How to Hit a Cart with No Pen

If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to get a good buzz going, hitting a vape cart is hands-down one of the best ways to do so. With cannabis concentrates that can often reach near 100% potency, all it takes is a few hits of your vape cart to feel the full effects.

However, the key word there is vape because what happens when you don’t have the pen or battery to operate the cart?

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For those who are unfamiliar, vaping usually involves two components: the cartridge and the pen (otherwise known as the base or battery).

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Both are usually required for a successful vaping experience, but what happens if you lose one? If you lose your cartridge, then you’re out of luck because it means you’ve lost the cannabis concentrate, but if you lose the pen, then there are still some ways for you to enjoy the contents of the cart.

It will take a bit of ingenuity, inventiveness, and some minor engineering, but strictly speaking, it is possible to hit a cart without the pen or battery. Today, you’ll learn how to do just that: how to hit a vape cart without the pen.

Key Takeaways

  • Today, you’ll learn how to hit a dab cart with no pen – 5 different methods!
  • Hitting a cart without a pen is possible with a modified charging cable, a 9V battery, a joint, and an open flame.

Find out how to fix a loose battery cart right here.

Understanding the Basics

Before you can understand how to hit a cart without a pen, you need to know what a cart is. A cart, otherwise known as a cartridge or vape cartridge, is a small piece of electronic hardware that is full of a liquid cannabis concentrate.

It looks like a small glass cylinder with a mouthpiece to pull on at the top and threading at the bottom, with the cannabis concentrate sitting neatly in the middle. The bottom that has the threading is designed to screw into a pen, otherwise known as the battery.

The battery is required to generate electricity, and therefore heat, which causes the concentrate in the cart to vaporize, at which point you can inhale it.

Vape carts can sometimes contain as little as 0.25 grams of concentrate and sometimes four grams of more. They can also be filled with various types of cannabis and hemp concentrates.

As you can probably tell, the pen is a vital component, but they do break, and usually at the worst times. Vape pens, no matter how well built they are, just like any other piece of hardware, can malfunction or break, usually due to physical damage or overuse.

Or, maybe you just lost it, left it at home, or didn’t realize that you needed to buy one alongside your cart in the first place. Whatever the case, now you have a cart full of delicious cannabis concentrate, but no pen. So, what do you do?

Is your cart making a crackling noise? Find out why right here!

Safety Precautions

Before we start talking about how to jerry-rig your vape cart by getting a little creative with some household items, there are some important notes on safety and legal issues we have to make.

First, although we are about to provide you with several methods to hit a vape cart without the pen, beware that they aren’t necessarily 100% safe or sanctioned. Manufacturers would certainly never recommend hitting a cart with anything but the appropriate battery or pen.

While we can describe the different ways to hit your cart without the battery, realistically it is not recommended. Ideally, you should just get a new pen or battery, and while we’re providing you with the information you need to hit your cart without a vape, we aren’t necessarily recommending it either.

Officially, for both safety and legal reasons, we recommend buying a new vape pen before anything else, although technically speaking, you don’t need one to hit that cart.

If you plan on engineering your own device or method to hit a cart, there are certain electrical and safety risks involved.

As you’ll see below, one of the methods to hit a cart without a battery involves stripping wires and plugging in an altered power cord as a source of power, whereas another involves manually heating the cart with an open flame.

These methods, and the others we are going to discuss, all come with a certain risk of injury, particularly as far as burning or even electrocuting yourself are concerned. The utmost caution is therefore required here, which brings us to a few important safety tips.

  • If you plan on working with electricity, always wear rubber gloves that will not allow a current to pass through to you and electrocute you.
  • If you plan on heating the cart with an open flame, watch your fingers to ensure that you don’t burn yourself. Carts can get very hot, plus they’re small, which makes them difficult and unsafe to handle when heated to great temperatures with a flame.
  • Although the chances are minimal, if you are using electricity or a flame to produce a current or heat to vaporize the concentrate, wearing high-quality safety goggles is a good idea. It is possible that the cart gets heated beyond a safe level, which means that it could shatter or explode. You don’t want to get sprayed with shards of glass and hot cannabis concentrate.
  • If you think that something is very unsafe, and you don’t feel comfortable doing it, then it’s probably best to just wait and buy a new, safe, and functioning pen.

