If you’re in the know, you’ve probably noticed that CBD vape pens are just about the hottest products in the CBD industry right now. Why are CBD pens so great? It’s because they’re convenient, highly portable, fast acting and incredibly discreet. There is simply no faster way to spread the relaxation of CBD throughout your entire body than by inhaling it.
Since you’re here, though, chances are that you already know those things. Maybe you’re even vaping CBD already – and if you are vaping CBD, it’s possible that using a vape pen each day has piqued your curiosity. How do CBD vape pens work? What’s actually happening when you puff on the device and the vapor enters your mouth? Why is it that no one ever bothers answering those questions? The problem is that some CBD sellers are assuming that you already understand vaping. We’ll explain why.
The Intersection of the Vaping and CBD Industries
The vaping and CBD industries intersect in many ways. One reason for the intersection is that we have studies showing that CBD you inhale is more readily absorbed by your body than CBD you consume orally – and if you’re going to create a CBD vape pen, there’s really no need to reinvent the wheel. There’s a wide world of vaping hardware out there already, and much of that hardware works just fine with CBD vape oil.
One unfortunate side effect of the intersection between the vaping and CBD industries, however, is the fact that some CBD sellers might assume that you already have a basic understanding of vaping if you’re shopping for a CBD pen. That assumption does new CBD users a bit of a disservice, though, because plenty of new users – yourself included, perhaps – have no previous vaping experience.
We believe it is time to correct that. In this guide, we’ll explain how CBD vape pens work in simple terms. When you’re done reading, you’ll understand CBD vaping as if you’ve been doing it for years.
[Also read: Self-Care Activities that Help You Reduce Stress]
Getting Started: The Three Key Components of a CBD Vape Pen
Let’s start at the most basic level. Every CBD vape pen has three basic components. Those components are:
- A battery that supplies power and allows you to control the device.
- A tank that holds the CBD vape oil and vaporizes it.
- CBD vape oil. This is the component that you consume when you vape.
Next, let’s discuss those components in greater detail.
How Does a CBD Vape Pen Battery Work?
A CBD vape pen uses heat to vaporize the vape oil, and you can’t generate that heat without battery power. The typical CBD vape pen battery is a lithium-ion battery that operates at 4.2 volts when it’s fully charged. Batteries manage that power in three different ways.
- Direct voltage output batteries operate at 4.2 volts when they’re fully charged. Their voltage and vapor production diminish as you use them.
- Regulated batteries still charge up to 4.2 volts, but they’re regulated to operate at a lower voltage – usually 3.7 volts – so their vapor production remains steady as you use them.
- Variable-voltage and variable-wattage batteries have boost/buck circuits that allow you to adjust their output power and dial in your ideal vape.
Some CBD vape pen batteries have airflow sensors and generate vapor automatically when you puff on them. Others have manual activation buttons that you need to hold while vaping.
How Does a CBD Vape Pen Tank Work?
A CBD vape pen tank has two main parts: the reservoir and the atomizer coil. The reservoir holds the CBD vape oil, and the atomizer coil heats the oil until it turns to vapor. A thick cotton or ceramic wick separates the reservoir from the atomizer coil and controls the flow of vape oil through the tank. Without the wick, the vape oil would flood the atomizer coil and leak out the bottom of the tank.
Here’s how the CBD vaping process works when you use your vape pen:
- When you inhale or press your device’s activation button, the atomizer coil vaporizes the e-liquid held in the tank’s cotton or ceramic wick.
- The vapor travels through the tank’s center air tube until it reaches your mouth.
- The tank’s wick absorbs more vape oil from the tank. When the wick is fully saturated, the tank is ready to use again. Normally, replenishing a vape tank’s wick takes only a few seconds.
The type of tank that you choose for CBD vaping – a tank with a cotton wick vs. a tank with a ceramic wick – affects the type of CBD vape oil that you can use. We’ll explain that next.
How Does CBD Vape Oil Work?
Raw hemp extract is an extremely potent and concentrated substance. It’s also very thick and tarry, so it isn’t usually appropriate for vaping or consumption on its own. To create a finished CBD product – whether it’s oral CBD drops or CBD vape oil – a CBD brand must dilute the raw hemp extract. Diluting the hemp extract creates a usable product with a consistent concentration of CBD from one bottle to the next.
Companies dilute hemp extract in two different ways.
- A company can dilute hemp extract with vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol to create CBD vape oil. CBD vape oil works with virtually all vaping hardware, including vape tanks with cotton wicks. This is the product you should usually buy for the ideal vaping experience.
- A company can dilute hemp extract with a food oil such as MCT oil or olive oil to create CBD drops for oral consumption. Although it is possible to vape oral CBD drops, you won’t have a great experience if you do so with a vape tank that has a cotton wick. That’s because cotton absorbs oil poorly. To vape oral CBD oil, you should use a tank with a ceramic wick.
The good news is that choosing the right CBD vape oil for your vape pen doesn’t actually require that much thought. If a CBD product has “vape” in the name, you can assume that it’s developed to work with nearly all vape hardware.