A common type of vaporizer, vape pens are handheld, discreet, and can fit in your pocket. They usually consist of a battery with a cartridge, or “cart,” that screws on top; the cart contains cannabis oil and a heating element.
How does a vape pen work?
Vape pens are popular because they are simple and easy to use. After the battery is charged, simply screw on a cartridge, turn on the battery, and press the button and inhale. With most vape pens you can adjust the temperature through a series of clicks of the power button.
People enjoy vape pens because vaporizing cannabis is thought to be less harsh than smoking or dabbing it. Vape pens are also small and discreet, and cannabis vapor is less detectable than smoke.
Are vape pens safe?
In the past, there have been health issues with vape pens bought in the illicit cannabis market. It is important to always buy vape cartridges and any cannabis product from a legal, licensed dispensary.
As of February 2020, the CDC reported 2,800 cases of EVALI (e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury), in which people were either hospitalized or died. EVALI cases were the result of people using illegal vape cartridges bought in the illicit cannabis market, which is unregulated. Cases appeared in all 50 states and people suffered from severe acute respiratory distress syndrome.
The culprit behind these illnesses was vitamin E acetate, an agent used to thicken cannabis oil in illicit vapes. Vitamin E is not approved for use in licensed, legal cannabis vape cartridges.