By Alex, King Pen Vapes
Dry Herb Vaporizers
In case you have been living under a rock for the past 4 years, weed vaporizers have been the main hype about pretty much anything marijuana related. Need to get a hit but want to be discreet? Use your herbal vape pen. Want to conserve weed? Use your dry herb vaporizer. Want to opt for a healthier option while still using your medical marijuana? Great! Use your weed vaporizer.
Dry herb vaporizers is a battery or electrically powered device whether it is in the shape of a pen, a walkie-talkie, flask or just a desktop device, helps heat your herbs to the perfect temperature to vaporize them. Unlike smoking, vaporizing releases the active ingredient to be released without causing the herbs to burn or release any harmful toxins. In the case of medical marijuana, THC and other cannabinoids will be released while leaving the marijuana intact. If you like edibles, you can turn around and use the left over buds for edibles which is called already vaped bud (AVB) or already been vaped (ABV).
Now the money is piling up along with your herbs huh? Another way you can save money with vaporizers is that you do not burn the herb with a vape so you can take many more hits off one bowl of herbs in a vape than a bowl or bong.
First and foremost, make sure your herbs are ground up nice. Never throw a solid nug into the chamber or bowl. You will not get an even heat distribution and the air flow through your mouthpiece will not work properly. Always make sure you grind it up and even go to the extent of using your fingers to break it down even more if you can. Fill up the herbal chamber half of the way up but don’t pack it down too tight to keep proper airflow. After this step, different herbal vaporizers will require different attention.
Types of Dry Herb Vaporizers and How to Use them
Weed vapes come in different shapes and sizes with different options. Some are dry herb vape pens, some are portable herbal vapes and few are desktop vaporizers. They all have different reasons they can be used for. For example, an herbal vape pen can be used for discreet purposes when you are out and about. A desktop vape can be used when you are at home or with a group of friends.
Temperature control on dry herb vaporizers are very important. All herbs vaporize at different temperatures. Some can be wetter than others while other are denser. Vaporizers can come with different temperature settings whether they start from 150°F or around the low 300s. They all usually end at around 430°F since there is no reason to really pass that. If you are vaping medical marijuana, stay around 356°F to 392°F.
Grinding your herbs is another thing to remember. You never want to throw a nug into the chamber and just start vaping away. Depending on your vape, sure you will get vapor but it will not evenly heat your herbs. If you want to get the full potential of your herbs, use a grinder to grind down your herbs. Finish it off breaking it down with your fingers if possible. To understand the difference, try both ways and notice how much more vapor you get from the same amount of herbs.
Dry Herb Vape Pen
Weed vape pens as stated above are usually for stealth and discreet purposes. They can also be bought if you are ballin’ on a budget. They are easy to take around with you because they are thin and small like a pen, hence the name. Vape pens usually come in 510 thread which is a universal thread connector that lets you replace chambers and batteries with ease. Before you start using them, sometimes they need to be fully charged which can take 2-4 hours. You usually turn them on by pressing the power button 3-5 times on the battery. Unscrew the mouthpiece and fill it up about half way with your ground herbs. Close the mouthpiece and you will notice the spring is clamping down the herb. Press the power button for about 3 seconds before taking a hit and inhale slowly so you get more vapor.
Portable Herbal Vaporizers
Portable marijuana vaporizers that are meant to be used with ease of portability but they’re not always the most discreet. Some come in the shape of a flask, some look like walkie-talkies and most of them are just big enough to fit in your pocket but all of them are battery powered. Portable vapes, for the most part have a temperature control setting. Turn on your vape by pressing the power button and set it to your desired temperature. While it is heating up, grind up your herbs and load it in the chamber. Some of them will have the chamber be on top while others are on the bottom, hidden under a sliding lid.
The big bad boys are the desktop herbal vapes which are used in private where there are electrical outlets. Unlike the other two, desktop vaporizers are usually plugged into an outlet which is why they can be the most consistent ones. As far as power goes, these won’t let you down. These are the noisiest vapes but they’re only a low volume hum when the fan is on, which is almost inaudible.
The noise is similar to a PlayStation 4 being on in a quiet room. Similar to the portable vapes, start your desktop vape and set it to the temperature you want. While it is working its way to your desired temperature, go ahead and break down your weed. Load it into your bowl and take a slow drag through your whip-style or balloon bag attachment. There is no one style that is better, it is just a matter of preference.
Whip-style – Whip style attachments make your desktop vaporizer look like a hookah. It can be great if you are all seated near each other as the hoses tend to be no more than 3 feet.
Balloon bag attachment – Balloon bags are wonderful when you are doing chores around the house. Fill up your bag with your herbal vapor slowly. You will
Conduction vs Convection
Another thing to look out for when buying a vaporizer for weed is whether you want a conduction or conduction type unit. Conduction is when your herbs are directly touching the coil which burns the herbs more than vaporizes it. The good thing about conduction is your vaporizer tends to be simple and heats up your herbs quickly. The downside is that your herbs are going through the process of combustion and can be difficult for a beginner as you may need to stir the herbs to get it right.
The convection process is when the heat passed through your ground herbs rather than directly touching it. Convection vaporizers are what you will want to use if you have a medical condition. You will not necessarily see any smoke since it is a very light visible vapor. You will see the temperature control vapes have convection type heating and there is an even heat distribution taking place. The only downside is it may take some time to get the chamber to warm up and they tend to be more expensive.
Wax vaporizers, wax pens, dab pens, wax vape pens or whatever you may call it are another form of vaporizers that can be used in the medical marijuana department to vaporize your concentrates. Some patients may like to use waxes, concentrates or oils for better relieving methods that marijuana in the bud form cannot. Just like weed vape pens, dab pens come with a re-chargeable battery that screws onto a chamber. They tend to be small and shaped like a pen so they easily fit into your pocket for discreet measures. A wax desktop vape has not come out yet but most desktop vaporizers can be used with wax too. When it comes to a temperature controlled wax vape pen, you generally want to put it to a higher temperature than a dry herb vape. Anywhere between 400°F – 430°F is more than enough.
Wax pens can have various coils and many more new ones are being invented since this is such a new invention. The main one is a wick that has a tightly wrapped coil around it. They also have them come in double wicks. Sometimes, instead of a white wick, it is substituted for a white ceramic rod. Another type is a white ceramic flat coil that you just drop your wax on. Depending on the coil and wax, you can roll it into a little ball and drop it in the wax chamber or you can use a dab tool to put it on the coil. Be very careful when using a dab tool because you can break the coil, especially when it has been used for a while, it starts to get brittle.
Triple use Vaporizers
Triple use vaporizers, 3 in 1, multi-use, or all in one vaporizers are another kind of vaporizers that can be used with dry herbs, wax and oils. Knowing what you want to use it for makes things easier but if you don’t know if you will use oils or e-liquid later on, it might be better to just get a triple use vape. Oils can be either e-liquid or e-juices which may or may not contain nicotine, depending on your preference. There is also cannabis eliquid which is poured into the clearomizer or tank.
Depending on the vaporizer, your 3 in 1 will come with a separate chamber or tank for each material you want to use or it might be all one unit where you can use without switching anything out. For oils you will be able to use a pad where you soak it into the pad then take out the pad to use for waxes or herbs. 3 in 1 vaporizers can be vape pens or portable units.
Check out our recommendation for Triple Use Vaporizers.
With a plethora of information, you might want to let it soak in before you make any purchases. Think about what you want to vaporize first. Then think about if you want it to be portable, really discreet or just use it for at home purposes.
About Anthony Martinelli
Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.