The Pros and Cons of Vaporizer Pens for Marijuana


Vaporizer pens are becoming more and more popular among medical marijuana users who use pot to control the symptoms of chronic conditions, and among recreational users who live in places where it’s legal to purchase and use marijuana.  While there are many benefits to using a weed vape pen, their popularity is raising some concerns among public health officials and law enforcement. Read on to learn more about the benefits and potential drawbacks of weed pen vaporizer use.

What Are Vaporizer Pens?

Also called vape pens, vaporizer pens are small, pocket sized marijuana vaporizer devices that are used to heat medical marijuana, or legal recreational marijuana to high temperatures until it gives off an inhalable vapor. The small pen-style weed vaporizer design looks very similar to electronic cigarettes used to help people quit smoking.

The Benefits of Vaporizer Pens

The benefits of vape pens for users include the fact that they are:

  • Discreet. Using a dry herb vaporizer pen is much more discreet than smoking a joint. Most people mistake herbal vaporizer pens for e-cigarettes, so medical marijuana users can get the benefits of their medicine without having to worry about the stigma attached with vaporizer use. The vape pens barely even give off an odor, see VaporPlants vape pen selection.
  • Convenient. Vaporizer pens free medical marijuana users to vape in their homes and in other places where it’s legal to do so without having to carry a lighter or be plugged into a wall outlet.
  • Healthier. Just as many experts consider electronic cigarette use to be safer than smoking tobacco cigarettes, most public health experts agree that using a weed vaporizer pens is likely to expose the body to fewer harmful toxins than smoking pot.

The Drawbacks of Vaporizer Pens

Drawbacks that public health officials and law enforcement officers encounter with vaporizer pens include:

  • Safety Concerns. Some health experts worry that marijuana vaporizer pens that vaporize waxy concentrates may not be safe. Wax concentrates can contain as much as 90 percent of the psychoactive compound THC, compared to the 20 percent THC found in pure dry herbs. People, especially those new to medical marijuana, may find wax weed vaporizer pens to be too powerful. California is even considering banning the use of waxy concentrates altogether.
  • Difficult for Law Enforcement. For law enforcement officers, vaporizer pens make it hard to tell if someone is using marijuana or a legal electronic cigarette. In places where marijuana is completely illegal or legal only with a doctor’s prescription, cops may have a hard time enforcing laws because of how discreet vape pens are.
  • Risk of Illegal Usage Among Minors. Many public health officials fear that vape pens make it too easy for teenagers to use marijuana at home and school without parents and educators knowing. Although vape pens are not legally sold to minors, there are worries that the vaporizer pens can fall into the wrong hands and end up contributing to underage marijuana use.


Due to the downsides of vaporizer pens, many states and the FDA are considering regulating vape pens. It’s likely that in the future, sale of vaporizer pens will be more closely controlled.

Photo Credit: VaporPlants

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