The ways in which we consume cannabis have grown by leaps and bounds. Research and development into smoking and vaping methods exploded since the advent of legal adult-use cannabis a decade ago.
By far one of the biggest achievements in weed consumption was the introduction of the cannabis vape pen. Convenient, discreet, and potent, these slick devices allow people to get all the benefits of smoking cannabis quickly. The hit also tends to be smoother than a joint or bowl.
By 2031, the value of the weed vape market is expected to reach a staggering $26 billion. The number of carts, pods, and weed vape pens on the market is seemingly endless, leaving many people wondering: how do you choose the best vape pen for cannabis?
A brief history of vape pens for cannabis
Electronic vaporizers were first invented in 2003 by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik, who said the idea initially came to him in a dream. By 2007, the first vapes hit the US market in the tobacco industry. Soon enough, cannabis producers were filling vapes with cannabis concentrates like live resin and live rosin instead of e-liquid and the vape pen category skyrocketed.
Vape carts and pens have since become a dominating force in the cannabis market, second only to flower in sales. Cartridges make up the lion’s share of sales in the category, followed by pre-filled all-in-one disposable weed pens.
How do vape pens work?
Here’s a quick overview of how weed pens, carts, and pods function: oil inside of a glass or ceramic chamber is heated via an atomizer attached to a battery. When activated, the heated oil turns to vapor, which is then inhaled through an attached mouthpiece.
Once a pen, cart, or pod is empty, it is discarded and replaced. Batteries can be charged, typically via a USB cord.
Why weed pens are so popular
Weed vape pens have gained major traction in the marijuana market for a plethora of reasons. From their sleek design to the way they fly under the radar, people across the board simply adore them. Here are a few of the reasons why these cannabis products are so revered:
Vape pens easy to use
People love weed pens because they make consumption super simple. No need to grind up bud, roll a joint, or clean a bowl. You can literally press a button, inhale, and you’re good to go.
Carts, pods, and pens are mess-free
Smoking flower can often be a dirty affair. Between the shake created when you use a grinder to the ash that falls off a joint or a cashed bowl, there are so many opportunities to make a mess. Vape pens keep all the material inside the device, and empty pens go right into the trash. No muss, no fuss.
Vapes are extremely discreet
Cannabis smoke can be pungent and tends to stick around—sometimes for hours after the joint is done. The vapor that comes out of carts, pods, and pens tends to dissipate quickly. And while it can have a bit of that familiar skunky aroma, it’s not nearly as noticeable as the odor leftover from a bowl or bong.
Vapes are also handheld, often able to be concealed in the palm of your hand. They can fit in a pocket or small purse (without the loud scent), making them as portable as they are discreet.
Vaping offers a smoother hit
Not everyone loves inhaling cannabis smoke, finding it difficult to do so without coughing. Vape pens allow for a smooth and rich draw—but they can sometimes be deceiving. For newbies, it’s advised to count to two while inhaling, then breathe out.
Pods, pens, and carts are more potent
Many people swear by vapes because they pack quite the punch in a small package. Cannabis oil is far more potent than regular cannabis flower since it’s far more concentrated. While bud usually has an average of 25-35% THC, the oil in vapes can have anywhere from 60-95% THC! Talk about a one-hit wonder.
Vape pens, carts, and pods: what’s the difference?
With so many unique vaporizer products on the market, it can be difficult to know the difference between pods, pens, and carts. It’s important to note that these terms are often interchangeable, so if you’re still confused after reading this, don’t be afraid to speak to your friendly neighborhood budtender about the options at the dispensary.
Weed vape pen
A vape pen typically refers to a disposable all-in-one vaporizer. The battery, atomizer, and oil chamber are all housed inside one piece of hardware. It may resemble a small ink pen or electronic cigarette.
These vape pens usually do not need to be charged, and simply stop working when they are depleted.
Weed vape cart
A vape cartridge is usually a cylinder-shaped tank that screws onto a separate battery using what’s called a 510-thread. The battery is usually activated via a button, but sometimes a simple inhale can make the cart function.
Often, the temperature or power can be changed via the button or a dial on the bottom of the battery. The battery is charged using a weed pen charger cord or a 510-thread USB.
Weed vape pod
Vape pods differ from carts in that they do not use a 510-thread. They are usually shaped like squares or half circles, and lock into their battery with a magnet. They typically use a proprietary battery that can be purchased alongside the pod.
Pod systems usually activate via inhaling, not a button. Pod batteries charge via USB, offering a sleek design. If carts are the Android of vapes, pods are the Apple.
The best vape pens out there
Now that you know the A to Zs of vaporizers, it’s time to break down the best vape pens. Here are some of our favorites, but first, what attributes give these vapes the edge over the competition?
What makes a vape pen the best
There are a few clues that indicate a weed pen, pod, or cart is a cut above the rest. The best weed vape will have a smooth draw, will not clog or leak, and will be built to last. Quality vape pens will stay intact if dropped and the battery will hold a charge for a long amount of time.
The brand will be legitimate, licensed, and will offer a variety of SKUs meant to satisfy any consumer.
We may be biased, but STIIIZY has a reputation for being top-shelf for a reason. There are a variety of pods to choose from, including live resin, solventless rosin, and terpene pods. The LIIIL disposable vapes harness STIIIZY’s legendary technology in an all-in-one system.
The iconic Stiiizy battery is powerful, durable, and incredibly sleek. The Stiiizy power case allows you to charge your device lighting fast in a secure and cutting-edge fashion.
Pioneers in the science of liquid diamonds, GoldDrop makes quality live resin and distillate carts and disposable pens. A legacy brand, the Northern California vape darlings are revered for their innovative products and collabs with popular flower brands like Fig Farms.
These bright orange disposable vapes are among the only rechargeable all-in-one vape pens on the market. Dabwoods makes live resin and distillate vaporizers, are affordable, and the matte finish on the hardware makes them especially intriguing.
Chemistry partners with craft cultivators to bring unique strains to the vape cartridge market. Many of their products contain cannabinoid blends like CBD and THC-V, appealing to therapeutic consumers. Full-spectrum live resin is used in their 510-thread carts resulting in an especially terp-rich experience.
With so many products on the market, it may be hard to decide what the best vape pens for cannabis are. Fortunately, there are plenty of quality pens, pods, and carts out there appealing to a wider consumer base than ever.
And remember to only purchase your vapes from a licensed dispensary in order to get a safe and quality vape.
At STIIIZY, we only use premium flower for all of our cannabis products including our proprietary pods and battery system.