Like any popular activity or industry, the vaping world has developed its own unique and colorful vocabulary. To someone new to vaping, talking to a pro might sound like they are speaking a foreign language. Fear not.
The most commonly used lingo isn’t that hard to learn. Take a few minutes to read the following and that foreign language will become clear.
Technical / Mechanical Terms
- 22650, 18650, 16340, 18350, 18500: these are all types of batteries used in advanced e-cigarettes and personal vaporizers. 22650 is the largest battery size, 18500 is the smallest, and 18650 is the most popular.
- 510: the most popular kind of atomizer or tank. The 510 thread has become the industry standard with the most atomizer, tanks, cartomizer, cartridges, and clearomizers using it.
- Advanced Personal Vaporizer (APV): call them mods, e-cig mods, these units are larger than a pen-style vaporizer. They can be mechanical, variable voltage, or variable wattage.
- Amps: short for amperage, this denotes the flow of energy around a circuit. The lower the resistance, the higher the amps needed to prevent overheating.
- Atomizer: the standard heating element in an e-cig. As it heats up, it turns the e-juice into vapor.
- Box Mod: a type of mod shaped like a box.
- Cartomizer: a combination cartridge and clearomizer. They can be refillable or disposable.
- Cartridge: a removable container that can contain e-liquid, cannabis concentrates, or other vaporizing materials. Typically disposable, but can be refillable.
- Clearomizer: a cartomizer or atomizer that is made from pyrex glass or a clear plastic. This lets you see the level of e-juice left in vape device and will keep you from running out mid-vape.
- Coils: the metal conductor for the heating element. Can be purchased or built DIY style as long as you have the knowledge needed.
- E-liquid/E-juice: terms for the liquids that e-cigarettes use to produce vapor. Also called vape juice.
- mAh: an abbreviation for milliamp hours, or the amount of time a battery will last.
- Ohm: a unit of measurement used to denote electrical resistance. Lower ohms mean a hotter and thicker vapor, while higher ohms means a cooler vape.
- RBA, RDA, RTA: acronyms for the following: “Rebuildable Atomizer.” “Rebuildable Drip Atomizer,” and “Rebuildable Tank Atomizer.” These refer to tanks and atomizers that allow users to build their own coils and wicks.
- Tank: a clearomizer with a larger capacity, usually made of glass or plastic, that holds a larger amount of e-liquid, usually 3 to 6 mL.
- VV or Variable Voltage: a type of mod that allows its user to adjust the amount of voltage up or down.
- VW or Variable Wattage: a type of mod that allows its user to adjust the amount of wattage up or down.
Commonly Used Terms (or Slang)
- All Day Vape: a term used to refer to a person’s favorite flavor of e-liquid. It’s the flavor they currently enjoy enough to vape on all day.
- Analog: a term used to refer to cigarettes that are smoked via combustion.
- Clouds: the amount of vapor produced. “My vape rig and juice produces huge clouds!”
- Cloud Chasing: the act of attempting to produce the largest clouds possible. There are competitions in which vapers try to win cash and product prizes by exhaling the biggest clouds.
- Gurgling: the sound that occurs when liquid gets trapped in the cylinder and mixes with air, producing a gurgling sound when you vape.
- Kick: synonymous with throat hit, it’s the feeling in the throat when one inhales the vapor. Previous smokers usually prefer a higher kick, which is produced with a PG heavy juice.
- PG: propylene glycol, one of the components of e-juice. Usually used in conjunction with vegetable glycerol, flavoring, and nicotine. More PG means less vapor, but more throat hit.
- Nicotine: also called “nic,” this is a parasympathomimetic stimulant found in the nightshade family of plants. It can be addictive and is usually denoted by a percentage in e-juice.
- Sub-Ohming: the practice of blowing larger clouds by using a coil, either purchased or built, with an ohm reading below 1.0 ohm.
- VG: vegetable glycerol, another of the components of e-juice. More VG equates to more vapor, but less throat hit.
- Vaper’s Tongue: a term used to describe the loss of sensation or the desensitization experienced after a long vaping session or after using the same flavor for long periods of time.
Cannabis Vaping Terminology
- 3-in-1: a term used to describe vaporizers which can use the dry herb, oils, or wax. Usually requires switching out a tank or a cartridge, depending on the substance being vaped.
- Combustion: the practice of using an open flame to burn cannabis, producing smoke instead of vapor.
- Concentrates: concentrated cannabis, which has typically been extracted from the buds and the plants, and is usually in the form of an oil, a wax, or a shatter.
- Conduction: a type of vaporizer where the cannabis makes direct contact with the heating element.
- Convection: a type of vaporizer where the cannabis does not directly contact the heating element. Rather, the air around the cannabis is heated until the cannabis produces vapor.
- Dabbing: the practice of vaporizing a cannabis concentrate like wax or shatter and applying it to a heated surface, which then produces a vapor that is inhaled.
- Desktop: a type of vaporizer that is meant for in-home use and is not readily portable. A popular example is the Volcano Vaporizer.
- Dry Herb: a vaporizer which can heat up finely ground buds until a vapor is released, then inhaled.
The vaping world has hundreds of terms which people use readily. Some are interchangeable, while others are more popularly used than others. Getting to know some of the more common terms can help you navigate the industry, particularly if you’re new and need to know what the man in the store is talking about.
Or, perhaps you need to know what your others are talking about, too. Hopefully, this glossary of terms will be useful the next time you step into a vape shop.
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