If you’re new to vaping, all of the seemingly tiny differences between the various vape pens you can buy can often be overwhelming.
The vape itself can be equally mystical. What are the different parts? How do you care for them? How does it really work?
In this article, we’ll cover all of the basics about arguably the most important component of your marijuana vape pen – the battery.
Armed with this information, you’ll be all set to keep your vape providing the relief you need long into the future.
What is a vape pen?
A vape pen – or vaporizer – is a device which is designed to vaporize a small quantity of cannabis concentrate (or sometimes nicotine) so that it can be inhaled. A vape pen consists of several components:
- The cartridge – where the cannabis concentrate, usually an oil, is stored.
- The heating element – often referred to as an atomizer or cartomizer depending on type, which heats the oil to the point it becomes a vapor.
- The mouthpiece – where the user places their mouth to inhale.
- The battery – which provides power for the device to work.
Why use a vape pen?
There are many different types of vaporizers. But the most common type available these days – the refillable vape pen – are prized because they are:
- Highly discreet – vape pens are small and light. They got the name “pen” because they resemble that innocuous writing implement and they look much the same as one. You can carry them around without hassle and they don’t produce any smoke or aroma when used.
- No smoking – with no fire or flame, the vaporization process feels healthier than smoking.
- Easy to use – this more than any other factor has driven the humble vape pen to its current mass popularity. Most vape pens these days come with purpose-designed components which fit together easily, pre-filled cartridges which simply snap into place and batteries that can be easily recharged for multiple uses.
Cannabis vape battery specifications
How can you tell if you’re buying the right vape pen cartridge battery? Well, there are a few things you can look for:
1) Milliampere-hour rating
The most important number in a battery’s specification is its milliampere-hour (mAh) rating. This tells you how long a battery will last for. The higher the mAh rating, the longer it will be before you need to charge it up.
Even the smallest 300 or 400 mAh battery should last you for at least a day’s standard use. A 300 mAh battery can provide you with 300 milliamps for one hour or 100 milliamps for three hours, for example. That’s quite a lot of vaping.
The thing to be aware of is that while a high mAh power is a good capability to have in a battery, it usually results in a lower capacity. Equally, a lower power battery may have a higher capacity.
Most batteries are also rated by voltage, usually from 3.3V to 4.8V for most 510 threaded batteries. When you’re looking for batteries for oil cartridges, this is ideal. However, if you have a ceramic or wickless cartridge, you will need something with a bit more power.
In general, voltage means:
- The more volts your battery produces, the hotter your heating element will get.
- The hotter your heating element gets, the more vapor is produced.
- There is an overheating danger when using a high voltage battery for extended periods if your device is not designed for it.
How long does a THC vape pen battery last?
How long a cartridge battery pen will last will depend on its specifications and how much you use it. A battery on the small end of the spectrum – like the 300 mAh battery in our example above – might last for 200-300 puffs.
The larger the battery – and these can get into the many thousands of milliampere-hours these days – the longer the battery will last before it needs to be recharged.
This will be affected by the ohm rating of your cartomizer or atomizer (the part of the device which your battery is powering). A lower voltage battery will last for longer when powering a given cartomizer because of the lower amperage (you can work this out if you really need to by dividing the number of volts your battery generates by the number of ohms).
Remember too, of course, that the length of time your battery lasts will depend heavily on your usage. If your friend has exactly the same vape, but they use it heavily while you do so only casually, it may appear that your battery lasts far longer.
In reality, they both do the same amount of work. But the higher usage simply makes your heavy-using friend’s battery appear to last for a shorter time.
How to make your cannabis vape pen battery last longer
With the importance of how much you use your vape in mind, there are still a number of things you can do to make your cannabis vape pen battery last longer. Chief among them:
1) Don’t leave your battery on when not in use
It sounds obvious, but as long as your vape is powered on, it is using power.
Some models will turn themselves off automatically after a set period of time. However, even devices with this feature can still stay powered on for 10 or 20 minutes of unnecessary power wastage before they shut themselves down.
Always turn your vape off after you are finished using it.
2) Don’t let your battery die completely
If you use your battery to exhaustion every time, you are maximizing the time it takes to recharge. This is because it takes more energy to charge a battery from zero than it does to add power to a battery which still has some juice left in it.
If your battery has below half energy remaining, there’s no harm in charging it. In fact, it’s good practice to do so.
If your vape pen doesn’t have a power indicator on it, you’ll still soon come to know how long it lasts for. When you think you’ve used over half of it, plug it in if possible.
3) Don’t charge your battery overnight
Overcharging a battery can lead to damage. Some chargers will shut off when the battery is fully charged. Most won’t though. This means leaving your battery plugged in to charge overnight may damage it over time.
4) Don’t let your battery lie idle
Just like old automobile batteries eventually lose power if they’re left to sit for a long period of time, the battery in your vape pen shouldn’t be left idle for long periods.
Keep that battery as efficient as possible by ensuring you turn it on at least one per day.
5) Don’t let your battery get dirty
On top of the general dirt which might build up over time, any spilled oil or other mishaps around your battery will not be good for it.
Make sure that your battery isn’t needing to work harder than it needs to, as it tries to power your vape through a layer of dirt and grime.
Give your battery a little TLC every once in a while.
How long does a THC pen battery take to charge?
This will always depend on how big a battery you have and what type it is. Depending on these factors, it could take as much as several hours or as little as half an hour for your battery to return to full charge. As noted above, it will also take longer if your battery has been allowed to run down completely.
The act of charging your vape pen battery is simple:
- Most vape pens have internal batteries which look like long, slim tubes. These are usually plugged directly into the heating element (the cartomizer or atomizer) and can be popped free for charging.
- Others may have external batteries, though these look like any standard batteries and will be easy to spot.
Simply unplug your battery from your device and plug it into the – usually supplied – charger. If your vape pen or battery didn’t come with a charger, make sure you use one which is rated for the correct voltage if you don’t want to run the risk of singed eyebrows.
Most models of vape pens are equipped with LED indicator lights to display their battery status. Others have detailed battery gauges.
If you find that your battery needs charging a lot or doesn’t hold its charge – and you don’t use it very frequently – it may be time for you to consider buying a replacement.
How to choose the right THC vape battery
Most manufacturers produce their own batteries for use with the vapes they supply. K.I.N.D. vape pen batteries, for instance, are light, long-lasting, come with their own charger and are purpose-designed for use with K.I.N.D. vapes. This means there’s never a risk of them not being compatible with your device.
But if you’re buying a new vape pen battery in general, it’s a good idea to bear in mind:
- Battery type – you will almost certainly want to buy a Lithium-Ion battery. Used in everything from laptops to tablets, Li-Ion batteries have a high energy density. They’re pretty much standard these days, but it’s still something to watch for.
- Casing type – internal batteries for vape pens are built inside a tube of material. Usually metal, this needs to be both tough as well as resistant to weathering and corrosion.
- Safety features – a K.I.N.D. device has over-voltage protection, over-current protection, over-charge protection and short-circuit protection built in. You should always make sure that your charger and devices have this sort of safety protection.
- Balanced charging and using time – how long will it take a really big battery to charge? Longer than is convenient, is the general rule. While a massive battery might sound good, you really want a balance between usage time and charging time when you’re buying a THC cartridge battery.