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Answers to Your Questions about Vape Pens

A vaporizer pen, or vape pen is a small, pocket-sized, pen-shaped device that is used to vaporize various types of material by means of a heating coil powered by a battery. The vapor produced by a vaporizer pen is then inhaled through a mouthpiece. Also called a vape pen or vapor pen, a vaporizer pen can be used to inhale vapors from many kinds of materials. Read on to learn more about what these devices are and how they work.

What Are the 3 Types of Vape Pens?

There are three varieties of vape pens:

  • A dry herb vaporizer pen holds dry herbs like medical marijuana flowers or dry tobacco.
  • A wax vaporizer pen holds waxy concentrates like hashish.
  • An oil vaporizer pen holds essential oils or e juice that contains nicotine or flavoring agents.

Some vaporizer pens are multifunctional, meaning that they can be used to vaporize more than one type of material.

How Is a Vaporizer Pen Different From Smoking?

Many people wonder how a dry herb vape pen compares to smoking marijuana, or how an oil vape pen compares to smoking a cigarette. To understand the answer, you need to know a bit about how vaporizer pens (as seen on and smoking each produce the vapor or smoke to be inhaled.

A cigarette or joint produces smoke via combustion or burning. Smoke contains small amounts of the concentrated active compounds in whatever is burning, but it also includes carbon, cancer-causing carcinogens, and many other impurities. As an example, marijuana smoke is 12 percent active chemicals, and 88 percent impurities.

An herbal vape pen, wax vape pen, or oil pen produces vapor either through conduction or convection. Conduction means that the heating element in the vape pen touches the material and transfers heat right to it. Convection means that the heating element warms the air, and that the air in turn passes through the material to warm it up. Whether it’s made by convection or conduction, vapor contains much higher concentrations of active chemicals, and much lower concentrations of impurities. Marijuana vapor from a wax pen or other vape pen is 95% active compounds.

Is a Vape Pen the Same as an Electronic Cigarette?

An electronic cigarette is basically the same as an oil vaporizer pen, except that it is typically strictly used to vape e juice or e liquids, or for vaping herbal essential oils. Dry herb and wax pens are vaporizers, but they are not the same as electronic cigarettes.

How Does a Vaporizer Pen Compare to Other Vaporizers?

There are two other types of vaporizers:

Desktop vaporizers are not portable like vaporizer pens because they require electricity from a wall outlet. Most desktop vapes are more powerful and more expensive than vaporizer pens.

Portable vaporizers do not use electricity like a desktop vaporizer, but most are larger than vaporizer pens. Some use butane or the flame from a lighter for power or heat rather than a battery. Portable vapes are often more expensive than vaporizer pens, and most have longer battery lives.


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