Vaping is popular in the cannabis community. It offers users a healthier, safer alternative to lighting a joint or smoking a bong. Here we will touch on some vaporizer tips and advice that you may find useful.
You might find it daunting when starting out. Here are a handful of tips to help you get the best out of your vaping experience. The key virtue of vaping is that it avoids combustion. Unlike smoking, vaping extracts the main compounds from the plant without burning the plant material. There are two main types of vaporizer. One uses convective heating, while the other uses conductive heating. Convective vaporizers heat the air around the plant material. Conductive vaporizers heat the surface underneath it.
Inhaling cannabis smoke exposes you to many adverse health effects similar to those of smoking tobacco. Because vaping produces vapor instead of smoke, it offers users a healthier alternative to smoking. It also extracts more cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds from your buds. THC, CBD, and other key components in cannabis evaporate at low temperatures (300+°F or 150+°C). Joints, bongs and blunts burn at much higher temperatures and waste a lot of weed. By vaping, you can heat your herb to the exact temperature needed to extract its essential compounds. It also means you use less weed.
When your ready to look at vaporizers:
Grinding your material
You first need to grind your herb. Using a grinder helps to break down your cannabis buds to a fine and even quality. This releases more cannabinoids (like THC), from your plant material. Not every dry herb vaporizer needs the same grind. At lot depends on whether you have a conduction vaporizer or a convection vaporizer.If you have a conduction vaporizer, you need to grind your herb as fine as you can. There are a number of reasons for this. First, to transfer heat efficiently, your herb needs to be compact and this is best achieved with a fine grind. Secondly, you want as many particles as possible in contact with the wands in the heating chamber.
The finer your grind, the more particles you'll expose to contact. To grind your herb this level of fineness, you need a proper herb grinder. If you have a convection vaporizer, your herb is heated by the circulation of hot air. So the trick here is to maximize airflow in your herb chamber. Grinding your flower increases the surface-area of exposure of your herb. This means that the hot air will heat it more thoroughly. 'Finger-grinding' produces the more fluffy grind that's perfect for convection vaporizers. But if you’re vaping large amounts, there are herb grinders that provide you with the same effect.
Loading your vaporizer
To pack your vape, you first need to remove the cover to your herb chamber. Then you take your ground herb and gently load it into the chamber. Remember that, when using your vape, air needs to pass through the chamber. So, make sure you don't overfill your herb or pack it too tightly. Give it room to breathe! All vapes are different and have varying heating methods. Convection-style vapes generally perform best with loosely packed herb. On the other hand, conduction-style vapes generally perform best with a tighter pack.
To optimize your vaping sessions, experiment with tighter and looser packs. A lot of this is down to personal preference and experimenting is part of the fun. But packing your vaporizer is essential to producing the experience you want. How you pack your vaporizer depends on whether you have a conduction or convection vaporizer.If you have a conduction vaporizer, pack it tightly, but not so tightly that there's no airflow. The optimal packing-level is different per vaporizer. It also depends on what you like, and ultimately you'll have to experiment yourself.As a general rule, though, if you have a convection vaporizer, pack it loosely to allow a proper airflow. With convection vaporizers, never fill it more than 80%-90% - and never compress it.
Temperature range and its effects
Having packed your vaporizer, you now have to fire it up. Most vapes have adjustable temperature settings, which influences the quality of your vapor. Generally, low temperatures deliver more flavorful hits, while higher temperatures deliver stronger hits. It's a good idea to start at lower temperatures, then work your way up to the higher temperatures. Again, experiment until you find out what's right for you. You should refer to your personal vape manual for specific instructions. The following guidelines provide only general advice.
Different temperatures serve different vaping needs. The higher the heat, the closer you'll come to a smoke-like experience and the stronger effect your vapor will have. However, the higher you set your temperature the more your flavor will spoil. It's called the ‘burnt popcorn taste’. This taste becomes more prevalent the higher in temperature you go. Your vapor will also be harsher, but you’ll get larger and more intense clouds. In general: Low temperatures (320°F/160°C - 356°F/180°C) will give you:
light mental effects
very weak bodily effects
Mid temperatures (356°F/180°C - 392°F/200°C) will give you:
moderate to strong mental effects
moderate to strong physical effects
High temperatures (392°F/200°C - 446°F/230°C) will give you:
intense mental effects
very strong physical effects
larger, more intense clouds
When you think about it, the batteries are the single most important piece of vaping kit. If you don’t have power, you don’t have vapor. When you notice your battery starting to die, don’t let it die completely. Connect it to the charger. It can take an age to charge from scratch, and the last thing you need when you feel like a sesh is a flat battery. When the battery is fully charged, remove it from the charger. It might seem like a good idea to keep it on until you're ready to use it, but this can affect the battery life.
A lot of batteries have what's called ‘ego threading’, which means the charger screws right onto the battery. Don’t over-tighten this, as it could damage the charger or battery. Make sure the battery isn’t getting hot when in use. This is a warning that something’s wrong. Take it out right away and troubleshoot what the problem might be.Don’t use batteries that have rips in the wrapping or are dented or damaged in any other way. These can leak out and damage your device. Most importantly, don’t leave your batteries in direct sunlight. This can cause them to explode. Keep them in a cool dark place.
Size and portability
Vaporizers come in all different shapes and sizes, from desktop to pens. In between is the portable vaporiser, which is a compromise between the power of the desktop and the portability and discreteness of the pen.
Desktop vaporizers are the original dry herb vaporizers. Typically, desktop vapes offer precise temperature control and different options for inhalation. The most common vapor path is a whip style, which is comprised of glass and medical grade tubing to inhale the vapors produced. Forced-air units employ fans to drive heat over the vaping materials. Because of their size, desktop vaporizers are for home use.
Portable vaporizers offer the option of on-the-go vaping. Thanks to rechargeable batteries, these vapes are not tied to an outlet. While some offer dual functionality, the majority are optimized for either dry herb or concentrate vaping. The quality of the vapor created varies, depending on the type of heating element employed. Ceramic or glass offers better flavor.
Vape pens are generally conduction vaporizers - that is, they heat material directly against the heating element. This means a vape pen may not have the kind of vapor purity that a portable vaporizer or desktop vape has. But it’s certainly more discreet, easy-to-use, and affordable. Vape pens come in three types: dry herb pens, wax pens, and e-liquid pens. Some vape pens are hybrid. Vape pens offer the most inconspicuous usage and usability for the beginner.
Clean your vape after every session. Herb is sticky after exposure to heat. For smooth running sessions, you definitely need to clean your vape of any old residue.
Avoid poking sharp metallic objects down your herb chamber, because this may cause damage. Instead, use a slightly damp cotton swab to clean the inside of the chamber.
Make sure your vape is charged! If your vape isn’t charged, this can seriously ruin your session by cutting it short.
Avoid the wrong herbs. Wet herbs won’t vaporize properly. Neither will overly dry herbs. If you can crush the herb into a powder between your fingers, don’t use it.
We hope these tips help you avoid the most common stumbling blocks when starting to vape. If you are looking to learn more about vaporizers you can read our article on how to choose the best vaporizer here.