Cannabis concentrates rank among the fastest growing product lines at many dispensaries, as patients of all experience levels begin to appreciate the benefits of high quality extracts. These effective, flavorful, and cannabinoid-rich creations provide all the properties of quality cannabis flowers in a purer form and smaller package. The easiest way to enjoy these products is with a concentrate vaporizer and the following tips will help you get started.
Why Use a Vaporizer?
When it comes to cannabis concentrates, a little goes a long way. Just a single gram of wax, shatter, or rosin contains several doses. No one wants to waste quality medicine, and vaporizing offers the level of control you need. Heating the material at a lower temperature will activate its cannabinoid content more efficiently while improving flavor. Better yet, modern pen-style vaporizers are affordable, pocket-sized, and convenient to use.
What is a Vape Pen?
Named for their thin, cylindrical shape that often resembles an ink pen, vape pens are small personal vaporizers designed for cannabis concentrates. Many units include these basic parts:
- Battery: This is the longest section of the pen, which provides power to the unit.
- Heating Chamber: This section attaches to the battery and applies heat to the concentrate, which is placed inside it.
- Mouthpiece: Vapor is inhaled through this section, which attaches to the heating coil.
- Charger: Separate from the pen itself, this recharges the battery.
- Dab Tool: A small metal implement used to load concentrate into the heating chamber.
How Do You Use It?
The device itself is quite simple. The patient simply loads a small amount of concentrate into the unit, presses a button to heat the material and inhales vapor through the mouthpiece. Here are the important steps in more detail:
- Charging the battery: Most units include a USB charger with a red light that indicates when it’s charging and a green light for when it’s ready to use.
- Assembling the unit: Once charged, the battery should be screwed onto the heating chamber until tightly fastened. Note that many common vape pen batteries require you to tap the button 5 times in order to activate the unit.
- Loading the chamber: Opposite the side that screws onto the battery, the heating chamber will have a cavity for housing your concentrate. You’ll typically see one or two small heating coils or a ceramic disk located at the bottom. Concentrate should be placed directly on the heating element. To prevent clogs, be careful not to overfill the chamber. A portion of concentrate about the size of a peppercorn is a good starting point. Using a dab tool to load the unit is recommended due to the stickiness of many concentrates.
- Preparing to vape: Once the unit is loaded, you’ll need to screw the mouthpiece section onto the side of the heating chamber opposite the battery. The unit is now fully assembled and ready to use.
- Inhalation: Press the button located on the battery and begin to inhale. You should see the button and/or battery tip light up to indicate that it is activated. As you inhale, you’ll feel vapor begin to enter your lungs. Release the button a few seconds before you’re done inhaling to clear any additional vapor in the chamber. When exhaling, you should be able to see and taste the vapor, which indicates that the unit is working properly. Hold the button down again each time you wish to inhale and remember to pace yourself to achieve the desired effect for your symptoms.
The above description applies to self-loaded vape pens designed for loose concentrates. Another popular option is prefilled cartridges, which are a simple and convenient option if you’re new to concentrates. If you’ve purchased a prefilled vapor cartridge, you may simply attach it to a charged battery, hold down the button, and begin vaping.
Prefilled cartridges typically come in a standard 510 thread size, which means they’ll be compatible with most vape pen batteries. These can be purchased separately or you may use a battery from a vape pen kit as described above. Depending on the style of battery you’ve purchased, you may need to tap the button 5 times in order to activate the unit.
Cannabis concentrates offer a convenient and effective option for patients seeking fast symptom relief and vape pen technology makes the experience particularly appealing. If you’re new to concentrates and vaporization, our staff will be happy to discuss options with you and answer any questions you have. Many of our patients have enjoyed discovering this treatment option and we hope you’ll find it helpful as well.