How to vape: A guide for getting the best experience

A look at how to vape properly using either e-liquid or a cannabis vaporizer.

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Vaping (Alex)

How to vape

So you want to know how to vape? You heard it was a better alternative to smoking, but it all just seems too complicated. Don’t give up. We’re here to help!

Much like the Matrix, you will need to experience vaping to truly understand it.

Before you can know “how to vape properly”, we must first ask ourselves “What will I be vaping?”

For simplicity, let’s break all vaping down into two categories e-juice (or e-liquid) and dry herb.

Vaping most often refers to the use of e-liquid, in an electronic cigarette, or larger devices known as personal vaporizers. In this form of vaping, the e-liquid can contains nicotine or not, it’s up to the user.

Dry herb vaping refers to using a vaporizer that is designed for dry herb, whether it’s a desktop unit or portable device. Dry herb is a general term that’s usually referring to cannabis, but it can be tobacco or other herbs.

There is another form of vaping using cannabis concentrates like oil, wax or dabs. For more information on how to vape THC concentrates, visit Best wax pens of 2017.

Part I - How to vape e-liquid

What you'll need

how to vape e-liquid vape pen

Before we can even talk about how to vape, let’s first cover all the things you are going to need. Remember, vaping can be as easy or as complex as you want it to be. We recommend starting out with a simple device, and then working your way up. Let’s take a look at the various options:

The cigalike – These are tiny devices that look like cigarettes, feel like cigarettes and even puff like them, however they are tiny electronic cigarettes that contain pre-filled e-juice and a heating coil contained in a small cartridge or “catomizer” as they’re called. These devices typically have no button and are activated by simply taking a drag.

Vape pen – Although still considered an e-cigarette, vape pens are bigger, more powerful, and have a longer battery life.Although they have vape pens with pre-filled tanks, many of them can be filled with your choice of e-liquid.

The pod mod – The next step up from a cigalike would be a new phenomenon that we have dubbed a pod mod. These vaporizers are usually small and lightweight, and utilize pods that contain e-liquid.

Starter kitStarter kits can come in all different shapes and sizes, but the one thing they all have in common is that they provide (just about) everything you’ll need to start vaping and can include anything from a vape pen, a pod mod, or a tank/mod combo.

There are devices called AIO’s, all-in-one devices which are perfect for beginners. It’s just a more inclusive kit.

The juice – Last but not least, you are gonna need e-juice – if you device is not a prefill. In addition to an endless variety of flavors, e-liquid comes in various nicotine strengths, indicated by a number in milligrams. The higher the number, the more nicotine it will contain.

The common nicotine strengths are 0, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 mg/mL. Occasionally you might see percentages. Those same strengths would be 0, 0.3, 0.6, 1.2, 1.8, and 2.4%.

Before we begin

What's an atomizer?

coil

Most tanks, and other vaping devices that are refillable, will require you to install a new coil head every week or so. These coil heads atomize the e-juice (turn it into vapor). Installing one is typically as simple as screwing it into your tank. The coil head contains a heating element (the coil) surrounded by wicking material (most often cotton). This is where the magic happens.

The next step is to fill the tank to its appropriate level and wait about 15 minutes to let the cotton soak up the juice. If you rush this, you may get a very nasty taste – the tastes of burning cotton. A little bit of initial patience will pay off. This will give you the longest lifespan and best performance out of your atomizer.

Warning: When you first take your vape out of the box it will have a fresh coil installed and no juice in the tank. Do not press the fire button, even for a second! It could instantly destroy the coil head.

Tip: Before doing anything else, detach the whole tank portion from the battery device and make sure the device is off, then put the tank back on. Then fill it. This will ensure you don’t accidentally send power to a dry coil.

How to vape e-liquid

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Unlock or turn on your device, and make sure it is at the lowest recommended setting, which is usually written on the coil head itself or the user manual. Do not dismiss the user manual!

Most devices can be turned on and off by simply pushing the fire button five times.

Place your lips on the mouthpiece first and take a drag while simultaneously pressing the fire button. Inhale and then quickly just let it out.

