There is considerable debate about vape safety. Is vaping safer than smoking? Yes. Is it safer than not smoking? Of course not. Life is all about calculated risks. Are the anticipated benefits worth the risk? There is scientific consensus that vaping is a relatively safe practice – when done in moderation. Like most things, there are benefits and liabilities to consider.
Our goal is to help you understand the variables at play to make your own informed decisions on vaping. We will help you actively consider the cost/benefit trade offs at play to choose the type of vape products that fit you best.
Is vaping good? At Greenly we think so! But like most things it can be even better, a lot better, when you approach it in a smart, inspired way. Letʼs go there.
HEALTH – While smoking cannabis does not pose nearly as serious health risks as smoking tobacco, the smoke itself does still contain some of the same harmful chemicals. Vaping cannabis oil is a healthier alternative to smoking the plant because it heats the product up just enough for the cannabinoid compounds to be released but not enough to cause combustion, which is what creates smoke. The vapor from a vape pen is much cleaner than the smoke from a joint. According to The Weed Blog, more than 80 percent of the smoke coming from a joint or bong hit contains no cannabinoid elements, meaning they donʼt get you high but do “provide potential health risks.”
ECONOMICAL AND EFFECTIVE – Vaping can be a great way to stretch your dollar as one cartridge can provide up to several hundred hits. Also, every hit is deliberate and on demand and you donʼt lose any product due to residual burning like you do with a pipe or joint. Also, according to a study conducted by California NORML, vaporizers convert approximately 46 percent of available THC into vapor, whereas the average joint converts less than 25 percent of THC into smoke.
DISCRETION – Vapor emits very little odor, unlike marijuana smoke. This means you can use your vape pen almost anywhere without alerting or offending those around you!
DESIRED FLAVORS/EFFECTS – With the help of todayʼs technology we are now able to reintroduce whatever terpenes and natural flavors that we want into cannabis oils. Not only do terpenes add specific flavors to the oil but they also provide distinct effects. This allows you to really personalize your vape experience!
Have a look at our flow chart above to help better understand how to get started with vaping.
Do you have a pre-filled pen?
- If so, simply inhale. If not, your first step would be to attach your cartridge to your battery.
- If your battery is breath activated, simply inhale. If not, locate the button on your battery. Generally these batteries are turned on and off by pressing the button five times. You will see a light go on or start to blink to let you know that it is on and working.
- Start by holding the button down for 1-3 seconds to get the oil warmed up.
Then, while continuing to hold the button down, inhale and enjoy.
Some batteries have a variable voltage option.
- Do you have a variable voltage battery? If so, the first thing that youʼll need to do is find the correct heat/voltage setting for the cartridge that you are using. This will most often be determined by the quality of the oil that you are vaping combined with the quality of the cartridge hardware that you are using. See below for more info.
Variable voltage batteries generally cycle through heat settings in one of two different ways. Some just have a button and 3-4 heat settings whereas others have a dial with more options. In most cases, the push button batteries will require you to press the button 2-3 times to cycle from one heat setting to another. If your battery has a dial on the bottom, you will have even more control over your heat settings by simply rotating the dial to your desired heat setting.
Once you have found the heat setting that works best for you, simply hold the button down, inhale, and enjoy.
A variable voltage battery is a battery that allows you to manually alter the amount of power (voltage) that is running through it. A lower voltage setting ultimately means less heat, while a higher setting will put out more heat. There are a few different factors to consider when choosing your voltage setting.
Depending on how pure a cannabis oil is, its viscosity (thickness) can vary greatly. Some cannabis oils that are blended with other oils such as coconut oil, can have a very low viscosity and be almost liquid. Other, more pure cannabis oils, can be very thick. The consistency of a given oil, combined with how much vapor you want to get in a hit, can call for different heat/voltage settings. The amount of power running through your battery will also have a profound impact on the flavor that you experience while vaping.
