By: Nicholas King.
Last Updated: August 20th, 2018.
The Complete Buying Guide for the Best Vaporizers To Vape Weed!
If you don't have a clue about vaporizers and want to learn more about this type of vaping then our guide is specially written for you! We start with the best types of vaporizers that are available on the market then look at the practice of vaping marijuana and what you need to know. This quick and simple guide will help you with the purchase of your next vaporizer!
Where To Buy
Overall Best Performer
Best Portable Vaporizer
Introduction to Vaporizers
Let’s Clear The Confusion
If you’ve heard about vaporizers but not really sure what they are and whether they will suit you then you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to look at the very basics of vaporizers, what they are used for, the different types available and what things to look out for all with the purpose to hopefully steer you in the right direction. It is a bit of a minefield out there and gathering the right information can be quite hard.
Vaporizers Are Not The Same as E-Cigs!
Let’s be clear! Vaporizers are very different to e-cigs, vape mods (aka box mods), vape pens and cigalikes, all of which are used to vape nicotine and stop people from smoking, this is commonly known as vaping. Here’s where the confusion comes in; technically e-cigs are a type of vaporizer, but when people and websites mention vaporizers they really mean dry herb vaporizers.
Vaporizers, on the other hand, are used to vape dry herbs, which is just a fancy name for vaping weed or cannabis (aka marijuana or pot), you can vape other herbs as well, but really it’s just a clever spin that manufacturers use in order to get around any laws relating to weed!
Vaping Legal Dry Herbs
Saying that though I do know some vapers who actually love to vape legal dry herbs, they do this not only because they enjoy the taste but also for the benefits that vaping herbs can deliver. For example, combining lavender, damiana and chamomile apparently helps fight migraines, insomnia, anxiety, and depression, afterall you know the benefits of ailments that mother nature produces! There are of course other recipes like lemon balm, lemongrass, and Echinacea which is supposed to help with fighting fatigue whilst also helping increase your vitality and energy!
Another way to vape legal extracts of weed is to vape oils, this type of oil which is vaped is known as CBD Vape oil, which is an oil extract of cannabis or weed, but doesn’t contain the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) properties that give you the high effect!
Dry Herb, Wax, Dabs, Oils: What’s That About?
Now you may hear some other substances that these vaporizers use in addition to dry herbs like wax, oils, and dabs! Let’s keep things simple; dabs and wax are the same thing and form a wax extract of the dry herb or weed! Just to be clear; the term dabbing is a catchall term used when heating a herb concentrate (like wax) over a heat source and inhaling the producing vapor. The wax extract looks like a flat piece of rubber with holes in it!
Oils, to put simply, are just oil extracts of the herbs. There are basically 2 types of vaporizer oils:
- Essential oils – Which include rosemary, lavender, chamomile, peppermint, you get the idea!
- Cannabis oils – Which are THC oils, CBD oils and hemp oil
NB – THC and CBD cannabis oils are all the rage at the moment as they are legal to use/buy as pain relief and therapy in many countries including the USA. Remember, these oils are not e-liquids that you hear about in vaping!
A vaporizer functions by heating the herb form to a particular temperature, the important thing to remember here is it doesn’t light it or burn it, just heats it. This along with the air flow from you drawing the vaporizer creates a vapor that you inhale. As the herb is not burning it doesn’t produce the harmful chemicals and is why it’s considered safer.
How Do Vaporizers Work?
I’m pretty sure that you’ve burned a block of wood in a fireplace before, right? Well, when lit, the wood first loses the excessive moisture content and achieves dryness. As temperature increases, the molecules binding the wood begin to break down and eventually release the gases that have been trapped inside.
Only when the wood achieves the ideal temperature to allow combustion, will it start emitting flames and smoke. If the temperature is not reached, there will be no flames, but the wood will carry on with the process of emitting gases until all have been released.
The same physics applies to a vaporizer; the goal is in heating the herb at a lower temperature enough to produce vapor.
A dry herb vaporizer has the following parts; an energy source which can be in the form of a battery, a filter, and a heating chamber.
The heating chamber has a tiny oven made of stainless steel, ceramic or sometimes glass where you place your herb. Many vaporizers come with detachable ovens that interchange depending on the type of herb you want to vape.
The heating element below the oven heats up to certain specific temperature set on the vaporizer, the accuracy of this heating cycle is usually the defining factor in choosing the best vaporizer as different herbs require different temperatures.
Conduction Vs. Convection!
There are two major ways that vaporizers use to release the active ingredients from the herbal substances:
- Conduction: This was the original design when vaporizers first hit the market where the herb is in direct contact with the heating source. It’s still used today but mainly in the small and cheaper models.
- Convention: This is the most reliable and preferred solution where the heating source is away from the oven and heats the herb via hot air passing through the device. This has a number of benefits like the less likelihood of burning your herb when not in use, no hot spots etc.
Types of Dry Herb Vaporizers
Dry herb vapes have a wide selection to choose from. You can get pen vaporizers, portable vaporizers or desktop vaporizers.
