Today we look at the science behind vaporizers and the advantages that go with it.
I can smoke weed without the smoke? What wizardry is this?
If you’re new to the vape scene you might be a little confused about what vaping does compared to smoking a bong or a joint. We’re going to cover vaporizers for dry flowers and why we think it’s the best way to consume your legally purchased cheeba.
All vaporizers whether it’s portable or a volcano vape have two main components. A heating element and an “oven”. The oven acts as a bowl similar to a pipe or a bong. All you have to do is grind up as much as you need and pack it. It will still work if you just toss a bud in the oven without grinding it. In that case you won’t be burning the flower evenly and you won’t receive all the terpenes and cannabinoids so it’s kind of wasteful. We recommend grinding it up and packing it into the oven as tightly as possible. It’s pretty sticky so continually packing it with your finger should compact it into a nice tiny “weed puck”. This is the best way to get the most out of your bud and in the long run will save you money because you’re getting more out of less. We’ll talk more about that in a bit.
Once the oven is packed the vaporizer is turned on. The heating element warms the oven to a desired temperature. The cannabinoids such as THC and CBD start vaporizing at 284 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s recommended to start vaping between 380-390 Fahrenheit. The higher the temperature the more terpenes and cannabinoids can be vaped at once. It’s really a matter of preference. Some vaporizers don’t have a thermometer to show you the exact temp so be sure to refer to the manual to know how to get the desired temperature.
In comparison, when lighting up a joint with a lighter the cannabinoids combust at 446 degrees Fahrenheit. While you can still get the desired effect the high temperature of the flame can actually waste some of the cannabinoids so you’re not exactly getting your money’s worth.
When your grounded up bud hits 284 degrees the oils, terpenes and cannabinoids start to turn into vapour. You can inhale the vapour from a glass straw or bag depending on the vaporizer you purchased.
A glass straw is great because it is a neutral material and won’t interfere in the flavour of the bud. It’s transparent so you can see how grimy it can get after a few sessions. Be sure to clean the glass straw regularity with rubbing alcohol. Personally I soak the “bell” end of the straw in rubbing alcohol for half an hour then rinse it thoroughly with water. Portable vaporizers commonly use a glass straw.
A plug in vape or volcano vape uses clear plastic bags that inflate like a balloon. The user packs the oven with grinder up bud and when the vapor starts it inflated the bag. Once the bag is inflated the user can remove it from the volcano stand and inhale it out of the bag. This is a great alternative to a bong as it uses a fraction of the bud required to get all the desired cannabinoids.
Two Types of Vaporizers
There are two types of vaporizers conduction and convection.
A conduction vaporizer has the heating element directly heat the oven which can be made out of stainless steel or ceramic. The bud has to be touching the oven directly in order for it to heat up and start giving off vapor.
The other type of vaporizer is the convection vaporizer. The bud is placed into a small compartment or bowl and the heating element heats the air that pushes through the bud and creating vapor.
The Vaping Advantage
So why do I love vaping so much that I gave myself the title, Captain Vape. I know what you’re thinking. If you love your vaporizer so much perhaps you should marry it. Real mature but I see your point. There are a lot of pros and I’ll go over a few cons as well. I don’t like to roll joints and I know a lot of people who LOVE to roll joints so I feel their point of view should be represented. I am a stern Captain…but fair.
Pro: No Smoke
The power of science has allowed me to vape all day in my apartment without my landlord demanding what that skunky smell is. It feels like I’m stealth smoking and that is awesome. With no smoke my clothes don’t even smell. There’s a brief cloud of vapor and as soon as it hits an air current from a fan it’s gone forever. I live in Canada and going outside to smoke a little weed in February is cumbersome.
Well there are two ways of looking at this. Upfront it can be a lot of money but you have to think about what you’re paying for. If you look at it another way a vaporizer will save you money in the end. I can pack my vape with a nickel sized amount of weed and get just as high compared to smoking a regular sized joint. Regular being in between a pinner and a philly. You also don’t have to worry about buying papers either.
Pro: Healthier than smoking
It’s better for you than inhaling smoke but I wouldn’t say it’s healthy. It’s not like vaping is the equivalent of eating a salad. But when you smoke a joint you are inhaling the smoke from the burning paper too. All smoke comes with the risk of carcinogens. Vaping reduces those risks. Did we mention you won’t smell like it either?
Con: Not Practical
In terms of portability there are battery operated vapes. The portable ones just need a charge and you are good to go. But it’s not cheap and you are carrying it everywhere. When on the go while packing it you could drop it down a sewer. If you did that to a joint all you’d lose is the marijuana and one sheet of paper. Whipping out a 200 dollar vaporizer at a concert doesn’t exactly capture that rock and roll vibe. Just go to that concert with your pot head friends who have pre-rolled some tight splifs.
Like we previously mentioned, up front it can look like a lot of money but in the long term you will be saving. If you bought 3.5 grams of weed you could probably go through that pretty quickly if you packed a large bowl and hit the bong over and over. Its not the frequency of how much you hit the bong it’s how fast the bud goes up in smoke. Using a tiny portion of that packed bowl and stuffing it into a vaporizer will still get you really high because you are effectively using everything that bud can offer.
A good quality vaporizer should last you approximately 2 to 5 years. It depends on the quality of the battery, how often you use it and how well you maintain it. While there are a lot of fun ways to experiment with cannabis we believe this is the best way to consume it. It’s better for you compared to smoking , you don’t have to rely on edibles and be high all day, more importantly it can save you money.
Until next time…keep vaping my friends.