How to Choose the Best Herbal Vaporizer For You
Post by Erinn Holman on May 20, 2019Erinn Holman
What is an Herbal Vaporizer
Vaporizers, more often referred to as vapes, have become increasingly popular within the last few years. We all have that one friend who puts “vape dragon” in their Instagram bio, but how much do we really know about this new method of smoking? As defined by Merriam-Webster, a vaporizer is “a device for converting water or medicated liquid into a vapor for inhalation”. Inhaling vapor is an alternative to the OG toke with your trusty Bic lighter. Since there is no combustion, there are fewer toxins, meaning that you inhale a cleaner smoke. Convenience and portability are two of the main reasons vaporizers have skyrocketed in popularity. Vapes are user-friendly and many are pocket-sized, making them a perfect tool for on the go smoking. They are discreet and stealthy with little to no odor to give you away post sesh. If you have browsed sites like ours, you may have noticed that vapes come in all shapes and sizes, designed for different occasions and smokers.
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What different vaporizers are on the market?
With so many devices to choose from selecting a vape can be intimidating but don’t fret. We are going to walk through this together. First, ask yourself: “Where, what, and with whom will I be partaking?”
- Where: Will you only be smoking in the comfort of your own home, or are you a busy, always going somewhere type of person?
- What: Will you be puffing on legal smoking herbs, concentrates, or oil?
- Whom: Are you more of a solo smoker or do you like to share with friends?
Considering these factors will help you determine what type of vaporizer will best suit your needs: tabletop, portable or vape pen.
Tabletop or desktop vaporizers are designed to sit on a flat, secure surface, and for the most part, stay there. You can create a cool smoke station setup with your vaporizer as the centerpiece. These vapes have chambers that typically hold a larger amount of product, which is nice when you have company. Some tabletop vaporizers can be used for dry herbs, concentrates, and oil. Probably the most well-known desktop device, and for good reason, is the Volcano. The Volcano’s convection heating element is shaped like its iconic name and is very easy to use. It heats up your desired form of goods within minutes and allows you to change the temperature. A balloon attachment holds the vapor so once it’s full you can remove it and bring it into the rotation with your buds. The mouthpiece is fashioned to keep the vapor in between hits, so you don’t have to worry about wasting any! While the Volcano is one of the best-built tabletop vapes on the market, it is also one of the most expensive given their size. Other tabletop vaporizers work in the same manner, but instead of a balloon full of vapor, you will draw the vapor through a mouthpiece, keeping your circle centered around the device during your sesh.
Portable vaporizers are smaller gadgets that consist of a battery, heating element, and a reloadable compartment for your desired goods. All you have to do is make sure it is sufficiently charged, turn it on, load the chamber, set the temperature, and inhale. Many batteries have a draw/on button that must be held down in order to take a hit. Most have different temperature settings which can be changed with a few clicks of a button as well. A few portable vapes, like the Ghost Vape MV1, have an app so you can use your phone to set it to your optimal temperature. Some of these devices can be used for flower, others for concentrates and some for both. If you want a vape to consume concentrates you may want to get a concentrate tool to make loading your ooey gooey goodness easy since not all vapes include them. One device that stands out in the portable category is the Dipper by Dipstick Vaporizers. It is a concentrate vape that is not just a vape! This mini machine can be loaded like any other vaporizer, or you can use it similarly to a nectar collector without the torch because it has two atomizers (heating elements). The dip atomizer allows you to do just that, dip your device straight into your concentrate container. This lets you control your intake more closely. Portable vapes are great for traveling, just load it and go! Since the loading chamber is small, they can only hold so much product making them ideal for one smoker, but you can always reload to share!
Vape pens are probably the most common vaporizers on the market at this time. They are also the easiest to use, consisting of just a battery that looks like a writing utensil (hence vape “pen”) on which a cartridge of oil attaches. Some batteries have an on/draw button that can also control the temperature settings, but some are simply draw activated like the Jupiter Pen. A couple of the most popular vape pens right now are not actually shaped like pens. The CCell Palm battery is a square device that fits in the palm of your hand just like the name suggests. It is very sleek and fits nicely in your pocket. The CCell Silo is similarly shaped, though more compact with a window so you can easily see when you need to re-up on a new cartridge. Both of these batteries will work with a standard 510 thread cartridge but you will need to screw on one of the included adapters. The cartridge magnetically connects to the atomizer instead of screwing on. Vape pens are extremely convenient and low maintenance since you do not have to worry about reloading.
Q: How long do vaporizers last?
A: The average lifespan of vaporizers vary, but if maintained properly they can survive many bowls. Some brands even include a manufacturer warranty should any issues arise. If you do encounter an issue with your vaporizer, it may be time for a new atomizer. They can burn out but are simple to replace.
Q: What are the benefits of using a vaporizer vs. pipe?
A: The lack of combustion, with no flame or smoke, makes vaping a safer option for medicating. This is the biggest benefit over taking a lighter to your freshly packed bowl, as you are likely to inhale the butane from the lighter.
Q: How do I choose the best vaporizer for me?
A: Vapes are priced just about the same as glass; vape pens comparable to spoons and other small pipes, portable vapes similar in price to bubblers/small water pipes and tabletops are the most expensive, akin to your bigger, heady glass. It’s important to figure out what it’s compatible with, whether that be legal smoking herbs, cartridges, or concentrate. Whatever it may be, make sure that it’s something you’re familiar and comfortable with using, as you can do serious damage to vaporizers by using a different substance than the one it was made for.
To keep your vape in excellent working condition, it is important to regularly clean the chambers where your product is loaded. This goes for all 3 types of vaporizers but is especially true for vapes used with concentrates as the stickiness can cause issues. Cleaning can easily be done in between loadings with a cotton swab and alcohol, much easier than cleaning your pipe or water pieces. A cleaner vape equals cleaner, healthier puffs.
With all kinds of vaporizers available and the health benefits of vaporizers over burning, it’s an obvious upgrade from your old pipe. Master the art of concealment and convenience by investing in your first vaporizer. Trust us, you’ll love your new vape so much, you won’t even remember what smoking was like before.