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We’re here to talk about the 3 main problems that can come up when using a THC oil vape pen instead of a good ol’ j. We’ll also show you how to solve them, aka get the most use out of your pen.
THC oil vaping is, simply, vaping THC oil instead of dry herb. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, that’s because it is!
Instead of dry herb, THC oil is just a carrier oil (such as hemp oil) infused with THC that’s been extracted from marijuana flower. THC oil is typically more potent than flower, since it’s concentrated, so make sure you start small and work your way up!
Related article: THC and CBD, and the Entourage Effect!
THC oil has an extremely high THC content, but is also low on terpenes and other cannabinoids. Think of it like a (far more pleasant) version of drinking straight vodka versus a Smirnoff Ice. It gets the job done faster, but you lose the fun flavors and other benefits. *Please note that the difference is not as great as straight vodka versus a fun drink, but it’s still noticeable!*
THC oil is also different from CBD oil - CBD oil does NOT get you high! THC oil, however, will.
If you’re interested in dry herb vaping, I recommend checking out this article right here. For the sake of this article, however, I’ll just be discussing THC oil vaping.
Related article: Dry Herb Vaping vs THC oil vaping, a Complete Guide!
So, why vape THC oil? Well, there are a few good reasons:
It’s more discrete. THC oil pens are much more compact than a bowl + grinder, bong, joint, etc. It also doesn’t produce the same earthy aroma that smoking flower does. This makes it great if you don’t want to broadcast the fact that you’re getting high.
Less is more. Since THC oil is more concentrated, you need fewer hits from your pen to get high. This can also be more cost-effective, especially if you really like a good buzz.
It can reduce the inhalation of carcinogens. Smoking causes a chemical reaction that can include harmful compounds, so vaping instead can eliminate some of those carcinogens. It’s not perfect, but it is helpful in the long run if you like to ingest THC every day.
Side note: a THC oil high is different from the high you’d get from smoking flower. You lose the entourage effect that comes from smoking the different cannabinoids found in flower, since the oil strictly contains THC. In my experience, people prefer the highs that come from smoking flower because of the entourage effect, but THC oil highs are still enjoyable.
When it comes to THC oil vaping there are a couple of ways to do it. There are 2 main mechanisms:
A battery and changeable carts. These are great because you can switch out the cart for a different strain, and it ends up being more cost-effective because the battery (the expensive part) is a one-time purchase. However, this can come back to bite you if you get a shitty battery.
Disposable vape pens. These seem to be way more common, but you can’t change what you’re vaping. They’re also pricier than carts since you’re re-purchasing the actual mechanism for vaping, too.
Whether you prefer a battery/carts or a disposable pen is your call--I don’t judge, although I have my preferences. Both have their pros and cons, and both can suffer from the problems I’m about to discuss.
I suggest familiarizing yourself with your THC oil vape device before using it so that you can more easily solve some of the issues you might run into.
In my experience, there are 3 main issues that arise with pens and carts.
Clogging. By far the most common issue, clogging happens all the time. It’s extra-prevalent in low-quality pens/carts, so make sure you buy from a reputable source! This occurs when resin is formed by the pen, clogging it up (it’s really common if you chief your pen a lot, or if you keep it in a particularly hot or cold environment).
Burnt or “bad” flavors. Sometimes you can end up getting particularly try or off-tasting hits. This is a sign that there’s something wrong with the actual vaporizer device, called the atomizer.
Fluid leaking into the mouthpiece. This happens most with batteries where you can change the cart out, but it happens with disposable carts, too. No one wants to inhale liquid oil!
With these 3 common issues, there are a couple of ways to fix them. Let’s get into it!Unclogging your pen/cart. There are a few ways to do this, including the following:
Heat it up. You can do this by holding your vape about 6 inches from a hair dryer on low heat for 15-30 seconds. I just like to hold it between my thighs while I watch TV for 10-15 minutes, and that usually does the trick. Or, just hold it in your hand for a little bit.
Manual unclogging. The go-to for this is usually an unbent paperclip, which you stick into the mouthpiece and all the way down into the oil. This gets rid of any blockages in the mouthpiece but can damage the pen overall. You can also use a paperclip to fix connection issues with your cart.
Getting rid of burnt or “bad” flavors. To do this, check to make sure that your cart is attached properly/isn’t too tight (if you’re using a battery/cart combo). If you’re using a disposable pen, then make sure it’s charged fully and isn’t clogged. When it comes to disposable pens, there isn’t much of a way to fix this, so good luck!
Stop fluid from leaking into the mouthpiece. This is a somewhat easy fix--make sure your vape is stored upright and that the cart is attached properly, first and foremost. If this doesn’t work and you’re able to change the wattage of your pen, consider increasing it. This will get the actual vaporizer to heat the oil faster, aka actually vaporize it.
If you’ve tried everything to fix your vape and it still doesn’t work, I’d say to bring it back to the dispensary and ask them for help/a new product, especially if you’ve just purchased it. Chances are, it’s not you, and if it is, then your budtender should be knowledgeable enough to help you out!
And if that doesn’t work, then maybe switch to flower, my friend. It generally tastes better and produces a better high, anyways (not that I’m biased).
Vaping marijuana is a discrete, almost-odorless way to consume pot without the whole world knowing. It’s good for travel and is convenient, requiring less cleanup, too.
But like anything involving technology, there can be some hiccups. We hope that this article on how to solve the 3 main problems with pens/carts has been helpful! Stay happy, stay healthy, and stay toasty.