Vaping has become an increasingly popular activity over the past decade. In fact, according to market research, the number of people who used vapes just for nicotine grew from seven million in 2011 to 41 million in 2018. There are numerous reasons for this: it has been part of the increase in marijuana and CBD use, it is thought to be a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, and it has been shown to have some medical benefits. If you have been thinking of getting into vaping, here’s a beginner’s guide to teach you the basics about what vapes are and how they work.

Vape Parts

While there are different types of vapes (more on that below), a vape at its most fundamental build will have the following parts:

  • Mouthpiece: where you put your mouth to breathe in the vapor
  • Cartridge/tank: the part that contains your nicotine or CBD oil, like delta 8
  • Heating element/coil: the part that heats the oil and turns it into vapor
  • Battery: to power the heating element, buttons, display, and other electrical components

Aside from those basics, each vape will also have a power button to turn it on or off. Some will have display elements if they are more sophisticated and contain different features and modes, but not all vapes do. Some will also have a charging port to plug in a USB cord. 

Types of Vapes

While there is a large variety of specific vapes to choose from in terms of size, design, and functionality, it is almost universally agreed that there are four general types of vapes

  • Vape Pen: about the size of a pen, small, discreet, not as much power or features as larger types
  • Cig-a-like: small, discreet, made to look like a cigarette, also lacks a lot of power or features
  • Pod Mod: low-wattage devices that are smaller, more user-friendly, and better for people new to vaping
  • Vape Mod: newer, more advanced type of vape that has a lot more power, technology, and functionality for making bigger clouds

Which type you prefer will likely depend on why you want to use it. If you’re new to vaping, vape mods are a nice and simple type to learn the basics. If you want something small, simple, and discreet but a bit better than vape mods, you can go with a vape pen or cig-a-like. If you want bigger vape clouds, more features, and more personalization options, go with a pod mod.

Types of Vape Juice

The last thing you need to know is that there are different kinds of vape “juice”, which is the oil that you put into the device that gets turned into vapor. 

  • Nicotine/e-juice: for people who want something slightly safer than cigarettes
  • THC oil: for people who want to consume marijuana but don’t like smoking joints
  • CBD oil: for people who want the medical benefits of marijuana but don’t want to get high

It’s also worth noting that you can get vapes that don’t use any oil or juice at all. There are some that will use marijuana or hemp flower instead of the processed oil, or you can get resin and other concentrated forms of cannabis to vape. The benefit of using flower over oil is that you are consuming cannabis in its natural form, so you use more of its natural chemical compounds for health reasons.

With this guide, you will have a better understanding of what vapes are and how they work. This can help you get started when you start really digging into vapes, vape juice, and what you want to use it for. If you want to vape for fun, you will likely want to pick a specific type of vape and juice compared to someone who wants to vape for health reasons.