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How to Use a Vape Pen for Concentrates

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Prefilled Cartridges

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.

Conclusion

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.

How to Use a Vape Pen for Concentrates Cannabis concentrates rank among the fastest growing product lines at many dispensaries, as patients of all experience levels begin to appreciate the

Vaping Essentials: 6 Killer Kinds of Vapable Concentrates

By Adam Schmidt

Sometimes it seems that vaping culture has taken over. In fact, the term “vape” even made it into the Oxford-English Dictionary, winning accolades as 2014’s “word of the year.” It’s meteoric ascension to the pinnacle of popularity should be no surprise. Vaping offers a number of significant benefits over smoking. It’s cleaner, more discreet, and most importantly, better on your lungs. It seems like just a few years ago, most people only vaped flower. Now we’ve got a myriad of choices. Below are a few of the most popular vapable concentrates (your vaping essentials):

Shatter

Shatter is the most controversial concentrate — thank you home cookers who keep blowing up your kitchens! So named because of its distinctive texture and consistency: smooth and hard with an appealing translucent, glass-like appearance. You can break shatter into shards (e.g. particles). Note, however, shatter is not very forgiving so it breaks a little too easily. In fact, because it’s so fragile, many cannasseurs prefer to limit consumption of their shatter stash to their home.

Moreover, while you can definitely vape shatter, loading it into some vaporizers can be a challenge. Most people seem to prefer dabbing shatter over vaping. (Shatter does also pair well with bud, as you can mix the shards with your flower before you roll a joint or add to a bowl.)

Wax tends to look creamy and buttery — or waxy — hence the various monikers people ascribe to it: wax, budder, crumble. Thanks to its malleability, it’s a lot more forgiving than shatter. And, the consistency makes wax a perfect candidate to use in your vaporizer or vape pen.

The only drawback — if you can call it a drawback — is that wax doesn’t have the clean, translucent look of shatter. But, what wax may be lacking in aesthetic, it more than makes up in versatility. Not only can you easily vape wax, you can add it to a bowl, dab it, twax it (adding it a joint). Heck, you can even throw it in with your edibles!

Note: if you add it to edibles, be sure to activate it before adding it to butter or oil — a rule that applies to most extracts and concentrates.

Sap, so called, because it looks like, ah hem…tree sap! The consistency is viscous, malleable, oily and sticky. Despite the stickiness, it’s generally pretty easy to use. You can easily pop it into your vaporizer, dab, or even twax it. One precaution: because of its oh-so-sticky-icky texture, it’s best to store in a non-stick container or wrap in parchment paper.

Snap N’ Pull

Snap N’ Pull occupies the middle ground between sap and shatter. So named because aside from needing a cool name for an even cooler concentrate, you can snap or stretch it. However, be judicious, because if you’re not careful, it can fracture pretty easily. It’s a favorite among many canna-enthusiasts because it’s less sticky than snap, and more forgiving than shatter — making it easy to use. Many claim it’s the most versatile concentrate. Not only can you easily vape it, it’s great to dab, smoke, add to edibles or use to wrap a snake around a joint.

Live Resin

Loved and adored by true cannasseurs, live resin is one of the newest concentrates to emerge onto the scene. One of the coolest things about live resin? Its unique production process — cryogenically freezing freshly harvested plant matter — preserves (and enhances) its distinctive just-harvested aromatic and terpenoid properties. Live resin is high in terpenes and terpenoids, enhancing not only the aroma, but possibly its therapeutic versatility.

Live resin will also assume an aesthetically appealing sugary consistency, particularly when exposed to moisture. While live resin is definitely well-suited for vaping, to achieve maximal effect and flavor, astute cannaseurs tend to prefer dabbing it.

Vape Pen Cartridges

When it comes to ease of use, portability and discretion, it’s pretty hard to beat a vape pen with a pre-filled cartridge. Sarah Silverman confused Middle America when she flashed her vape pen on the red carpet a couple of years back. Whoopi lovingly calls her pen, “Sippy.” Snoop Dogg has his own line of products. And, President Obama has been spotted around the globe meeting with foreign leaders while discreetly drawing quick drag from his favorite pen — especially when dealing with that prick, Putin. (Ok, maybe Obama hasn’t been spotted yet toking, but can’t you just see him doing that after the election?)

No doubt, vape cartridges, which are often utilized via a snazzy, high-tech vape pen, can be pretty awesome! However, there is depressing lack of consistency between brands. There are a lot of substandard brands, and price can be a poor barometer to gauge whether a cartridge is up to snuff or not.

Some notable brands include Bodhi High (and their budget-minded line, Honey Tree). Bodhi High (and sister brand Honey Tree) have created some uniquely fruit forward flavors, like Mandarin Orange and Strawberry Cream. If you’re more of a traditionalist who is loyal to classic strains, MJ Farms produces some incredible cartridges — like Blue Dream and OG Kush. Want something to relieve stress that’s less psychotropic than most concentrates? Northwest Cannabis Solutions offers a Mixed CBD cartridge.

Final Thoughts

Not to be captain obvious, but it’s important to note that vaporizers are a heterogeneous bunch. Some vapes work best with wax or sap. Others are designed best for bud. While others come pre-filled and are disposable (cough, cough, not disposable, I mean recyclable). And, finally, some are designed to work with replaceable oil cartridges exclusively. Keep this in mind before you try out any of the aforementioned methods.

Do you have a favorite type of concentrate or a special jedi-inspired vaping method? If so, share below in the comments. Happy vaping!

It seems like just a few years ago, most people only vaped flower. Now we’ve got a myriad of choices. Below are a few of the most popular vapable concentrates (your vaping essentials): ]]>