Herbal Vape Buying Guide
Thinking about investing in a marijuana vaporizer? Be sure to read this detailed guide before making any purchases to ensure you get the ultimate vape the first time.
The word vape might seem doubtful to some people. Did you know that the word ‘vape’ was placed in the Oxford Dictionaries in the year of 2014? A vaping device can be used to vaporize different cannabis-based products and over the years has gained an increase in popularity.
With so many vaping vendors that are out there now, if you are not properly informed with guidance before making your first purchase, it could lead to spending a large amount of money on a product that either is not intended for herbal vaping or you being not happy all together.
So please take your time to read this important guide to provide you with the information you need to find the perfect product.
Why vaporize instead of smoke?
The main reason why most herbal consumers consider vaping over traditional smoking is its health benefits. Like with smoking, there isn’t any real combustion taking place, no smoke no fire. Therefore, vaping cannabis is much easier on your lungs and overall health. When smoking, up to 80% of what you are inhaling is toxins and other impurities that are not meant to be in our bodies. When vaping, you inhale up to 95% of the original material, which in our case is herbal and the remains are non-dangerous. Yet, there aren’t any hardcore studies to prove this statement, but there are some research studies that are available online. But we all know that it’s much healthier without a doubt, its common sense really since one of the many aspects that are harmful is the tar content that is produced. When vaping, no tar is created as there is nothing burning while you inhale. So, would I recommend vaping? Yes, of course, will all the health benefits and you still get the same pleasure from smoking cannabis raw, it is the best combination ever.
Most vapers make use of flowers, in this case, I am referring to dry herbs or anything that relates to marijuana trees. This can also be concentrates of oils or waxes. Depending on the design of your portable vaporizer, some are compatible with both forms of cannabis. The desktop vaporizer is most likely to be compatible with both regardless, as they are more expensive to obtain and usually come supplied with a separate oil attachment. My suggestion would be that if you prefer the idea of vaping just flowers, or haven’t heard of the word concentrates, then you might want to look for a vape that only supports dry herb vaping. Usually, a device that is designed just for one type of vaping performs better opposed to one that is universal. I would say that if you are a daily smoker, I would not recommend that you purchase a portable vaporizer pen. This is because it will not provide you with a strong hit that you may be used to when smoking a traditional blunt.
Types of Devices and how they work
Now there are many devices on the market that you can purchase. Depending on what you want to vape and how you use them will help make your choice. I am going to compare the different aspects of a portable and desktop vaporizer. This is to help you clarify which would be the better option for you.
Dry Herb Vapes (vape pens and desktop)
Selecting the platform of the vape is the most significant part. If you are planning to vape on the move, then I personally would recommend a portable based device. This is ideal if you want to vape on your break or at the local park. However, if you are going to be at home in a set location that is not remote all the time, you might want to go with a desktop vaporizer. The only setback for considering purchasing a desktop vaporizer is that it is expensive, however, if you get a portable vaporizer that is a far cheaper option. From my experience, you most likely are a new vapor that has just got into it recently. If that is the case, then I would suggest you start with a portable unit and gradually work your vape up to a higher end desktop unit.
The legalization of marijuana in many states has resulted in the plant to be provided to its consumers in a range of different methods. This includes popular concentrates such as hash, oil, and wax. I find that concentrates have a higher amount of cannabinoid profiles, but there are certain differences that will help narrow down your ultimate decision.
Marijuana wax is developed by tightly compressing marijuana buds together into a tube before blasting them with butane. What this does is extracts THC from the plant in a highly concentrated form. This then allows the hard wax to be created that allows you to place it in either a bong or into a joint. I find that wax can be very potent and I recommend that you always use it with caution. Not to mention that it is very expensive right now, the average price in the US is around as $100 per gram, which is very costly at many local dispensaries. However, due to a dab being used one at a time, a gram can be expected to last much longer than an ounce of different buds.
Pros of Wax/Dabs
Wax provides the most intensive high, some even say that using wax dabs makes you feel as high as the first time you consumed cannabis. If you are after an extremely strong psychoactive effect, then this is what you need to use in the vape pen. Wax concentrates are provided in a small container and give off very little odor, they are also easy to carry around with you.
Cons of Wax/Dabs
Some people including myself are very concerned, as when they were being first made, they were dissolved in butane and many people are not so comfortable with the potential health risks associated with the chemical processing. I have heard that many wax concentrate companies have now started using different methods that don’t consist of highly flammable and possibly poisonous butane. Therefore, it’s important to research before making any kind of purchase from your local marijuana dispensary. What’s better there are certain types of portable vaporizer that allows you to consume wax without having to use a bong or a blow torch, which can be a tricky process.
Hash oil or also known as butane hash to most vapors is generated from taking cannabinoids from a marijuana plant and placing them into a container. Butane is then forced through the container using a method that retains the plant but still allowing the gas to escape. A low-temperature purge can also be used utilized to prevent any traces of butane being apparent. As butane is a hazardous substance it cannot be ingested. Butane hash oil normally has a very high level of THC concentration of around 80%. You can use hash oil in a portable vaporizer pen and personally this is my own favorite form of cannabis.
