Yes, the vapor released by an oil pen does carry a terpene odor, one that’s especially noticeable if you take a huge puff and exhale into a circle of friends, even when outdoors.
However, compared to regular smoke from dry herb, an oil pen's smell isn't exactly familiar to everyone, it dissipates quickly into the air, and doesn't stick around long. In fact, a person sitting 10 feet away from you in the park could never have a clue that you're vaping oil, so the smell usually won't draw attention.
Oil pens smell like, well, oils. However, just like dry herb, the specific smells will depend on the oil varieties you enjoy.
Just keep in mind that oil does not smell like smoke released from combusting dry herb, nor will it 'stick' to your body, clothes, or hair in the same way. Also, the odor from an oil pen is meaningfully less overwhelming than smoke and will differ in smell compared to other concentrates like wax.
Oil pens generate the least amount of vapor possible, but the terpene odor will eventually accumulate in areas with poor ventilation and become increasingly noticeable. In other words, vapes—oil pens or otherwise—are not zero-smell devices. It is vital to keep your expectations realistic and only vape in well-ventilated areas if the smell is a concern.
Here are some quick tips that can help you keep odors from your oil pen down to a minimum:
Most oil pens deliver measured amounts of vapor with each hit, so you know what to fully expect with each inhalation. This allows you to take smaller puffs and reduce the size of your vapor clouds, which are less visible, dissipate faster, and are less likely for others to smell.
You will obviously achieve maximum ventilation out in the open, which is not always possible. If you need to vape with your oil pen while indoors, make sure that you open any windows, especially on opposite sides of the room, which will generate a cross-draft and maximize airflow. If this is not an option, turn on an air conditioner, or even an overhead fan to create air movement.
Vapor generated by an oil pen is basically hot, humid air, which naturally rises. And as it does so, the vapor continuously dissipates and becomes even less visible to others.
Box fans work best here, although any version can help boost airflow and minimize the smell from your oil pen. Turn the fan around so that it is blowing air away from you (toward the outside), while drawing air from the inside, including any residual terpene smells from the vapor.
This gadget is not necessary when it comes to oil vapes, but if you are serious about minimizing smells from your oil pen, many online customers report that it could help. The device features a plastic shell that is open at one end, with a filter that’s fixed inside. As you exhale into the opening, the filter removes all smells and only purified air exits the other side.
If you have several spare dryer sheets lying around, you can stuff them into a paper towel roll tight enough to fill the space, but not so close that they inhibit airflow.
After you follow some of the previous guidelines for inhaling, you can exhale into the tube, infusing the scent of dryer sheets into the air as it exits the other side. You can even attach a dryer sheet (or two) to any HVAC vents in the room.
Another good idea if you’re limited on options is to pop some popcorn immediately after vaping with your oil pen, which typically overpowers the scent of your oil pen’s vapor.
Vapor from oil pens and dry herb vapes is similarly discreet, since, unlike using a pipe or bong, these devices do not combust material or create smoke that is much easier to smell. However, the vapor generated by these two devices is not the same.
Perhaps most noticeably, vapor from an oil pen smells different from a dry herb vape. They are entirely different materials: oil is a concentrate, whereas dry herb is simply cured and ground-up flower. Furthermore, each material vaporizes at different temperatures, which can create even more distinct odors.
Another big difference is that, while both typically dissipate at about the same rate, oil vapor is a bit thicker than vapor from dry herb. As a result, oil vapor can hang in the air a bit longer, especially in areas without optimal ventilation.
The bottom line is that if you are looking for maximum discreetness, it could be challenging to go wrong with an oil vape pen. They are compact, portable, look like e-cigs, and generate much less smell—and their vapor dissipates in the air much more quickly—than traditional smoking methods.
For example, the SteamCloud Micro battery allows you to vape oil, wax, and dry herb, but its ultra-compact profile delivers maximum discreetness. With this said, oil vape pens are not entirely odorless, so remember that some smell is impossible to avoid.
Regardless of the vape model, not all oil is fully vaporized after it reaches the appropriate temperature, or inhaled by you after exiting. Instead, a tiny portion is left behind as residue that can eventually build up and affect your vape's performance and increase its odor.
You always want to follow each manufacturer's guidelines when cleaning carefully. In general, though, you will start by briefly operating the pen to warm the residue and then separating the heating chamber, battery, and mouthpiece. Next:
Above all else, the temperature is maximally important when it comes to decreasing odors from your oil pen. Specifically, higher temps create more vapor and are consequently likely to increase the smell. Therefore, you will want to focus on models that offer adjustable temperatures so that you can customize based on your needs.
For example, the SteamCloud EVOD Vape Pen Battery features variable voltage and four heat settings that you adjust simply by twisting.
You will also want to focus on oil pen models that feature faster heating times, which leaves less time to generate odors.
Finally, oil pens like the SteamCloud Stylus feature automatic shutoff features that won’t let you ‘fire’ the battery for more than a few seconds at a time. Not only does this help increase your safety and maximize the battery’s useable life, but it also limits the amount of vapor your oil pen can generate at one time, therefore minimizing its smell.
Written By: Derek L.