What is a Vaporizer?
A vaporizer is a small electronic device that creates vapor from a specific substance that can be inhaled. There are many medicinal applications, as well as recreational, when it comes to vaping. There are three main substances people generally use in their vape pens; dry marijuana herb, cannabis wax concentrates, and cannabis oil concentrates. Dry herb is marijuana that has been dried and cured. Bud should be ground finely before being loaded into the vape chamber; full nuggets will not vaporize adequately or completely. This is the most common substance that people vape. Cannabis concentrates are quickly becoming more popular than ever. This includes substances like wax and oil. These substances are cannabis products with an extremely high concentration of cannabinoids (like THC). This is done through an extraction process to distill the desired cannabinoids from marijuana flowers or trim. The extraction process used will determine the concentrate that is produced. Wax concentrates are like sandy butter and usually golden in color. They tend to crumble slightly when handled. Oil concentrates are slick, sticky oils. The color can vary greatly, ranging from light blonde or honey to dark amber.
Herbs and concentrates are both great options. Dry cannabis flower is more flavorful and better for sharing. Concentrates like oils and wax are more potent and can be more cost effective. Some people have a strong preference over one or the other, while other people like it all. The choice is completely up to you. There are specialty vapes on the market for each type of material. There are also vapes out there that claim they can do a combination (like dry herb and wax), many including small interchangeable attachments. Combo vapes are notorious for being lesser quality. Unlike a specialty vape, they are not calibrated to heat at the optimal range for the material you are using, which can lead to waste and poor taste. Specialty vaporizers are made with the material you are consuming in mind. They will heat at the ideal temperature and properly use up the substance completely, which makes all the difference.
Most people are making the switch to vaporizers because vaping is a much safer alternative to smoking. Smoking is bad for you, it’s the leading cause of lung cancer and many other respiratory conditions. When you burn marijuana in a glass pipe or a joint, the smoke produced is made up of 88% non-cannabinoid components. That means only 12% of the smoke has the goodies you’re looking for. That 88% also includes toxic chemicals and carcinogens, which do damage to every system in your body. Vaping is much safer! When vaping cannabis, the vapor produced is 95% cannabinoids. Plus, 95% of the THC is absorbed within the first few seconds of inhaling.
How do Cannabis Vaporizers, Wax Pens, and Oil Vapes Work?
Most vaporizers work in the same way. Make sure your vape is charged before using. Then, load your material into the heating chamber. Once your device is loaded and back together, click the power button 5 times in rapid succession to turn the vape on. Press and hold the button to heat the vape. Draw from the vape while it is being heated and you will inhale the vapors. It is recommended that you use short bursts of heat and pull in slowly. Once you are finished, click the power button quickly 5 times again and the device will power off. The biggest difference between dry herb, wax and oil vape pens is the heating chamber.
A dry herb vape will have a large hollow chamber to fill with ground cannabis. Hot air will flow over and through the chamber, vaping the weed and releasing vapor. Make sure that you do not pack the bowl too tightly, or it will make it difficult to vape completely and get a good hit. A dab pen usually uses vape coils rather than a heating chamber. Use a dabbing tool to grab a generous amount of wax and gently place it on the coils. Packing too tightly can damage the coils or cause spillage, which is wasteful and messy. Oil pens are very similar to wax pens, most also have coils. Use a dabbing tool to load the bowl, making sure not to add too much to avoid spills and coil breakage. It’s important to note that concentrate vapes should be kept upright as hot concentrates are viscous; they flow with gravity and will collect where left to rest.
The Benefits of Vaping Cannabis
There are 8 major benefits to vaping:
- Vaporizers are a Healthier Alternative to Smoking - As discussed earlier, vaping cannabis is much healthier than smoking it. Vaping is done at lower temperatures, around 320-400°F, which is less harsh on your lungs. A joint can reach temperatures of over 2000°F. Smoking also creates toxic chemicals and carcinogens. The hotter the herb burns, the more of these chemicals are released. Vaporizers do not release any of the toxins or carcinogens associated with smoking.
- Zero Risk of Secondhand Smoke - The people around you will be glad you chose vaping over smoking. Smoke is smelly and extremely harmful for those inhaling it, even secondhand. Vaping is almost completely smell free and vapor is harmless to others if they inhale. Vapor also dissipates very quickly, meaning there won’t be lingering vapor bothering others.
- Vaping Results in Faster Pain Relief - There are many medicinal applications for cannabis vapor. It is one of the most promising and effective ways to treat pain and inflammation. When you inhale cannabis vapor, the THC and other active components are absorbed by your lungs almost immediately. The effects of the marijuana can be felt almost as quickly. Most people find relief after a few moments into their vape session. With smoking, it can take up to 30 minutes for people to find relief.
- Vaping Cannabis Reduces Respiratory Issues - Switching from smoking to vaping can result in significant respiratory system improvements which leads to better overall lung health. Vapor is less irritating to your lungs and actually gives them a chance to heal on their own. Once you make the switch, you’ll feel better and breathe easier.
- Vaping is More Flavorful - Vaping weed tastes far better than smoking it. When you burn cannabis it turns ashy and the flavor is gone after the first hit. Vaping releases the full flavor profile of a strain. You’ll be able to taste the cannabis from start to finish during your vape session.
- Vape Pens Are Portable and Convenient - Vape pens are small, most being able to fit in a pocket or purse with ease. These devices are self contained and easy to use, making them the perfect travel companion. When it comes to enjoying cannabis on the go, there isn’t a more convenient method on the market.
- Vaping is Discreet - Vapes are small and easy to use in public without notice. Because vapor dissipates so quickly, you can vape outside or in a well-ventilated area and people might not even know what you’re up to.
- Vaping is Cost Effective - Smoking literally burns through your weed, usually at a fast pace. You need much less weed when you vape, making vaporizing a more conservative and cost effective option.
What is the Difference Between Vaping and Smoking Cannabis?
Smoking is a form of combustion that is harsh on the lungs. Vaporizing creates a much safer vapor. Smoking burns through a lot of weed while less cannabis is used with vaporizers. Vaping is more accepted in public and safer for everyone around you. Smoking is stinky and bad for you while vaping is nearly odorless and much healthier.
What is the Difference Between Combustion, Convection, and Conduction Vaporizers?
Combustion vaporizers are not true vaporizers. They burn herbs by directly exposing them to a heating coil. Conduction vaporizers are similar. The herbs are heated to vaporization temperatures through direct contact with a heating surface. Convection vape pens are the best. They utilize hot air to vaporize the cannabis, creating true vapor.
What are the Best Temperatures for Vaping Weed, Wax, and Oil?
Choosing the right temperature is a matter of personal preference. Some people like the potency of high temperatures while others prefer the flavor profile of low temperatures. However, there is an optimal range for the different materials:
- Weed is best vaped around 375-410°F.
- Wax is best vaped around 380-400°F.
- Oil is best vaped around 370-410°F.
A Look to the Future
Vaporizers are a safer and healthier alternative to smoking for you, those around you and the environment. They are discreet, easy to use and great for traveling. Plus, vaping is budget friendly and conservative. Vaporizers are for the health conscious. Each day, more and more medicinal applications for vapes are becoming clear. Vaping cannabis is a modern substitute for many pills and drugs, one that does not have adverse side effects or expose people to toxic chemicals. As technologies advance, vaporizers will continue to evolve and their applications as healthier alternatives will only grow.