A vaporizer is a product which heats dry herbs (and other loose leaf materials) to their vaporization point (ranging between 175C-230C depending on the unit), allowing active chemicals to be released in the form of vapor without combustion. Without any tar and ash, vaporizers produce a lot less smell and can be used indoors in private settings (such an apartment) discreetly and without a lingering smell. Due to the lack of combustion, studies have demonstrated that vaporizers are orders of magnitude safer than combustion, and even doctors have begun recommending vaporizers to their medical patients, especially since many of them have conditions in which smoking is not possible. In comparison to smoking, vaporizers are said to have a more energetic and uplifting high (possibly due to the lack of carbon monoxide which can cause a lethargic feeling), and different effects can be achieved depending on the temperature you choose to vaporize at. In order to get the best possible vapor production out of your device, it is highly recommend that you use only high grade product with your device.
Heating Styles: Conduction Vs Convection
In order to vaporize your dry herbs, vaporizers use either one of two heating methods known as conduction and convection. Conduction style vaporizers transfer heat energy through direct contact with the heating element (similar to how to a stove heats up a pot of water). Conduction systems are generally found in portable vaporizers in which battery life is a concern and utilize heating chambers that have direct contact with your herbal material On the other hand, convection technology is used mostly for desktop vaporizers (especially those which use a fan) Providing you have a good quality vaporizer, both styles should work equally well.
Types Of Vaporizers
There are three major formats of vaporizers available, and these are desktop, portable, and vape pens. The first category is desktop vaporizers. This class of vaporizers is designed to be used in mainly one location as they tend to be fairly large and require an electric power source. The two main styles of desktop vapes are bag, whip, and hybrid. Bag style vaporizers such as the Volcano fill a bag full of vapor, and then you use the bag at your convenience. Whip style vapes use tubing (generally silicone), and when you take a puff air passes over the heating element and creates vapor. Hybrid style desktop vapes blend the best of both worlds, and devices such as the Extreme Q offer both bag and whip capabilities. In general, desktop vapes boast the highest vapor production, and in most cases they can be left on all day and used at your convenience (especially ones with a whip).
The second category is portables. Designed for both loose leaf and essential oils, portable vapes offer great vapor production for while you’re looking to be discreet while you’re on the go. There are a wide range of options currently available, and devices such as the DaVinci Ascent boast several advanced features such as an all-glass vapor paths and LED temperature gauges. Although they have the advantage of being portable, they depend on batteries for power, and when choosing a portable vape it is important to take your usage patterns and battery life into consideration. Some portable models such as the Arizer Air can be used while charging, effectively turning it into a desktop vape. However, portables generally have smaller bowls compared to desktop vapes, and because of this expect to keep your vape sessions to a maximum of three people.
The third and final style of vaporizer is the vape pen. Similar in design to e-cigarettes, vape pens such are devices which are designed to effectively vaporize concentrates. Vape pens such as the Atmos RX are perfect for those who primarily use concentrates, and medical patients may find them much easier to carry around and use than a traditional loose leaf portable. Although some vape pens are advertised as being able to vaporize loose leaf, the vast majority of them tend to scorch the herb and should be used only for concentrates (or as electric pipes).
A wide array of vaporizer accessories are currently available, and several of them can markedly improve your vaping experience. Firstly, because of the warm temperatures involved in the vaporization process, some individuals feel that the vapor can be harsh (especially if dry bud is used). In order to mitigate this, many vaporizers offer glass on glass (GoG) adapters which can connect your device to a bong. Secondly, because good airflow is an essential component in obtaining good vapor production, it is important to grind your herb with a quality herb grinder. Finally, if you plan on purchasing a desktop vape, make sure that it comes with silicone tubing rather rather PVC (the Extreme Q for example ships with PVC). Unlike PVC tubing, silicone is inert, can withstand high temperatures, and is able to be cleaned with high proof alcohol. Silicone tubing can be ordered inexpensively from Amazon, just make sure you get the proper inner diameter size for your model vape!