Vapes are a great way to consume cannabis. But if you don’t know much about vapes, that’s okay - they’re still a pretty new innovation. People have been smoking and eating cannabis for thousands of years, but vapes only became popular in the last decade. Now, they’re everywhere. Today you can walk into a dispensary and find a bunch of different kinds of vapes on the menu.
So what should you know when you go shopping? Fernway is Massachusetts’ fastest-selling vape brand, and we're unique because we're true vape specialists. We're also passionate recreational consumers, so they know all the common pitfalls and issues when it comes to shopping for vapes.
Here’s our quick guide to help you educate yourself and shop with confidence.
HOW VAPES WORK
A vape consists of two parts - a cartridge, which contains a small amount of purified cannabis oil (usually a half gram or full gram), and a battery. When the battery is activated, it heats the oil in the cartridge so that it turns from a liquid to a vapor, which can then be easily inhaled.
Vapes come in a few different forms. “All-in-ones” are sold as a single piece that contains both the oil cartridge and the battery, and are meant to be disposed of after you finish. “Pods” are cartridges that require a special battery to use. “510 cartridges” are easily the most popular form of vape. They can be used with a wide variety of standard rechargeable vape batteries that come separately, and they are by far the most common offering in Massachusetts so they allow you to try a bunch of different brands.
Fernway specializes in 510 cartridges because they’re versatile, user-friendly, and deliver the most value for your money.
Vapes have four key advantages over other ways to consume: purity, convenience, portability and discretion.
One of the best things about vapes is their purity. When you smoke dried cannabis with a joint or a pipe, you’re heating the psychoactive oils (aka cannabinoids) in the plant by burning it, which allows those oils to turn into smoke that can be inhaled. But whenever you burn a plant, the smoke doesn’t just contain cannabinoids - it also contains a lot of other burned compounds, which is what makes it harsh. With vapes, you’re only consuming cannabis oil. So not only is the hit way less harsh, it is also much easier to tell how much cannabis you’re consuming.
Vapes are incredibly convenient. There’s no mess, no awkward moments when you realize you forgot a lighter, no long wait times for the edible to kick in. Charge the battery. Screw on the cartridge. Press a button, breathe in, and a few minutes later you’re right where you want to be.
You can toss a vape in a pocket or a purse and not worry it’ll crumble or melt like a joint or an edible. And unlike flower or edibles, vapes are very shelf-stable - they won’t go bad if you leave them in a drawer for a few weeks, and you don’t need airtight packaging to keep them fresh.
Because vapes don’t create a noticeable odor, you can enjoy them in situations where you want to consume cannabis but need to be discreet - like at a family gathering, or indoors during Massachusetts’ infamously cold winters. If you want to enjoy cannabis without drawing unwanted attention, you just can’t beat a vape.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
Not all vapes are created equal. And there’s nothing more disappointing than taking your new vape home, unboxing it, taking a hit and realizing that it’s a letdown. But there’s a simple way to determine which vape is the best on the menu. So when you’re shopping for a vape, ask your budtender about these three key things:
Flavor: Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that give cannabis oil its flavor. And the nose knows - if you like how something smells and tastes, you’re probably going to like how it makes you feel. The opposite’s also true - if you don’t like how it tastes, you probably won’t enjoy the experience as much as you otherwise would. The flavor of a vape comes primarily from its terpene profile, so ask your budtender about the terpenes in any vape you consider buying. A terpene profile you find delicious is much more likely to lead to a positive experience overall.
Hardware: Most vape brands are made with generic hardware, but the exceptional ones use custom hardware designed to improve performance and create a better user experience. Ask your budtender if any of the vapes on offer use custom hardware, because that will help you to pinpoint the highest quality products on the menu.
Oil purity: If you’ve ever bought more than one vape at a time, you know that the oil inside it can vary a great deal. Some vape oil is beautifully clear and golden; some vape oil is unappealing and brown. Some oil tastes great, some tastes muddy or harsh. If you’re trying a new brand, ask your budtender if they’ve tried it and what they think of the oil quality, so you can know before you buy.
Consistency: If you find a vape you like, you’ll probably want to buy it again - and for it to be just as good the next time you do. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case; a lot of vape brands struggle to deliver that consistency over time. Ask your budtender which vapes they think are the most consistent in quality and availability.
WHAT SHOULD I DO ONCE I BUY A VAPE?
There’s a few best practices to owning a vape that can help you avoid common user issues and get the most out of your purchase.
First, keep your vape standing upright. This helps prevent clogs and leaks. You can balance your vape in a pencil holder, or if you have a Fernway vape you can use the bottom of the box the vape comes in as a vape stand.
Second, don’t expose your vape to high heat. Don’t set it down in direct sunlight, and if you’re bringing your vape on the go, don’t leave it in a hot car. High sustained heat can degrade the oil’s flavor and create clogs over time.
Third, get a battery you like. You’ll be using this battery over and over again - so make sure it’s a good battery! A few features to look for are: a slim discreet profile, enough charge to get through a full cartridge, multiple heat settings, and a pre-heat cycle.
And finally, don’t settle for less. If you buy a vape and it doesn’t meet your expectations, contact the manufacturer and tell your budtender next time you shop so that they can offer an alternative. One of the most important parts of being an educated cannabis consumer is knowing what you don’t like, and since all vapes aren’t created equal, it’s okay if you experience some trial and error in your search for your new favorite vape.
THE FERNWAY DIFFERENCE
As vape specialists, Fernway does a few things differently than other vape brands. We take a completely bespoke approach to packaging and hardware design, so that we can provide a superior user experience compared to brands made with generic materials. We also use premium ingredients in their vapes, including ultra-pure cannabis oil, unique and delicious flavors, and exceptional fresh cannabis terpenes extracted from whole sungrown bud to deliver unrivaled flavor and effects. All our products come with simple, user-friendly instructions, and we always provide outstanding customer service. Our best-in-class vapes are made by passionate cannabis consumers for everyone to enjoy - because cannabis makes the good life even better.