how to use a vape pen

A Beginner’s Guide to Vaping: What Is It and Why You Should Consider It

While vaping has been around for nearly half a century, over the last five years or so it’s become one of the most popular ways to enjoy dry herbs and concentrates.

Vaping is the heating of botanical material without burning, which releases active ingredients as an inhalable vapor rather than smoke.

This highly favored consumption method allows health-conscious consumers to safely inhale and absorb botanical compounds while protecting their lungs from exposure to harmful toxins.

Better yet – learning how to vape is relatively simple.

beginner’s guide to vaping


Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor produced by a heating device called a vaporizer. Vaporizers heat your favorite botanical herbs, concentrates, and e-juices to their respective boiling point, the temperature that causes them to boil and then transform into a pure vapor.

Once the active compounds of the herbs or concentrates are transformed into a vapor, they can be inhaled into the lungs and absorbed by the organ’s alveoli, tiny air sacs that send oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from your bloodstream. When you inhale the vapor, its compounds are transferred from the alveoli to the bloodstream, where they can interact with the body’s naturally occurring systems and elicit various effects.

Because vaporizers don’t heat the vaping materials to a temperature that causes combustion, they avoid producing smoke and its various dangerous chemicals and byproducts, providing a healthier and safer consumption method for pursuing the natural health properties of herbs and botanical concentrated oils.


Vaping has become the preferred method of consumption over recent years, offering an efficient and lung-friendly way to experience the natural biological effects of dry herbs and concentrates.

Adults of all ages find that vaping offers a level of:

  • Efficiency,
  • Convenience,
  • Portability,
  • Safety, and
  • Discreetness

… that’s often unmatched by other consumption methods.

Why use a Vaporizer?

why use a vaporizerLearning how to vape is easy, and health-conscious herb and concentrate enthusiasts appreciate that vaporizers produce a pure vapor, rather than harmful smoke. This eliminates dangerous chemicals and byproducts associated with burning herbs for safe inhalation.

Vaporizers also offer near-immediate effects compared to many other consumption methods because the botanical compounds avoid having to pass through the digestive tract and liver. Once the beneficial active compounds in the pure vapor reach your lungs, they are transferred very quickly to the bloodstream for more powerful and immediate effects.

For those looking to consume their herbs without attracting attention, vaporizers can offer discretion by creating clouds of vapor that dissipate in seconds and produce very little odor. This allows you to enjoy your botanicals without causing any lingering smoke or smells of ash that can impose on your family members or neighbors.

In addition, vaporizers come in many sizes to meet the needs of all types of lifestyles and budgets, offering consumers tabletop, handheld and portable options. Larger tabletop vaporizer units offer greater power and precision, while palm-sized handheld vaporizers and slim line vape pens are ideal for herb enthusiasts who are always on the go.

Why is Vaping Considered a Safer Inhalation Method Than Smoking?

Vaporizers offer a safer alternative for those looking to avoid the negative effects of smoking. While smoking burns botanical materials to produce carbon monoxide and other dangerous byproducts, vaporizers safely release the active compounds by heating your favorite dry herb, concentrates, and e-juices to a lower temperature.

Vaporizers are specifically designed for inhalation without harmful smoke toxins. By avoiding combustion, vaporizers are able to eliminate the creation of harmful by-products created by smoking, including:

  • Toxins
  • Carcinogens
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Tar
  • Ammonia
  • Particulate matter
  • Respiratory Irritants

Studies over the years have shown that vaporizing does produce fewer carcinogenic compounds. Researchers comparing vaping to smoking concluded that “vaporization… is a safe and effective mode of delivery,” after they found that vaporizers deliver the same compound potency to the bloodstream while producing reduced carbon monoxide and without causing adverse events. Others discovered that switching to a vaporizer from smoking caused “meaningful improvements in respiratory function” after only a month.


All you need to vape is your selected type of vaping material – such as dry herb, concentrates, or botanical e-juice – and a vaporizer.

While vaporizers can vary slightly in design, in general, they feature an electronic or battery powered heating unit that heats up your e-liquid, concentrate, or dry herb to produce a pure clean vapor.

This vapor is typically released from the device’s mouthpiece, which you can use to pull the compound-rich clouds into your lungs. Most vaping enthusiasts prefer to hold the vapor in the lungs for a moment before exhaling to breathe out any remaining cloud.

How Do Vaporizers Work?

A vaporizer heats up and turns botanical vaping material into a vapor for inhalation. While vaporizers can vary in design, in most cases they consist of:

  • A battery or power cord
  • An atomizer or cartomizer that holds the vaping material and houses a heating element
  • A mouthpiece

The heating elements of some vaporizers are separate from their heating chambers, which holds the botanical materials as they’re warmed up.

The vaporizer’s battery or power supply cord generates the power for the heating element, which heats your material to a temperature range beneath the point of combustion. Common boiling point temperatures used for vaping can range between 157°C – 220°C / 315°F – 428°F, but can vary depending on the material and the vaporizer you’re using.

Vaporizer devices use either convection or conduction heating to precisely and evenly vaporize your botanical vaping material to its vaporization point. Conduction heating vaporizers pass heat around your material to heat it up. Vaporizers with convection heating elements have their heat source directly touch the vaping material.

What results is a pure, clean, and nearly odorless vapor containing the beneficial compounds of your herbal material. The compound-rich vapor that is produced in the heating chamber or atomizer travels through a vapor pathway, where it can then be pulled into the lungs.