Find out how to fix a leaking cart here.


How To Hit a Cart With No Battery

Now that we know that it is possible to hit a cart with no battery, let’s talk about all of the different ways to do so. As you’re about to see, there are some pretty creative solutions here!

Method 1: Using an Android Charger

The first method of hitting a cart without a battery has you playing at being a bit of an electrical engineer.

Here you’ll be jerry rigging an Android charger cord to act as a power source for your vape cart. This method involves stripping the wires on the charging cord to expose the interior, which you can then attach to your vape, with the plug inserted into an outlet as the power source.

As you can imagine, working with electricity can be dangerous, so great caution is required.

Materials You’ll Need

  • Android charging cable with a wall plug
  • Scissors
  • Wire strippers
  • Shockproof rubber gloves


  1. Put on your shockproof rubber gloves first.
  2. Get an Android charging cable with a wall plug, one you don’t mind ruining. iPhone chargers can work as well, but there’s more wires inside to deal with. It’s much easier to use an Android charger.
  3. Use scissors, pliers, or a wire stripper to cut off the end that has the charging port which plugs into the phone. The point here is to expose the wires.
  4. Use a wire stripper to cut down the rubber from the exterior of the wire so that the black and red wires on the inside are exposed.
  5. Use those same wire strippers to strip the black and red wires down. You can also use nail Clippers or even a lighter for this purpose. You should now see the main wire with two other wires sticking out.
  6. Plug the other end of the charger into a power source. This could be directly into an outlet or into a portable battery.
  7. Now, take the exposed black wire and place it in the middle of the bottom of the cartridge, where the metal is. Then, take the red wire and stick it to the outside of the cartridge, to the metal on the outside of the thread.
  8. At this point, you should hear the cartridge hissing and releasing air, which means that it is heating up, and you can now hit it.



  • Relatively easy
  • Reliable and effective
  • Works as long as you have a cable and power source


  • Can be dangerous – electrical hazards
  • Requires you to ruin a charging cable



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Method 2: Using a 9V Battery and Alligator Clips

The next way to hit a vape cart without the base is to use a 9 Volt battery and two alligator clips. The 9 Volt battery will effectively replace your dab pen, and the alligator clips will transfer the charge to the cartridge, therefore heating it up. This method is likely a bit easier than the above one, although also a bit less reliable because attaching the clips to the vape can be a challenge.

Materials You’ll Need

  • Vape cart
  • 9V battery
  • 2 x alligator clips


  1. Attach an alligator clip to the negative terminal of the battery and then insert the other end of the same alligator clip into the bottom hole of the vape cartridge.
  2. Take the other alligator clip, attach one end to the positive side of the battery terminal, and insert the other end into the top hole of the vape cartridge.
  3. Hold both of the clips securely in place for around 5 seconds and then remove them. The cartridge should now be activated and ready to vape for a few hits. (You’ll have to keep repeating this for subsequent hits).
  4. Don’t touch any of the exposed metal parts of the cartridge because they can become very hot. You may also notice a burning smell due to the battery heating up.



  • Doesn’t require many materials
  • Relatively fast and easy
  • Inexpensive


  • Most people probably don’t have alligator clips
  • Cumbersome



Method 3: Attach the Cart to a Joint

This method is a little out there, and also kind of hit and miss, but it works sometimes. Here, the aim is to roll a joint and then attach the cart to the top of the joint, by the lit end.

The theory here is that the hot smoke and the lit end from the joint should heat the cartridge enough to cause the concentrate to vaporize. The temperature may be a bit too low to effectively vaporize 100% of the concentrate, but it’s better than nothing.

