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Beginners to extract vaping often feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that they are expected to know. From the types of extracts that exist and devices appropriate for each type, all the way to the vaping temperature, different coils, and vape maintenance and cleaning.
We have to admit – we’re not surprised that most people don’t bother with all this information. There’s just too much of it out there and, often, what you read in one place completely contradicts what you’ve read somewhere else. It’s mind-boggling, right?
However, regardless of the vastness of this information, it’s important that you know at least the basics of vaping extracts. It will help you get the most out of your vape gear and concentrates; help you buy the equipment that you need, and save you money in the long run by teaching you how to properly take care of that equipment.
Here at The Kind Pen, we sell a lot of vape pens that are geared exclusively toward extract vaping. That’s the reason why we have decided to put together this easy-to-use, bite-sized beginner’s guide to extract and concentrate vaping.
In this guide, we will cover the following topics:
- What exactly is extract/concentrate vaping?
- What types of cannabis concentrates are there?
- What types of vaporizers are there & which one do you need?
- What are the different kinds of vaporizer coils & which kind is the best?
- What temperature should you be vaporizing on?
- How to clean your vaporizers so they last longer?
We will be covering all the topics pretty thoroughly so set aside some time or, better yet, bookmark this post so you can come back to it. That said, we have already answered some of these in separate blog posts. If that’s the case, we’ll give you a brief rundown of the subtopic and provide you with a link to a post where you can learn more.
Ready to start your extract vaping journey the right way? Let’s dive in!
What is Extract/Concentrate Vaping in the First Place?
While we often use the terms interchangeably, it’s important to know that extracts and concentrates are not the same things. They can have the same meaning in the vaping community but precision is important so let’s get that out of the way first:
- Extracts – An extract is a substance made by extracting a part of a raw material, often by using a solvent such as ethanol or water. Extracts may be sold as tinctures, absolutes or in powder form.
- Concentrates – A concentrate is a form of substance which has had the majority of its base component (in the case of a liquid: the solvent) removed.
Basically, concentrates are extracts that have been made more potent. That said, not all vaping extracts are concentrates – you can vape on essential oils, as well as cannabis-infused oils. Concentrates will often be more solid and require melting before use.
Concentrate and extract vaping is the process of heating up a substance in a specialized device. As it heats up, the substance in question evaporates – the vapor is then inhaled into the lungs where it manifests its beneficial (or recreational) properties. Most people vape on cannabis concentrates (for therapeutic purposes) but some vape on different essential oils in an effort to de-stress, calm down, or concentrate.
Common Types of Cannabis Concentrates
There are a lot of different types of extracts you can vape on – last time we counted, we managed to come up with 14 different cannabis concentrates (follow the link for a detailed guide on each one of them).
That said, they all (broadly) fall into two distinct categories:
- Cannabis oil concentrates – cannabis oils are runny and of medium potency (wax is much potent). They can vary in color and viscosity, and are usually found pre-filled in vape pens. Oils are a perfect solution for casual vapers who want to be able to vape on the go but they can get messy.
- Cannabis wax concentrates – wax extracts are mostly solid or semi-solid, and won’t be runny as oils, which means less mess and less cleanup after vaping. Depending on the viscosity, they are different subtypes – rosin, budder, shatter, sap, resin, and others.
Depending on the type of extract you want to vaporize, you’re going to have to find an appropriate device to do it. Below we’ll go through a list of such devices, their pros and cons, and how much of an investment they are.
Types of Vaporizing Devices for Concentrate/Extract Vaping
Do you want to try vaping on wax concentrates? Or are you more of an oil kind of a person? Whatever you choose, there are several different vaping devices that you can use, especially if you want to try out waxes. Before you run off and spend your money on something that won’t satisfy your needs, check out this easy guide on different types of vaporizing devices.
- Pre-filled concentrate vapes – these vape devices come with pre-filled pods. They are exclusively filled with oils. They can contain essential oils but are mostly filled with THC or CBD-infused oils. A good example of such pens are pens produced by our sister company – The Kind Kart.
- Vape pens with a tank – portable, handheld vape pens that have a glass tank that can be detached. This tank can be filled with different kinds of vape oils. A prime example of a tank vape pen is our brand new Pure pen that you can get at a great price in our webshop.
- Vape pens with a chamber – these portable vape pens don’t have a tank. Instead, they come with a chamber and heating rods that are designed to heat up wax-like concentrates. A good example of a chamber vape pen for concentrates is our Dream pen, available in a variety of different colors.
- Concentrate straws – these straws are also sometimes called dab straws or honey straws, and work by inserting one end into evaporation wax and inhaling through the other. They are portable but because they are very hands on, they are not best for use outside your home.
- E-nails – these are high-end dab vaporizers that can reach much higher temperatures than regular vape pens. They usually include a metal nail used to heat up the concentrate, and a small apparatus with a water bubbler that serves to cool down the vapor without it losing its potency.
