Vaping cannabis has become increasingly popular as more consumers turn to the plant for its medicinal benefits. This means that there are a lot of people new to weed trying to navigate the many vaping options out there, and when terms like atomizer are thrown into the mix, it can seem complicated.

Vaporizers should really be called atomizers because the atomizer is the pen’s heating element. It “atomizes” the flower or oil, or turns the cannabis product into tiny liquid droplets that can be inhaled. It is the most essential component of a vaporizer because, without it, there would be no vapor.

Using a vape pen is a simple and easy way to vape, even if it’s your first time. Vape pens were the natural progression of the original e-cigarette. Originally, they were used mostly for nicotine vaping, but today vape pens are primarily used with pre-filled THC oil and CBD vape cartridges. Due to their versatility, vape pens can be utilized with a variety of atomizers that allow you to vape various substances. This guide focuses on each type of vape pen and will explain how to use them properly for THC, CBD and nicotine.

The heating element in a vape pen that converts the cannabis e-liquid into the vapor that you inhale. The term “atomizer” may also be a broad reference to the unit that contains the heating e-coils and wick. There are different types of atomizers that vary in their levels of effectiveness, and that have different sets of pros and cons. Drip tip atomizers require making frequent drops of e-liquid (about 3 drops for every 3 puffs) which gives them a reputation of being thorough yet high maintenance.

My drip tip atomizer takes up a lot of my time, but it’s all worth it.

I just want a quick hit tonight, so I’m going to grab a disposable atomizer.

What is an atomizer?

vape atomizer

In a very general sense, atomizers are the part of a vape pen that generate the heat needed to create vapor. Within the context of cannabis culture, we’re talking specifically about a weed atomizer. 

From a technical perspective, there’s no real difference between a regular atomizer and a weed atomizer. But on a more specific level, Not surprisingly, a weed atomizer is defined by the obvious fact that it’s used to vaporize some form of cannabis product, as opposed to a more generic e-liquid. For that reason, you can think about atomizers for weed as components designed to function as a THC atomizer—that is, a weed atomizer will create vapor containing THC. That’s why a weed atomizer will help get you high, whereas an atomizer in a regular vape pen, using e-liquid without THC, won’t.

THC cartridges and weed vape pens are becoming increasingly popular. These devices use potent cannabis concentrates instead of e-liquid to deliver powerful highs. Sometimes referred to as a hash oil atomizer, the technology used in these products function the same as any other atomizer: it heats the cannabis oil in the cartridge to the point of vaporization.

What is a vape pen?

A vape pen is a power source that heats up a vape tank or cartridge to produce vapor. They’re rechargeable battery-powered devices that are pocket-sized and cylindrical – hence, the name “pen.” Vape pens first hit the e-cigarette scene around 2010 from a company called Janty, then shortly after were popularized by Joyetech.

This device revolutionized the vaporizer market by offering larger battery capacity and longer running times, as well as providing the user with the ability to swap atomizers or cartridges. Prior to vape pens, e-cigarettes were small self-contained units in the shape and size of a cigarette.

3 Different Types of Atomizers

Cartomizers are the cheapest and most common heating element out there. They are disposable, which means you can just replace them when you’re ready for a new flavor. They also offer the convenience of coming prefilled. However, you get what you pay for. Cartomizers are increasingly considered outdated. Refilling them is possible, but it’s a difficult process that could end up destroying the vape pen entirely if done incorrectly. And while they may be cheaper at first, replacing them over time can become an expensive habit.

Clearomizers are the recent and most expensive option. Clearomizers can hold the most oil in their clear tanks. Since the tanks are clear, it’s easy to see how much oil is left. Another benefit to using a clearomizer is that it offers multiple avenues for customization. They can be rebuilt, so users can determine the tank size, resistance level (power), and the wicking material. This makes them a good choice for veteran users who want more control over their vaping experience. However, clearomizers are also very easy to use which makes them a good option for beginners as well. Just add the oil to the tank and enjoy.   

Drip tip atomizers are the original atomizer. Users drip their cannabis oil directly to the heating element one drop at a time—no cartridge is used. Why would someone want to constantly have to drip oil in this way? The flavor profile. Dripping is the preferred method for consumers who want to enjoy the depth of their cannabis’ flavor. These atomizers are ideal for advanced users who invest in the most flavorful cannabis oils on the market.   

How Vaporizers Work and Why You Should Use One

vape atomizer

Rather than charring the flower or oil placed on its heating element, a vaporizer gets hot enough to turn the cannabis product into vapor but keeps the temperature low enough to avoid burning. This means that consumers are inhaling cannabinoids rather than a cocktail of toxic residue.        

Cannabis is medicine, but its most popular consumption method can have a deleterious effect on health. Combustion—setting cannabis on fire and then inhaling the ensuing smoke from a bowl, bong, or joint for example—has been the most prevalent way people looking for quick relief enjoy their pot.  That’s because the onset of effects happens within minutes of the cannabinoids being inhaled. But cannabinoids aren’t the only compounds transferred to the body through the smoke.

The process of combusting plant matter causes the molecules within the plants to break down and become free radicals. Free radical interactions can create a massive amount of new substances. One of these byproducts is carcinogenic toxins called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Significant concentrations of PAHs have been detected in the resin coating bowls. The protective properties of cannabinoids may mitigate the toxicity of these substances, but the ideal scenario is one excluding the inhalation of cancer-causing agents. In addition to that hazard, combustion also causes pulmonary irritation. Vaping avoids these issues.

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