We’ve come a long way since the first discovery of fire, so why are we still lighting up with dated disposables and messing around with refillables?
Arc lighters, or plasma lighters, are a flameless and windproof alternative to traditional alternatives. There are two types of arc lighters:
What is a herbal vaporizer?
Smokers shouldn’t get to have all the fun with their fancy vapes. Finally, there’s an equivalent for us herb folk that offers a discreet, safe and portable way to enjoy the finest that nature has to offer. Enter the herbal vaporizer. Following the success of the general vaping movement, herbal vaporizers are gaining traction within the stoner community at lightning speeds. They’re the efficient, economic and healthier alternative to pipes and joints.
How do they work?
Vaporizers come in a variety of different forms and designs, from pens to desktop devices. But when it all boils down to it, they all essentially work the same way.
When it comes to dry herb, vaporizers utilize an internal heating element which heats the plant matter to a temperature just under its combustion point of 200oC. So, rather than turning to smoke, the herb turns to vapor, which is then inhaled. Plus, some devices even include temperature adjusting features. This means you can set the optimal temperature for whichever phytocannabinoid you want to extract. What does this mean?
- No need to light up means you’re drastically reducing the number of harmful toxins inhaled.
- You get all the good properties of each plant-based molecule (THC, CBD, etc).
- You can control how cool and clean your hit is every time.
So, you can say goodbye to noxious by-products, like carbon monoxide, naphthalene, and toluene. Vaping gives you nothing but the good stuff.
Aside from desktop vaporizers, the vaporizing process occurs simultaneously as you inhale from the pen or portable device. The heating element used is normally electrical, so you’re not inhaling the methane from the lighter you’d normally use with other conventional methods.
Convection vs conduction
Your dry herb or concentrate is heated using one of two methods, depending on the type of vaporizer you’re using.
Convection works by blowing hot air on the herb from a separate compartment. This allows the heat to be evenly dispersed across the entire plant matter without the herb actually coming in direct contact with the heat source. Naturally, vaporizers fitted with convection systems are generally more expensive. However, the price tag really is worth it for the minimum wastage and quality of vapor that you receive.
Conduction, on the other hand, creates vapor by heating the plant matter directly- meaning your herb comes into direct contact with the heat source. Vaporizers fitted with this system often require you to move your herb around mid-vape, so that all of the plant material is heated equally. That’s one small downside to the conduction heating method; the part of the herb touching the heating element will be vaporized faster than the rest. If it isn’t adjusted manually, part of your herb goes to waste.
The benefits of herbal vaporizers
Is buying a vape worth it? Does it make much difference to using a bong or simply rolling? The answer is yes. A thousand times yes. Here’s why:
They’re better for you
The best thing about herbal vaporizers is the quality of the vapor you’re inhaling. Numerous studies into herbal vaporizers have found conclusive evidence to support the health benefits of the practice. The plant matter is heated only enough to release its active ingredients, but without burning it.
They’re super discreet
Another benefit to using vapes is that the smell omitted from the vapor is way less noticeable than that of a bong or joint, and there’s no fooling anyone when it comes to THAT smell. Now, thanks to the popularisation and accessibility of vapes in general, smoking can be as discreet as checking the time. The possibilities are virtually limitless when you’re holding your high in the palm of your hand.
They’re easy to clean
Cleaning your bong or vacuuming up spilt ashes is no fun task. And ever had to scrape resin out of a pipe? Just… let’s not go there. Vaporizers are great because they’re pretty self-sufficient and most require little cleaning. Mostly the tank and mouthpiece are the only parts you’ll regularly clean and taking them apart is a breeze. Cleaning mostly involves giving the mouthpiece a quick rinse, cleaning the chamber and for conduction devices, replacing the coil.
So many other things make herbal vaporizers awesome: their ease of use, portability, customisability and price long-term. Go get yourself a vape and see the benefits for yourself.
