How Your Cannabis Vaporizer’s Atomizer Works

Vaporizer and Weed
Photo by: BestStockPhoto/Shutterstock

Vaping has hit the market as a safer alternative to smoking – replacing harsh chemicals and particles with gentler vapor, without sacrificing taste. You can still get the same buzzing, uplifting sensation as a rolled cigarette or joint, all thanks to the Atomizer.

While weed doesn't have the same harsh chemicals associated with cigarettes or cigars, there are still concerns about inhaling smoke. This is where a cannabis vaporizer comes in; get your herbal fix without the risk.

E-cigs do not combust marijuana using a flame. Instead, the technology inside the vaporizer heats up the cannabis only as much as it takes for cannabinoid vapors to form. No gas particles are created, nor consumed, which opens the door to safer access for all kinds of weed vaping – including dry herb, oil concentrates, and wax concentrates.

Credited with a clean high, vaporizers are turning over a new leaf.

What is the Atomizer?

An essential part of any vaporizer is the atomizer. All vaporizers have an atomizer – a device that creates vapor out of the liquid. The atomizer is doing the bulk of the work so that each inhales is met with a vape-filled exhale.

The atomizer is the reason you can take a hit. It creates each mouthful of vapor for cannabis lovers to enjoy.

The anatomy of an atomizer is reasonably straightforward: it's a heating coil made out of resistance wire. When it heats up, e-liquid (or cannabis oil) is transformed into a steamy alternative to smoke.

There are two posts inside each atomizer—the positive and negative. Around each of these posts is the previously mentioned heating coil. It is wrapped around a wick, ready for the heat to be applied.

Once e-liquid is added into the mix, the wick absorbs it. The wick stays wet the entire time by gently feeding the coil moisture. At the same time, the coil heats up. When combined, this moisture and heat react to produce vapor.

It's a very similar process to the dishwasher's drying settings: the plates are covered with water, then heated by the machine. The result is evaporation, aka a face full of steam when the dishwasher door is opened. Imagine the vaporizer as a small dishwasher, replacing water with cannabis e-liquid.

Atomizers are often referred to as vape coils, which vary between devices. The word can either refer to the device as a whole or the vape coil.

Types of Atomizers

Atomizers, which are measured in ohms by the amount of resistance they have (the lower the ohms, the more power), range from disposable coil heads to DIY options. Usually, the atomizer is built inside an e-cig's cartridge, or it's a stand-alone design. It can be a part of both the three-piece and two-piece vaporizer options.

There are two main categories of atomizers: pre-made and rebuildable.

Pre-Made Atomizers

Atomizers with pre-made coils can also be called coil heads. They are made specially to match your device and are recommended for novice vapers. Some things to keep in mind:

While pre-made atomizers are convenient, they can be pricey in the long-term (they only last about a week). Pre-made Atomizers usually cannot be re-wicked, and they are not a good option for switching flavors.

Rebuildable Atomizers

Hypnos Zero Linx Vaporizer

Rebuildable atomizers allow for a little creativity and custom vaping options but are not for beginners. Building your coils lets you re-wick them by taking the used material (usually cotton) and replacing it with a fresh piece.

Rebuildable atomizers usually involve one of two methods: the e-liquid either drips or is stored in a tank. Dripping is when e-liquid is dropped directly onto the heated coils.

This is a newer trend results in robust taste and flavor by that bypassing cartridge or tank elements completely. The juice is always fresh and the high is crisp. It is, however, a tedious process that is messy and takes time and space to set up correctly.

Atomizer Acronyms

The RDA (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer) is a device that requires users to build their coils and inhale vapor directly (rather than going through a cartridge). The result is a very intense flavor. Many users have gone to lengths to mix and match their flavors, which is where the RDA comes into play best.

RTAs (Rebuildable Tank Atomizers) are almost the same, except that they use a pressurized tank system to bring the e-liquid to the coils. RDTA (Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer) and GTA (Genesis Tank Atomizer) are similar to the RTA, but usually without the pressurized vacuum element. Genesis tanks are a newer atomizer feature, which uses a wick made of rolled steel mesh and features a juice reservoir and an advanced method of rebuilding.

While users don't have to be an expert in building coils to enjoy the benefits of a cannabis vaporizer, there is enough variation within vape products to work up to flavor mixing and re-wicking. The vaping experience is customizable, which makes for a great pairing with the cannabis industry.


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Savannah
Savannah is a freelance writer based in Western Colorado. She hopes that her work with Leafbuyer inspires education and insight into the cannabis industry, and often writes with novice users and first-time inquirers in mind.