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How to Use a Vape Pen

20 years ago, if you claimed that someday you’d be able to use a flameless electronic device to get high whenever and wherever you want, you might have been written off as crazy.

Well, the future is here, and that concept? It’s not so crazy anymore. With the rising prevalence of vape pens in the cannabis space, getting high has never been more convenient, more discreet, or more travel-friendly. 

But with new technology comes new questions.

Fortunately, we can answer pretty much every question anyone could possibly have about vaping. Whether you already use a vape pen religiously, use a vape pen occasionally, or are a total newbie, read on to solidify your vaping expertise.


How Do Vape Pens Work?

As far as vaping THC and CBD go, vape pens fall into one of three categories.

Open vaping systems: A type of vape pen with a chamber you manually load concentrate into.  These were more common before the explosion of the recreational market, but their high margin of user error makes them an unpopular choice today.

Closed vaping systems: A type of vape pen consisting of a reusable battery with a detachable, pre-filled, single-use chamber (a cartridge). Typically, when people say “vape pen”, this is what they mean. These are by far the most popular kind of vapor system on the market today.

Disposable vaping systems: A type of vape pen consisting of a single use battery and a non-detachable, pre-filled, single use chamber. Disposable vape pens are good for out-of-town visitors or for trying vaping, but we don’t recommend them outside of times like those due to their environmental impact and limited strain selection.

There are a multitude of options for closed-system vaporizer batteries out there. However, when you’re hitting up your trusty Lux for a new oil cartridge, there’s really only one thing you need to know about yours: 

Is it proprietary, or 510-threaded?

Proprietary vape batteries are only compatible with cartridges made by the company who makes the device. These include models like the PAX Era and AiroPro. Often, these models don’t have threading. Instead of screwing on your cartrdige, it drops down into its designated slot in the battery. 

While having a proprietary system limits your cartridge selection, the streamlined design, guaranteed compatibility and reliability of these batteries makes that a sacrifice some are willing to make.

510-threaded vape batteries are universally compatible with all 510-threaded cartridges, regardless of the company that makes them. The Lux store vape pen battery, the Vuber Pulse, and the Vuber Pulse Touch are all 510-thread models. 

With a 510-thread battery, you have a lot more refill options, and you get the luxury of being able to purchase oil cartridges for your vape pen in any other legal state you travel to. (Not every proprietary vape company is in every legal state!) 

The only downside is their reliance on threading to connect the cartridge to the power source, which leads to a higher margin of malfunction than their proprietary counterparts. Luckily, Vuber and many other 510-thread battery companies recognize this, and provide a generous warranty.


How do you put together a vape pen?

Putting together a closed system vape pen is deceptively easy, but there are a few tips that will help you get the best results every single time. Read on to find out how you can put your pen together like a pro.


Step One

Whether you have a proprietary system or a 510-threaded battery, check the slot in your battery for debris before inserting any new cartridges. If needed, gently clean the area with a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol.

Step Two

Drop your pod into its slot if your battery is proprietary; if this is the case, you’re done! For a 510-threaded vape pen battery, gently insert the end of your cartridge into the threading, and lightly  twist. The cartridge should screw on straight, with little to no resistance.

Step Three

When the cartridge is on tightly and the logo on it (if applicable) lines up with the center-front of the battery, stop twisting. You’ll be able to turn it another half rotation or so, but don’t. Most vape pens won’t work if the cartridge is screwed too tight. 


How do you use a push button vape pen?

Once you’ve got your vape pen put together, it’s time to test out your work!

If your battery is inhalation-activated (meaning there’s no button on it),  you don’t need more instructions on using a vape pen. Just put your lips to the mouthpiece of your cartridge and inhale. If your battery has a button, using it gets a little bit more complex.


Step One

Ensure the battery is on by rapidly pressing the power button five times. If it blinks after you do this, congrats! Your battery is now on.

 If the button lights up each time you press it and doesn’t blink after the 5 clicks, that means it was the battery was on to begin with, and you just shut it off. You’ll need to press it another 5 times to turn it back on if that’s the case.

Step Two

Ensure the battery is on an appropriate heat setting for the cartridge. You’ll discover with experience which of your pen’s heat settings are right for you, but you never, ever want to use the maximum heat setting. 

