Does The Battery For Your Cartridge Matter?
As vape products continue to grab a bigger market share percentage, it’s more vital than ever for those working in the cannabis industry to fully understand the subtle distinctions in different devices.
Both customers and manufacturers often get so wrapped up in the extract and cartridge that they overlook their device’s battery element, but not all vape batteries are created equal. Whether you’re using a pod system, a wax pen, or disposable cartridges, the battery serves as the engine that runs the entire device.
Using the wrong kind of battery could potentially ruin the whole vaping experience. With so many different types of batteries out there, finding the right one for your product can feel overwhelming. This guide will simplify the world of vape batteries and help you find the right fit for your unique needs.
What Are Vape Batteries?
The average cannabis vaporizer comprises three primary parts—a mouthpiece, a chamber containing the extract and heating element, and the battery.
The battery serves as a power source for the vape device’s heating element. The most common type of vape battery is a 510 thread battery. This is a universal type of battery designed to fit any standard cannabis cartridge found online or at a dispensary. 510 thread batteries are typically long and cylindrical, giving the vape its characteristically pen-like appearance.
While less common, pod system batteries only fit with their proprietary pods. Pod systems come in various shapes and sizes, though commonly, they appear flatter and chunkier than 510 thread batteries.
What Makes Vape Batteries Different From Each Other?
Not all 510 batteries are exactly alike. Different battery brands will have varying specifications that differentiate one product from another. The most important of the specs are as follows:
A battery’s voltage serves as a measure of the device’s overall heat output. The higher the voltage, the higher the heat. A THC cartridge battery can run anywhere from 2.5 and 4.8 volts. As a general rule of thumb, higher voltages will provide thicker vapor but may damage the extract’s terpenes resulting in a loss of flavor.
Factors like concentrate viscosity and cartridge material will play a significant role in determining optimal voltage. Metal cartridges with cotton-wicking agents can’t handle higher voltages without severely compromising the concentrate’s taste. Ceramic cartridges are more heat resistant, allowing them to stand up to higher voltages while maintaining flavor integrity.
Thicker extracts will require more overall heat to convert to vapor properly, and for this reason, they should be reserved for use in ceramic carts where higher voltages won’t create an issue.
Some batteries will have a set voltage, while others have a variable voltage, giving users more control of their vaping experience and giving the battery more compatibility with different extracts and cartridges.
MAH is an acronym standing for milliampere-hour. This specification is used to measure how long an oil cart battery or pod system battery will last on a single charge. Vape batteries typically have a MAH in the 200 - 900 range.
The higher a battery’s MAH, the longer the battery will last. Batteries on the lower end of this scale will still typically make it through an entire day on a single charge. However, high-voltage batteries will require a higher MAH to compensate for the increased energy usage. Consumers who often use their vaporizer for extended periods of time without charging it may find higher MAH batteries beneficial to their lifestyle.
Pod System vs Disposable Cartridge
Disposable vape cartridges make up the majority of the cannabis vape market and are considered the most convenient of the two options. Users simply screw the cartridge into any 510 thread battery to create a discreet and portable pen vape. When the cartridge has been depleted, users can discard the old cartridge and replace it with a new one. This one-size-fits-all model gives consumers more options over which extract brands they can purchase.
Pod systems are more integrated. Pod batteries only work with the proprietary pods manufactured by the brand. For example, the Pax 3 only works with Pax pods. These systems can often function as a dab pen or a dry herb vaporizer with special pod attachments.
Push-Button vs Draw-Activated Styles
Some vape pens are operated via a small button, while others only need to be inhaled.
Push-button batteries require users to hold down a button to engage the heating element. Typically, they are turned on and off through sequential button pressing (i.e., pressing the button three times). Push-button batteries give users easier control over both temperature and battery life. When using ceramic cartridges, which require more time to heat than metal and cotton carts, a push-button battery’s ability to preheat the cartridge before beginning inhalation is a significant advantage.
Draw-activated batteries automatically engage the heating element when users inhale from the mouthpiece. These are typically lower voltage devices that work extremely well for novices with little prior vape hardware experience.
Best Battery For Pod System
Pod system’s integration makes it impossible to mix and match batteries. Usually, only one battery option will be available for your particular pod system.
Best Battery For Carts
The top batteries for your cartridge system will depend entirely on what kind of cartridge/extract you plan on using it with.
More viscous extracts and ceramic cartridges will likely require a higher voltage wax cart battery, while thinner extracts will likely benefit from lower temperatures. Extracts like live resin that are designed to highlight the cannabis plant’s natural flavors should also be vaped at lower temperatures to preserve terpene integrity. Users who often experiment with different brands and concentrates may want to invest in a variable voltage battery.
In most cases, higher MAH is preferable, especially with high voltage batteries, and button vs. buttonless ultimately comes down to personal preference.