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Cover Image for uncovering the mystery: what is in a vape pen? 
// May 09, 2024 //

uncovering the mystery: what is in a vape pen? 








Vape pens are unique devices that have always been a bit of a mystery. Whether you use your vape pen for nicotine, CBD, THC, or something else, you just never really know EXACTLY what is in them. You have to take initiative to protect yourself by purchasing quality, reliable products when you choose to use a vape pen.

What is in a vape pen? Well, there are some standard things you will find, plus the components of the pen. Since their introduction in 2003, these things have come a long way. In this guide, we take a closer look at what might be in your vape pen, as well as some tips for staying safe when you don’t know the exact ingredients.

Cannabis Leaves on a Table

what is a vape pen again?

Through the past couple of decades, cannabis oil has become more and more popular. As more states legalize marijuana in some capacity, a lot more people are looking for convenient ways to use their cannabis products. The same goes for smoking nicotine. There are a lot of people who don’t like the idea of smoking a cigarette, but vaping is an acceptable alternative to them.

We won’t get into the different controversies about if it’s good or bad right now. If you’re reading this, we’re assuming you’re mature enough to make your own informed decision. That first vaporizer pen from 2003 was designed by a pharmacist who watched his father die of lung cancer after being a heavy smoker. The history of vaping devices is really quite interesting.

But we digress. A vape pen is a slender, portable device holding concentrated oil inside a cartridge. One end of the pen has a mouthpiece, which is where you inhale the vapor from. The other end has a battery and heating element. These work together to heat the oil and turn it into a vapor for you to enjoy.

It’s a pretty simple concept. There are different types of vape pens. We won’t get into all the nitty-gritty details right here, but for a quick overview, you can find dab pens, advanced vaporizers, rechargeable vape pens, disposable vape pens, vape pods, and more.

breaking down the main components

Every vape pen or vape pod has similar components. You will find that some may be more advanced than others. Some will be more customizable and have settings you can mess with. Others will be simple but not as customizable. You choose what works for you.

These are the main components of a vape pen, no matter what kind it is:

Vape juice


Heating element



Let’s look at these more closely.

vape juice

The vape juice is what you need to pay the most attention to when you’re purchasing vape pen stuff. Here’s the thing, whatever is in the juice is what you are going to consume and inhale into your body. Being aware of the ingredients or quality of ingredients is a good idea.

The ingredients are going to vary. If you like to use a vape pen for cannabis products, the good news is that you will likely be exposed to fewer toxins or contaminants than you might be with an e-cigarette. You can usually find the breakdown of ingredients specific to a manufacturer on their website, but they won’t be readily available on your label.

Vape juice in an e-cigarette may include a wide variety of ingredients paired with nicotine and flavor additives. Electronic cigarettes have been known to have toxic chemicals, propylene glycol, and even heavy metals. Vape juice in a weed vaping device is going to contain terpenes, cannabinoids, the oil extracted from the marijuana plant, and potentially some solvents or chemicals from the extraction process. They can also have added elements for flavor too.

Again—the best way to protect yourself from health risks is to get to know the manufacturer and what they use in their products. And still, the electronic nicotine delivery system or weed for that matter is better than a traditional cigarette. Look for purity, especially with cannabis vape devices.

A Person Holding Cannabis Buds


The next piece of your device is the battery. The battery is what powers the entire device so that you can vape. Most rechargeable vape pens have a lithium-ion battery in them. The disposable devices still have a battery; you just don’t have to worry about charging it.

The battery provides the power so your heating element can do its thing and create vapor from the oil. Some devices are activated using a power button while others are activated by taking a draw from the mouthpiece.

heating element

The heating element also has a big job. Its responsibility is to heat the oil in the cartridge. It must be heated to turn it into vapor for you to inhale it. If you wanted to inhale or use oil, you wouldn’t need a vape pen, right?

The heating element can vary from pen to pen, but they all work the same. They heat the liquid until it turns into vapor a little at a time. Some devices allow you to adjust the temperature for your heating element, which can impact potency as well as flavor. Most people recommend starting with low temperatures until you find the sweet spot for your preferences.

Basically, the higher the temperature, the stronger the effects of whatever it is you are vaping.


The cartridge is also sometimes called a tank. This is where the vape juice is stored when you aren’t consuming it. Most of the time this cartridge is clear so you can see the juice inside and see how much is left.

As you inhale and the oil is heated and turned to vapor, the cartridge is naturally going to go down in volume. Most cartridges are purchased prefilled, but there are options out there where you can fill your cartridges as well. Again, this depends on your preferences and what is convenient for you too.

Some vape pens let you adjust the airflow, which will affect how quickly you use the contents of your cartridge.


Finally, you have the mouthpiece, which is where your magic happens. How the mouthpiece is made or attached will vary from model to model. For some models, it’s directly attached to the cartridge and not removable. This is common with disposable vape pens.

For others, the mouthpiece is removable so that you can clean it and change your cartridge as needed. You will use the mouthpiece to inhale the vapor from your pen. Some pens are even draw-activated, which means they automatically turn on when you take a draw from the mouthpiece.

what is in a vape pen’s juice?

The real mystery lies in what is in the vape juice of your pen. There are very few regulations and compliance requirements still for these ingredients. Manufacturers don’t have to be completely open about ingredients.

That’s why it is so important to get to know the manufacturer and choose to purchase products from a reputable, trustworthy company. The companies that want to provide you with a quality product are going to be open and honest about their practices and the ingredients they use.

With a weed vape, you know that there may be solvents used for extraction to create the oil. However, some companies choose to use solventless extraction for their customers. This leads to better purity and better potency too. This comes down to accountability and how much you are willing to look at the details to protect yourself.

Maybe what is in your vape juice really doesn’t make a difference to you. That’s your prerogative, but you should at least be aware.

how to be proactive about quality products

So how do you be proactive to protect yourself when it comes to the mystery of vaping products? You do your homework.

Most manufacturers have a breakdown of ingredients somewhere on their website if you can’t find it elsewhere. With cannabis products, we highly recommend looking for designations of third-party testing. Look for details specifically on purity and potency. This testing indicates the willingness of the producer to go the extra step to ensure you have high-quality stuff.

It all boils down to choosing a company you can trust. Don’t purchase just because a certain brand is really popular. Their popularity does not necessarily prove their commitment to quality. Instead, find out more about them. Do they care about quality or do they just care about making money off people like us?

Of course, you also want to find vape pens that you like and that provide the flavors or substances you enjoy. All of these details come together to bring you quality and a good experience.

Man Exhales Vape Smoke in a Room



What is in a vape pen? Well, it depends. Most vape pens are similar, but you do need to be mindful of the possibility of things like solvents or other possible contaminants. Weed vape pens may have chemical solvents but are less likely to have many of the toxins and contaminants that are so controversial when it comes to e-cigarettes. Just check out the details and know what you’re using before you use it.

Looking for trustworthy vaping products? Check out our wide selection of options today!

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