Vape pens are the biggest technological development in weed usage, ever. While you may still not have one of your own, they’re practically impossible to avoid and for a good reason. They’re convenient tools, making the weed-smoking process more accessible and discreet.

While there are many who prefer the feel of smoking flower, cannabis vape pens don’t have to replace one method over the other; they can be used to round out your cannabis experience, in general.

Since the vaping industry blew up so quickly, it can be tough to know what these devices can do and which product works best for you. For the most part, vaporizers are intuitive and easy to use, with two main types of pens: herb and extract.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon via Unsplash

Herb vaporizers use cannabis flower and contain what is basically a small oven inside that heats up the cannabis and turns it into vape. These devices are generally reusable, bigger and more expensive. On the other hand, there’s extract vaporizers, which run on cannabis extracts. They’re very popular and can be reused, containing batteries, cartridges, and ports for charging.

Here are 5 things you should know if you’re considering purchasing a pen of your own:

Less smell and smoke

leading countries for cannabis investments predictions can go up in smoke
Photo by Samantha Hurley via Burst

RELATED: 3 Great Uses For Your Already Vaped Bud

When smoking weed, the paper goes through a combustion process that creates smoke and toxins associated with cancer and other illnesses. Vape pens heat the marijuana and create a vapor, which can still have an odor, but is much less thick and invasive than smoke. Vape pen vapor usually doesn’t cling to clothes and fabrics, and can be quickly dispersed in a room within minutes.

There are some issues with buying them online

Buyer Beware — Product Fraud Is Alive And Well In The Cannabis Industry
Photo by

While you can still purchase vape pens from online sources, you won’t find them in places like Amazon, which screens against all sorts of drug/tobacco paraphernalia. Your best bet when purchasing these types of products is to order directly from a company’s website or to buy them from your nearest dispensary, which will allow you to get a feel for them before committing to the purchase.

Vaping is healthier than smoking flower

legal marijuana users have stopped buying vapes following illness epidemic
Photo by HighGradeRoots/Getty Images

RELATED: 3 Differences Between Vaping Marijuana And Smoking It

A lot of people argue that vaping is healthier than smoking flower, primarily because you eliminate the combustion and smoke, which are the most harmful aspects associated with marijuana.

Still, there are some risks associated with vape pens, particularly with the chemicals that are in the devices — the side effects of which remain unknown and largely unresearched. It’s also important to purchase products from trusted sources, especially due to the strange vaping illness that appeared last year that affected hundreds of people.

Vape highs are different

Photo by Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance

While vaping marijuana is still vaping marijuana, the highs that vape pens produce are slightly different than the ones you’d get from a joint. If you’re not used to vaping, be sure to start off slow and to expect a stronger reaction. Vape pens usually pack a stronger hit than joints, especially if the cannabis comes from a concentrate.

They’re a good option when on the go

Here's What Experts Really Think About Air Travel This Spring
Photo by Rui Silvestre via Unsplash

RELATED: Men Who Vape Are More Likely To Have This Condition Than Non-Vapers

As we enter the holiday season and are likely to go on trips or to spend time with different people, a vape pen can make your experience better. Aside from being easily portable and the smartest option for your travels, you can use them discreetly amongst family and friends, and get high to make the whole ordeal less stressful. Happy holidays!