the vaporizer to shut down in itself after a certain period of inactivity. This allows vape users and consumers to save battery life and prevent accidental misfires during daily carrying activity.
Batteries are the main power sources for portable vaporizers. There are two common forms of batteries, built-in or integrated batteries and removable and replaceable batteries. Batteries are considered as a main part of any type of vaporizer system and its importance is imperative to its function.
The body that contains and houses the battery in most vape pens are also referred to as battery and not just the battery inside the device.
Bottom Coil Clearomizer (BCC)
A BCC is a clearomizer where the heating element is positioned at the bottom of the clearomizer.
Bottom Dual Coil Clearomizer (BDC)
A BDC is a clearomizer that uses two coils positioned at the bottom of the clearomizer.
Bottom Vertical Coil Clearomizer (BVC)
A BVC is a clearomizer that uses a single coil placed vertically at the bottom of the clearomizer to enhance and improve airflow.
Box mods are a variety of APVs in the shape of a box. Having a squarish shape provide box mods with several advantages including portability and the capacity to house larger circuit boards in a small and compact build. Box mods are known for having the capability to house two batteries without having to bear the extensive length that’s why they’re favored by on-the-go consumers and those who are always on their feet.
A Cartomizer combines the elements of a cartridge and an atomizer. Earlier devices used a separate cartridge and a separate atomizer, newer models combined both parts.
A different term for cartomizers.
A type of coil made from ceramic minerals advertised to have longer life span and improved flavor. Ceramic coils are inert in nature and generally facilitate low and slow heating for improved tastes as well as a smoother draw.
Chargers are used to replenish lost charge in a rechargeable battery pack – much like how smartphones and other devices use chargers.
Cigalikes are vaporizers or electronic cigarettes that represent traditional and conventional cigarettes.
A term used to describe visible and dense vapor production. These are generally ostentatious vapor output from vaporizers designed and configured to yield such results.
Similar to a cartomizer but is outfitted with a clear enclosure for consumers to see the contents inside the clearomizer.
Another term used for fake and illegally reproduced vaporizer.
The act of blowing large and visible clouds of vapor.
Enthusiasts who prefer vapors that are highly dense and visible.
A part of an atomizer, the main heating element that acts as a catalyst for vaporization. The word coil is now extensively used as an alternative for the word atomizer as they both represent the heating element in a vaporizer.
Custom mods are customized devices that are built to the liking of the user.
A type of e-cigarette that’s meant to be disposed after use. Generally cheaper than other vaporizers and are commonly found in local gas stations and convenience stores.
A type of inhalation technique where vapor is inhaled directly into the lung instead of holding the vapor in your mouth. DL hits allow you to take in more vapor when vaping.
A dry burn happens when there is insufficient material in a coil that causes the material to burn or evaporate. Usually causes a harsh effect, dry burning or burn offs are used to clean residue in a coil.
The kind of hit you get from drawing from a dry burn.
A type of mouthpiece where e-juice can be dripped directly into the coil.
A term used to describe a vape pen with a 510-threaded attachment that uses cartomizers and clearomizers.
An electronic device powered by a battery and uses nicotine-based e-liquids.
A solution predominantly made with PG/VG blends mixed with nicotine and flavorings.
The act of vaping thin wisps of clouds under low and slow heating to extract the best flavors out of any type of material.
An enthusiast who prefers flavors over the production of large and visible vapors.
An area in a coil with heavy concentration of heat, normally visible with glowing red marks on a coil.
Light emitting diode. A form of indicator in most vaporizer representing a temperature level, battery level, and an indication whether a device is on or off. It also tells when a device is charging or not.
Milliamp hours. A unit of measurement for battery capacity, the larger the mAh, the longer the battery will last.
Mechanical mods, vaporizer devices that do not use chipsets and/or circuit boards. A manual type of vaporizer using only mechanical switches, generally powerful but offers no form of safety and power regulation.
A part of a vaporizer where you draw or pull from.
Mouth to Lung
A type of inhalation technique where you let the vapors sit in your mouth before inhaling it directly to your lungs. It lets you taste more flavor as you get to taste more of the vapors.
A type of strong and potent freebase nicotine used in e-liquids.
A measurement of electronic resistance, commonly used in measuring atomizer resistance.
A type of cotton used in vaporizers, favored for its purity and clarity.
A type of feature that lets you use your vaporizer while it’s plugged in and charging.
The act of saturating a coil before a session. Eliminates dry burns and reduces damage to wicks and atomizers.
A viscous and colorless substance used in e-liquids. Provides e-liquids with the throat hit and allows e-liquids to better mimic the feel of smoking.
Rebuildable Drip Atomizer.
Rebuildable Drip Tank Atomizer.
The resistance of a coil. lower coil resistance produces better vapor.
A variety of wicking component, eventually replaced by newer components like organic cotton.
The act of squeezing e-liquids from a bottle or a container that’s directly attached to your vaporizer.
The act of using a low resistance coil on a vaporizer to get visibly large clouds of vapor.
TC (Temperature Control)
Can refer to a vaporizer with variable settings or precise temperature settings. It can also refer to the act of setting the temperature on your device apart from the preset temperature on the vaporizer, can either be run on wattages or voltages.
Refers to the feeling you get when the vapor passes through your throat, can either be soft or harsh.
A type of coil apart from traditional nickel. Titanium is generally stronger and can offer higher resistance than most heating elements.
A Vaporizer or the act of using a vaporizer.
The person vaping.
Refers to the lost sense of taste or the loss of a taste of a certain e-liquid. Can be acquired from vaping the e-liquid for too long and can be remedied by taking a whiff off coffee beans.
A thick and sweet substance normally used in conjunction with Propylene Glycol to make e-liquids.
Holes in a battery where hot air and various gasses discharge from the battery.
The act of releasing gaseous substance from the battery, normally done to alleviate heat but can also refer to a hazardous situation where the battery has accumulated excessive heat that it reaches near eruption.
A unit of measure used to quantify power.
A type of material that absorbs wax concentrates, oils, and e-liquids. Used in atomizers, clearomizers, and cartomizers.