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Why Does My Vape Taste Burnt?

As long as vapes have been around, it's been a common issue that some vapes can start to taste burnt. It may be a funky, metallic taste that makes you...

As long as vapes have been around, it's been a common issue that some vapes can start to taste burnt. It may be a funky, metallic taste that makes you think: is my vape okay? Should I be inhaling this? 

We all know that the point of a vape is to vaporize its product, so when it starts to feel like something is burning, you can be certain that something, however great or small, is probably not working properly.

Not to mention, it’s an inconvenience in its own right to have a burnt smell ruining the taste of one of your favorite vape flavors. And with no short share of scare stories in the media, it’s completely understandable for you to be a little worried.

That said, a burnt taste is a very common, manageable problem. It’s entirely likely that you may not even need to toss or replace your vape! 

So don’t fret! We’re here to help you get everything sorted out. California Honey Vapes has got you covered with a comprehensive guide on what’s going on with your vape.

What Is Wrong With My Vape Coil?

A burnt coil wick is one of the most common causes of a stinky vape. Let’s break this down: 

  • A vape’s atomizer consists of a wire coil with some wicking material (or a “wick'') wound through it.
  • This wire coil uses common heating metals like nickel, aluminum, iron, etc.
  • Wound through that metal wiring is the wick: usually made from material like cotton or ceramics. This wick is soaked with the e-liquid or juice that you’re vaping.
  • So then, when you heat your vape, the electricity from the battery heats the coil, vaporizing the liquid absorbed into the wick.

Now you’ve got down how vape coils work. So what happens when they start to smell burnt?

Don’t Smoke a Dry Wick 

Unless you want to smoke cotton-laced metal, you may not want to use your vape down to the last drop. Okay, that may be slightly exaggerated, but it's not far off.

We get the struggle of a late-night store run, but if your vape seems to be running dry, you might want to face the music sooner rather than later. 

Once your wick starts to get dry, either from insufficient oil or excessive heating, its fabric-like material will start to burn, causing that unpleasant smell and a less-enjoyable puff.

Don’t Overheat Your Vape Battery and Coil

You want the most enjoyment from your juice of choice when you vape, so it's counterintuitive to smoke a dry vape. Plus, you might be doing damage to your coil and battery. 

So don’t let your wick dry out, especially if you have a refillable vaporizer. Without any vape juice to vaporize, your wick will start to burn, damaging your vape’s battery and coil. 

Once your wick starts burning with no juice to vaporize, it's easy for the chamber to become overheated, drain or damage your battery, and burn out your coil.

Luckily, getting a replacement wick or coil and repairing your vape is fairly common and easy. A wealth of online tutorials can help you figure out how to best accomplish this without damaging your vape. 

Overheated batteries can also be incredibly dangerous. Keep a close eye on your vape — avoid leaving it in a hot car, don’t use the wrong charging cables, and don’t sleep with it under your pillow.

Don’t Hit Blinkers! No Chain Vaping 

Even if you are vaping to quit smoking, try not to chain vape. One of the best ways to preserve the quality of your vape is to avoid chain vaping and blinkers altogether. These practices can lead to burnt-out coils and batteries, along with damaged wicks. 

What do these silly words mean? 

  • A ‘blinker’ is slang for when you push your vape to its absolute limit, holding its button or inhaling it until the battery automatically stops the heating, usually warning you by giving off that classic blinking light.
  • Aside from taking long pulls, ‘chain-vaping’ is a practice that causes similar damages. This term refers to hitting your vape repeatedly until the battery shuts off, similar to chain-smoking. 

Whatever name you call it, it's generally not a good idea to hit your vape for too long, as you may be over-taxing its technology. 

For Bigger Clouds, Buy a Bigger Battery 

Some people view their vape’s blinking light as a safe limit or a signal for when you should typically stop pulling in your hit. 

Unfortunately, in most cases, this is not entirely true. The blinking light is a warning, informing you that you are pushing the battery and coil too far and that a forced shutdown is necessary. 

We understand many people like to take big hits or vape huge clouds, and we’re not saying you shouldn’t! But if big clouds are what you’re seeking, you may want to look into getting a bigger battery, or stronger coil, especially if you’re noticing that burnt smell a lot.

Why Does My Dry Herb Vape Taste Burnt?

If you’re noticing a burnt smell or taste in your dry herb vape, there may likely be a different cause than previously mentioned.

Dry herb vapes work slightly differently than your typical e-liquid or oil vaporizer. Unlike those types of vapes, a dry herb vape does not require a wick, as there is no liquid or oil to absorb. 

Therefore, the approach to maintaining and avoiding a burn-out dry herb vape is slightly different. You’ll need to take good care of your herbs and keep your vaporizer clean. 

How Dry Herb Vapes Operate

Dry herb vapes operate by the same principle as most other e-liquid or oil vaporizers. Rather than burning the herbs inside, they create a smoother, less harsh smoke by vaporizing the herbs instead. 

