If you’re looking to learn everything there is to know about dry herb vaporizers; then you have come to the right place!
We all know by now that the act of smoking anything, be it tobacco or dry herbs, isn’t great for us. If you were still on the fence about smoking such as traditional cigarettes and how healthy or unhealthy it was for you, check out some of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) facts on tobacco-related deaths each year. There are an estimated 6 million people that die from smoking-related deaths each year.
The good news is that there is an alternative. Dry herb vaporizers allow you to extract the active compounds from your favorite dry herbs without any combustion and the negative effects associated with it.
If you’re not sure what vaping is or how dry herb vaporizers work, then don’t panic, you’re not the only one. Dry herb vaporizers are relatively new and a little bit more complicated compared to just striking a match or flicking a lighter.
Don’t worry. This ultimate guide to dry herb vaporizers will help you through your first dry herb vaporizer purchase and will guide you through the different types of dry herb vaporizers, how they work, how to set them up, what their components are and much more. To make it a little easier, we have set up a Table of Contents that will take you to each of the different sections.
Table of Contents
A dry herb vaporizer is an electronic device that heats dry herbs to the point where their active compounds or ingredients are turned into a vapor which is then inhaled through the mouthpiece of the dry herb vaporizer.
The dry herb vaporizer heats the material to the point where the active compounds are released as a vapor but don’t heat it to the point of combustion. If you’re vaping tobacco, you will get the nicotine. If you were vaping cannabis, you would heat the cannabis to the point where cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were released.
Many people are switching to dry herb vaping because using a vaporizer eliminates the need to smoke through a joint, pipe, or bong. Quitting smoking, because of the negative health aspects, can be extremely difficult. No one wants to give up doing something that they enjoy, so finding an alternative makes a lot of sense.
When you use a vaporizer, you aren’t heating the material to the point where it combusts, just to the perfect point to release the active ingredients. This means that you’re only inhaling vapor with no carcinogens from smoke included.
While we believe that vaping could potentially be a healthier alternative than smoking, the effects of vaping and especially long-term vaping, haven’t been studied extensively. However, we have studied smoking a lot, and we understand that most of the unhealthy aspects of smoking anything relate to the smoke itself. It seems like a pretty straightforward conclusion that if you eliminate the smoke, then you’re eliminating many of the potentially harmful aspects by vaping rather than smoking.
The biggest benefit of dry herb vaping is that you’re getting the same experience without any of the smoke produced through smoking. While it’s great to avoid the dangers posed by smoking, there are also some other benefits associated with dry herb vaping.
One of the benefits is that vaping isn’t going to leave a dirty smoke residue in your house, car, or clothes. No dirty smoke smells lingering around and staining your walls or clothing.
Another benefit is that dry herb vaping doesn’t irritate your throat and lungs like smoking through a pipe, joint, or bong can. This allows you to inhale more deeply when vaping and achieve the same or better results while using less material. When you’re paying a lot of money for whatever it is that you’re using, you need to ensure that you’re getting the most out of it.
Whenever you smoke cannabis, the cannabinoids are only a small part of what you’re inhaling. Most of what you are inhaling is only the by-product of the combustion process. When you use a dry herb vape, you’re inhaling mostly cannabinoids without all the by-products of the combustion process.
However, because smoke is an efficient carrier for cannabinoids, you may find that it takes a little longer for any effects to be felt when you use a vaporizer compared to smoking. It’s essential to start slowly with vaping and allow the effects to be felt before taking multiple hits on the vaporizer.
Many people find that using a vaporizer delivers a completely different high to smoking because you aren’t getting the effects of the smoke when vaping. There are several different terms that people use for the high associated with vaping, including ‘functional high’ and a ‘cleaner high’ because of the way they feel after vaping compared to smoking. Whichever way you look at it, vaping is going to deliver a strong high consistently.
Popular opinion by people that consistently use dry herb vaporizers is that dry herb vaping delivers a superior taste compared to smoking through a pipe, joint, or bong. If you consider yourself a connoisseur and appreciate the different tastes and smells associated with the variety of strains available, then you’ll appreciate the way that vaping doesn’t overpower them as smoking can.
Many people compare the taste of marijuana that has been over vaped to that of burned popcorn. If you’re vaping your favorite dry herbs too much, you’re going to experience that burnt popcorn taste, and that’s an indicator that it’s time to add some fresh herbs.
It’s going to take a little bit of time for you to appreciate the subtle flavor associated with vaping any dry herbs, so don’t base your opinion on one type of herb or your first experience. After a few weeks, you’ll probably find going back to smoking dry herb to be a harsh and bad tasting experience.
