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A Quick Guide to Vaping Cannabis

Ashley Priest

by Ashley Priest

March 6, 2023 01:00 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
A Quick Guide to Vaping Cannabis

Vaping cannabis has increased in popularity over the last decade. It wasn’t long ago that many people weren’t familiar with vaping, but vaping cannabis is now one of the more popular consumption methods. Vape pens offer a quick, easy, and discreet way to consume cannabis. In addition to vaping concentrates like distillate, you can also vape cannabis flower using a dry herb vaporizer.

Let’s explore the world of cannabis vaping.

Common Vaping Terms

If you’re new to vaping cannabis, there are some standard terms you should become familiar with.

510 Threading

This is the type of screw thread that connects the battery and vape cartridge. 510 means there are 10 threads at 5 mm. This has become a universal standard with vaping devices allowing them to be interchanged. Imagine how annoying it would be if you had to buy a new battery for each brand of vape you tried. However, this is still sometimes the case, as some brands offer proprietary styles that only work with their specific battery.


Vape cartridges are commonly referred to as “carts.” They are cartridges pre-filled with cannabis concentrates or cannabis-infused oil. They are most commonly sold in half-gram or one-gram carts. Vape cartridges have 510 threading or similar, allowing them to attach to multiple battery styles. Cartridges are available in one-time-use disposables and refillable varieties.


Pods are similar to cartridges, except they are shaped differently and considered to be a little more discreet. Instead of having a cartridge of golden oil sticking off the top of your battery pods, discreetly insert pods into unique batteries specially made for them. Pods have the advantage of being less likely to break when dropped.

Botanical Terpenes

Cannabis vape that tastes like blueberries, cherries, bubble gum, or other sweet flavors has been infused with botanical/fruit terpenes. These flavors do occur naturally in cannabis but are very mild. Fruity-flavored cannabis vapes employ botanical and fruit terpenes. To give a cannabis vape an apple flavor, the terpene alpha-farnesene and others are used. A blueberry flavor comes from 8-cineole, 1-terpinol, linalool, cymene, and others.

Cannabis-Derived Terpenes

Cannabis-derived terpenes occur naturally in cannabis. They are not synthesized or pulled from other plants. For example, linalool, a popular terpene found in lavender, is very common in cannabis. However, there is a difference between vaping a terpene that comes from lavender and one that comes from cannabis. Most people prefer to vape cannabis in their cannabis vapes. There are dozens of terpenes found in cannabis that are found in other plants like pinene, caryophyllene, myrcene, and others.


Propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) are common ingredients in many budget-friendly cannabis vapes. These ingredients help give vapes their clouds and a sweet smooth feeling to the hits.

Solvent Extraction

Solvent extraction uses a chemical such as butane, propane, hexane, or another to extract cannabinoids from plant material. Solvent extraction requires a purge to remove unwanted impurities before the product is added to a vape cartridge.

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Solventless Extraction

Solventless extraction stays away from using chemicals in the extraction process. Instead, techniques such as heat, pressure, and ice water are used to extract cannabinoids from plant material.

Types of Vaping Devices and Cartridges

Now that we’ve gone over some basic terms, let’s look at the different types of vaping devices available at recreational and medical cannabis dispensaries.

THC Vape Carts

THC vape carts are available in indica, sativa, and hybrid varieties. You can also find a multitude of different styles of THC vape carts ranging from those made with things such as PG/VG to distillate, live rosin, live resin, and more. The one thing all THC vape carts have in common is they contain THC. The THC level in this type of vape cart will range from an average of 50% upwards of 90% or more.

CBD Vape Carts

CBD vape carts come in a variety of different flavors. These carts do not contain THC; therefore, they do not produce an intoxicating buzz or high. But instead, they contain a valuable cannabinoid known as cannabidiol that offers a plethora of therapeutic potential. CBD vape carts are available in full spectrum, broad spectrum, distillate, and isolate forms.

Distillate Vape Carts

Distillate vape carts contain only THC and CBD. All other terpenes and plant compounds, along with fats and acids, have been removed.

Live Resin Vape Carts

Live resin carts utilize hydrocarbon solvents like propane and butane that are used to strip cannabinoids from live or fresh uncured frozen cannabis.

Live Rosin Vape Carts

Live rosin vape carts are a solventless product produced using heat and pressure that are made from fresh raw cannabis.

Full Spectrum Vape Carts

Full-spectrum vape carts contain all cannabinoids, vitamins, minerals, terpenes, and amino acids found in cannabis.

Broad Spectrum Vape Carts

Broad-spectrum vape carts are THC-free. They contain all cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, and minerals minus THC.

Dry Herb Vaporizer

There is also a type of vaping that doesn’t involve a cart, pod, or oil: dry herb vaping. This is where cured cannabis is heated to just the point before combustion, effectively vaporizing the oils in the plant material to be inhaled orally. There are many different dry herb vaporizers available on the market today.

When it comes to determining what type of cannabis vape is right for you, the only way to know for sure is to try them all. Now that you have a better understanding of cannabis vapes, all that’s left to do is find which cannabis vape is right for you.

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