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The Ins and Outs of Dry Herb Vaporizers

Dry herb vaporizers, otherwise known as flower vapes, are modern devices for smoking dry herbs. They are designed to vaporize the actual dried flower of the plant instead of concentrates or the extracted oils from the plant.

Unlike joints, blunts, or traditional combustion pipes and bongs that require an open flame, a dry herb vaporizer typically uses a heating element to heat the air or some type of contact surface. This will boil off (vaporize) the key components of the dried flower that carries the actual goodies you want to consume, turning those components into breathable vapor.

With a standard vaporizer smoking device, you load a decent amount of ground-up flower or loose leaf material into some type of bowl or chamber attached to the vaporizing machine. It’s not that different from loading a traditional smoking pipe. In a sense, vaping is just like smoking but without the smoke. Instead, you’re inhaling vapor, the result of an interaction between bio-material (your dry flower) and a superheated air/surface.

Herbal or flower vaporizers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. However, regardless of what they look like or how big or small they are, all herbal vapes consist of three primary components: the heating chamber/element, the mouthpiece or vapor path, and the power source/battery. Dry herb vaporizers are electronic and they are powered by a battery or directly from a wall outlet via a power cord. The latter is more commonly known as a desktop vaporizer, while its battery-powered counterpart is generally referred to as a portable vaporizer.


The desktop vaporizer

Dry herb vaporizers started with the desktop vaporizer that is typically plugged into a wall outlet. This type of herbal vape was the king back then, as it has a fairly extensive temperature range that can be customized by the user plus it has unlimited power. With all that power and the customization aspect, desktop vaporizers quickly became popular among serious herbal vaping enthusiasts, especially those who prefer to consume their herbs at home.

Some desktop-based vaporizers let you take hits using what is called a whip, similar to a traditional or laser hookah, while others use it to blow up bags. There are also desktop vaporizers that combine both methods. Almost all desktop vaporizers have bigger bowls that allow for bigger doses compared to their potable counterparts. Anyone of the best desktop vaporizer in the market has excellent airflow and a highly customizable temperature setting.


The portable vaporizer

So, what is a portable vaporizer? The portable dry herb vaporizer is essentially the basic evolution, the obvious next step of the desktop vaporizer. Most portable vapes are pocketable and very convenient to use, especially for enthusiasts who are constantly out and about. Although portable vapes often have a handicap in terms of power or potency compared to their desktop counterparts, portable vaporizers offer convenience and mobility.

The current market is teeming with a wide array of portable vapes, all with different aesthetics, features, and capabilities. Most herbal vape manufacturers adjust and modify the feature sets of their devices to meet the preferred price points and styles of different consumers. With portable vape 

devices, the price points can range from $50 or $60 up to $500. Depending on the price point, these vapes can include features like precision temp control, digital temp presents, custom heating profiles, smartphone app functionality, and rechargeable or removable batteries.

The different components of a dry herb vaporizer

As previously mentioned, dry herb vaporizers are typically comprised of three main components: the chamber, the mouthpiece, and the power source/battery.

The chamber or bowl is a key part of the dry herb vaporizer. The chamber is basically where you pack in or load your dry flower. The chamber is generally located at the bottom of the portable vape device so it’s not visible. Some devices position the chamber at the top portion of the device, directly under the mouthpiece. The chamber is where the heating process occurs, where the vapor is produced. The chamber collects the vapor until it reaches a certain temperature where it’s ready to be inhaled and experienced by the user.

The second component, which is the mouthpiece, is also a staple in every dry herb vaporizer. This is the part where the user places their lips to inhale the vapor. Cheaper models will often have a mouthpiece that’s made of some type of heat-resistant plastic, while the pricier ones will have acrylic or glass mouthpieces. Some models use heat-resistant silicone.

When it comes to the power source, desktop vaporizers often use standard wall outlets as a source of power, while portable vaporizers use high-drain, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. What’s interesting is the type of heating method that the electric smoking pipe or vaporizer uses. For this, there are two main options: conduction and convection heating.

Conduction vs. convection

The conduction heating method heats the bio-material directly, using some type of heating element (usually metal plates) that raises the temperature of the surfaces inside the chamber. Any part of the dry herb that is directly in contact with the chamber surface will be the one that gets vaporized first, so it’s very important that you constantly stir the load inside the chamber to make sure they are evenly heated. This is somewhat of a drawback for some people and the reason why they prefer the other heating method and why devices that use conduction heating are generally cheaper than their counterparts.

The convection heating method heats the air inside the chamber instead of direct contact heating. This is a popular option among consumers and is often more expensive than the conduction option. The downside is that convection heating often takes longer to get ready. Most devices will have a timer and beep or vibrate to alert the user that it’s ready to be inhaled. The best part about this particular heating method is that it can heat your load more evenly as superheated air goes through the dry herb.

There is a third option, the hybrid heating system. This is a vaporizer that combines the two heating methods, conduction, and convection, to produce high-quality and flavorful vapor.

The benefits of using dry herb vape devices

What does a vaporizer do and how does a dry herb vaporizer work? These are two of the most common questions that people looking to switch will often ask. Hopefully, the above section has provided you with a few insights into the inner workings of the dry herb vaporizer. You might also want to know the benefits of switching to these devices. There are quite a few benefits to using a good dry herb vaping device.

One of the biggest benefits is the improved flavor and potency of the flower, especially when compared to hitting joints or blunts through combustion. Since flower vapes heat the material with combustion, the vapor that is produced is cleaner, purer, and more flavorful than smoke, the byproduct of combustion. In addition, the lower and more controlled temperatures used in vaping play a significant factor in preserving the potency of the herb, allowing users the get the best experience out of their favorite flower strain.

Another great benefit of herbal vaping is harm reduction. Dry herb vaping is fundamentally healthier than combusting joints and blunts. If you’re the type of user who’s concerned about the health effects of smoking herbs, then vaping can be a suitable alternative for you. Vaporizers have been scientifically proven to produce significantly less harmful byproducts compared to inhaling smoke from a joint or a traditional pipe that includes large amounts of carcinogens and other harmful toxins.


Choosing a portable vaporizer also has its benefits compared to desktop devices, including discretion and portability. Portable dry herb vaporizers are mainly designed for mobility and convenience. They are generally small and pocketable, although they vary in size by a few centimeters or so. Portable vapes are ideal for outdoor sessions and for people on the go. While you can certainly smell the vaporized herb if you’re close enough, herbal vapes produce much less odor than smoking joints or blunts. This means with the right device, you can take a few hits even while in public.

Cost-effectiveness is another huge benefit that herbal enthusiasts can expect from switching to the right dry herb vaporizer. Since high-quality vaporizers are more efficient at extracting the active ingredients from the dry flower, delivering more potent vapor with every hit, most users may find that they are consuming fewer herbs than normal. This makes dry herb vaporizers more cost-effective than combustible joints, especially in the long run.

What to consider when choosing a dry herb vaporizer

The market is filled with different types of vaporizers, from desktops to battery-powered portables, from conduction heaters to convection to hybrid heating systems. If you’re considering buying a dry herb vaporizer, the first thing you need to consider is whether you want convection heating, the much cheaper conduction heating method, or the most expensive hybrid option.

Once you’ve decided that you want a vape device that uses convection heating, for example, you can start thinking about the look, style, and size of the device. You should also consider the features available. You will want presets and temperature control on your device. Additionally, if you have a limited budget, the price point should be your first consideration when choosing the right dry herb vaporizer.