How Do Dry Herb Vaporizers Work?
If you’ve found that smoking just isn’t your scene, then you may have heard the positive buzz surrounding dry herb vaporizers. These nifty little devices allow you to “smoke” flower without the irritation of smoke filling your lungs.
But getting into vaping can seem intimidating if you don’t know where to start. There’s a wide selection of options out there. If you’re considering making the switch, or you’re just curious, then read on and see what vape devices might interest you.
What is a Dry Herb Vape?
Instead of burning, vaporizers heat the product until the terpenes and cannabinoids become a vapor. There’s less odor, the hit is smoother, and the experience is free of many of the carcinogens that come about from flame combustion. Dry herb vapes differ from other vape devices, in that they can handle a plant product. Most other vape devices are built for wax or e-Liquid. Some devices can double as both a dry herb and wax vaporizer.
Most dry herb devices are called pens, due to their small size and simple shape.
How Do I Use a Dry Herb Vape Pen?
Each vape device is a little different. The pen you choose will have its own quirks and settings, but the basics are pretty simple. You simply load the chamber with your flower (remembering that less is more in this case), heat up the pen and take a hit.
Care Tips for your Vape Pen
Cleaning is essential to the longevity of your pen. If you don’t clean out the residue from your pen’s chamber at least once a day, you’ll eventually clog it up. The restricted airflow will affect the quality of your vape and may eventually render your pen unusable. It’s always easier to shortly after each use, rather than waiting until a problem occurs.
What’s Your Vape Style?
There’s a dry herb vape pen for every vaper out there. Some are more customizable than others. If you’re new to the vaping game, you’ll likely want to pick something simple and relatively cheap. Remember: cheap doesn’t have to mean poor quality, many top devices can be found on great sales from time to time. Kits are also great idea, as you’ll have everything you need and won’t have to chase down extra pieces or attachments.
The biggest question to ask when choosing your first vape pen is whether you want a conduction or convection device. The difference is in how the device heats the dry herbs. Conduction devices can allow you more temperature control but there is a risk of burning. Convection devices give a more even heat range and an overall smoother flavor.
Dry herb vaporizers generally rely on conduction to heat the cannabis directly, but there are also vaporizers which rely on convection heating mechanisms.
Everything You Need To Know About Dry Herb Vaporizers
Dry herb vaporizers are perfect for cannabis smokers who are just getting into vaping. In this article, we take an in-depth look at dry herb vapes, what they are, how they work, and how to properly use them.
Want to try vaping cannabis? Then a dry herb vaporizer is perfect. Unlike concentrate vapes, dry herb vaporizers are designed to be used with herb only, allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of smoking cannabis, just without the smoke.
WHAT IS A DRY HERB VAPORIZER?
Vaporizers work by heating and evaporating the cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis without combusting it. And, as the name suggests, dry herb vaporizers are designed to vaporize unprocessed flowers and other plant matter only. Meanwhile, “regular” vaporizers are usually designed to vaporize concentrates like wax, shatter, crumble, or CO₂ extracts (found in vape pens).
HOW DO DRY HERB VAPORIZERS WORK?
Vaporizers use conduction and/or convection heating to turn cannabinoids and terpenes into vapor.
Conduction vaporizers use heating elements to transfer heat to your weed via direct contact. To better understand how this works, imagine how you cook an egg in a frying pan; the heat from your stove heats the pan, which then cooks the egg via direct contact.
Convection vaporizers, on the other hand, work more like convection ovens in that they circulate hot air around your herb. In doing so, they gradually and evenly heat your cannabis, allowing the compounds within to evaporate without combusting.
UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF YOUR DRY HERB VAPE
• Battery: Most portable vaporizers need a battery in order to operate. Many modern vapes come with lithium-ion batteries since they are rechargeable and offer high energy density, a slower rate of self-discharge than Ni-Cad or NiMH battery cells, and a range of other benefits. Vape batteries can either be fixed or removable, depending on the model.
• Chamber: The chamber is where you place your herb. Older vapes had stainless steel chambers, but most modern devices use ceramic chambers as they heat faster, retain heat better, and don’t affect the flavour of your weed. Some vape manufacturers are also starting to use quartz chambers. While they take a little longer to heat, quartz chambers are the best at retaining the natural flavour of your weed.
• Mouthpiece: The mouthpiece is where you draw vapor from the chamber into your mouth. Different vapes can have very different mouthpieces, and it’s important to take the time to find one that suits you. Tapered or cylindrical mouthpieces tend to be the most comfortable, but their length can make it a little more difficult to inhale. Flat mouthpieces don’t have this problem, but they can be a little less comfortable. For maximum flavour, consider investing in a vape with a glass mouthpiece over silicone or hard rubber pieces.
HOW TO USE A DRY HERB VAPORIZER
Using a dry herb vaporizer is pretty straightforward. And while each vape is different, the following steps apply to most models.
1. Read through the instruction manual: Your vape has a manual for a reason. Before you get started, make sure to give it a quick read to learn the specifics of your particular make and model of vaporizer.
2. Charge your vape: Most vapes on the market come with USB chargers. For a faster charge, and to preserve the life of your lithium battery, always charge your vape fully by connecting it to a wall adaptor rather than a PC. Also, let your vape run out of battery completely the first 2–3 times you use it to help calibrate the battery and preserve its longevity.
3. The “burn-off”: This step isn’t usually included in your vape’s instruction manual, but it’s super important as it helps clear your vape of any residue that may be left in its chamber from manufacture or storage. After you’ve charged your vape, make sure its chamber is empty, clear it from visible particles, turn it on, and let it heat to its highest setting. Repeat this process 2–3 times to help burn off any residue in the chamber.
4. Prepare your herb: Big chunks of flower won’t vaporize properly, so you’ll want to grind your weed to a medium-fine consistency, giving it a larger, more even surface area. This will allow your vape to produce better hits packed with all the cannabinoids and terpenes you want.
5. Pack your chamber: For this step, it’s best to follow the specific instructions that come with your vape. Remember never to overpack your chamber, as this can affect your vape’s ability to function properly.
6. Preheat your vape: Almost every vape on the market today has a preheat feature. Make sure to use it to get your vape up to temp faster and ensure a better vaping experience.
7. Set your temperature: Once your vape has preheated, it’s time to select your temperature. Some vapes have preset temperature settings while others have a custom temperature dial. Whatever the case, you’ll likely need a few tries to find the setting that suits you best. Most people will vape cannabis between 170–220°C.
8. Inhale: Once your vape has reached the temperature you selected, it’s time to inhale. Remember to take slow, consistent draws for about 3–5 seconds. Also keep in mind that you’ll get a lot more terpenes and cannabinoids out of your weed when vaping, so take one or two hits and wait a bit to avoid getting too stoned too quickly.
TIPS FOR THE PERFECT VAPING EXPERIENCE
• Keep it clean: Always clean your vaporizer after every session (think Q-tips/cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol) to keep it working properly and preserve its life.
• Use properly dried and cured weed: Sticky, slightly moist weed will be harder to vaporize.
• Get a good grinder: A good grind is key to a proper vaping experience as it gives your weed the perfect consistency.
• Find your sweet spot: To do so, start vaping at the lowest temp (170°C), and work your way up until you find a temperature that gives you full draws with the best possible flavour and desired effects.
• Remove your vape from its power source once it has fully charged to preserve its battery life.
Dry herb vapes are the perfect way to transition from smoking to vaping weed, without losing the "herbal" experience. Here's what you need to know!