A dry herb vaporizer pen is the stuff ancient cannabis connoisseurs could only dream of having.
Debuting in the market in its hand-held form in 2008, the smoke-as-you-go tech has come along way from being a butane only, potentially hand exploding device.
Thanks to Silicon Valley startups and an ex-Apple product developer, not a typo, dry herb vaporizers are rivaling gadgets created from today’s most switch tech companies.
Heating chambers? How about 3 of them in one.
Preset-heating temperatures? 6 seems reasonable.
Who has one? Almost every smoking enthusiast you can imagine. Cannabis or not.
And for a cannabis accessory market that’s projected to reach 60 billion big ones by 2025, why not invest a little, or a lot, in giving fanatics the best experience possible?
We’re definitely not complaining.
As for us, we’re invested in providing you with the best informative experience possible. So, in carrying along that tradition, we bring you 5 major factors to look for when buying a dry herb vaporizer!
But first, why buy one in the first place?
Why Buy a Dry Herb Vaporizer?
Health issues around traditional ways of smoking – such as through joints, blunts, bongs, and pipes – have always been the center of controversial discussion.
Why? Well, as accessible and cost-effective as they are, every one of them uses combustion.
This method proves to be the most harmful way of inhaling cannabis, as carbon monoxide, ammonia and a plethora of other harmful carcinogens are released into our respiratory system.
Vaping with a dry herb vaporizer on the other hand, minimizes the use of combustion smoke, and instead, applies convection or conduction (which is explained below) to heat dry herbs into vapor.
This proves to be one of the healthiest ways users can receive the plant’s many valuable compounds without the plethora of carcinogens, which are produced from inhaling burnt plant matter and rolling papers.
It’s no wonder why dry herb vaporizers continue to play a critical role in the medical field for patients seeking pain relief, anti-inflammatory relief and a more effective way out of harder drugs.
So, being that it’s here to stay, the challenge of finding one that suits your needs arises. To ease the process, here are 5 important factors to look for when buying a dry herb vaporizer.
Related Article: Vaping vs Smoking Weed Differences, What Science Has to Say
5 Factors to Look for in a Dry Herb Vaporizer
When it comes to dry herb vaporizers, portability is about more than just device size.
Although, portability implies the feature of having it conveniently fit in the palm of your hand, your purse, pocket or trendy satchel (a value not to be overlooked); portability also refers to discreteness. That is, the discreteness of cannabis smell.
So for true portability, a dry herb vaporizer must be conveniently sized and must be able to disguise trademark cannabis odors and combustion smells.
Thus, leading to the next important factor – a dry herb vaporizer’s heating method.
2. Heating Method – Conduction or Convection?
Remember conduction and convection, the two heating methods involved in turning cannabis into vapor?
Well, when trying to select the right dry herb vaporizer, choosing between a conduction or convection heating type can be an issue. So, here are the differences in an nutshell:
What is a Conduction Dry Herb Vaporizer?
First, conduction vapes rely solely on the transfer of heat through direct contact, sort of like how a stove or bonfire acts when melting traditional camping-style marshmallows.
For herbs that are placed in the heating chambers of conduction vapes, they evaporate within seconds, turning cannabinoids and terpenoids into lung-friendly vapor. Such a process is also called a motionless transfer of heat.
Furthermore, conduction vapes typically stand out by having open flame heating plates that come with butane and battery powered heating chambers. They also stand out for heating herbs at a faster rate over convection vapes, making for a more instant consumption experience.
One important drawback for conduction vapes however, is the higher likelihood that herbs will be heated through combustion.
What is a Convection Dry Herb Vaporizer?
As for convection, this method depends on liquid or gas, such as steam, to facilitate the movement of heat. In a cannabis scenario, convection vapes heat up herbs by circulating hot air through and around it. Thus, heat energy is transferred through liquid, which then turns herbs into inhalable, carcinogenic-free vapor.
Although convection takes more time to heat herbs, there is no chance combustion will take place, like in the case of its counterpart. Something not to be taken lightly.
In addition, convection vapes allow for more accurate temperature controls, providing consumers with more preferences, and overall, a more controlled experience. As such, convection vapes are far more popular among cautious cannabis users.
Lastly, because of easier optimal temperature controls and balanced heating, convection vapes can allow for buds to last for longer durations, making every one of those last nuggets pack an uplifting and savory punch. However, they fall behind in one department – cost.
Overall, portable dry herb vaporizers are priced reasonably in today’s current market. What you pay is truly what you get.
For instance, convection vaporizers – the type that allows for better quality vape experiences – are priced higher than conduction vapes. However, this isn’t to suggest that convection vaporizers are better, because it all boils down to personal preference. Some consumers may enjoy a faster heating process, thus preferring conduction vapes, while others may enjoy the vapor taste produced only by convection.
However, it should be noted that conduction vaporizers were first seen on the market and tend to be less expensive than convection vaporizers.
Related Article: Advantages and Benefits of Vaping Cannabis Over Smoking
4. Temperature Settings
Another factor to consider before buying a weed vaporizer, is whether it gives you specific control over vaping temperatures, not just the general ranges like low, medium and high.
If you’re a recreational connoisseur, the 3 general ranges might be fine, but if you’re using cannabis mainly for therapy, we’d advise looking for a dry herb vaporizer that gives you precise temperature controls.
Because without precise controls, there’s a good chance you won’t be receiving some of cannabis’ critical cannabinoids and terpenoids, given that MANY of them need different temperatures to be activated. For instance, THC vaporizes at 315° F , while, CBD vaporizes at 356° F. Just to name a few.
5. Session Length
Depending on the design of the vape, some units are better for larger group sessions, where all the cannabis loaded into the chamber is consumed in a single sitting, while others excel at single user sessions, where the same bowl can be vaped over multiple occasions.
The differences mainly have to do with battery life, chamber size and how much draws you’re able to get from your flower. You’ll need a battery that can last through an extended group session and a larger chamber for more product if that sort of use is more common for you. Smaller chambers with shorter session lengths are ideal for solo users.
Ready to Find the Right Dry Herb Vaporizer?
Using all these factors, you should be able to discern a dry herb vaporizer that best suits your consumption habits.
However, if you’re still unsure, we’d advise choosing a less costly conduction vape first, that is, if you’re just starting your transition into the vaping universe.
With a conduction vape, you’ll be able to test and experiment if vaping is for you, instead of being fully committed from the start, and splurging on a high-end convection vape.
Want more information on vaporizers? Check out our guide on dab pens and vape pens and how they are different.
Happy vape shopping!