Dry Herb Vaporizer
Dry herb vaping is becoming more popular in the 2020s. Instead of burning the plant material with a lighter or torch, you heat it to the proper temperature to evaporate and inhale the active ingredient. This provides a cleaner flavor and removes most or all of the harmful carcinogens contained in smoke.
We sell a variety of herbal and weed vaporizers, and it can be confusing understanding the differences. Here’s everything you need to know about dry herb vaporizers.
What is a dry herb vaporizer?
Dry herb vaporizers have heating chambers that work with dried plant material instead of liquids. The heat can typically be adjusted to provide a wide range of vaping experiences. Low-heat vaping under 350 degrees Fahrenheit is useful for vaporizing a plant’s terpenes and flavonoids, while cannabinoids are best heated a little higher, up to 400 degrees. Above that, you risk burning and combusting the plant, which we’re trying to avoid.
Some weed vaporizers are designed for strictly dry herb, while others have attachments to switch between herbal, oil, and concentrate vaping. In addition, you can find both desktop and portable vaporizers for dry herb vaping.
Why use an herbal vaporizer?
Herbal vaping provides a variety of benefits, including cost savings, health, and improved flavor. This is what you need to know.
Cost Savings – Vaping is more cost-effective than smoking because there’s no burning cherry releasing everything into the open air. Herbal vapes put you in control of the heat. Even people who prefer to smoke are learning that vaping the herb first extends their stash.
Health - An herbal vaporizer is a healthier alternative to smoking. This is because you do not ignite and combust the plant material. When you breathe in smoke, you’re inhaling all sorts of chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic. Most studies explain how smoking tobacco causes cancer, but really smoking anything will lead to carcinogen inhalation.
Improved Flavor – Vaping herbs improves the flavor, since you’re removing all the burnt parts. Instead, you’re inhaling pure, clean terpenes. Both cannabis and tobacco industries are moving toward dry herb vaping for these reasons.
What are the different heating methods when vaping dry herbs
There are three heating methods used in dry herb vaporizers:
Conduction vaping uses a heating coil for direct-contact heat, much like your electric stovetop or car cigarette lighter adapter. You place the herb in a chamber that directly touches a heating element, and the heat is controlled via an on-board computer. Both the AtmosRX and the GlassRX use a conduction coil.
Convection vaping uses heat movement to conduct heat, like an air fryer or toaster oven. You place the herb on a mesh rack and hot air is blown across it until it reaches the proper temperature. Think of holding a hair dryer in one spot of you head on high. The Storz & Bickel Volcano is a convection vape that works very well. So is the Boundless CFV & Tera V3.
Many modern dry herb vaporizers use a combination of both conduction and convection heat. This means they use both a heated chamber and heated air to ensure even heating throughout the chamber. The Arizers, Pax vapes and the Mighty from Storz & Bickel are all conduction/convection hybrid based herbal vapes.
Setting the proper temperature for vaping
Different temperatures give you different vaping experiences. There are three basic temperature ranges to understand with vaping:
Anything under 350 F (177 C) is considered low-heat vaping, although you don’t want to go lower than 311 F (155 C), as that’s the temperature in which THC evaporates, but first you’d need to spend some time at 225 (108 C) degrees to decarboxylate the THC-A crystals into THC.
Low-heat vaping is a low-buzz, high-flavor affair, where you’re inhaling more terpenes than THC. It provides a light euphoria.
Between 350 and 400 F (177-204 C) you’re boiling more of the cannabinoids and active ingredients. Tobacco is often vaped in this range, because nicotine evaporates here. If vaping cannabis, you’ll feel more psychoactive effects in this range. Other herbs, like lavender or mint, will also produce vape in this temperature range.
Anything over 400 F (204 C) is high-heat vaping. This is used for live plants and maximum cannabinoid and terpene extraction. Often, vapers will start at low heat at the beginning of a sesh, then crank it up to high heat for the last hit. The hotter vapor is more likely to make you cough and ends up burning off more of the terpenes, bringing the flavor closer to smoking.
What forms of dry herb vapes are out there?
Besides the heating elements described above, there are two different forms of herbal vaporizers to look for.
Vapes in the shape of a pen
When it comes to vaping dry herbs, the most difficult type of vape to find is a vape pen that will actually vaporize herb instead of producing smoke. There are close to no options on the market for this as most vaporizer pens are intended for concentrates and oils. The only great options consist of the Atmos Jump and the Grasshopper.
Portable vaporizers are battery-operated and able to be used while on the go. These devices are often small enough to fit in your pocket, although there are exceptions, like the Hydrology 9 from Cloudious9 or the Ghost MV1. Portable vaporizers are discrete and often have smartphone app connectivity. The DaVinci IQ even has a flavor chamber that lets you pack herb into a non-heated chamber to recreate the effect of pulling a drag through a joint or cigarette.
Desktop vaporizers require a plug to use. These devices are often larger than portable versions. The Storz & Bickel Volcano is a desktop herbal vaporizer that’s worth checking out. It includes balloon bags to save your vape until you’re ready for another hit.
How to properly choose your budget
When shopping for a dry herb vaporizer, your specific needs will be the main consideration. Do you want something that hits as hard as possible or are you trying to be more discrete? Will you be vaping only herbs (and only one herb, at that) or multiples?
These questions will determine which vape you should get, as they range in price from $50 to $500 or more. Many of the most critically acclaimed herbal vapes (The Mighty tops most vape critics’ lists) are in the $300 range. These devices come with cleaning kits, spare parts and accessories, and can withstand long-term use.
Also keep an eye out for features like pass-thru charging (the ability to use a portable device while its plugged in), replaceable batteries, and a carrying case.
Why is a weed grinder a must for using a dry herb vape?
A weed grinder is used to grind dried flower into smaller particles that are easier to vape. Grinding increases potency and flavor, while ensuring a more even heat and usage of your resources. Some dry herb vape kits (like Storz & Bickel) come with a cheap plastic grinder, but those aren’t great for daily use.
A three-chamber herbal grinder with a kief screen is best. This keeps you from having to pull the ground herb out of the spiky chamber it was grinded in. Ground herb is also easier to pack into the vape chamber.
Health benefits of vaping instead of smoking dry herbal blends
It would obviously be illegal to make any health claims related to vaping in a business setting, but we can explain some of the therapeutic uses of vaping. As stated above, the act of smoking is linked with various health concerns, most pressing of which is lung cancer. Herbal vaping is a safer alternative to smoking.
These devices can be used for tobacco and cannabis (which is why we mention a weed vaporizer), but that’s not all they’re used for. They can also be used for ayurvedic vaping of therapeutic herbal blends like mint and lavender. They provide a safe substitute for deadly smoking habits by replacing both the smoke and the plant being used.
Modern vape equipment has evolved leaps and bounds over the past twenty years. Shop the widest selection of herbal vape equipment at Portable Hookahs today.