Disposable cannabis vape pens, which use a built-in battery to heat a cartridge of concentrated cannabis oil, are a popular consumption method — especially for those users looking for a convenient way to take a high-potency dose.
Disposable cannabis vape pen problems are unfortunately common, but we'll discuss a few strategies that you can try to make the most of your vape pen with a dead battery. Below, we’ll walk through some basic troubleshooting before moving on to more time-intensive solutions.
If your disposable marijuana pen is not working due to a dead battery, first check to make sure there is a charging port on the bottom of the battery portion of the vape — some of today’s manufacturers have started including that charging port to prevent dead batteries from becoming an issue.
If you’re lucky enough to find a charging point, the obvious solution is to just recharge the pen. If there’s no charging point on your pen, let’s move on to one other troubleshooting strategy.
It’s possible that the tip of your vape pen’s mouthpiece is clogged with cooled and condensed cannabis oil. To unclog your pen, simply use a heating cycle or two to soften that condensed oil. Then, scrape away any visible residue and inhale to clear the mouthpiece.
You might need to inhale a little more aggressively than usual, but it's important to eliminate the possibility of a clogged tip before moving on to other methods of trying to make your dab pen usable again.
If you have another, at least partially empty, vape pen cartridge available, the safest and most reliable option for dealing with your dead disposable pen is to transfer the remaining cannabis oil to that other cartridge.
The process for doing this is fairly simple. First, find a stable way to stand both cartridges upright. This will allow you to keep your hands free while transferring the oil later on, as well as give you a place to put either cartridge if you’re interrupted during the transfer process.
Next, get a cup of warm — but not too hot — water. Place your dead vape pen in that cup and give the oil a moment to warm up. This will soften the oil and allow you to pour it from one cartridge into the other.
While your dead cartridge is warming up in its water bath, remove the mouthpiece of the receiving cartridge, exposing the open tank. You might need the help of a set of pliers to detach the mouthpiece from the tank.
Be especially careful not to break the tank, as this might cause bits of plastic or glass (depending on what the tank is made of) to mix in with your cannabis oil — something nobody wants to deal with. You’ll also need this tank intact to hold your dead vape’s cannabis oil.
You’ll next need to remove the mouthpiece from the dead vape. Remove the cartridge from the water bath — tilting it back and forth a few times to ensure the cannabis oil has reached the desired viscosity — and then remove the mouthpiece in the same way you removed the mouthpiece of the receiving cartridge.
From here, all that’s left is to carefully pour the cannabis oil from the dead disposable vape pen into the receiving cartridge.
If you’d like to keep a few empty oil cartridges around in case you have to retrieve cannabis oil from an unfinished but unusable vape pen, there are plenty of vendors who sell standard 510-thread vape cartridges online.
These are also great to have around if you want to explore making your own THC vape oil.
If you don’t have another container for your dead vape’s cannabis oil, you might still be able to make your device usable again — so long as you’re comfortable engaging in a little bit of DIY electronics repair.
Please be aware that the following can result in injury or personal harm via electric shock or burns from a hot unit. It’s a lot of risky hassle for relatively limited payoff, but this strategy can be helpful in a pinch.
Think of this process as a sort of defibrillator for your dab pen; it's to be used in emergencies and can be harmful if done incorrectly.
For our amateur electricians, the first step is to gather your materials and tools. You’ll need:
To make your DIY charging set-up, cut off the tip of the USB cable that would normally be plugged into the device you intend to charge. Inside, you’ll find a black wire and a red wire (if there are others, you can remove or ignore them).
The black wire is typically your grounding wire, which will connect to the negative (-) side of the vape battery. The red wire is your active wire, which will connect to the positive (+) side of the battery.
Remove either the top or bottom of your vape, depending on its construction, and remove the vape’s battery.
Attach the black wire to the negative (-) side of the battery using the electrical tape. Repeat this step to attach the red wire to the positive (+) side of the battery. The battery will likely indicate which side is positive and which is negative.
With your battery wired up, you can carefully plug in your new charging set up. To minimize the risk of shocks or burns, we recommend securing the battery in the place where it will stay during the charging cycle and not touching the battery during the charging process or any time while it is connected to a wall socket.
Allow the battery to recharge, unplug it, and then reinsert the battery into your pen. Use as you would normally. Please be advised that Jointly doesn't recommend attempting to rig up a charger like this, but it is theoretically possible.
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