If you are not used to the sensation of vapor entering your lungs, it may take some getting used to, especially when transitioning from smoking. You might even cough or sneeze. This is completely normal. Just start on a lower power setting, and take smaller puffs at first.

Play around with the various airflow options and see which method of inhaling you prefer…

Types of inhales

how to vape mtl vs dl

Mouth to lung – This method of inhaling mimics that of a traditional cigarette. It’s a two-step process in which the vapor initially enters the mouth and then is inhaled into the lungs. Mouth to lung vaping, also called MTL, is typically done with lower wattages and smaller airflow settings.

Direct lung – This method of inhaling is a one-step process in which the vapor is inhaled directly into the lungs, like the technique used for smoking out of a waterpipe or bong. Contrary to MTL vaping, direct-lung inhales typically require higher wattages and wider airflow settings.

Cleaning and maintenance

CoilMaster-Ultra-Sonic-Cleaner

Be sure to remove the coil head before cleaning your device. You can put it back on when you are done, or replace it with a fresh one.

It is important to make sure that every part of your vape is clean, especially the mouthpiece. You can use an ultrasonic cleaner if you want, but a warm rinse does the trick. Unscrew your tank when cleaning, if it doesn’t come off, then just be careful not let any water get device’s battery.

Dry it or let it completely dry before using.

Part II - How to vape weed properly

What you'll need

pax-3-front-plus-grinder-cannabis

Here are some of the essentials that you will need for vaping cannabis.

Vaporizer – You are obviously going to need some kind of vaporizer device, whether it be a desktop or portable. At the end of the day, they ultimately do the same thing: vaporize weed.

Dry herb – You will obviously need dry herb, preferably some that is actually dry. Sticky herb doesn’t do so well in most portable vaporizers (though it’s fine for most desktops). In general, let your herb dry out a bit if it’s still too moist.

Grinder – When smoking cannabis, grinders have always been somewhat optional. In vaping, it is more of a necessity. It’s just not humanly possible to grind it fine enough without a grinder, and this is especially true with portable units.

Packing tools – Many vaporizers come with a small tool that is designed to pack the herb into the chamber of your device. It isn’t mandatory, but this little tool can make your life a lot easier.

Before we begin

pax-3-gold

Make sure your vaporizer is charged. Always use the charger that it came with.

You can turn your vaporizer on and set it to a low temperature while you are setting up if you are in a hurry and want it to preheat.

Make sure your weed is not too moist, and grind it up with a grinder, especially if you’re using a portable device.

Pack the herb chamber of your vaporizer using the packing tool. Make sure not to use too much, or too little.

Turn on your device and set your temperature. You can start low and work your way up.

Time to blaze (I mean vape)

When your vaporizer has reached the desired temperature, let it sit for an additional 15-30 seconds and you’ll get better draws throughout your session.

Gently inhale from the mouthpiece. Experiment with long, steady pulls or a bunch of small, quick ones. Eventually you’ll find out what works best for your device. Don’t expect the vapor to look anything like that of an e-cigarette. Dry herb vapes produce much thinner and smaller clouds.

Another important thing to know is that your vaporizer works like an oven, it’s constantly heating the dry herb. Wait a few seconds in between each puff to allow the vapor to form. Hold in your puff for as long as possible so that all of the THC vapor can be fully absorbed into your lungs.

Even if you know how to vape weed properly, you still might cough a little bit. That is completely normal. You will notice that it isn’t the same type of cough you get from smoking. Sometimes it can even make you sneeze, depending on the potency of the cannabis, believe it or not.

Conclusion

By now you should know how to vape properly, whether it be using electronic cigarettes, or a dry herb vaporizer. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the results you want at first. This whole vaping thing takes practice. Keep reading and learning and you’ll be an expert vaper in no time!

Still confused? Leave us a comment and we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions….

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Dave Kriegel
Dave hails from New York City and is committed to providing high quality reviews and the most up-to-date vaping news coverage. His goal is to save vapers time and money. He is passionate about keeping people off the cigarettes, which is how he ended up on our team. When Dave is not working for Vaping360, you can find him producing music or educating the youth of tomorrow.