Types of vaporizers
Just as it sounds, portable vaporizers include anything you can hold and carry around in your hand. These are super convenient and come in a range of sizes and designs. Their ease-of-use and discreet nature are top selling points and make portable vaporizers a desirable product. Portables are made up of:
- Heating Chamber
Desktop vaporizers are drastically different in use and appearance. They’re perfect for when you have company and want to share. Essentially, they work the same way as portables, aside from how the vapor is inhaled. This is done through either:
- Tube/ Whip: A long hose with a mouthpiece
- Balloon: A big bag that fills with vapor
Dry vs concentrate
Dry herb vaporizers are easy to come by and are designed to heat dry herbs in their raw state. Ensure you get the most out of your vaping experience by drying and grinding your herb down before inserting it into your device. This will allow the heat to reach a greater surface area of the herb, to deliver a smoother and cleaner pull.
Concentrate vaporizers, or ‘wax vapes’ are those that are compatible with wax, shatter, crumble, oil, budder and any other relevant herbal concentrate. As these substances are concentrated, the upside to vaping with them is that you only need a smaller sample to get the same effect as you would using dry herb or a less concentrated substance.
Choosing the right vaporizer for your needs
Now that you’re completely sold on the benefits of vaping, time to choose the best vape for your needs and personal preference. Make sure you’re clear on what you want before you start searching, as the options available will vary in a lot of ways. For example, if you’re wanting to use concentrate as well as dry herb, keep that in mind. While some brands are now rolling out special attachments that allow some existing vapes to be compatible with both concentrate and dry herb, most vaporizers on the market today are designed for either dry or concentrate, with the exception of higher end products, which are compatible with both.
Can’t wait ‘til then? Check out our range of quality vaporizers today.
Bong Anatomy 101: An Overview
If you’re an experienced smoker, you’ll know there’s not much to a bong, and if you’re new you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about the parts that make up a bong and what each part does.
The base of your bong lays the foundation for your smoking sesh. The longevity of your bong can really come down to whether the base is built sturdily enough to withstand light knocks that could otherwise send it tumbling. Luckily, today even your more affordable bongs have a solid flat base. If you really want to invest in the best, some bases come with a protective rubber cover, to grip onto surfaces better.
Chamber and Neck
The chamber is the bottom part of your bong and is where the water goes and where the smoke fills up. The neck of your bong is what the smoke travels up. Necks can be bent or straight and they vary in size. A longer neck is seen as better, as it requires the smoke to travel a longer distance and therefor has more time to cool on its way up to your mouth.
Percolators, or ‘percs’ attach within the neck of your bong and come in a myriad of different types, with tree, showerhead and honeycomb being some of the most common. The purpose of a perc is to cool the smoke on its way up the neck and to your mouth, providing a smoother and cooler pull that’s less harsh on the throat. Most percs feature a number of slits or small holes that break the smoke into smaller pieces and distribute it more evenly through the water. This allows the water to cool more surface area of the smoke, providing cooler smoke and smoother, cleaner pulls.
It all starts here. The cone attaches to the downstem and varies in different sizes. Stuff the cone with your herb of choice, light it up and let the good times commence.
The downstem can either be fixed to your piece or removed and attached. The cone attaches to the downstem and when lit, smoke travels from the cone down the stem and into the water. Diffused downstems are stems with slits towards the end of the stem, which provide another layer of percolation, by cutting the smoke up as it travels into the water.
Your bong doesn’t have a percolator? Not a problem. Ice pinches are a cool little feature which cools the smoke as it travels up the neck. Seen on the neck of your bong, fill these little grooves with small pieces of ice and enjoy a cooler smoking experience.
Otherwise known as a carb, a shot hole is a small hole on the neck of your bong. It’s a fun little feature whose primary purpose is to give the smoker more control over the amount of smoke in each hit. Simply place your finger firmly over the hole as you light and pull. The smoke will build up and swirl around in the neck. When you’re ready, releasing your finger will send air into the chamber, shooting the smoke rapidly up the neck and to your lungs.
