What are Cannabis Vaporizers?
You might think of the therapeutic humidifying device that your parent’s used to set at your bedside when you had a cold when you hear “vaporizer”. While these devices obviously have their merits, recently manufacturers have re-engineered these devices for the consumption of marijuana.
Weed vaporizers differ from other smoking methods in that they are electronic and do not heat the marijuana to combustion to release the THC and CBD cannabinoids. Instead, the vaporizers use an internal heating element to start a convection or conduction current which carries heat through the cannabis. These vapes are typically battery-powered or plug-in to your standard household outlet depending on the style of vaporizer chosen. Most marijuana vaporizers are set to heat the plant matter to between 350-420° F, the best allowing the user to regulate the temp to meet their desired preference.
Most will consider the fact that vaporizing is healthier for your lungs, throat and mouth is the most important reason to vaporize more. However, many people also switch to vaporizing more in order to conserve weed as vapes are much more efficient than any smoking method. Lastly, some consumers are drawn to the stealth aspect of most vaporizers. Vaporizers smell much less, are typically silent, and devoid of bright light unlike typical smoking devices that use a butane lighter. This is one reason many hotels and rentals are opening there doors to marijuana vacation consumers.
Health Benefits of Vaporizing
Vaporizing has been shown in studies to reduce the level of harmful toxins marijuana consumers inhale. Although there isn’t any nicotine in marijuana, a butane lighter causes combustion releasing negative byproducts like carbon monoxide, naphthalene, and toluene.
A 2003 study by NORML/MAPS showed the positive effects of vaporizers at reducing the inhalation of harmful toxins:
“The study showed that it is possible to vaporize medically active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by heating marijuana to a temperature short of the point of combustion, thereby eliminating or substantially reducing potentially harmful smoke toxins that are normally present in marijuana smoke. Vaporizers may therefore substantially reduce what is widely regarded as the leading health concern associated with marijuana, namely respiratory harm due to smoking.”
Different Types of Vaporizers
Vapes come in many shapes and sizes ensuring there is a perfect vaporizer out there for anyone’s lifestyle. Some vapes feature an external heating element and utilize a “whip”, while others heat internally, sending hot air through the cannabis using a rechargeable battery (portable and pen-style vapes) or fan (forced-air vaporizers). Whether you need to stay medicated on the go through out the day, or just want to relax come evening at home, there is a cannabis vaporizer out there that fits your needs.
Forced-air Vaporizers: These are the big “tower” style vapes made for convenient home consumption. The name comes from the internal fan that sends air through the internal heating chamber then the cannabis and finally through either a whip or into a balloon bag for consumption.
Whip-style Vaporizers: Similarly to forced-air vapes, whip-style vapes plug into your wall at home for power. They create heat through a convection current using a nichrome heating element which the weed rests on inside what’s called a “wand”, which gets very hot. These compact box vapes are popular devices for their ease of use and low cost. Consumers can easily regulate with their breathing the size of their hit which is great for novices.
Portable Vaporizers: These vaporizers are made for convenient use on the go. Unlike the previously described table-top vapes which are all fairly similar in design and construction, portable vaporizers can vary vastly in style. Some have internal batteries which need recharging from a typical AC or car charger, yet others utilize a rechargeable push-in battery to power the heating element.
Pen Vaporizers: A specific style of portable vaporizers which is almost solely used for cannabis concentrates such as wax or oil. These vapes are quite stealthy and easy to carry around due aesthetic similarities to a pen or an e-cig. Pen vaporizers use conduction currents rather than convection because their heating elements, called “atomizers, cartomizers, or clearomizers”, are coils which heat the concentrate directly. These work by screwing the heating chamber to a rechargeable battery, and then are activated by using a button on the side of the pen. Many manufactures will claim to vaporize the plant matter in addition to concentrates, but these claims are often dubious. These pens simply end up overheating the cannabis into ash like a pipe. Stick to concentrates with this style of vaporizer for the best experience. Also note that the other styles of vapes we have discussed are rarely good for vaping concentrates so it’s not a bad idea to have a pen vaporizer to go with one of the others.
Weed Rentals recommends pen vaporizers over the other styles for your next marijuana vacation, whether that be a rental, hotel, or cabin. Their ease of use and major transportation benefits make them ideal for any cannabis fueled adventure. Plus you will get to enjoy the magic of concentrates, one of the most exciting developments in the marijuana industry. Being concentrates, stick to one or two hits if you’ve never experienced one before or have a low tolerance.
Oil Vaporizers: Vapes that can use liquid concentrates such as BHO (butane hash oil). These vapes utilize a clearomizer, a cartomizer, or a replaceable proprietary concentrate chamber. A cartomizer is a heating chamber for vape pens that combines the heating coil with the cartridge into a single unit. They typically have a filler material inside them that may need to be removed depending on the brand and your pen. A clearomizer, differs in that it is a cartridge without any of the filler material. Instead, they have a metal tube that extends through the middle of the body. In some clearomizers, the heating element is at the bottom of the tube and others have it at the top. In either case, a fiber wick absorbs the concentrate and carries it to the atomizing coil.
Most oil vapes are also effective wax vaporizers but it’s best to read the companies specifications before testing for yourself.
Wax Vaporizers: Vapes designed for solid concentrates such as “budder, errl, or shatter”. Similar to oil vapes, wax pens are powered by a rechargeable battery that heats a clearomizer or cartomizer, and can usually be used with oil concentrates as well. Again, read the companies specifications before trying it yourself as the liquid concentrate is more likely to seep through cracks and get everywhere.