Vaporizers & Vaping

Vape Guide: The Beginners Tutorial

Gabi Antunes

Jul 18, 2019

You probably have a lot of questions if you’re exploring the world of vaporization products. While the choices, processes, and variety available may seem complicated at first, it’s not as overwhelming as it seems. Vaping is a highly-customizable and personal experience, and the dozens, or even hundreds, of available options ensures that there is a vape suitable to support every preference. Whether you prioritize mobility and discretion, want a super-charged unit with myriad settings, or prefer a device that combines both these aspects, there is a choice for you. This tutorial will help acquaint you with vaping and get you started on your personal vaping journey.

What is vaping, and where does it come from?

In its most basic form, vaping involves the inhalation of vaporized dry herbs or concentrate cannabis materials. Generally, the term “vaping” refers to the use of electronic devices that heat cannabis materials to their boiling point, creating a vapor that’s inhaled through the device’s mouthpiece. Vaporizers are diverse in their designs and functionalities, making them well-suited to varying tastes, preferences, and end results. Finding the right vape for you involves understanding the kind of experience you’d like to have and the features you need to support it.

Modern-day vaporizers combine today’s technology with the millennia-old process of turning solid products into vapor. Ancient Egyptians are credited with the first recorded instance of vaping; this society used hot stones to vaporize dry herbs and oils in small saunas. This account comes to us from the Greek historian Herodotus, who recorded these occurrences in the 5th century B.C.E.

We may not throw cannabis onto hot rocks nowadays, but the core principle is still the same: materials are heated up until they vaporize, allowing the consumer to inhale the resulting vapor.

What are the different types of vapes?

Just like other consumer electronics on the market, vapes come in a dizzying array of options, from basic one-setting models to multi-function high-end units. Some are very simple, offering an intuitive experience that involves little to no learning curve, while others are complex, with state-of-the-art perks and customizable settings that allow consumers to precisely tailor their vape experience.

  1. Vape pens: Combine mobility and discretion into a compact device. They are named for their pen-like appearance, which consists of just a few simple components.
  2. Portable vaporizers: Also highly mobile, portable vapes provide increased power and functionality. Portable vaporizers vary widely in their use, with some units compatible with both dry herb and concentrates. Don’t let their small size fool you: portable vaporizers support a full suite of innovative features, including temperature control and profiles fine-tuned to support experiences such as increased vapor production or flavor preservation.
  3. Desktop vaporizers: The most powerful vaporizers on the market and, as such, need to be plugged in during use. These units produce a large amount of vapor, and many support a wide range of settings such as temperature control.

Which type of device is best, and how can you know which model is right for you? It all comes down to what you want out of your vaping experience. That can be a tough thing to identify when you’re just starting out. Let’s take a look at what makes a device the best for you.

What’s the best device for you?

When comparing devices, you may not have the same intricate understanding as a longtime vaper. While it can be hard to declare an objective “best” vape without this knowledge in hand, there are a few characteristics by which you can narrow down your choices. Here’s a look at some key features to examine when shopping for your first vape device.

  • Ease of use: When starting out, arguably the most important aspect of a device is user friendliness. A device with a low barrier to entry will benefit a new user, so look for something that is not overly complicated. A vape pen or a pre-filled pod system, such as the PAX Era, could be a good option as it requires little maintenance or experience with properly loading materials.
  • Pricing: It might be tempting to jump for the top shelf vape on your first purchase, especially if you’ve been considering getting into vaping for a while. However, the most expensive vape is not always the one that’s suited for you. Be sure to examine the features a vape offers in comparison with its price point when selecting.
  • Cannabis materials: Before you shop around, know which cannabis materials you’d like to vape. If you only plan on using dry herbs, for example, a portable vaporizer like the PAX 2 will give you all the functionality you need. If you think you may want to incorporate concentrates down the line, then you might want to look into a device that you can use with both materials, like the PAX 3.
  • Temperature range: Vapes vary in the temperature ranges they offer. As you gain experience vaping, you’ll better understand which temperatures you prefer to use. However, the vape you select to start should offer several temperature settings that allow you to experiment with how different temperatures impact your overall experience.
  • Company reputation: When considering a specific model, do some research on the company. You will benefit from a reputable company that constructs their vape from high-quality materials, offers strong customer support, and has the eye and ear of the consumer. Consider reviews of other vapers and visit company websites to gather more information.

With these factors in mind, selecting your first vape will become an easier process. Don’t be intimidated by the diverse market and all the accessories and attachments you might come across. You will learn more as you go, but these considerations are the major ones to keep in mind when starting out.

How much should you spend on a vape?

It can be tough to understand how much you should budget for a vape when buying your first device. Vapes range greatly in cost. Disposable vapes and reusable vape pens cost as little as $15 and under, while the most comprehensive and powerful units can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. If you’re getting into vaping, you’ll want a rechargeable and reusable device, but there’s no need to pay top dollar for a vaporizer you aren’t ready to use either.

For a simple portable vape, like the PAX Era, you can expect to spend around $30. If you want something a bit more customizable and with multiple applications, like the PAX 3, around $200 will get you started. You can always purchase attachments or accessories for your vape after the fact, but a starter kit at these price ranges will come with everything you need, including the device itself, a charger, an owner’s manual, and usually a few extras like screens and cleaning tools.

Welcome to the world of vaping

If you are an adult getting into vaping, you are embarking on a journey into an exciting world. A community of vapers who have come before you have all shared the same experience, and soon enough you will be well-acquainted with the finer points of vaping. There’s nothing like purchasing your first vape and enjoying your inaugural session, so congratulations on your first step. Vaping is an experience that continues to evolve and improve over time.