Vaporizer pens or Vape pens are small vapes enough to fit in the palm of your hand just like a pen. They are easy to handle and cheaper than the portable and desktop vaporizers.
Portable Vaporizers are slightly bigger than the vape pens. If you’re an avid traveler and a vaping enthusiast who still wants a decent tasting vapor, then a portable vaporizer is what you may be looking for.
Desktop Vaporizers or stationary vapes are more suitable for people who love vaping from home. They are large with charging systems that require outlets. While they cannot be easily taken on the go, they make up in quality.
Components of Dry Herb Vaporizers
Despite the market offering a wide selection of dry herb vaporizers, they all have the following components:
- The energy source: Offers power to the vape either by a battery or power supply.
- The chamber: Also referred to as bowl, it holds and heats the herb material using a heating source.
- The heating method: your vape is dead without it. The heating element controls the heat distribution and the pace. The method may be conduction or convention which we mentioned earlier.
- The delivery system: This is the means of transfer of the vapor from the chamber to the user. Delivery systems vary from whip tubing, balloon style or direct draw.
Dry herb vaporizers allow you to enjoy your favorite dry herbs and dried blends. The devices are incredibly portable and compact which makes them an exceptional choice for maximum stealth as well as discreteness. The units typically have one button activation system and are quite easy to operate. However, remember that getting an answer to “which is the best vaporizer” is not as simple as looking in google and seeing a ranking table, you have to consider the points we mentioned above. We hope you found this guide useful in choosing your next vaporizer. Let us know if you have any questions!
Hydrology9 by Cloudious9
This bong style vaporizer is a cut above the rest, not only because of its trendy design but also functionality. To begin with, bong-style design sets it apart from the rest in the market. You are not likely to come across another vaporizer remotely resembling the Hydrology9.
It has an LED light system that adds to the style and doubles up as a battery and temperature level indicator. The vaporizer also comes with air vents which users can adjust to customize according to their draw resistance.
The Hydrology9 includes a large ceramic oven that guarantees you’ll have more than a few dabs before you have to add some more herb. It is also wax compatible with 5 stage temperature control. With all this, the only thing that would stand between this vaporizer and awesomeness is a low battery life, but Cloudious9 have that handled. The vaporizer can go for 15 sessions without needing a recharge.
Hydrology9 also introduces a new feature into the list of features for dry herb vaporizers; a stir-stick built-in to the unit. The stick is there to stir your bud and sift it so that it is easier to enjoy during a session, it ensures there is no wastage either. Aside from saving your bud, the vaporizer also has a way to cool the vapor. The vaporizer cools vapor through water-filtration so that you have comfortable dabs every time.
Pax 3 by PAX Labs
The Pax 3 is a wax compatible dry herb vaporizer with a ton of high-tech and clever features. First off, the vaporizer is Bluetooth compatible and comes with a smartphone app.
It also has lip-sensing capability which activates heat when the vaporizer is brought close to the lips which is part of its haptic feedback technology.
The charming design and unmatched functionality have earned the Pax 3 a title as the 'Apple of vaporizers.’ It has a battery life that will last you 4 to 6 sessions and a stainless steel oven with a capacity of 3g.
AirVape XS by Apollo AirVape
The vaporizer is tiny but comes with lots of cool features. It may look like a tiny package, but what the vaporizer lacks in size, it makes up for in style. The small size also makes it much more comfortable to handle.
The AirVape XS has a glossy and sturdy finish which complements its slight build perfectly. The vapor production and taste is good by any standards and you will enjoy your smoke sessions with this portable vaporizer. The oven is made of ceramic and its capacity is 0.2g, just enough for one solo session.
The vaporizer offers an above average performance and comes with a glass mouth piece and temperature control in 10 augmentations. Another one of its cool features is that it vibrates when it is ready for use or when it switches off. You will soon appreciate this once you start using the vaporizer.
FireFly 2 by Firefly Vapor
This is one of the best dry herb vaporizers you could buy for solo sessions. It comes out on top for two categories; best solo vape and best flavor. The vaporizer has a glass oven with a capacity of 2g. The heating system uses convection heating thus it does not heat your dry herb directly allowing you to save some for later and take draws whenever you want.
The convection heating and a glass vapor path make the flavor perfect and vapor quality is unparalleled. The vaporizer is wax compatible and has temperature control for 4 levels. The battery life is above average as you can go for 6 sessions before you have to plug it again.
FlowerMate V5.0s by FlowerMate Vaporizer Technology
The entry-level vaporizer is one of the cheapest you will find and offers good functionality for a good experience overall. It produces a good amount of vapor even though there is not much to talk about in the way of flavor.
The Pyrex glass stem, however, ensures that you are inhaling the good quality vapor. The vaporizer has ceramic conduction heating which is one of the reasons you might want to go for this- for the vapor production.
The Flowermate, being an entry-level vaporizer, does not bog you down with too many buttons and switches; there is a single button that controls power and temperature regulation. It takes 30 seconds once you load the chamber and you are good to go.