If you’re here, that probably means you’re new to vaping and looking to make a well-informed decision when choosing your vape—cheers to that. Vaping has been gaining a lot of adepts in the past few years. Undoubtedly, it is a healthier and smarter way to tap into the benefits of cannabis flowers without rolling and smoking the infamous joints.
Now, before diving into the intricacies of choosing your vape, let’s get this question out of the way.
Is Vaping Really Healthier than Smoking?
While the scientific community has not said much about vaporizing cannabis, UK researchers from the Royal College of Physicians agree that vaping is at least 95% healthier than smoking.
Considering the basic functioning of vaping and smoking, there’s no strong reason not to extrapolate this assumption to vaping marijuana flowers. Smoking burns the chemical (be it nicotine or cannabinoids), producing tar and other cancer-producing by-products.
Meanwhile, vaping heats the cannabis flowers to controlled temperatures below the point of combustion. This produces vapor and steam packed with cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, allowing you to inhale a cleaner end product.
Regular marijuana smokers who have transitioned to vaping say they have lost the annoying coughing and throat irritation caused by smoking weed. They also claim the high punch is stronger and they experience enhanced flavor in their sessions.
If you’re vaping for the first time, check our beginner’s guide.
Things to Consider before Choosing your Vape
As the vaping practice gained hype and the marijuana laws moved toward legalization, manufacturers hurried to flood the market with various vaping devices. So how to find the one that best suits you?
Let’s break down the main considerations before getting a vape.
Herbs Vs Concentrates
Another advantage of vaping compared to smoking is that you can choose to vape cannabis buds or concentrates, which you may find in the form of oils and waxes.
If vaping herbs is your thing, know that you can expect a very potent high from this experience. This is because when the flowers get burned at such low temperatures, there is less THC wasted, which translates into a more intense hit.
On the downside, you’ll probably need to get a fine grinder, as most herb vapes won’t do well with the medium ground herb. Also, in the case of vape pens, you’ll need to shake it once in a while to allow for a more even burn.
Vaping concentrates take the experience to a whole new level. You may find oils, waxes, and honey-like concentrates that will get you really high with just a few hits.
Now, if you choose to vape concentrates, make sure you purchase from trusted brands. It’s not unusual to hear that vaping concentrates can be harmful compared with vaping buds.
Well, that is because these concentrates are made using solvents and other chemical products. Trusted brands are extremely careful to produce and sell high-quality, clean oils and waxes. However, low-end concentrates might contain toxic chemical traces. So, bear that in mind.
Where do you plan to vape? Always at home? Or maybe you’d like to take your vaporizer around while running your errands? This is the time to decide whether you want a vape pen or a desktop vaporizer.
Desktop or tabletop vaporizers are well-known for their potency. These are sturdy metal pieces resembling a pyramid. They come with plastic bags or tubes on top. If you plan to vape only at home, solo, or with friends, desktop vapes are perfect for these social occasions.
Vape Pens/Portable Vaporizers
On the other hand, if you like to vape on the go and keep a low profile, vape pens are the best choice for you. In the first place, vape pens are much more affordable; there’s a wide range of prices to choose from. Second, they’re so stealthy and perfect for flying under the radar. For all the people know, you could be just vaping nicotine.
Conduction VS Convection
Another key point when choosing your vape is knowing the device’s heating system. There are two heating methods these days: conduction and convection.
Conduction is the oldest heating system, the one used in the first weed vaporizers. The basics of conduction consist of a heating element that interacts directly with the herbs or concentrates, which starts the device a lot faster.
However, with this heating element burning the herbs or wax directly, there’s a risk of inhaling harmful chemicals as well. There’s also uneven heating, so the user needs to jiggle the pen constantly. We could definitely say that pens using conduction will soon fall into oblivion.
On the other hand, convection is the most recent heating method that’s taking the spot among vapers. The convection vape pen vaporizes its content using hot air, without the herbs or liquids interacting directly with the heating source.
How is this better than conduction? In the first place, the absence of combustion means there’s no ash or smoke produced, making it the healthier vaping method so far.
Second, you get more potent hits as there’s no THC wasted in the remaining ashes.
Third, it’s much more cost-efficient. If you don’t burn your herbs, the already vaped buds can be used to prepare edibles or tea. Furthermore, you could use them for an emergency vape.
One downside, however, is that convection vape pens are way slower to start and heat up.
Low VS High Maintenance
How much time and extra money are you willing to invest in your vape’s maintenance? That’s another key question when choosing your vape.
In the case of tabletop vapes, they hardly require any major cleaning or upkeep.
Vape pens and any other portable vaporizer usually requires thoroughly cleaning at least once a month. Now, dry herb vaporizers are low-maintenance. These only need cleaning once in a while as herbs can clog the filters.
With wax pens, things can get messier, and these will require extra cleaning. Also, you’ll probably need to buy spare parts to replace those that will simply stop working after prolonged use.
Last but not least, what’s your budget to purchase the perfect vape?
Cannabis vaporizers range from $30 to $150, depending on the quality and type of the device. Vape pens tend to be more affordable. Tabletop vaporizers are usually more expensive, reaching prices as high as $600.
Whatever your budget and preference, we always recommend purchasing from trusted brands. These will probably be a notch more expensive. However, remember you get what you pay for. Low-end, cheap stuff turn out to be expensive in the long run.
Now that you understand the main characteristics and functioning of cannabis vaporizers, you can determine what you’re looking for and get a vape that meets your needs and your budget.