Hands holding a PAX Pod

Cannabis concentrates are a rapidly-growing product category, as they offer a way to consume a concentrated dose of cannabinoids and terpenes. Vape is one of the best ways to consume cannabis concentrates, though there is additional work in prep and maintenance of portable vaporizers, dab rigs, and dab pens.

If you prefer vaporizing concentrates, a cartridge vape pen may be the right cannabis experience for you. Vape pens are small, portable devices named for their resemblance to an everyday pen that are easy to use and discreet.

Whether you are new to cannabis or an experienced enthusiast, this guide will offer you everything you need to know about cartridge vape pens.

What is a vape pen?

Vape pens are a great way to vaporize concentrates without the fuss of prep or maintenance. Pre-filled oil cartridges simply screw or click in to a battery to vaporize the oil inside. There are different systems of compatible cartridges, such as the 510 thread, the PAX ERA pod, and more.

How do vape pens work?

Most vape pens have four main components: the cartridge, the atomizer, sensors, the battery, and the LED indicator. Each plays an important role in turning cannabis oil into vapor.

  • The cartridge houses the oil you want to vaporize. Typically the mouthpiece is attached to the end of he cartridge to draw in vapor.
  • The atomizer is the heating element within the vape pen that is responsible for vaporizing the material. When the vape pen is activated, the atomizer heats up, vaporizing the material housed in the chamber or cartridge.
  • Sensors are used to activate the vape pen. Whether your pen is activated by simply inhaling from the mouthpiece or by pushing a button, sensors are responsible for heating up the atomizer so your material can be vaporized.
  • The battery is used to power source for the vape pen’s atomizer. Typically, the cartridge screws into the pen's rechargeable battery.

Some vape pens come with an LED indicator to community the battery charge and temperature settings. All with come with a charge cable to make sure the battery stays charged.

Here's a quick look at some of the pros a cartridge vape pen offers.

Vape pens are easy to use

The simplified design of a vape pen requires no learning curve – you can simply pick up the device and try it. All that’s needed is a charged battery and the vape cartridge or pod of your choice.

Most vape pens are designed with one-button functionality, with more advanced models allowing you to cycle through different voltages for higher temperature. Others, like the PAX ERA, have instant draw, meaning there are no buttons to press and all you have to do is bring the device to your lips and inhale.

Pre-filled oil cartridges or pods make using vape pens very simple, since the heating element is often contained within the cartridge itself. That means that the device itself requires no extra pieces to use as well as very little maintenance.

Oil cartridges also allow for easy switching between cannabis concentrates and cannabis strains. Just click or insert your cartridge into your vape pen and you're ready to go. When they're not in use, just store them in a cool, dry place.

Cartridge vape pens offer a discreet experience

Vape pens are an excellent choice if you'd like to keep your consumption on the low. They can easily slip into a pocket or bag, and they don't give off odors or aromas when not in use. The slender design of vape pens lends itself well to light handheld use, with no prep or mess to draw attention to the user.

Most vape pens also allow you to control your draw, so you can "sip" to reduce vapor production and make smaller vapor clouds. This allows you to enjoy the flavors of your pod or cartridge without it being as "loud" to the people around you.

Cartridge vape pens are inexpensive

Vape pens tend to be relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to larger portable vaporizers and desktop vaporizers. In addition to the lower cost of the vape, and the various pre-filled oil cartridges/pods typically provide a better value since it's concentrated cannabis.

At this lower price point, it's important to determine what qualities you are looking in your vape pen and oil cartridge. Cheaper batteries or oils will come at the expense of the quality of your session, so choose accordingly.

Pre-filled oil cartridges are widely available

Pre-filled oil cartridges/pods are available in all legal cannabis markets. They come in a wide variety of different cannabis oils, including distillate, live resin, live rosin, and more. Similarly, there is a vast array of cannabis strains available, including "cannabinoid-specific" and "full-spectrum" oils.

Pre-filled oil cartridges are also available for different vape pen batteries. The most common vape pen battery is the 510 thread, which works with cartridges that have 510 threading. Closed systems, like the PAX ERA, have a proprietary pod system that tends to be more curated.

Pre-filled oil cartridges/pods typically come in 0.5 gram and 1 gram sizes, though sometimes there are larger capacity options available. The smaller cartridges are great for trial, and the larger one are good for larger and longer sessions.

There are many varieties to discover and options to choose from, so ask your local dispensary for their favorites.

Vape pens offer simplicity and variety

Vape pens offer the ease of use and discretion found with other types of portable vaporizers, but with a stripped-down functionality that’s easy to pick up and use. Available in single-cannabinoid and full-spectrum varieties, consumers can find dozens of strains, terpene profiles, and cannabinoid-rich cartridges/pods to support the ideal vaporization experience. If the above sounds good to you, a vape pen with a cartridge pod system is likely a good choice.

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