Teaching Series: Vaporizers

Teaching Series: Vaporizers

Choosing a vaporizer can be akin to going to the world’s largest running store and trying to find a pair of running shoes for your first marathon.  It’s a lot.

Are you wanting a dry herb vaporizer or one for oil, or a vaporizer for concentrate? Are you a looking for portable and discrete or stationary with tons of power? And then there’s budget. Factoring in ease and aesthetic also plays a part when deciding what to purchase. Going down the rabbit hole of reviews can stop people all together. Hopefully covering the why and the what when it comes to vaporizers can give a solid foundation for building a vaporizer wardrobe.

A great vaporizer can make all the difference in the hemp or cannabis experience.

Vaporizers come in desktop and portable versions. A portable or handheld vaporizer is powered by a battery. Desktop vaporizers can be plugged into an electrical outlet. There are flame-powered vaporizers, meaning the use of a lighter is needed. For this blog we are focusing on electrical outlet and battery powered vaporizers.

Why do people move from traditional smokable inhalation methods to vaporizers?  

Short answers are - they are healthier because of inhaling flower through vapor verses the run-off from combustion i.e., smoke. Using a vaporizer taste cleaner. Vaporizer don’t burn your flower. They allow for the full flavor profile of the strain. Growers go to great lengths to produce these wonderful strains and connoisseurs search for the best flower to address their needs; getting the full range of this grower/connoisseur marriage can happen abundantly with the use of a vaporizer. In many cases using a medical grade desktop vaporizer for a medical marijuana consumer is the best and only option.

Vaporizer might be more convenient and cost effective. Buying a well-made vaporizer and companion accessories could prove to be a lower cost per use opposed to the time and money spent constantly buying rolling papers, wraps or cigars (for the use of the cigar paper).  Vaporizers are more discrete, and the order is controlled to in some cases eliminated.

What’s Out There

Dry herb, concentrate or oil can be consumed with the use of a vaporizer. Which type you purchased will be based on type of cannabis or hemp consumer you are. If you are moving from traditional smokable methods, the dry herb vaporizer offers a similar historical tactile feel. Breaking down the flower to roll it can have the sensory experience as grinding your flower for a dry herb vaporizer. At the same time if the use of oral tinctures speaks to a person, then transitioning to or adding an oil vaporizer to the mix might be the move.

For new shoppers, your vaporizer will clearly indicate what type of material to be used in the device. If it doesn’t indicate or your seller is ambiguous about material usage pass on the product.

A quick note about disposables.  Disposable vaporizers or preloaded vape pens is another option. They are battery powered and the customer gets exactly what is in the pen. When that pen is finished it can’t be reloaded with a different material. Some people find disposals a great starting place, an on-the-go alternative to their desktop vaporizer or just enough to be a mainstay vape pen options.

We would be remiss if we did not mention that there has been a lot of controversy surrounding vape pens in general. It is important point out that controversy has to do with nicotine based vape pens which we are strictly discussing the use of hemp and cannabis products. However, when buying anything - always be judicious in purchasing a vaporizer for your hemp and cannabis use. Below are some holy grail tips to constantly have top of mind when purchasing.

Purchasing Tips

First and foremost, look forward to getting excited about vaporizer shopping. This does not have to be daunting. The technology is constantly evolving to enhance one’s ease of use and optimum flower experience. Plus, these devices are some good-looking pieces.

Look at the chamber type in the vaporizer. Is it convection or conduction chamber? Conduction is more likely to burn the flower vs convection. Convection is more heated air rather than combusting the flower. If you don’t mind the flower being heated the combusting mechanism and are looking for a smoky taste like the traditional smoking experiences a combustion chamber might be your choice. Convection allows for full use of dry herb; little to none of the flower will stick to the chamber. You are paying for the flower so waste not. Does the vaporizer have a ceramic oven or stainless steel? Ceramic ovens are found more in vaporizers used in medical practices or considered medical-grade vaporizers. Ceramic is said to give a cleaner experience, meaning the full taste of the flower is felt without additives of after taste.  Find out how much flower the vaporizer can hold at one time, that may be determinate on which size you purchase.

In Addition To

Now that you’ve chosen your vaporizer, there may be a few other things you might want to pick up to make sure your research and purchase don’t go to waste.

If you haven’t invested is a nice grinder, having one that will give you a smooth breakdown of your dry herb is key. The dry herb needs to be broken down before putting it into the device.  

Buying a sleeve, storage bag or case to keep the unit free from scratches, dings, and possible breakage is advantageous. Plus, a storage accessory is a nice touch to your vaporizer. Respect your device and your device will keep working in your favor years to come.  

Getting additional batteries, or refillable oil tanks (glass cartridge with ceramic tip is top shelf) is an excellent idea.  Picking up cleaner and cleaning kits for your vaporizer is a must. To maintain your vaporizer and appreciate your flower experience you must clean the unit. Cleaning your device with just any solution or random tools could lead to destroying the device and ultimately wasting your money.  It’s recommended to clean the vaporizer once every two weeks.

Some Cautionary Advice

Don’t purchase vaporizers predominately made of plastic. These are heated tools. And don’t purchase these devices from places that aren’t knowledgeable in what these devices do. Absolute no, no - do not buy pieces from random convenient stores and gas stations. There are well-versed shops, vendors and online sites dedicated to making sure you get what you need. The landscape has grown, take advantage of the wealth of knowledge in the ecosystem.


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