Any of the different herbs that you smoke in any of the traditional ways you can use in a dry herb vaporizer. Some people that use dry herb vaporizers like to add a variety of other herbs into their mix to enhance its effects or change its flavor. If you go online and search, you’ll come up with a variety of different herbs that people enjoy adding to their dry herb sessions.
Each of the different dry herbs vaporizers has its advantages and disadvantages. Desktop vaporizers are larger and more powerful, and usually hold more dry herb for larger sessions. Most desktop vaporizers utilize convection heating methods that heat your dry herb material more evenly.
Convection heating pushes the heated air through the material, rather than heating the material in an oven or chamber-like conduction heating. Many desktop vaporizers have pre-heat modes that allow you to have your dry herb ready to vape.
Desktop vaporizers require you to have access to mains power. If you’re planning on vaping in a variety of different locations, then a portable vaporizer or pen vaporizer may be the best choice for you because they have internal batteries that don’t rely on mains power. Portable vaporizers use conduction heating, which requires the dry herb to be shaken or stirred to achieve the best results.
Portable vaporizers and pen vaporizers make it possible to vape in a discreet and stealthy way anywhere you like without having to worry about mains power. They are usually small and discreet enough to slip into your pocket or a bag and transported around to wherever you want to use them. Many small vape pen devices are used for concentrates such as waxes and oils because of their small size.
As cannabis products become more popular around the world, we’re starting to see more products added, such as concentrates. Concentrates include things like waxes, crumbles, oils, and shatter. Concentrates are much stronger than the dry herb and require specific equipment. Small concentrate vaporizers allow you to experience the intensely powerful concentrates.
The biggest advantage if you’re using wax vaporizers or oil vaporizers is a there small and convenient size. It’s essential to consider that concentrates are much more powerful than vaping dry herbs. With concentrates, you’re getting a concentrated form of the cannabinoids such as CBD and THC and less plant material.
Cannabis concentrates can get you extremely high very quickly, which some people find too intense. Many people try cannabis concentrates such as waxes and oils but returns to dry herb because the dosage is easier to control.
E-liquids are flavored liquids that usually contain nicotine and are used by people looking to quit smoking traditional cigarettes. You can also find e-liquids that contain THC and CBD. E-liquid is specifically designed to be used in a vaporizer and turned into a vapor which is then inhaled. CBD and THC oils can’t be used in a vaporizer unless they were specifically designed to be used in a vape.
Most cannabinoid-based e-liquids don’t contain the full plant material. Instead, they usually utilize concentrated cannabinoids in liquid. This difference can result in you experiencing a different type of high when compared to smoking or vaping dry herbs.
There are hundreds of different dry herb vaporizers available on the market, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. The one you choose will ultimately depend on your requirements and budget.
The most important part of packing a dry herb vaporizer effectively is getting the herb ground up correctly. If you haven’t got a dry herb vaporizer, then it’s well worth investing in one. There are some great dry herb grinders available that will consistently deliver evenly ground dry herbs.
Many dry herb vaporizers come with a small tamping tool that’s used to evenly tap down or stir the dry herb throughout the vaping process.
When you use a conduction vaporizer, the dry herb is packed into a chamber or oven that is heated up. The dry herb comes in direct contact with the walls of the chamber. It’s because of this that you want more of the dry herb to come into contact with the walls of the oven.
Convection vaporizers utilize a fan to push heated air through the dry herb material. If you pack the dry herb in too tightly, the air won’t be able to make its way through the dry herb, and it’s not going to heat up effectively.
If you buy a dry herb vaporizer with customizable temperature settings, then most experts agree that you should start with a lower temperature until you’re accustomed to vaping dry herb. When you vape at a low temperature, you’ll be able to experience the full flavor of the dry herb. If you vape too hot, then you can heat the dry herb too fast and have an unpleasant vaping experience.
Inhale deeply and slowly when you first start vaping. Unlike smoking via traditional methods such as bongs, pipes, or joints, you don’t get a stronger experience through vaping. You should average about five to ten hits off your portable vaporizer before your dry herb is finished, and you need to refill.
If you are using a conduction vaporizer, try giving it a gentle shake or mix to redistribute the dry herb at about the middle point of your session. Mixing or shaking the dry herb will help to distribute the dry herb and allow a more even heating experience throughout the session. If you pack the convection vaporizer correctly, you shouldn’t need to shake or mix it throughout the session.
The best temperature for your dry herb marijuana flower is approximately between about 170°C and 210°C. One of the great things about vaping with a dry herb vaporizer is that you can choose temperature ranges that suit your personal preferences.
Different cannabinoids such as CBD or THC are released at different heating points, and by adjusting your temperature, you can choose a temperature that suits your tastes. For example, THC is released at 157°C, CBD is released at 160-180°C and CBN is released at 185°C.
