How Does Vaping Work?

Quick Overview

  • How does vaping work?
  • What are the different types of vapes and how do they work?
  • What liquids can you put in a vape pen?
  • Can you vape alcohol or water?

How does vaping work?

When you’re vaping, you typically use a vape pen that contains a liquid, also known as e-juice. The vape pen contains a sensor that triggers the coil or atomizer to heat up, this slowly heats the e-juice in the cartridge, and that produces steam (not smoke), which you then inhale and blow. 

The dynamics are pretty much the same whatever vape you want to use, sometimes you inhale the gas, and sometimes you may inhale vapor or liquid particles suspended in the air.

person holding a vape penThe most powerful vapes produce more ‘clouds’ than others.
Vaping is commonly known as smoking an e-cigarette, but it doesn’t stop there.
Over the years, it has evolved into an industry with brands that make the vaping experience different from others.
Some have developed their types of vape pens, mods, and even hookah pens to make it more appealing to the masses.
Hookah pens work similarly as vape pens, so they can also be considered vape. But unlike Hookahs that burn a mix of tobacco and molasses, e-cigs and vapes don’t burn anything.
The best vape pen only vaporizes the liquid mixture, which means it’s much safer than Hookahs since you’re not inhaling harmful compounds from burned substances.
Moreover, the main ingredient in vape juices is propylene glycol, and it is rated by the FDA as “generally recognized as safe.”

What are the different types of vapes and how do they work? 

There are many types of vaping devices, and they are classified according to the e-liquid they carry; (1) nicotine vape and (2) Cannabis or CBD vape pen. The most commonly sold in the market are nicotine vapes since the legalities are not as complicated as CBD and cannabis, which vary per state.


Moreover, nicotine vapes have become the primary alternative for cigarettes. They don’t produce tar or other harmful compounds (due to burning), so they’re a better alternative with fewer known health risks. 
The most common nicotine vapes are e-cigs (e.g., JUUL), disposable vapes, pod vapes, mods, and squonk mods.

6 different kinds of vape pens from PUFF Bar

On the other hand, CBD and cannabis vapes are almost the same, except that they use CBD or THC tinctures, and not nicotine. The most common are CBD vape pens, Weed pens, portable vaporizers, and desktop vaporizers. 

How about the vape pen battery? 

Well, these handheld devices have lithium-ion batteries as the power source, while CBD vapes could either be powered by batteries or electrical supplies. 

Now, the basic parts of a vape pen are liquid cartridge, atomizer, and battery. In this beginner’s guide for vape pens, we talked about the roles of each part and how they work.

Remember that an atomizer is what transforms the liquid into a mist or vapor, and all vapes need an atomizer to work. 

Also, vape pens usually have an activation or power button at the bottom or on its side. It also has light indicators or, in the case of some, display screens, which allows the user to see the power level of their device. 

For some vape devices, you need to push the button as you inhale to trigger the atomizer to heat up. On the other hand, some disposable vape pens do not have buttons in them, so you only need to inhale to puff. 

And in case you don’t know, vape kits usually come with a charger and extra replacement parts such as the cartridge or a coil. But in the case of disposable vapes, most do not need chargers or extra parts since they’re not chargeable—giving you the convenience the cigarettes have, minus the risks.

What liquids can you put in a vape pen?

Most of the vape pens you buy already come with a pre-filled oil cartridge, as in the case of disposable vapes, but there are also vapes or vape pens that are refillable. Often, the manufacturer of your vape pen already makes their own line of e-juices, and they also offer many flavors that you can choose from.

an e-juice or liquid you can put in a vape pen

There are many types of e-juices to choose from, but you have to make sure that it’s compatible with the device you’re using. There are a lot of factors to consider, such as the coil size, oil viscosity, and the type of e-juice. 

CBD oil, the most common vape juice or e-juice other than nicotineCBD oil is one of the most common things people vape across the USA because it’s not psychoactive or does not make you ‘high’ like THC. However, not all CBD oil can be vaped.
CBD tinctures (as shown in the picture) are not primarily made for vaping. You have to check the manufacturer’s box, whether it can be vaped or not.
If you want to vape CBD, buy only CBD vape juice or CBD distillate. It does not contain any actual oil, so they’re not the same with oil-based tinctures. CBD vape juice is specially made for vaping, so they’re safe to use.
The e-juice usually has propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine as a base, water, flavoring, and nicotine. Some don’t have nicotine, while others use CBD (cannabidiol) or THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

If you want a DIY e-juice, you have to consider the viscosity or concentration of your ingredients. The more viscous the oil is, the more power it needs, so if you’re planning to use high concentrations of nicotine, CBD, or THC in your vape juice, you have to use powerful vapes like Mods. 

Highly viscous vape juices require more energy to heat, and using lower quality vape pens may result in a burnt taste. If you are not careful, it might also damage your vape pen. 

However, if you want to save yourself from any trouble and just relax with your vape pen, we highly recommend using disposable vape pens as they are already fully charged and filled with the e-juice of your choice. 

Can you vape alcohol or water? 

The short answer is no. 

There are so many things that people vape nowadays, and sometimes, they’re not always safe. That’s why you have to be wary of what you put in your vape pen. 

Some even advise on vaping alcohol or water, which are both dangerous. The worst-case scenario in vaping alcohol is alcohol poisoning. Each puff could be a few glasses in equivalent, so you should vape it in small amounts. 

On the other hand, vaping water is also not recommended. Since water heats up fast, you might burn your tongue, lips, mouth, or pharynx. Water is added in the e-juice mixture because it heats up fast, but when vaped alone, it can be potentially harmful. 

It’s also not flavored, so why would you vape water?

person holding a vape pen

Final Thoughts 

Finally, do not buy from unregulated shops with DIY vape juice. As a beginner, it’s safer to vape only what’s provided by trusted manufacturers, such as Puff Bar, MYLE, POSH, EonSmoke, SIXT, JUUL, Sea, and Uwell because the FDA regulates them, and they follow safety protocols in making vape juice. Check out the vape pens from our trusted brands here.