What is a Cannabis Vaporizer?
Vaporizers are electronic devices that heat forms of cannabis to a temperature where the active ingredients are released as a vapor. These cannabis compounds can then be inhaled while avoiding combustion and decreasing the production of harmful tar and carcinogens. Combustion typically occurs at the 230°C (446°F) and above mark. Cannabis vaporizers operate at a lower temperature range.
The vapor produced by a cannabis vaporizer consists mainly of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabinoids (CBD), and terpenes. THC is the main ingredient in cannabis responsible for the high. CBD is the second most found compound in the cannabis plant which has no psychoactive effects. Terpenes are fragrant compounds that give cannabis its different flavors and scents. When you vaporize cannabis, these compounds get mixed together, resulting in a flavorful, potent hit.
Types of Cannabis Vaporizers
There are a few different types of cannabis vaporizers: desktop vaporizers and portable vaporizers are the top two categories that the sub categories get divided into. Desktop vaporizers are designed to vape dry herbs or concentrates and in some cases both. Desktop vaporizers are those that need to be plugged into a power source in order to function. Portable vaporizer are those that run on batteries. Portable vaporizers come in many shapes and sizes and are designed to also vape both dry herbs and cannabis extracts.
Vaporizers vary according to the method by which they heat the cannabis and according to what form the material being vaporized takes. Some vaporizers can only be used with dry herbs, some with only concentrates, but others are also compatible for use with both.
Types of Portable Cannabis Vaporizers
- Portable multi material vaporizers
- Portable dry herb vaporizers (loose leaf / botanical)
- Portable concentrate vaporizers (Oils, Waxes)
Concentrate vaporizers go by a few different names. Wax pens are those shaped like pens, e-nails and e-rigs are for wax/dabs which usually come as attachments for battery mods. Dabbing pens also come in the form of a suction straw vaporizer. All these variations are just different forms of the same thing - they all are used to vaporizer thicker concentrates.
Extract liquid vaporizers are also designed to vape more fluid mediums such as BHO (butane hash oil). THC oil and CBD oil are a growing niche in the cannabis industry. There are a number portable liquid vaporizers that you can get that are both disposable and reusable. Some portable oil vaporizers come pre-filled with liquid cannabis in them.
Browse Portable Cannabis Vaporizers by Price
Oven Heating Method: Convection, Conduction, Induction
Convection and conduction are two different ways of vaporizing cannabis. Conduction devices apply heat directly to the cannabis, while convection vaporizers heat the air around the cannabis to warm it indirectly. Conduction vaporizers are cheaper, but they have the drawback of heating the cannabis unevenly. Convection vaporizers are more expensive and take longer to work, but they heat more evenly and produce a better result. An example of a convection vaporizer is the Utillian 721, while an example of conduction is the PAX 3.
As of recently a third heating method has been created called induction heating. Induction uses electromagnetism to heat a metal object which in turn heats the material around it. The Loto Lux is the first device known to do this.
Material: Dry Herbs, Extracts, Concentrates
Botanicals, loose leaf, dry herbs are all one in the same. This is how cannabis is created by nature itself and is the buds that we take directly from the stem of the plant.
A cannabis concentrate is an extract created by combining cannabis with a solvent. The solvent extracts the active compounds from the herb and is then allowed to evaporate, leaving a thick, sticky, solvent-free wax or oil that is extremely rich in THC.
While dry herb typically contains around 10-25% THC, concentrates may contain 50-80% THC - and sometimes even more. Obviously, this makes concentrates much more potent than dry herb.
Compounds: THC and CBD
The two main things you will want to know regarding cannabis compounds is the difference between THC and CBD. If you are looking for the psychoactive effects then you will want to be using THC dominant strains of cannabis. If you do not want psychoactive effects then you will want to use CBD dominant strains of cannabis.
Benefits of Vaporizing
Although more studies need to be backed by reputable sources, it is widely believed that using a vaporizer has clear benefits over smoking cannabis. The main benefits include a reduction of harmful compounds such as tar/carcinogens and the more efficient delivery of cannabis compounds. Put simply, vapor contains fewer toxins and delivers more of the active ingredient than smoke does. Other benefits include a cleaner taste and greater discretion.
Drawbacks of Vaporizing
Starting out vaporizing has a few hurdles that you will need to overcome. First off it has a bit of an expensive start-up costs. A desktop vaporizer costs at least $200, while portable devices start at around $80 for a descent device. New or inexperienced users may also find they accidentally get too high. Because vaporizers extract and deliver THC more efficiency, the hits produced by vaporization can be much more potent.
One major hurdle when entering into the vaporizer industry is the learning curve to get a sound understanding of all the devices. We hope that by reading this article here on cannabis vaporizers you will come out the other side with a better overall understanding.
The vapor produced by a vaporizer has a cleaner taste and is less harsh than smoke, so it’s easier to inhale more. Some of the more advanced vaporizers being manufactured today have micro dosing technology that will help to steer clear of this.
Overview - Cannabis Vaporizers
Vaporizers heat cannabis in the form of dry herb, wax, or oil to a temperature where the active ingredients are released into a vapor, but not so hot as to produce smoke. Smoking cannabis creates harmful by-products and tar similar to those found in tobacco smoke. Vaporizing produces a cleaner, smoother hit. Vaporizing avoids the drawbacks of smoking while offering many of the same conveniences, such as rapid effects and the ability to easily control your dose. While vaporizing does require an upfront investment, that investment eventually pays off in terms of getting more from your cannabis as well as in terms of health benefits.