You can fine-tune your vape temperature to suit you. However, remember that the combustion point of cannabis is approximately 230°C, and if you reach that point, then you’re going to burn your dry herb and start to inhale smoke rather than vapor.
If you’re used up dry herb looks brown or lightly toasted, then you’re vaping it, but if it’s black, burnt, or ashy, then you’re just burning it.
Most sessions on your dry herb vaporizer will deliver about 5-10 hits before the dry herb needs to be replaced. Still, there are a lot of variables that you need to consider, such as the quality of the dry herb, the type of heating, the temperature you’re vaping at, and how much dry herb you use.
If you reach the point where your vaporizer starts to taste like burnt popcorn, then your dry herb is finished, and it’s time to replace it with fresh herbs.
Depending on the size of the chamber, many people find it difficult to vape an entire bowl in one session. This is particularly relevant with large desktop-style vaporizers that have a bigger capacity compared to small portable vaporizers. Whether or not you can stop midway through a session depends on the type of vaporizer that you’re using.
If you are using a dry herb vaporizer that utilizes conduction heating, the dry herb will remain in contact with the chamber until it cools completely down. The dry herb will continue to be heated until the chamber cools, and you can’t effectively return to it later. If you can’t finish one full chamber in a session, try packing smaller amounts of dry herb into the bowl.
If you’re using a vaporizer that has convection heating and the chamber doesn’t get excessively hot while vaping, it is sometimes possible to stop vaping halfway through a session and then return to it later.
It’s important to note, though, that if you stop halfway through a session and then return to it later, you’re vaping experience isn’t going to be the same. THC vaporizes at a lower temperature compared to other cannabinoids, so the THC may be gone leaving only the other cannabinoids.
If you are vaping with your dry herb vaporizer and find that it starts to taste like burnt popcorn, then this is a good indicator that you have got all that you’re going to get out of that dry herb, and it’s time to replace it with some fresh material.
The completely vaped material is going to appear light brown and dry, while if the material is burnt or black, then it’s been heated too much.
One of the great things about most dry herb vaporizers is that they’re relatively quick and easy to clean if you do it regularly and don’t leave a residue to build up. Most dry herb vaporizers contain a removable screen and mouthpiece that are quick and easy to take apart.
Once they are cool enough to touch, you can remove them from the vaporizer and either wipe them down with an isopropyl alcohol wipe or soak them in a solution of isopropyl alcohol and then wipe clean with paper towels.
The more frequently you clean your dry herb vaporizer, the easier it will be. If you leave it for longer periods between cleaning, then the oil or residue can build up and become stubborn to remove. It’s essential to keep any electrical components, including batteries, out of the way of any water during the cleaning process.
If you have a higher budget and you’re looking to target specific cannabinoids when you vape dry herbs, then customizable temperature control is important. If you don’t have the budget for fully customizable temperature control on your vape, then a basic model with low, medium and high-temperature settings will probably get the job done. The more control over temperature you have, the better the vaping experience will be, but for beginners, a basic dry herb vaporizer is the recommended choice.
Almost all small portable dry herb vaporizers are going to use conduction heating. Conduction heating involves placing the dry herb into the oven or chamber, which then heats the dry herb through the walls of the oven.
When you have convection heating, which is usually in more expensive and larger desktop vaporizers, heated air is pushed through the dry herb. If the dry herb is packed into the chamber correctly, convection heating provides a more effective heating method that delivers more consistent results.
While the convection heating method can deliver better results, larger, more expensive desktop convection vaporizers aren’t always the most practical devices, especially if you enjoy vaping in different locations rather than being at home. Most desktop vaporizers require that you always have access to mains power compared to portable vaporizers that have batteries.
If you are vaping your dry herbs at the correct temperature, there could be some of the active ingredients left after you finish vaping them, so don’t just throw them all away in the rubbish after your session is done.
Many people use their left-over dry herb to make their version of herb butter. You need to start by grinding your left-over dry herb into a fine powder. You can do this by using a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle.
Now, you want to combine equal parts of your dry herb with regular butter and gently heat it in a pan with a small amount of water. Gently heat the mixture over low heat and frequently stir for at least one hour.
Next, pour the mixture through a strainer and allow it cool in a refrigerator. The butter and water will separate, and you can scrape the butter off and use it in regular recipes as you see fit. Some people make this recipe without the water component. Still, popular opinion says that the water helps to remove some of the chlorophyll from the cannabis and makes the final mixture not only taste better but easier to filter.
If you have never tried edibles before, it’s important that you start extremely slowly as the effects can be particularly strong. It’s a completely different high compared to smoking or vaping. Take it very slowly and be sure to allow 30-60 minutes before eating more edibles as it can take some time for the effects of edibles to be felt.
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