by Angel Ferrer 8 min read
Vaporizing has been with us since before the turn of the century but the current explosion in popularity can be traced to a couple of legal developments. The first of those was the imposition of sweeping anti-smoking legislation. Whereas in your parent’s day you could smoke anywhere you pleased (including on airplanes) today, to put it simply, you can’t. When the anti-smoking laws hit the books, smokers of traditional combustible cigarettes needed to find a way around the rules. As an alternative, they looked to vaporizers in order to get their nicotine fix. The second change was the still ongoing movement to legalize marijuana. As more and more jurisdictions have legalized pot, the market for cannabis consumption technology (like vaporizers) has gone through the roof.
Below we’ll take a close look at the humble marijuana vaporizer, and how this new tech can greatly enhance your next session with that favorite green herb of ours…
A vaporizer is a device that introduces heat, either directly or indirectly, to cannabis flower, buds, ground up herbs or other concentrates (like waxes or oils). This heat rises the temperature of your marijuana to a temperature at which it literally vaporizes (or at least all the good compounds do, you know, THC, CBD, terpenes and other cannabinoids).
This “vapor” produces a cloud (largely invisible) that includes psychotropic and other organic compounds from your herbs. Once vaporized, you take a drag, hit, pull or whatever you want to call it, inhaling the vapor and reaping the benefits of the weed without ever having to inhale smoke from the combustion process.
This process results in a purer, healthier, more flavorful and intense experience that is both discrete and fun to participate in. Below we’ll outline some of these benefits in more detail…
Related: Vaporizer vs. A Bong
The benefits of vaporizing vs smoking are many and include:
See More: How to Vape Weed
Not all vaporizers are built alike. And some are made for marijuana, whilst others are designed to be used only with e-juices. The following are things you should look for in a marijuana vaporizer. Some are essential considerations, while others are more of a matter of personal preference. In the end, the choice is up to you. We suggest looking up reviews and asking friends for advice as a second step in your research process. And if you have any questions, we’re always here to help as well, just drop us a line.
Before you buy a vaporizer you’ll need to decide which type of product you’ll be using it for. Those built to vape buds are different than those built to vape concentrates. In general, vapes made for concentrates and extracts are smaller than those made to vape buds. Simply because buds take up a lot more space than, say, a dab of wax or a bit of shatter. Ask your retailer which is right for you.
These fancy terms simply refer to the way in which your marijuana is heated into vapor. Each has their own benefits and downsides.
With a convection vaporizer, a hot mist is introduced to the cannabis product that extracts the active ingredients and presents those to you in the form of an often invisible vapor cloud which you then inhale.
With conduction heating, the shatter, wax or whatever concentrate you’re using is placed directly on a heating element. Once it reaches a critical temperature, the active ingredients are extracted and turned into vapor for you to inhale.
With convection you typically get a cleaner, more even heating of the weed, which is ideal for a more potent and flavorful experience. With conduction you will likely experience a bigger vape cloud due to the direct contact. However, distribution of heat is uneven and you may “overcook” certain portions of your bud. In fact, there are many who argue that conduction may actually produce smoke, or at least a combination of smoke and vapor. This somewhat undermines the health benefits of using a vaporizer.
E-cigs, Pens and Ciggalikes- The vast majority of vaporizers are hand-held e-cigs or pens. The e-cig or e-cigarette was the first type of vaporizer to gain widespread acceptance as smokers sought ways either to quit or to comply with rigid anti-smoking laws that came into effect over the past 20 years. The e-cig however is actually waning in popularity among stoners because its appearance can bring the wrath of the anti-smoking contingent. And who wants to be verbally assaulted while trying to cop a buzz on a nice summer day? If you answered “nobody”, you’re right.
The good news is that there are plenty of other vaporizers out there that are discrete and highly portable such as E-Nails. As it relates to vaping marijuana, you’ll want to seek out a device designed for the particular type of concentrate you wish to vape. For example, most oil vaporizers are not compatible with dry herbs.
Speaking of types of vaporizers, let’s cover the basics below:
See More: Best Portable Vaporizers
Box mods - Box mods all but eliminate that possibility of having a screamer in your face at the park, because they look like a box of breath mints, not a cigarette or pipe. The name is derived from the fact that the first such devices were actually modified Altoid tins or other household items that had a boxy shape. So boxy - or “box” - and modified - or “mod” - equals “box mod”. Because the box resembles breath mints, or an iPod, or a card reader, your discretion is assured and your buzz can be copped without fear of reprisals.
Table-top units like the “volcano” are more for socializing. They’re pretty large and serve the same basic function as the hookah. They’re largely a social accessory that facilitates the sharing of cannabis with others. With table top units your wax or buds (or whatever substrate your vaporizing) gets heated to a point where the compounds vaporize and a bag at the top of the unit collects the fumes. With some units you remove the bag and take drag, or pass the bag around for everyone to take a hit. With other devices you inhale through a mouthpiece attached to a tube that inserts into the bag (similar to a hookah). Just don’t Bogart that bag my friend!
It should be noted that table-top units are also popular for the delivery of medical marijuana, particularly among patients that have never smoked weed before and have no interest in its recreational possibilities. They need the relief from pain the weed can provide and find the table-top unit a non-objectionable way to deliver that relief.
Vaporizers have exploded onto the cultural landscape due to a combination of laws making it illegal to smoke cigarettes in most places, and other laws making it legal to smoke weed. It’s an unanticipated series of events to be sure. However, serendipity in this case has produced a happy ending for cannabis enthusiasts, and opened the door for more effective treatment of many types of chronic pain as well. The most important things to remember when selecting a vaporizer is what type of product you intend to use it with, and where you intend to use it. Beyond that it’s all good, so enjoy!
Yes, sign me up for marketing emails from Hemper. You can change your mind anytime by unsubscribing.