Vaporizing has nearly replaced smoking when it comes to consumption in the 21st century. The most popular vapes today include vape mods for nicotine salts and e-liqueds, vape pens for cannabis concentrates, and classic dry herb vaporizers. Whether your customers are into nicotine, CBD, or THC- it’s likely they’d rather vape it than smoke it. Let’s review vaping, its benefits, and the different brands and tools you can stock to keep your customers coming back.

Vaporizer basics

  • No direct combustion or open flame
  • Uses indirect heat to vaporize material instead of burning it
  • Vaporizing essentially boils the active ingredient
  • The user inhales vapor not smoke
  • Vaporizers release fewer carcinogens than traditional smoking
  • Uses less material than smoking; requires on average 20-40% less plant matter or tobacco
  • Available in a variety of sizes and styles for different types of material

How do vaporizers work?

The interworking of nicotine, distillate, and dry herb vaporizers vary to fit the material, but the overall concept is the same: a conductive or convective heating method increases the temperature in a controlled chamber to the point of vaporization. Because the unit does not burn the material, there is no smoke created; only vapor. This aspect of the vaporizer makes it both safer than traditional smoking and ideal for those who appreciate being discreet. With smoke eliminated, the level of harmful carcinogens – the material believed to cause lung cancer and other health hazards – is nearly nonexistent, and there is much less odor.

Types of vaporizers

E-liquid Vapes
Many cigarette smokers turn to e-liquid vapes in an effort to quit nicotine by tapering down with juice that comes in controlled milligrams. Box mod kits, e-cigarette devices like JUUL, and single-use e-cigarettes are among the most popular devices. The styles vary based on the e-liquid or “juice”, as mod kits are manually filled with juice by the user, JUUL is compatible with pre-filled pods produced by the brand, and single-use devices come filled and ready.

Wax and Concentrate Vapes
Commonly referred to as ‘vape pens’, distillate or concentrate vapes feature 3 main parts: a heating element, a battery that powers it, and a cartridge full of distillate. State-licensed dispensaries carry all 3 components, sold separately or together, while smoke shops and head shops offer the “pen” (battery and heating element) sans cartridge. Mod or battery styles for oil cartridges vary in shape, size, and style.

Dry Herb Vapes
The breakout star in the world of vapes, dry herb vaporizers were the first to gain recognition among marijuana smokers. They work with help from a ceramic heating disk or chamber that heats the dry plant material to the point of vaporization. Dry herb vapes can be either handheld and portable meaning they come equipped with a rechargeable battery and are ready to hit the road or a desktop-style that requires access to an outlet. (More on that below…)

Desktop Vapes
Non-portable vapes fall under the blanketed category of ‘desktop vapes’ which include styles that work with both dry and wet cannabis material. The main distinction is that they must be near an outlet to supply power as desktop vapes do not include internal rechargeable batteries, thus they are not designed to be taken on the go. Popular brands include Volcano, Arizer, and Da Buddha.

Forced Air Vapes
Also known as a bag system, Forced Air Vapes are a style of desktop vapes that utilize a fan system to force vapor out of the device and into a page for inhalation. Fan systems deliver the vaporized materials without the need of your own breath to extract them. Examples include the Volcano, Air One, and Iolite.

Handheld Vapes
Handheld vapes can cater to both wet and dry materials. Its main characteristic is its small size and the ability to power on the go with help from an internal rechargeable battery.

Vaporizer accessories

  • Cartridge: Holding cell for herbs, oil, etc.
  • Whip: The plastic tubing through which vapor passes.
  • Charger: Device to charge the battery.
  • Bag: Used with old school standard cannabis vaporizers like the Volcano. Vapor fills the bag and is inhaled through a mouthpiece.
  • Battery: Power source for electric vaporizers.
  • Heating Chamber: The main source of heat.
  • Filter: Cleanses and cools vapor.
  • Dome: Provides a place for the vapor to accumulate.

What style is best for my shop?

Keep a few considerations in mind when choosing what types of vapes to stock for your shop: your customer base, your shop, and your goals. Name brand and American made vapes come with brand names that can get customers in the door while import vapes can offer high-profit margins that work with every customer’s budget. We recommend stocking various styles and types of vapes to cater to return customers and walk-ins. Vaping is definitely not a fleeting trend, so fostering a reputation for a solid vape selection will only increase your sales and foot traffic.