The Science of Vaping
Vaporization is the process of turning a liquid into a gas. This occurs many times in nature, in the kitchen, and many other industries in a plethora of different platforms. Vaping involves inhaling a vapor that is made from a vape juice or e-liquid. There are also devices to vape dry herbal material as they heat the intended substance to a point that combustion doesn’t take place. The e-liquid most often contains nicotine and mimics the act of smoking. Other active drugs are vaped as well including THC, CBD, caffeine, and other active ingredients. Inhaling vapor is similar to inhaling steam or fog and is more pleasurable than smoking for most. It is also a much healthier and safer alternative to smoking as it doesn’t has combustion, carcinogenic tar, nor the countless harmful additives in cigarettes to make them more addictive. Because of the way nicotine is released in the body with vaping, winding down and completing quitting is much easier than smoking.
The Components of An E-Cigarette
The components of a typical e-cigarette is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require an understanding of rocket science. When it comes to more advanced and powerful vaping devices fundamental understanding of electricity, wattage, ohms, resistance, battery safety, and other factors are critical to not putting yourself in a dangerous situation. The typical e-cigarette has a battery, atomizer, and cartridge for the e-liquid. The ones made to mimic the appearance of cigarettes are lower powered and many times are disposable. The batteries often aren’t rechargeable or replaceable and if so,it is normally charged by mini USB port. The atomizer is where the heating element is housed.
Sub-ohm vaping is the major league of the vaping world and features more complex and reusable components. Instead of a small cigarette stick these devices are typically multiple units that are referred to as a box or tube mod and either a rebuild-able atomizer or a sub-ohm tank. The mod is the power of the device and contains the batteries. These devices often take one or two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and are typically the 18650 size. The rebuild-able drip atomizer or RDA is a separate piece attached to the mod and has coils that heat to high temperature to vaporize vape juice that is dripped on the cotton stuffed coils. This is then inhaled. Sub-ohm tanks contain the atomizer with the coil in a tank that is submerged in e-liquid. Tanks are more convenient and portable on the go. A tank can be filled with juice and vaped for hours while a RDA has to be constantly dripped with e-juice after every few hits. Sub-ohm vaping gets the name from the resistance being below that of 1 ohm which results in the device being able to generate power often over 100 watts. These generate much more vapor in huge clouds with more intense flavor than weaker disposable cigarette style vaporizers with cartridges. These mods can be regulated which protects the user from not matching the right amount of wattage, batteries, coil resistance, and ohms, which can result in device explosion. Unregulated mods have no such protection and should only be used by experienced knowledgeable vapers. Sub-ohm vaping is typically inhaled direct to lung (DTL) and standard lowered powered devices are mouth to lung (MTL).
Vape juice is a rather simple concoction once the main ingredients and dynamics are understood. The two main ingredients in vape juice is VG and PG. VG is vegetable glycerin, which promotes more robust vapor and clouds. PG is propylene glycol and promotes better flavor and taste. E-liquid comes in various ratios but they are either PG dominant, 50/50, or VG dominant. VG dominant juice is better suited for sub-ohm vaping and PG dominant is more appropriate for standard vaping. The other 2 typical ingredients in vape juice is the flavor and the active drug if any. Flavors are almost limitless and come in fruity, candy, desert, menthol/mint, tobacco, and other varieties. People vape anything from blueberry cheesecake to honey bun cereal and a plethora of other mixtures. The active drug is most often nicotine and comes in levels ranging from 3mg to over 20mg. The disposable e-cigarettes sold in the gas stations are often of the very high end nicotine levels. The liquids also can contain THC or CBD from the cannabis plant or other less common additives. There are hundreds of brands and companies selling varying quality levels of e-liquid online and in vape shops across the world.