Vaping provides a healthier alternative to smoking. Vaporizers can be used to ingest dry herb, oil, and wax concentrates and any other extracts. Vaporizers work by heating the product to its vaporizing point rather than actually reaching combustion. This is more efficient because much of the active cannabinoids are lost by the time most products reach the point of combustion. It is also healthier because the reduced particulate matter, as well as tar and carcinogens, would otherwise be released with the smoke when a substance is burned. It is also healthier because of the lower heating point of vaporization. Study’s show that breathing in heat is very dangerous, causing damage to the cilia and encourages the growth and proliferation of cancer cells in the lungs.
Vaporizers have evolved in recent years to provide a far better vaping experience than early vape devices. The different types and varieties of vaporizers can make purchasing the ideal one complex and confusing. There are many different questions to consider when purchasing a vaporizer. For example, several important questions include:
- What substance will I put in the vaporizer and will the substance come in the form of dry herb, wax, or oil?
- How much control do I want over the temperature of the vape, which will affect the taste, potency and size of the hit?
- Will the substance be preloaded into a convenient 510 thread cartridge or will it be packaged in parchment paper, silicone or PTFE?
- Do I want a home vaporizer with many functions or do I need the convenience of a portable vaporizer or vape pen to vape on the go?
Many vaporizers can be used for both dry herbs and concentrates. However, oftentimes there are different vaporizers for each. The coil of the vaporizing device, the structure of the chamber and the temperature of the heating element chamber will typically vary based on the substance that the vaporizer is intended to vape. Concentrates usually require a higher temperature than dry herb. Amongst concentrates, people tend to enjoy vaping waxes at a higher temperature than higher viscosity oils.
Due to the fact that oils are runny, sticky and hard to work with, they often come conveniently prepackaged in a small 510 thread cartridge. This is the easiest and most portable way to vape. It is also very concealable due to its visual similarities to e-cigs and has minimal smell compared to other methods. When dealing with a cartridge like this, you will have a few options. The cheapest and most common option is technically called a battery or mod, but is often just referred to in its whole as a vape pen. These may come with a button or sometimes no button and just heat upon inhaling through the cartridge with only one temperature. The vape pens or mods with a button sometimes have the ability to change the temperature.
When a home vaporizer or portable vaporizer has the ability to change temperatures it adds an additional element to the smoking experience. The temperature can be ratcheted up for larger, stronger, thicker hits. However, at higher temperatures flavor will be lost due to the lower vaporizing point of terpenes. Lower heat provides more flavorful hits, as terpenes vaporize at a lower temperature of 310°F to 400°F. So to enjoy the optimal flavor profile it is best to use a low temperature or find a middle ground for the first couple hits and then possibly increase the temperature for the final hits. Most people find the happy medium for concentrates to be somewhere around 600-710°F then apply some sort of cap to raise the internal temperature above that in order to finish the hit. For these reasons, Vaporizers and vape pens with adjustable temperatures are generally viewed as superior and are usually more expensive.
Recently, vaporizers have advanced to act more as dabbing devices. Some have even begun to incorporate water filtration, such as the Randy’s Aqua Pilot, Sutra DBR, Dr. Dabber Switch, and others. They are basically like a like a small vaporizer or vape pen with a bubbler-like attachment at the top. The water filtration cools the vapor and removes most of any potential particulate matter. We are now even beginning to see bubbler attachments incorporate recyclers and other technologies to increase filtration and diffusion.
The increase in vaporization technology has lead to an increase in the way batteries are used to power vaporizers. Some smaller vaporizer pens use a simple 510 thread battery, similar to the the battery employed by the most common, cheap vape pen battery product named the eGo e-cig battery. Others have advanced in a path more similar to electronic cigarettes, relying on a power source provided by a box mod with replaceable 18650 batteries.
Box mods tend to be more heavily utilized by concentrate and wax vapers, this is due to a lack of reliable 510 thread options and increased temperature control. Dry herb vaporizers have evolved in a slightly different path than concentrate vaporizer in this regard due to differences in preferred heating elements. For dry herbs, it is optimal to use a convection oven instead of a conduction oven. This is due to that fact that dry herbs must be heated gently in order to prevent combustion, whereas concentrates and wax can be heated directly as vaporization is easier to achieve with these substances. These differences have lead dry herb vaporizers to be mainly sold as a whole all-in-one unit as opposed to the disparate, separate parts most concentrate vaporizers are sold as. This allows dry herb vaporizers to operate with more accuracy during the more delicate process.
Shahab L, Goniewicz ML, Blount BC, et al. Nicotine, Carcinogen, and Toxin Exposure in Long-Term E-Cigarette and Nicotine Replacement Therapy Users: A Cross-sectional Study. Annals of Internal Medicine. Published online February 7 2017
David B. Wright, Human Physiology and Health. General Certificate of Secondary Education. Heinemann, 2000
*These statements have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
**The beliefs and opinions expressed in this blog are not those of Waterbeds ‘n’ Stuff.