The type of vaporizer that you use will very much depend on the concentrate of your choice. It will also depend on how and when you wish to vaporize – use straws and e-nails only if you’re not concerned about discretion, and you are vaping in the comfort of your own home. If you want to vape more discreetly, we suggest going for a vape pen.
Different Types of Vaporizer Coils
Most of these vape pens need some sort of a heating coil that heats up the material and vaporizes it. As the industry evolved so did the materials used to make those coils. Now, every coil will do its job of heating up the concentrate. However, some will do it better, and there are some differences in taste and vapor production between different coils. Here’s a list of the most common ones, with their pros and cons discussed.
Ceramic vape coils – ceramic coils are preferred by people who like to enjoy the pure flavor of their concentrates because they don’t affect it at all. However, there are some health concerns with ceramic coils, and they also do not create all that much vapor.
- Ceramic coil pros – pure flavor, smooth vaping experience, no dry hits, simple to use and load, long heat retention.
- Ceramic coil cons – some health concerns, vapor production is not the best, take time to heat up.
Titanium/quartz rod coils – This is actually a coil, specifically, it is a metal—usually titanium—coiled around a small quartz rod. Some vape pens use coilless rods, but most use the coiled variety. The number of rods in each vape pen varies, but two is typically the default. Some vape pens use more, others less, but you can always expect that the more coils, the higher the maximum temperature, and the faster the heat time.
- Titanium/quartz rod coil pros – really dense cloud creation, very fast heat up time, pure flavor (not as pure as ceramic).
- Titanium/quartz rod coil cons – the coil cools off fast, the flavor can be harsh, loading and use can be difficult for beginners, maintenance and cleaning are a bit more difficult.
Quartz bowls – these are, in fact, not coils, but bowls made from quartz. Similar to ceramic bowls, these are loaded with the concentrate material, and then heat it up to the desired temperature. Quartz bowls are also very easy to load and to maintain. They do have the same low heat retention as quartz rod coils of course, so if you are interested in a vape pen with a quartz bowl, make sure that it has a good battery.
- Quartz bowl pros – easy to fill up and use, fast heating time, great pure flavor, lots of vapor production, easy to clean up.
- Quartz bowl cons – can be fragile so use carefully, heat retention is not that good.
The Optimal Temperature for Concentrate Vaporization
When vaping on concentrates such as wax and oil, it’s important to keep an eye on the vaping temperature. The reason why you should pay attention to this is two-fold:
- You want to make sure that the vapor produced can actually be safely inhaled, and;
- Different components in wax (THC and CBD) evaporate at different temperatures.
Since different compounds such as THC, CBD, and terpenes, evaporate at different temperatures, the overall feeling you get when vaping on high is not the same to the feeling that you get when vaping on low temperatures. Here’s how it’s going to be different in both cases.
- Vaping on high temperature – when it comes to cannabis concentrate vaping, high temperature is everything above 400°F. At that temperature, components in oils and wax evaporate quickly, and some are even destroyed in the process. This is not advisable unless you’re looking for an intense high and you want to get there quickly (which can be advisable for managing acute pain). The downsides of this approach far outweigh the benefits – if you’re vaping on high temperature, you can expect a sore throat, very hot vapor, and lower therapeutic benefits.
- Vaping on optimal temperature – an optimal temperature for wax and oils is between 350°F to 375°F. Here, all the cannabinoids and terpenes are effectively transformed into their vapor state without losing much of their potency and benefits. While the high and the vapor production are not as intense, vaping on lower temperatures has its benefits – better flavor, smoother vaping experience, and enhanced therapeutic properties.
How to Clean Your Concentrate Vaporizers?
Before we sign off, we want to say a couple of words about vaporizer maintenance. It’s something that you should really think about – after all, you’ve spent money on a device that you need? Do you want it to stop working because you didn’t take care of it?
We did a full post on vaporizer cleaning and maintenance here but we’ll repeat the key things you need to think about when cleaning:
- Clean the outside of the device with rubbing alcohol and Q-tips. Make sure not to get anything electrical super wet because it might stop working.
- Heat up the coils and the chamber before cleaning them – this will make the residue runny and easier to clean. Again, use Q-tips soaked in alcohol to carefully clean the chamber and the coil.
- For stubborn residue, detach the chamber and the coil and soak it in alcohol. Leave it in for an hour or so before repeating the Q-tip cleaning process.
- Blow out excess water and towel dry all the pieces. Before assembling your vaporizer, you should leave it to dry out completely for several hours.
- Repeat this process at least once a week, and your vaporizer will function great, deliver great flavor, and won’t stop working unexpectedly.
Are You Ready to Start Vaping on Concentrates?
Now that you know all there is to know about concentrate vaping, it’s time to put it into practice! Browse through the Kind Pen’s selection of great concentrate vape pens and find the one that works for you.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us over Facebook or via email. Our support staff is always happy to help out beginner vapers like you!