Pros of Cannabis Oil
From my personal experience, this is my most preferred method of consuming cannabis. The main reason being it is completely odorless and the vapor disappears in seconds. Vaping as explained earlier on is much easier on your lungs than traditional smoking. Also, you don’t have to carry a lighter and pipe, all you need to carry is one device if you are taking the portable route. This also prevents any cannabis related resin falling out and leaving remains behind. So, with a vape pen, you are less likely to be a marijuana smoker to the public.
Cons of Cannabis Oil
Consuming cannabis through a vaporizer can provide you with a delayed high, in comparison to the regular joint. This is because when you have a blunt, you consume it all at once, however with vaping you are less likely to be in a rush. So vaping cannabis will take longer to get into your system. Also, any oils you require need to be stored in relevant temperature conditions always. You can’t leave in your car under direct sunlight as the oil will potentially evaporate. So, you need to be aware of where you store them. I find that the best place is in a cupboard.
Hash is one of the worlds widely recognized form of marijuana concentrate. It is formed by obtaining stalked resin glands from the marijuana plant and rubbing them simultaneously to remove the trichomes. A flat screening method is often used to ensure that majority of the trichomes pass through. The extracts that are created from this amazing process can be then compressed into rolled balls or bricks. You can then take some apart to use it with your vaporizer.
Pros of hash oil
If inhaled using a portable or desktop vaporizer, the users high tend to normally last around about three hours. Like with the other methods of cannabis consumption, it provides a nice relaxation feeling, reduces stress and elevates your mood. In comparison to cannabis oil and was dabs, even if you take a small amount of hash oil, you will get an instant high, as hash oil contains higher levels of THC. If you want to get high in a short amount of time, using this in your vaporizer would be the better option out there.
Cons of hash oil
If you want to be discrete and low key about your cannabis consumption, you want to stay away from using hash oil. It is the most potent out of the other two as it is directly concentrated from a cannabis oil. The smell is so strong that even if you accidentally spill a little on your clothes or hands, you won’t be able to rub the smell off with some water. If you are open about cannabis use, then you may not mind the strong smell over the powerful high you get with it.
A word of warning
Now that I have gone through the most common types of marijuana forms that you can use with your vape pen, which you prefer depends on your preference. You will need to take into consideration the price and availability at your local dispensary. I just want to make it clear that since wax and hash oil and made from using butane, making these products at home is not recommended. Not only are you risking creating a fire, but purging butane from the finished product can be a difficult job. Not all states have testing and labeling requirements, which could potentially mean that the hash oil or was you consume may or may not be safe, it is always something to be questionable about.
Tips and tricks
To get the best possible high from your vaporizer, there are various tips and tricks that are associated. Over the years, I have picked up a few tips and tricks to help you improve your first-time vaping experience. Firstly, you want the herb to be finely crushed but not too fine, I always find that a nice medium grind works best. I find that all grinders to the same job, just make sure you grind it accurately and evenly. Failure to do so can potentially cause an uneven vape and can cause problems with the airflow as it will be more restricted. This will result in having more cleaning issues later. Keeping the bowl clean is also essential, as any leftover residue from previous vape sessions can impact flavor and hinder your vaping experience.
I find that a quick wipe down near the bowl area after every four sessions with some isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab will work brilliantly. Just remember not to let any excess alcohol cleaning solution run down into the battery area. It’s important that you make cleaning and maintenance a high priority when using your vaporizer frequently. This will prolong the lifespan of its components and always give you that satisfying vaping experience with great consistency.
Temperature also plays a significant role in the quality of your vapor. I always recommend that a good place to start is around between 170 to 175 ◦C. If you stay around this temperature range you will notice you will gain good flavor. Once you have taken a few hits from your vaporizer, you can then increase the temperature by a few degrees. Try to stay below 190 ◦C as this is usually the end point for vaping cannabis. Any higher than this and you will notice a drop in flavor and clouds will become less dense.
In America, 22 states have legalized the use of medical cannabis and several states have now legalized the use of marijuana. According to recent figures, over 83% of American citizens feel that medical uses should be legalized and 52% believe it should be legalized generally. Below are the exact states which allow the use of cannabis in the USA.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
What to look for & avoid when buying
The actual vaporizer has the most impact on how satisfying the vape will be, usually like with anything, the more money you invest the better the quality is. Cheap vaporizers are usually available for around $60, while the higher quality stuff can retail for more than $500. Once you have finalized your budget, it is also important to research the reputation of companies and models. A quick search followed by the word review will allow you to discover other user’s opinions based on their experiences with the
product. Having a minimum of 12 months warranty is also very important, as high-end vaporizers can have small functionality issues. Check directly with the vendor you are planning to purchase your first vaporizer from to confirm this.
Preparation time of each individual vaporizer is different from the other. No vaporizer can be turned on and used straight away, it’s very different to how a regular ecig works. They take time to warm up, how long depends on the technology used. Vaporizers that use direct flames can warm up in a few minutes. However, with ceramic heater chambers, it may take as long as an hour before you can use it. Depending on your preferences, if you want something that can provide you with a quick fix, you need to look at the product specifics if the product you are looking at can heat up under five minutes.
Portability and size is also another factor that you need to take into consideration to suit your needs and lifestyle. Portable models are very convenient in size, however, they tend to take longer to prepare before you can use them. If you are traveling a portable vaporizer is a must, however, if you are planning to get high at home, then consider a desktop vaporizer.