Vape Hardware Breakdown: What Is The Mouthpiece?
In the last decade, master extractors have made great strides in improving the overall quality of cannabis concentrates. We’ve even seen the development of novel extraction methods, like the use of flash-frozen plants in live resin.
However, a concentrate is only as good as the device used to consume it. Now that disposable vape cartridges and other vape products account for a substantial share of dispensary sales, the quality of vape hardware plays a more prominent role in shaping consumer experience than ever before.
With that in mind, let’s explore an often undervalued vaporizer component—the mouthpiece.
Anatomy Of A Vape Pen
A conventional vape pen comprises four main parts:
- The Battery: The battery is the engine of the vaporizer. It provides the necessary power to the heating element, allowing it to convert the extract into an inhalable vapor. Vape batteries tend to come in skinny cylindrical shapes that resemble ballpoint pens and almost always utilize a 510 thread connection.
- The Heating Element: The heating element or atomizer is the part of the device that creates enough heat to convert the cannabis extract into vapor.
- The Tank: The tank is the part of the device that houses the extract. Most commonly, tanks are made from transparent materials like plastic, quartz, or glass.
- The Mouthpiece: The mouthpiece is the part of the device that users will inhale the vapor from.
What Is The Mouthpiece?
The mouthpiece functions as the connection point between the user and the device. Therefore, it plays an essential role in how users will experience the extract or concentrate. A vape mouthpiece’s physical design not only affects how comfortable the device will be to use, but it also impacts both vapor quality and vape flavor.
Vape mouthpieces come in a wide variety of different shapes, sizes, and materials, depending on user preference. With non-disposable cartridges or box mods, users can use vape mouthpiece replacements to customize their device further.
Does Size Matter?
The first thing to consider when selecting a vape mouthpiece is the size preference. Some mouthpieces are longer, some are shorter, and some are somewhere in between. Each option has its own pros and cons.
Longer mouthpieces give the hot vapor produced by your device more time to cool off before hitting the mouth and lungs. This can create a more pleasant and flavorful experience. However, extra-large mouthpieces contribute to the overall size of your device—the bigger the mouthpiece, the less portable and discreet the device.
Ultimately, mouthpiece size comes down to personal preference.
In addition to the various sizing options available, mouthpieces can also be made from several different types of materials. Below are some of the most common options currently on the market.
Plastic mouthpieces are the most common variety found in vape stores, headshops, and dispensaries because they’re the cheapest. However, plastic is known to be a flimsy material. Prolonged exposure to the hot vapor and acidic cannabis extract can cause plastic mouthpieces to deteriorate or crack, which means they may need to be replaced sooner than other mouthpiece options. Additionally, a deteriorating plastic mouthpiece can compromise the natural flavors of your cannabis extract.
Metal mouthpieces are significantly more durable than their plastic counterparts and are almost guaranteed not to break even if dropped. However, because they easily conduct heat, prolonged use can cause metal mouthpieces to absorb the heat from the vapor and burn the user’s lips. Similarly, cold temperatures can easily chill metal mouthpieces, making them uncomfortable to use outdoors in the winter months.
Additionally, with the growing concern of heavy metal leaching in vape devices, the safest option may be avoiding metal components entirely.
Acrylic mouthpieces are extremely similar to the plastic variety, but the main difference is that they are more heat resistant and, therefore, more durable. Acrylic mouthpieces are also typically offered in a wider variety of colors than other material options, which can be a benefit for users who want increased control over their device’s appearance.
Glass mouthpieces have less overheating potential than plastic, acrylic, and metal mouthpiece options, and glass is much less likely to negatively influence the flavor of your vapor. However, because glass is an inherently fragile material, it may crack or break completely if accidentally dropped or transported loose in a bag.
Wooden mouthpieces give the device an old-school look and are relatively durable. Unlike plastic and metal, wooden mouthpieces remain at cool temperatures even after extended use. However, wood can warp after exposure to heat causes it to expand and shrink. Some wooden mouthpieces get around this issue by coating the wood in a thin layer of acrylic.
Ceramic mouthpieces offer the same clean-tasting unadulterated vapor as glass varieties but with significantly more durability. Ceramic mouthpieces are not only extremely resilient when dropped or transported, but the material is also naturally heat resistant. This helps prevent the mouthpiece from absorbing heat and burning the user’s lips and increases the duration of its lifespan. S10 Labs zirconia ceramic cartridges use a ceramic mouthpiece that can offer the best in flavor and durability.
Because ceramic mouthpieces offer the greatest combination of durability and flavor, we recommend them to both consumers and brands who want the very best in vaporizer hardware.