Vaping on a low voltage setting (3.0v – 3.4v) will provide much more flavor but less vapor. Low voltage vaping is also recommended for low viscosity/blended oils. Some oils, such as Spliffin and Honey Vape, are much thicker and will sometimes require a higher voltage setting (3.5v – 4.0v). However, some people still enjoy vaping the thicker oils on a lower setting so as to get as much flavor as possible. Keep in mind, that while a higher voltage setting means more vapor, it also means a drier, less flavorful hit. Consistently vaping on high voltage will also reduce the lifespan of the battery. We do not recommend going over 4.0v for any oil. Turning your battery up too high can fry the cartridge. It will also give you a very dry hit that can be harsh on your throat.
Optimal voltage is dictated by a few factors. As we explained above, two of these factors include quality/thickness of the oil you are vaping and the size/flavor of your desired hit. The third factor is arguably the most important; the quality of hardware that you are using.
There are many different components that make up a full pen setup. The different types of hardware configurations combined with the quality/thickness of the oil that you are vaping contribute to the cartridgeʼs overall resistance (measured in ohms). High quality glass/steel hardware will provide more resistance and require a higher voltage setting whereas cheap plastic hardware will provide little resistance and require a lower voltage setting to prevent harsh hits and fried cartridges.
We at Greenly feel that it is important that you understand all of these contributing factors!
Below is a list of key anatomical components that can all have a profound effect on your vaping experience!
Battery – The battery life of a pen is measured in mAhs (miliampere hours). 100 mAhs implies that the battery will last one hour of normal vaping. So an 800 mAh battery is meant to last 8 hours of normal vaping. The amount of power (heat) running through a pen is measured in volts. There are many different types of batteries (pens). Breath activated pens are usually weak (low voltage) and often do not work well, or at all, with thicker high quality oils. Push button batteries are a bit stronger and also allow you to preheat the oil, providing more vapor. Variable voltage batteries are the best choice as they provide you total control over the amount of power you are using.
What is commonly referred to as the “cartridge” is made up of the following pieces of hardware:
Coil/Atomizer – The coil (atomizer) is the heating mechanism within the cartridge. This is what transfers power from the battery to vaporize the cannabis oil. The atomizer can be made of many different types of material (ceramic, nichrome, titanium, stainless steel etc.). Sometimes materials like fiberglass and cotton can be wrapped around the coil to soak the coil with oil and facilitate flow. Use of these additional materials is not advisable since it can negatively impact the chemical reaction and taste. Most of the time, the coil is kept wet and oily by the wick. However, there are now even higher quality coils on the market that are “wickless”, meaning that they are powerful enough to get the job done without the need for any wick at all.
Wick – Most atomizers require a wick. The wick is used to soak up oil for the coil to keep it wet, increase flow and prevent the vapor from becoming harsh. Wicks can be made of many different materials, all of which have inherent pros and cons. Silica is most common. However it is also considered the lowest quality wick due to its lack of absorption and flavor. Organic cotton is a good alternative, has excellent wicking capabilities and once it has been properly soaked, provides good flavor. However, it can burn pretty easily. Ekowool looks a lot like silica but has much better wicking capabilities and can withstand higher temperatures without burning. It is also completely non-toxic and relatively cheap. Steel mesh/cable wicks are generally used for e-cig mods. They are considered good wicks but must be oxidized before use or they can cause a short.Ceramic wicks are considered by most to be the highest quality wicks because they can withstand very high temps–however, they are also the most expensive.
Chamber/Cartomizer – The chamber is what holds the cannabis oil. The safest materials to use are glass and quartz because of their no/low reactivity with the oil. Plastic should be avoided for obvious health and taste reasons.
The only real danger with vaping is associated with vaping products containing pesticides. Unlike edibles where your liver outs the pesticides, when you vape or smoke a product containing pesticides, they are able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier almost immediately. This can lead to many problems including peripheral nerve damage. Be sure to know where your medicine is sourced. At Greenly, we carry only lab tested products that meet state requirements.
Do not use voltage/heat settings that are hotter than needed. The heat changes the compounds inhaled. The hotter the settings are on the pen, the more the compounds you are putting into your body are changing.