The first thing to understand about different vapes is that there are two main categories of vapes.
Nicotine vapes: handheld devices powered by lithium-ion batteries designed to mimic the sensation of smoking without combustion. Nicotine options are available from 0% up to 5%, with flavors ranging from tobacco to desserts to unflavored.
Cannabis/CBD vapes: portable battery-powered or larger desktop devices powered either by batteries or electrical power supplies. These devices are used with CBD, THC, or other botanicals, from dry herb to concentrates.
There are other substances that people vape. Like various herbs and vitamins; some daring souls choose to even vaporize coffee. Many of those products and activities are on the fringes, but the devices used are no different from nicotine or cannabis vapes—they’re just different substances that happen to “work” in the devices.
There’s some overlap between cannabis and nicotine vapes, like the classic vape pen, which functions in both realms. This may explain why it’s the most popular type of vape in existence.
While all nicotine vapes can be called “e-cigarettes”, that term is most commonly used for small devices that look similar to a cigarette in size and shape. But nicotine vapes don’t stop there.
These are the simplest vapes you’ll find. Open the pack, and they’re ready for immediate use. Once you’re finished, you dispose of the device and use another. These are ideal devices for travel or for the busiest among us without the time to tinker with little gadgets. Disposables work great with high nicotine in providing a satisfying hit, which makes them work well as vapes to quit smoking by providing a quick entry into vaping.
Pod vapes are some of the most practical vaping devices available. A pod vape is usually a two-piece device, similar to an e-cigarette, with one piece being the battery and the other a replaceable and often refillable pod. Pod vapes are usually affordable and very easy to use while performing at a higher level than most traditional e-cigarettes. They are also a perfect fit for nicotine salt e-liquid, making them a very efficient vape for nicotine delivery.
Box mod kits are larger and more powerful vapes. The extra size usually means better performance and longer battery life, usually in the form of external vape batteries. Most box mods come with settings and features such as variable wattage or even temperature control. The included tanks can be mouth to lung clearomizers or direct lung sub ohm tanks.
The most common configuration for a box mod starter kit would be a single-battery mod with variable wattage and temperature control capabilities, paired with a mid-range sub ohm tank.
Regulated squonk starter kits
These are the most advanced vapes on this list. Technically a sub-category of box mod starter kits, squonk setups have enough features to set them apart that are worthy of their own category. Squonkers provide a practical method for feeding your atomizer with e-liquid. A typical regulated squonk setup bundles a squonk capable box mod and a bottom-fed RDA. The mod houses a squeezable bottle that is connected to the atomizer deck through a shallow 510, practically functioning as an external tank section.
Due to the bottle occupying the space where a battery would have been placed, a single battery squonk mod will have roughly the same size with a dual-battery box mod. As a result, most squonk kits come in single battery configuration, but dual-battery squonkers are available for those who don’t mind the extra bulk.
Cannabis and CBD vapes
These vaporizers come in various forms. Similar to smoking accessories like bongs, bubblers, bowls, and dab rigs, cannabis and CBD vapes are plentiful. Still, when it comes down to it, there are two main types: desktops and portables. Portables can be small to hardly pocketable but still portable, with desktops needing to be parked at your session station.
Desktop vaporizers are typically the most efficient option for dry herb and wax. But if you’re on the go, there are solid portable and pen-style vapes that provide vaporization with all the benefits of the substance and none of the issues of smoke, either obnoxious odors or negative health effects from inhaling smoke.
CBD vape pens
A refillable CBD vape pen is any type of vape pen that can be filled with CBD e-juice. It usually has a tank that attaches to a rechargeable 510 thread battery. CBD pens come in a simple and convenient pen-style form factor and are generally smaller and lighter than the average mod and tank combo. Some of them are suitable for direct-lung vaping while others provide a tight mouth to lung draw.
What type of a vape should you buy?
This is a common question but rarely can it be answered for you. It will always be a personal choice. Most important are your needs, your budget, and your willingness to tinker with electronics. Furthermore, though it may seem shallow, you should really consider the look and size of the device. If a big bulky device doesn’t fit your lifestyle, you can effectively rule out half of your options. Of course, the same is true if your budget isn’t limited or you aren’t concerned with pocketability.
Bottom line: if you’re interested in vaping as an alternative to smoking, there’s a better chance than not there’s a perfect device for you! Hopefully, this guide brought you a few steps closer to finding it.