Herb holders are just another accessory you might find built into certain bongs. There’s not much to these; like the name suggests, an herb holder is a small groove that holds your herb for easy and convenient refills.
All these things put together make for one sweet smoking experience. What does the perfect bong look like to you? Let us know below.
Showerheads, Gridlines, Honeycombs. If you’ve ever searched for a bong, you’re sure to have come across these types of percolators. But the list doesn’t just stop there; there are tonnes of different types available, each with its own distinct difference. So, what are percolators and how do they affect your smoking experience?
How do they work?
Essentially filters, percolators work through ‘dissolution’. As the smoke passes through the holes of the perc, it breaks up into smaller pieces. The smoke can then be cooled more easily as the water it passes through has less surface area to cool. Recyclers offer optimum cooling, as the smoke continually passes through water and has little exposure to air.
How does it affect you?
Generally, the more your smoke is filtered, the smooth and cooler your hit will be. Selecting a perc with multiple holes, like a fritted disk, will offer optimum filtration, as the smoke is combusted into tiny fragments and spread evenly through the water to cool. This provides the smoker with a smoother, less harsh feeling on the throat and allows them to taste the smoke on the inhale.
One minor downside to using percolators is that the added filters the smoke and water pass through make it more difficult to inhale smoothly, causing what is known as ‘drag’. So, for example, a honeycomb perc will have more drag than a cyclone perc, as it has more holes. Yet, a cyclone perc will have more drag than a basic pipe. The cooling and filtration gained by using a perc, however, far outweigh the minor negative of having to use extra suction and heavier draws.
Cleaning may not be on the top of your list of fun bong-related activities, but every smoker knows it’s an essential practice and makes every hit a thousand times better. Simply follow these steps and your bong will be looking and smelling brand new in no time.
What You’ll Need:
- Your bong/bubbler or pipe
- Fresh filtered water
- A bowl large enough to hold your bong and pieces
- A 420 cleaner (We recommend Formula 420 Original Cleaner)
- Cotton swabs or pipe cleaner
What to Do:
Empty out the water and flush it out with clean water
Out with the old and in with the new. Empty the dirty water from your bong before giving it a quick flush with some clean water. If you see any large, stubborn chunks or dirt, especially around the shot hole, just give it a quick scrub with a cotton swab or pipe cleaner. Now you’re ready to get cleaning.
Disassemble your bong
Especially relevant to those extra intricate bongs, you may want to start off by taking your bong apart. This will make sure every inch of your piece can soak comfortably and will work well on those fiddly smaller components that may have a build-up.
Soak it in your warm water and cleaner concoction
Fill a bowl with lukewarm water (hot water may break or warp your bong if it’s glass or wood, respectively) and a good 420 cleaner, like Formula 420 Original Cleaner. This one is a favourite among smokers because it doesn’t leave any bad aftertaste and it thoroughly does the job in seconds flat, without any scrubbing. Of course, you can choose to go the DIY route if you wish and use something like vinegar or rubbing alcohol instead, but really nothing compares to the clean that 420 cleaners provide. Leave your bong parts to soak in the solution for about 10-15 minutes, or until you can see all stubborn residue has loosened. As for the bulk or your bong, simply fill it with the same solution, cover all holes, shake and then leave to soak with your other parts.
Rinse and rinse again
Once your bong and parts have soaked, rinse everything in lukewarm water. If you see any stubborn areas that are still clinging to life, give them a quick scrub with your cotton swab or pipe cleaner and that should come right off. Finish it off by rinsing again with cool, filtered water.
Fill, load and enjoy
That’s it! Time to celebrate your sparkling new bong and blaze it up- you deserve it.
Extra Tip: Stubborn water marks on the inside of your bong? Water marks are a result of the mineral content in unfiltered spring or tap water. We’ve been there- no matter what you do, they just keep showing up. Show them the door and avoid them for good by using filtered water the next time you fill or clean your bong. Be sure to replace the water in your bong or bubbler daily and give it a good, thorough cleaning once a week to keep your bong in bangin’ shape.