Materials You’ll Need

  • Vape cart
  • A joint – cannabis and rolling papers


  1. Choose your cannabis and rolling papers of choice, and roll a joint. The joint should be of a decent size for this process to be effective.
  2. Light your joint and make sure that there is a good cherry burning.
  3. Hold the bottom end, the threaded end of the vape cartridge to the cherry of the joint, and pull on the mouthpiece. The cherry from the joint should heat up the concentrate and allow you to vaporize it.



  • Very easy
  • Relatively safe
  • Works well if you have joints on hand


  • Some might say this is a waste of weed and papers (and it is if we’re honest)



Method 4: Heat with a Flame

The next method involves simply heating up the vape cartridge using a flame, such as a regular lighter, from matches, or with a torch.

This method heats up the concentrate hotter than most others, so it may be a bit harsh and the flavor might diminish as well. However, it works well in a bind, as long as you have an open flame.

Materials You’ll Need

  • Vape cart
  • Lighter, torch, or matches


  1. Get your open flame, whether matches, torch, or a lighter, and hold it roughly 2 inches under the bottom of the vape cart. Don’t hold the open flame too close to the vape cart, or else you may cause damage or burn yourself.
  2. Hold the flame under the vape cart for a few seconds until you see a small puff of smoke or vapor coming out. This means that the concentrate is hot enough to vaporize.
  3. Remove the flame and pull on the mouthpiece to inhale the concentrate vapors. Keep in mind that you’ll need to keep repeating the heating process for every hit like a bong because the cartridge won’t stay hot forever.



  • Only requires an open flame
  • Easy
  • Cost-effective


  • Risk of burning yourself
  • Can get too hot



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Method 5: Remove the Concentrate

If all else fails, you might just need to remove the concentrate. You can always remove the cannabis or hemp concentrate and then put it inside of a dab rig or even roll it into a joint.

Materials You’ll Need

  •       Vape cart
  •       Pliers
  •       Dab tool (or anything else long and thin, like a paperclip)


  1. Use the pliers to remove the mouthpiece or cap from the vape cartridge.
  2. With the concentrate exposed, easier dab tool, or anything else long and thin, to scoop the concentrate out.
  3. You can now use the concentrate in your dab rig, add it into a joint, or put it in a bowl.



  • Doesn’t require special engineering
  • Cost-effective
  • Safe


  • Getting the cap off can be hard



Final Thoughts

As you can see, it is totally possible to hit a vape cart without the pen, although it can be hit and miss. If you don’t have a pen on hand, waiting to purchase a new one is your best bet.

However, if it’s your only option, using any of the above methods will work in a bind. Just make sure to exercise the utmost caution to prevent yourself from getting burned or zapped. Coughing too much when you hit your cart? Here’s why!

Hitting a Cart With No Battery: Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s quickly answer some of your most frequently asked questions about hitting a cart without a battery.

What Is a Cart?

A cart or cartridge is simply the piece of hardware that contains the cannabis concentrate, as well as a coil and heating mechanism.

Is It Possible to Smoke a Cart Without a Battery?

It is technically possible to smoke a cart without a battery, using any of the four methods we listed above, although it is recommended to use an actual pen or battery.

Is It Safe to Hit a Cart Without a Pen?

Some of the methods of hitting a cart without a pen are safer than others, whereas some do pose minor risks of burns or electrocution.

Can You Hit a Cartridge With an Android Charger?

Hitting a cartridge with an Android charger is possible as long as you modify the cable to expose the red and black wires.

Can You Hit a Cartridge With an Android Charger?

An Android cable, a 9 Volt battery, and anything that produces an open flame are all household items you can use to hit the card.

Can You Hit a Cartridge With an Android Charger?

If you hit a cart without a pen, depending on the method you use, you may ruin it and not be able to reuse it. This is one of the reasons why doing so is not necessarily recommended.

Writer & Contributor | + posts

Jamie has been writing about vaping and cannabis for several years and is usually one of the first to know the next big thing in cannabis. Jamie also writes about tattoos and BMX biking.

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