Choosing a Cannabis Vaporizer

Along with vaping’s surge in popularity in recent years, vaping accessories have followed suit, with devices used for vaping leading the way. Which vaporizer is best for you? Let’s take a look at the different types of vaporizers and some of the pros and cons of each.

What is a cannabis vaporizer

A cannabis vaporizer is a device with a heating element used to heat various forms of cannabis (flowers, concentrates) to a vaporization point, from where it can then be inhaled without the need of combustion. Vaporizers usually work with two types of cannabis: dry herb, which is packed into the chamber, or concentrates, which typically come in the form of a pre-filled cartridge.

How does a cannabis vaporizer work?

Vaporizers transfer heat three ways: conduction (direct heat; cheaper), convection (indirect heat; pricier), or a hybrid of both. With conduction, the cannabis is in direct contact with the heating element (also known as a coil), resulting in rapid heating, and a potentially more intense psychotropic sensation. Drawbacks include uneven heating of your flower or concentrate and, on cheaper models lacking temperature controls, burnt cannabis.

With convection, air is passed thorough the cannabis, allowing for heating by indirect heat and a cooler vapor that is easier on the lungs. The heating process takes a bit longer compared to conduction but results in a more even distribution of heat and no burning.

On hybrid models, conduction and convection work together, with the former kicking the heating process off and the latter used to maintain temperature.

Different types of cannabis vaporizers

There are two main types of vaporizers. Portable vaporizers are divided into two categories. Pen vapes are similar to e-cigarettes and without a doubt the most convenient for on-the-go vaping.  Pen vapes are also design-friendly, affordable and discreet. Handheld vaporizers, named such for fitting into the palm of your hand, are larger than pen vapes but can also offer more power, higher cannabis capacity and additional feature.

On the other hand, desktop vapes are for home use and need to be connected to a power source. Unlike portable devices, you inhale via either a tube or a balloon (or some sort of hybrid between the two). The tube system works with a plastic tube that plugs into vape, allowing for inhalation from a distance. The balloon system fills a balloon with several hits of vapour which can then be removed and inhaled from, passed around etc. Once emptied, it must be reattached to the device and refilled.

Which cannabis vaporizer is right for me?

Things to consider as a vaping novice include price, heating mechanism, temperature controls, discreetness and ease of use. Obviously the learning curve with a basic vape pen will be less of a challenge than a feature-packed desktop advice (you don’t learn to drive in a Ferrari, you start with a Ford). In brief, homebodies and medical patients might be better off with a desktop device, while on-the-go flower and concentrate enthusiasts would obviously want something portable. Whatever you choose, smoke safely!

A man vaping