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Vape Pens

Are All Vape Pens Created Equal?

Posted by Sarah Thompson
2 October 2018 | Vapes, Distillate

Vaping is a low-maintenance and discrete way to smoke that can offer a more potent hit than traditional flower. It’s no wonder that this method of consumption has become such a big trend in the cannabis industry. If you’re interested in trying vapes, but unsure of where to start, this is the right article for you! With so many vendors offering so many options, it can be difficult to decide which products to try. We’ll review some of the more common extraction types, how to ensure you’re using the right pen for your cartridge, and how to properly use your vape.

First, it’s important to know how different components of the cannabis plant interact with our bodies. Cannabis is mostly comprised of cannabinoids (such as THC and CBD) and terpenes (elements that provide flavors and smells, and play a role in the medicinal and psychoactive effects of a given strain). The way these components interact in conjunction with the endocannabinoid system is called the entourage effect. Your vape may contain any number of combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes, and knowing how these interact with your personal endocannabinoid system will allow you to achieve your desired effect.

Full spectrum extracts contain both cannabinoids and natural cannabis plant terpenes. Vape cartridges that are full spectrum will provide an experience most similar to smoking traditional flower. You will be able to taste and smell the terpenes as you consume, and you can experience the added benefits of the entourage effect. LivWell carries full spectrum extractions such as EvoLab's Alchemy line and Green Dot FSE cartridges. Full spectrum extractions are fairly new to the industry due to the complex technology involved in keeping these profiles intact while applying low heat the cannabis plant. Because of the technology involved and increased plant elements, full spectrum cartridges will typically cost more than other extraction types.

Distillate is one of the most popular oils found in vape cartridges. This oil is extracted using a process called “short path distillation,” which is also used to extract elements used in fragrances and essential oils. This process separates and isolates the plant cannabinoids and produces an extraction that can test upwards of 99% potency. This extraction type is known for its smooth, clear consistency, which has been perfected by brands like The Clear. Because this process can isolate THC and CBD, most high CBD oils, such as Mary's Medicinals 3:1 CBD cartridges, are made using this short path distillation process. Some distillate cartridges are flavorless, while some vendors choose to infuse their product with fruit and other plant terpenes after the extraction. This provides additional flavors while keeping the high potency of the product. LivWell carries flavored distillate cartridges such as Craft Sesh and EvoLab Chroma Colors.

Now that you have an idea of which type of oil will work best for you, let’s take a look at the hardware. While most cartridges will technically operate with any 510 threaded battery, it’s important to remember that not all batteries are created equal. Even if they do use the same technology, manufacturers will specifically design their pen to optimize your experience based on the type of oil. For example, Willie's Reserve has 5 air holes manufactured into the top of their battery and the bottom of their cartridges. These holes line up perfectly to provide the optimal hit for their product (which is a distillate oil!). Many batteries will come with 3 different heat settings: low, medium, and high. These settings are represented by different colors, with different manufacturers using different colors to represent low, medium, and high. Your battery will come with instructions on how to power it on and off, how to switch between heat settings, and which colors will provide which type of hit. Because of this, it’s always best to use the battery manufactured by the same company that makes the cartridge.

As always, our knowledgeable and friendly bud tenders are happy to review our different products with you and assist you in selecting the right products to fit your needs. Remember to always read the manufacturer’s instructions, and most importantly, enjoy your new vape!