To change the voltage settings on most push-button pens, press the button 3 times. The battery light will blink the associated color for the heat setting it’s on. (Check your vape battery instruction manual for your model’s specifications.) Press three more times to change it. Repeat if necessary.

Step Three

With your lips to the tip of the mouthpiece of the cartridge, draw breath in and hold down the power button simultaneously. When you stop drawing breath, stop pressing the button. 

If there’s resistance when you inhale and not much vapor, you may need to turn your voltage up so the concentrate liquid can warm up and become more viscous. This is especially true if you’re outside in cold weather.

How do you inhale vapor?

To paint a picture of  how you should inhale vapor, maybe it’s best to start with how you shouldn’t inhale it.

Basically, take everything you knew about inhaling weed smoke, and throw it out the window. You definitely want to avoid hitting your vape pen the way you would a bong or a joint.

Think about it: with smoking, there’s a flame or ember. The rate at which the flame or ember burns your flower is directly correlated to the amount of air that you’re pulling through it.

But with vaping, everything is electronic. Your pen will vaporize the oil at the same rate no matter how hard of a drag you take, because, unlike smoking, the airflow you provide isn’t bringing the cannabis material into contact with heat. Even in auto-draw vape pens, your breath is only functioning as the go-ahead. It isn’t a crucial part of producing the vapor.

With this in mind, think about hitting your vape pen the way you would sip hot coffee. You really only need enough airflow to move the vapor from the cartridge into your mouth.

 In fact, sucking on the mouthpiece with too much force can have unpleasant results: a mouthful of sticky concentrate, for starters.


Should you turn your vape pen off when you’re not using it?

Whether or not you should turn your vape pen off when you’re not using it really comes down to what kind of battery you have. Different vape pens have different features, and some don’t even have a way to turn them off.

With the PAX Era, AiroPro, or other inhalation-activated batteries, you can leave the power on if you don’t mind the battery life being shorter. Because there’s no button that starts the heating process, you can safely leave these on in your pocket or under your pillow.

With push-button batteries, though, you definitely need to turn it off when you’re not using it. There’s nothing worse than pulling out your vape pen to an empty cartridge because you had your pen in your back pocket and sat on the button!


Why does my cartridge taste bad?

Maybe this has happened to you: you go to hit your vape pen as per usual, and, next thing you know, you’ve got a mouthful of vapor that tastes like burnt popcorn. Your cartridge didn’t taste like that before, so why the sudden change in flavor?

This usually happens for two different reasons.

One likely source of sudden, unpleasant flavor when you’re vaping is your voltage setting. Depending on what kind of vape pen you have, you can change the temperature at which you vaporize the oil to suit your liking. If the flavor becomes “off”, try turning down the heat!

Having your pen on a lower heat setting may decrease the amount of vapor each pull produces, but your tastebuds will thank you.

The other culprit could be the frequency of your hits. When you puff on your vape pen a lot over a short period of time, the oil in the cartridge is held at a high temperature for much longer. This process can also throw off the flavor. Being patient will work wonders for the longevity of your cartridge.

Why is my vape not working?

There are a number of reasons why a vape pen wouldn’t be working, but most of them can be rectified with a little troubleshooting. 

First things first, make sure your battery is functioning as it should. Test it with a different cartridge, if you have one. If you don’t, try turning it on and off, cycling through its settings, etc. If there are no anomalies here, it’s likely the cartridge component is to blame.

One common problem is the cartridge being screwed on to the battery too tight. In most cases, the battery will let you know if that’s the issue by blinking an odd color (i.e., one not attributed to any heat settings). Even if there isn’t a blinking light, though, always start the troubleshooting process here. Unscrewing the cartridge a smidge fixes vape pen issues more than you would think.

You can also check the area where the cartridge connects to the battery for debris or concentrate residue. Clean the area with a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol, and try it again.

And if all else fails, remember: Lux has a 14-day exchange period for any defective vape products. Bring your cartridge back in with its packaging and receipt, and our staff will get you sorted out.

Still need guidance on how to use a vape pen? 

Our staff has the experience and knowledge to get you set up for success! Stop by one of our locations or give us a call anytime for assistance. 



Veronica White

Veronica White

Writer. Cannabis extraordinaire. Master mushroom forager. Reality TV connoisseur.