Depending on the type of vaporizer, the compound-rich vapor is accessible from a:

  • Direct-draw mouthpiece
  • Hose-like draw tube called a whip
  • Drawtube
  • Detachable balloon bag

What Materials can be Vaped?

While different vaporizers support the vaping of different materials, dry herb, waxy concentrates, and e-liquids are generally the more popular materials to be vaped. Some models of vaporizers are multi-compatible and can work with multiple types of botanical materials, while others are designed to be specifically compatible with one or the other.

Dry herb is dried and cured plant material. Most dry herb blends will need to be ground to a fine consistency before they’re placed inside a vaporizer’s heating chamber.

Concentrates are oils extracted from dry herb, and e-liquid (or e-juice) consists of botanical oil like CBD oil blended with some type of vegetable glycerin or propyglene glycol base and flavoring. Some concentrate and e-juice-style vaporizers can be filled with your favorite botanical concentrates and liquids, while others are designed to be used with pre-filled cartridges.

In general, vaping dry herb typically emphasizes flavor, while concentrates contain a greater concentration of beneficial compounds for more profound natural effects, and e-juices offer convenience. Beginners just learning how to vape often appreciate the simplicity of pre-filled cartridges containing botanical oils or e-juices.

How Do You Vape?

Vaping can be intimidating to some beginners, but learning how to vape is relatively simple once you become familiar with your vaporizer.

To vape, follow these steps:

  1. Plug in your vaporizer or fully charge the vaporizer battery. Vape pens may take several hours of charging before they’re ready for use.
  2. Insert your favorite dry herb, oil concentrate, or e-juice into the vaporizer chamber. If you are using a vape pen that uses pre-filled cartridges, screw your selected cartridge into the pen’s battery.
  3. Turn on your vaporizer so that the heating element can apply heat to the materials. Tabletop and handheld vaporizers typically have an on/off button that must be manually turned on and off, while vape pens feature a single button that you press to turn/stay on and release to turn off.
  4. Select your temperature, if applicable. More advanced vaporizer models offer temperature control, allowing you to select between a lower heat for smaller clouds and a higher temperature for bigger plumes.
  5. Draw the vapor from the vaporizer mouthpiece and inhale it into your lungs.
  6. Hold the vapor in your lungs for a few seconds and then exhale.
  7. Take a minute or two to see how you feel before taking another draw of vapor from your vaporizer.

Are There Disadvantages to Vaping?

Beginners to vaping are often concerned with potential downsides. Compared to other common consumption methods, vaping does have a few disadvantages that in some cases can be cumbersome.

  • Vaping can require some additional setup time compared to other methods. When vaping dry herb, for example, the material must first be ground into a fine consistency.
  • Depending on the model and type of vaporizer, it may take some time for the unit to heat up before it’s ready to go.
  • Vaporizers that aren’t designed to work with pre-filled cartridges will need to be cleaned after each use to maintain their performance.
  • Start-up costs of vaping can be a disadvantage in some cases. While vaping can save money in the long run because of its efficiency, initial costs of tabletop, handheld, and portable vaporizers can be a burden for many consumers.

what is vaping


Because of growing demand, health-conscious consumers can now select from portable, handheld, and desktop vaporizers. Each type of vaporizer caters to different needs, lifestyles, and budgets.

What are Tabletop Vaporizers?

Tabletop vaporizers plug into a power source and are ideal for at-home operation. Offering unparalleled functionality and precision, premium tabletop vaporizers are powered with convection heating and offer greater temperature control.

Tabletop vaporizers are generally either whip-style or forced-air, although some models offer both options. Whip-style vaporizers feature tubing that vapor is inhaled through. Forced-air models feature a fan that propels the vapor into a bag or balloon that is eventually detached and inhaled from.

Tabletop vaporizers offer versatility in that they are typically designed to work with both dry herb and concentrates.


  • Precise temperature control
  • Reliably produces best vapor
  • No need to charge battery

  • Expensive
  • Requires power outlet
  • Not portable

What are Handheld Vaporizers?

Designed to fit in the palm, handheld vaporizers are battery powered and meant for those who seek portability. Handheld vaporizers are slightly bigger than vape pens, and they typically feature temperature control and a chamber that can house dry herb or waxes.


  • Portable
  • Some work with herbs and concentrates
  • Some offer adjustable temperature control

  • Requires battery charging
  • More expensive than vape pens

What are Vape Pens?

Vape pens are the most popular type of vaporizer for those just learning how to vape. As slim as a writing utensil, vape pens offer optimal portability and discretion. Designed for e-juices and atomizer cartridges only, battery-powered vape pens are economical while offering a high-quality vaping experience. They are designed for refillable or pre-filled cartridges.


  • Simple to use
  • Ultimate portability
  • Inexpensive

  • Limited to e-juices or pre-filled atomizer cartridges
  • Typically no temperature control
  • Requires battery charging

Need some help figuring out which type of vaporizer fits your needs? Check out our Complete Vaporizer Buyer’s Guide.


Today, vaporizers come in different sizes and offer an array of features designed to cater to varying needs and lifestyles.

Medical Marijuana, Inc. offers a curated selection of the best portable, handheld, and desktop vaporizers.  Our assortment of carefully selected vaporizers is designed to help you find a high-quality vaporizer that aligns with your lifestyle, needs and price range.

Learn more about the benefits of using vaporizers, or visit our online store to view our curated offerings and find the perfect vaporizer for your needs.


  • November 19, 2017
  • Eve Ripley