The Benefits of Using Dry Herb Vapes
While dry herb vaporizers are relatively new to the market, the technology behind such devices has already existed for several years before the initial launch of some of these products. If you’re a cannabis enthusiast who is used to rolling joints or using traditional bongs and pipes to consume your favorite strains, you must be wondering if it’s even worth the effort to switch to a dry herb vaporizer.
The fact of the matter is cannabis vaporizers are a lot safer and more beneficial than the traditional method of consumption. In this article, we will find out why that is and whether it’s worth your money and effort to invest in the best vaporizer for dry herbs that you can find.
How a dry herb vape works
Unlike traditional herbal joints or cigarettes that work by burning the ground-up dry flower to produce the smoke that you then inhale, a dry herb vaporizer only heats the material (the dry flower) until the main components that produce that euphoric high get evaporated and inhaled. These vaporizer devices use batteries, which are either removable or built into the device, to heat the dry herb.
There are two main types of vaporizers for medical cannabis: one version is a pen-type, a.k.a. vape pens, designed for vaporizing THC/CBD in liquid form, and the other is specifically tailored for dry material, which would be your favorite flower strains. The liquid version typically has three main components: the built-in battery, the tank that contains the liquid along with the tiny coils and wicking, and the mouthpiece.
A dry herb vaporizer, on the other hand, is slightly bigger than the pen-type liquid vape version and is powered by bigger 18350 or 18650 battery cells. Although these types of vaporizers are bigger than their pen-type counterparts, some models are more pocketable than you think. There are two main types of dry herb vaporizers: a desktop type, which is bigger and powered by a power cord connected to an outlet, and a portable type, which is the version powered by either an 18350 or 18650 battery cell.
The portable dry herb vaporizer is the primary competition of pen-type vapes when it comes to pocketability and convenience. A dry herb vaporizer, just like vape pens, is also comprised of three key components: the battery, the main chamber, and the mouthpiece. And as I’ve previously stated, the battery in dry herb vaporizers is either built-in or removable 18350 or 18650s.
The chamber, otherwise known as “the oven,” is where the dry flower or other dry herbal material is placed and heated. The third component is the mouthpiece where you place your lips to inhale the vapor. Dry herb vaporizers use one of two types of heating methods, convection, and conduction heating. Convection heating refers to a heating process that uses space and air to heat materials. It works by superheating air and pushing it through the material that’s being heated, just like how a heat gun works.
The conduction heating method, on the other hand, works just like a stovetop kettle where the kettle itself is placed in direct contact with the heating element or open flame to boil water. The most common heating method, and the less expensive option, is conduction heating. The majority of dry herb vaporizers in the market use this type of heating method where the heating element is in direct contact with the oven where the dry flower is packed in. The oven then heats up to a certain temperature, vaporizing the material that is contained within it.
This is where the key differences between smoking joints and vaping fundamentally lie. Conventional methods like joints and bongs burn the material to produce smoke, whereas dry herb vaporizers heat the material to a certain temperature to produce vapor. So, what makes dry herb vapes safer? What are the main benefits of using a dry herb vaporizer?
The benefits of dry herb vaporizers: Are they healthier than smoking?
Dry herb vaping is working on the principle of “heat-not-burn,” which on its own already offers several benefits to the consumer. This is because smoking anything through combustion is always going to be harmful. If you burn any material, it’s going to release chemicals and toxins that are dangerous to your lungs and your overall health. So, in the context of harm reduction, vaping your dry herbs is indeed healthier than smoking them.
In a 2018 study, comparing two groups of individuals with one group smoking their dry herbs and the other vaping them, it was determined that the THC blood concentration levels between the vapers and the smokers have a stark difference. The group of individuals who vaped their dry herbs had more than 40% more THC absorbed into their bloodstream compared to the group that smoked them. So vaping is not only better for your lung health, but it is also more efficient in terms of the quality of the effects that it provides to its consumers.
- Vaping is better for throat and lung health
Besides the fact that dry herb vaporizers produce a lot fewer toxins and carcinogens, there are other health-related advantages to a no-combustion approach through dry herb vaping. Again, when we talk about the health benefits of dry herb vaporizers, you have to remember that it’s all about harm reduction. There is no such thing as a 100% healthy or safe product. I mean, drinking too much water can be harmful. What we have here is a choice between a proven harmful method of consuming dry herbs (smoking) and a much less harmful option (vaping).
Smoke and vapor are not the same thing. Let’s just get that out of the way. Smoke is much harsher and carries more toxins and carcinogens compared to the vapor produced by vaporizing dry herbs, not to mention that they have wildly different effects on your lungs and throat. For example, when you inhale smoke from a bong or a joint, the experience is not very pleasant. We endure it because we want to get the desired effect.
But what if there is another option, an alternative method of consuming your favorite strains and getting that desired effect without subjecting yourself to the harsh smoke that only serves to irritate your throat and lungs? This is what dry herb vaporizers can offer.
- It’s cleaner, more flavorful, and offers more control
Compared to smoke, vapors produced by dry herb vaporizers are significantly cleaner and more flavorful. Smoke has a very distinct taste, and regardless of the material you’re burning or the strain of your herb, that distinctive smoke flavor is all that you’re going to get, unfortunately. With dry herb vaping, on the other hand, you can expect a much more complex flavor profile from your favorite strains. If you have a sophisticated palate, you may be able to distinguish even the most subtle notes.
Another benefit of vaping dry herbs instead of smoking them is the precise control that dry herb vaporizers offer. Combustion uses a lot of energy and temperatures that are often too high for the activation of the cannabinoids and terpenes that are present in the herb. Excessive temperatures are detrimental to the overall experience, as it not only destroys the flavor profile but also negatively impact the release of the desired terpenes and cannabinoids. This will result in the user missing the full spectrum of effects and the desired benefits of the herb.
By using a good dry herb vaporizer, you will have full control over the temperature settings so you don’t exceed the required operating temp of your herb; i.e., you can configure the temp control settings of the device to get the exact amount of heat for the vaporization process to begin. You only have to wait a few seconds to start inhaling the vapor through the mouthpiece. Most of the top vaporizer models in the market have built-in preheat settings for ease of use.
- They offer discretion and convenience
While cannabis consumption has become widely accepted and legal in a lot of places, being discrete especially when consuming it in public is considered proper etiquette. You don’t want to be blowing smoke at people’s faces in public, and joints, bongs, and other similar devices are just not very discreet, especially for use in a public setting.
Portable dry herb vaporizers, on the other hand, offer the discretion and convenience that you want in such a device. If you’re the kind of person who likes to take a hit or two while out and about, a nice portable vape is the perfect choice. Unlike smoking joints or bongs, vaping doesn’t emit strong odors that will cause the people around you to make funny faces. The vapor cloud is also not very thick, unlike smoke, so it’s not that visible or distracting.
So, are dry herb vaporizers a healthier alternative, and are they worth investing in?
The short and simple answer is, yes. There have been countless studies that showed dry herb vaping as a healthier option for consuming dry herbs. Smoking is just harmful, whether it’s herbs or tobacco. When you’re consuming dry herbs through combustion, you’re inhaling cannabinoids and terpenes along with thousands of other toxins and carcinogens. So as a form of harm reduction, dry herb vaporizers are indeed healthier.
As far as their cost, dry herb vaporizers range from $90 at the low end to $300 high end. They are definitely worth investing in if you’re looking for a healthier alternative and a more efficient method of consuming your favorite strains.