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What the Numbers on Your Vape Actually Mean?

June 23, 2018 3 min read 1 Comment

vape numbers

Decoding and understanding the digits on your vape

If you’re new to vaping marijuana concentrates, like oil or wax, you probably have some questions about what the specs mean for the many devices on the market. With a quick Google search, you’ll see you’re not alone, as many others ask the same question. Fortunately, you don’t have be an electrician to decipher these numbers.

In the following, I’ll give you a micro explanation of electricity which will tie into vaping.

Quick and clean on electrical values with relation to vaping

The formula I slapped over the sexy stock photo (snagged from Unsplash) for the title image is the simple formula used to determine the voltage (V), current (I), and resistance (R)in an electrical circuit. When applied to the circuitry in a vape pen, you’ll better understand how these devices work.

To be brief, the resistance is a value described in ohms (abbreviated with the Ω symbol) that reflects how conductivity of the heating element. This determines how much effect the current or amperage– described in wattage (i.e. current multiplied by voltage) – has on your vaping experience. For vape batteries, this spec is expressed in milliamp hours (or mAh) which, for simplicitiy's sake, is an indicator of how long the battery lasts between full charges.

Quite simple, by increasing or decreasing the voltage, the wattage changes proportionally, burning the contents at a higher temperature or lower temperature, respectively.

What the values “really mean”

Now, we’ll look at an example in a practical manner. The picture just below is a photo of a product we formerly stocked (you can find more here or on our sister site, Everythingfor710.)


350 mAh Adjustable Voltage Battery –If you recall, the mAh (milliamperage per hour) is how much power the battery consumes over time – specifically, the amount of wattage consumed during one hour of use. What this means to you is how long it will last when applying an assumed average voltage of about 3.7 V throughout the duration of each full battery charge. This is considered a smaller battery, so it would last for about 200 puffsat 3.7 V when the battery is in perfect condition. To put this in perspective, a larger battery rated at 1100 mAhshould last around 1000 puffs per charge.

Green = 3.4 V / Blue = 3.7 V / Red = 4.0 V –This battery allows you to change the voltage from the standard 3.7 Vto a higher or lower value. By raising the voltage, the wattage pushed over the coil increases, producing a stronger hit.

Note: The voltage setting also affects the performance in other ways, which is important to keep in mind. The downside to turning up the voltage wattage on a vape means you’re pushing more current through the coil. This burns more of the substance however, it also burns additional oxygen, causing the coil to deteriorate quicker because it inherently oxidizes faster. Think of it like rust (oxidized iron) on a car – heat eventually changes the chemical makeup of the coil, making hits start to taste like shit, and will eventually break the coil like the filament in an aged lightbulb.

Coil resistance –This reference unit doesn’t come with an atomizer or clearomizer, hence it doesn’t include a coil. Aside from the fit of the coil, the primary spec to consider is the resistance or, number of ohms ().

Note: The average coil is rated at a constant 1.5which will likely affect how you use it. Quite simply, the value is inversely proportionalto the output meaning, the higher this number, the higher the voltage or wattageneeds to be to get the same vaping affect. Practically speaking, a higher resistance coil (e.g. a 3.5 Ω versus 1.5 Ω) won’t burn as hot and will typically last for greater lengths of time, meaning longer spans of time transpire before they need to be replaced. On the downside, if you’re the kind to max out the voltage (or wattage), your battery will die faster due to the higher settings.

Finally, safety is certainly a valid concern, as everyone has likely seen videos of batteries exploding or pictures from the aftermath of the damage. A good rule of thumb is to allow batteries to charge for the recommended amount of time and not crank up the settings too high for extended periods.

1 Response


December 29, 2020

I have always found that I can never understand how the vape wattage can convert to temperature (which I know it cannot) but with my simple vape battery, it would be nice if there was a conversation for a rough estimate so we are able to gage the appropriate temperature when I am puffing on my Delta 8 vape cart. Thanks for the read. Very educational.

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