  • Many dry herb vapes can almost be imagined as tiny battery-powered air-fryers or toaster ovens, as they use convection to vaporize their product. Convection involves circulating hot air around the herbs, which heats them without burning. 
  • Other dry herb vapes use conduction methods, wherein the herb is pressed directly against a heated surface, vaporizing it without touching a flame or other direct heat source. 

The convenient part of dry herb vapes is that they typically produce a dryer smoke, which has less lingering odor than the vapor from an e-liquid or oil vape. 

Damp smoke tends to stick to materials easier and linger longer. Some people, especially cannabis users, prefer dry herb vapes for a less irritating-on-the-throat, smoother hit with a bit of an incognito element. 

Use Good Quality Herbs

While they may work a little bit differently, dry herb vapes are just as susceptible to burning as any other vape and can start to produce an unpleasant odor without careful use and maintenance. 

One thing that can cause an unpleasant smoke is if you use herbs that haven’t been properly dried or ground: 

  • Herbs that are too moist or damp won’t vape as easily as herbs that have been dried out more thoroughly. The moisture itself prevents the heat from directly reaching the herbs. This makes for a weaker cloud with a less-than-ideal taste.
  • Additionally, by vaping very moist herbs, you could melt some of the natural, sticky oils off, which can burn up over time or dirty up your vape chamber and get stuck inside the mouthpiece.
  • Make sure your herbs are properly ground as finely as possible, ensuring the most even, effective vaporizing. Otherwise, you might accidentally burn or waste your herbs. 

Clean Your Vessel!

A smokey or burnt taste can also result from bad vape hygiene. It’s important to clean your refillable vape over time and after excessive use. 

  • Although vaping produces a smoother, cleaner vapor than traditional smoking methods, it can still cause some damage over time. Be sure to clean your chamber and mouthpiece, as both can absorb residue from vapor over time. 
  • As mentioned, this is especially true if you smoke damper herbs, as the oil will be carried off the plant, sticking to the sides of the chamber and mouthpiece. 
  • Over time, this buildup can produce a smokey, burn-out taste and smell from your vape, perhaps even before using it. As you continue to use your vape and heat the chamber, this residue and dust can start to build up over time, making the smell worse.

That said, a good method to clean out your vaporizer is to clear it of all contents, dust, or visible residue, then run it at a moderate temperature for a few seconds. Heating the empty chamber a couple of times will help to clear out the remaining residue without vaping any herbs.

Don’t Over Vape Used-Up Herbs

Unlike liquid vapes, a dry-herb vape never runs ‘dry,’ but the herbs definitely become used up. Make sure you check on your herbs from time to time as you vape, making sure they’re not becoming too used up.

Once your herbs start to turn completely brown, you’ll know they’re starting to become burnt. If you keep vaping past this point, you’ll burn your herbs and produce less-than-ideal smoke. On top of that, you won’t get much out of it.

Used-up herbs can sometimes be saved, especially when it comes to cannabis, to use through other methods. AVB or already-vaped-bud can be combined with fatty substances and lightly baked to produce effective cannabis edibles.

What Are Signs My Vape Isn’t Working?

We’ve established that if you’re smelling or tasting something burnt, there’s something wrong with your vape or the product you're vaping. Both dry herb vapes and liquid vapes can suffer from overused batteries, dirty chambers, and burn-out heating elements. 

That said, we thought it important to leave you with a few other signs that your vape may need some special attention: 

  • Small Clouds: If you’re noticing that you’re not pulling as much vapor as before, this could be a good sign that you’re running low on oil, liquid, or herbs. Or, it could mean that your vape’s battery or the heating element is not working as effectively as it should. Either way, it's probably a bad idea to keep pushing the vape to smoke bigger clouds if you notice it getting harder than it's supposed to.
  • Slow Heating: You may also notice that your product isn’t producing vapor as quickly as before and may require a longer pull, even after being fully replenished. This could mean your battery is starting to give out, or your coil may need a replacement.
  • Short Battery Life: A shorter battery life can also mean a weaker, less effective hit from your liquid or dry-herb vape. If you notice your battery’s charge isn’t lasting as long, it may mean that the battery is starting to go. If you like big clouds or vape often, consider investing in a bigger, more powerful battery than the typical, sleek varieties. 

Need a Restock? Hit Up California Honey Vapes

Whatever your vape issues may be, if a restock is what you need, California Honey Vapes has got you covered with a range of different liquid and oil flavors, including Peach Ice, Pomegranate, Red Bull, and much more! 

Our vapes come in many shapes, sizes, and quantities, with sleek designs and stylish artwork carefully curated for an elegant, smooth smoke. We offer nicotine and nicotine-free vapes, along with various accessories. Our vapes can handle up to thousands of puffs! 

Did you read our guide and realize your battery may be on the way out? No problem! California Honey Vapes has you covered with a bunch of stylish batteries and chargers

Along with that, we’ve got rolling trays and crafty little baggies for all your herby needs. Check out California Honey Vapes for your vaping needs and merch! 



Lithium Ion Battery Safety |

A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy | NEJM

A Qualitative Analysis of Cannabis Vaporization among Medical Users | PMC


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