Herbal vaporizers: better than bongs?
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.