Vape Pods and Vape Pod Systems Explained for Dummies

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A Chinese pharmacist named Hon Lik is credited with bringing electronic cigarettes to the mainstream back in 2003. The global appeal of e-cigs has risen exponentially ever since, to the point where it is now a multi-billion-dollar industry. The vaping phenomenon has enticed both tobacco cigarette smokers and marijuana users alike.

The problem with e-cigarettes was that they kept getting larger. From the initial cig-like model came the vape pen. This was followed by the tube mod, which later gave way to the box mod. Manufacturers are trying to find new and innovative ways to make their box mods even bigger and more powerful. Most vapers love producing enormous vapor clouds, but they do so at the cost of discretion.

If you are a regular weed user or want a more discreet vaping session, a chunky box mod is not a good option! Thankfully, the vape pod system has come to save the day.

What Is a Vape Pod System?

The easiest way to describe a vape pod is as a system somewhere between an electronic cigarette and a mod. Most vapers begin with a vape pen, which is inexpensive, discreet, and portable. Unfortunately, vape pens are not powerful and don’t last long on a full battery. You can upgrade to a fancy box mod, but the array of coils, flashing lights, and buttons is off-putting when all you want is a quick vape.

In a sense, a pod system gives you the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the portability of a vape pen and the powerful battery of a box mod.

As you can probably guess, vape pods utilize a pod instead of an atomizer or tank.

Your vape pod will hold your e-liquid and vaporize it. You will be able to inhale the vapor via the mouthpiece. It is possible to use it for regular nicotine-laden e-juice or a weed tincture (if the device doesn’t use prefilled cartridges). Most vape pods have a maximum capacity of 2ml, although you can certainly get bigger ones if you shop around.

The rest of the pod is akin to an e-cigarette as it contains a moderately powerful battery. Although it varies in size, it is typically larger than a cigalike, yet significantly smaller than a box mod. The majority of vape pods resemble a USB stick in appearance, but a few companies have created models that look like box mods.

What Are Open & Closed Pods?

Open System Vape Pod

These devices enable you to refill your e-juice manually. Choose between hundreds of flavors, sizes, and nicotine strengths online. Users say that an open system pod offers a smoother draw along with heightened vapor production. The low-profile design means you won’t attract unwanted attention, and the device usually has only one button to operate. It is possible to purchase an open system vape mod for under $20.

There are a few downsides, though. For instance, refilling the e-liquid manually is a pain, as is changing coils and replacing cartridges after a few uses. It isn’t easy to change flavors either. Also, the small battery size means you don’t get much use from a single charge.

Closed System Vape Pod

This device works similarly to a cartomizer for a cigalike device. As it consists of prefilled cartridges, you don’t have to worry about refills. Once your cartridge is empty, throw it away and add in a new one. Most sellers offer their refills in several nicotine strengths, and these cartridges should come in a multi-pack form. A closed system vape pod is also inexpensive, user-friendly, and requires little maintenance, mainly because you don’t have to clean the tank or change coils.

Downsides include a limited selection of nicotine strength and flavors in comparison to its open system counterpart. This device is also known for offering weak draws, and users occasionally report ‘spitbacks.’ A spitback happens when the e-liquid bounces off the coil rather than vaporizing.

Should I Try Nicotine Salts?

Since e-cigarettes hit the market, manufacturers have been using freebase nicotine as their go-to e-liquid. It is a nicotine solution that includes propylene glycol (PE) and vegetable glycerin (VG). These substances carry the nicotine with them as you vape.

However, certain manufacturers have decided that nicotine salts are a better option. They consist of the same nicotine that’s found in its natural state in the tobacco leaf. It would be extremely difficult to vape this type of nicotine in its purest form. The reason is because it would require a very high temperature to be effective.

According to PAX Labs, creators of the JUUL vape, specific nicotine salts work better than traditional freebase nicotine. Their research discovered that benzoic acid was the most important ingredient. It was added to keep the nicotine salt formed in the e-liquid under control. The benzoic acid ensures the vapor from nicotine salt has a much lower pH than its freebase rival. Therefore, it offers smoother vapor.

The upshot is that you can vape a significantly higher strength of nicotine e-juice. Typical strength e-juice contains 12mg of nicotine, and strong versions consist of 24mg. However, the JUUL vape pod uses an incredible 59mg of nicotine! High nicotine e-liquids are notorious for the harsh throat hit, but nicotine salt changes the game. Moreover, nicotine salts are suitable for vape pods because they usually produce less vapor than box mods.

Advantages of a Vape Pod System


No Learning Curve

Vape pods are designed to be user-friendly and are just as easy to operate as the most basic vape pen. The pods pop in and out of its battery section, and most have only one operating button. If you use prefilled cartridges, just power the pod on and start vaping!


Vape pods are light and easy to carry. You can bring it around the house with you and vape as you go. Even the largest vape pods are smaller than an average-sized box mod.


Although they produce a decent amount of vapor, you can easily control it with a vape pod. As it is so small, you can slip it into your pocket or even hide it in your hand.


Even the highly-rated JUUL vape pod starter kit is available for $49.99, and there are far cheaper models available. You will save thousands of dollars a year compared to tobacco cigarettes.

Strong Nicotine Hit

The average sub-ohm tank is supposed to be used with e-liquids containing 3-6mg of nicotine, which is not nearly enough for an experienced user. If you choose a vape pod with nicotine salts, you can enjoy exceptionally powerful nicotine hits as often as you like. Moreover, you can have cartridges of over 50mg and still benefit from a smooth throat hit.

Leak Proof

This primarily applies to prefilled cartridge models. Vaping devices with standard tanks are sometimes plagued with leaking issues. However, there are no such difficulties when you opt for a vaping mod system.

Disadvantages of a Vape Pod System

Limited Selection of Flavors

If you choose a vape pen or a box mod, you should have access to hundreds of delicious flavors. Vape pod users can still purchase a reasonable number of flavors. However, their choice pales in comparison to those using other vaping devices.

Small Capacity

Vape pods are portable and light, which means sacrifices have to be made. Most vape pods don’t contain more than 2ml of e-liquid – far less than the average box mod. On the plus side, if you have a device that utilizes nicotine salts, the smaller tank doesn’t matter as much. You also won’t get to enjoy enormous clouds of vapor.

Shorter Battery Life

Although the battery of a vape pod compares favorably to cheap vape pens, it is no match for the mighty box mod. The result is a far shorter battery life. You should be able to vape for 2-3 hours on a single charge. On the plus side, pods tend to recharge fairly quickly.

Final Thoughts on Vape Pod Systems

If you adore the thought of producing enormous clouds laden with the most exquisite flavor, you probably won’t wait for vape pod system updates with bated breath. If, on the other hand, you’re relatively new to the concept of vaping, a pod system offers you the opportunity to find out what all the fuss is about.

Vape pods are easy to use, affordable, and provide vapers with the nicotine hit they crave.

The inclusion of nicotine salts in these systems makes things interesting. It significantly increases the amount of nicotine you can consume in a single sitting. There is no question of vape pod systems taking over the vaping market. However, it should provide users with a worthy alternative to vape pens and box mods. Ultimately, if a vape pod system can help steer you away from tobacco cigarettes, it is money well spent!

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