How Tightly Should I Pack My Dry Herb Vaporizer?
Using a dry herb vaporizer is an efficient, healthier, and more discreet way of consuming cannabis and enjoying the benefits of THC and CBD. And since it’s more efficient in extracting active ingredients from your herb, it can also save you money by getting more mileage out of your bud.
But efficiency isn’t guaranteed when using a dry herb vape. If you want to get the best possible effects from vaporizing your herb, and also get more bang for buck, you’ll want to make sure you’re loading your dry herb vaporizer correctly. This means grinding your herb to the right consistency, and loading it into your vaporizer’s chamber properly, without overpacking it. It’s kind of like rolling a joint correctly: properly ground cannabis will make it burn more evenly and give you maximum effects with less wastage.
So how tightly should you pack your dry herb vape to make sure you get the best possible effect? Airflow is key when it comes to vaping, so you want to make sure you haven’t overloaded - or underloaded - the chamber of your vape. Otherwise, the cannabis won’t be heated evenly, and the vapour won’t be able to travel effectively into the mouthpiece and into your lungs
Getting the Right Grind
Packing your dry herb vaporizer correctly depends on a few factors that will be specific to your vape. Dry herb vaporizers come in two varieties: conduction and convection vapes. Conduction vaporizers, which represent most of the portable vapes out there, work best with a fine grind, which allows them to heat as much surface area of the herb as possible and allow the hot air to flow through it. You’ll have to figure out what level works best for your particular vape, some work best with a medium grind, while others work best with a fine grind. But don’t go too overboard, because an ultra-fine powder will likely not work well with your vaporizer, and can result in cough-inducing particles going through the mouthpiece. We find grinding the cannabis down medium or fine (1 - 2 mm diameter particles) works great.
Convection vaporizers, which tend to be non-portable desktop units, work best with a slightly coarser grind. This makes it easier for the heated air to flow around the herb. But regardless of your vaporizer model, grinding your herb is essential to getting the most potency from your sessions.
The overall goal behind achieving the right grind is making sure you get the right airflow - vaporizers won’t be very effective if they don’t have proper airflow. This also means that even if you’ve got the right grinding and packing techniques, that won’t overcome a dirty or clogged vape, so you should clean your vaporizer whenever airflow is getting to be a problem. If you’re using a vaporizer with multiple swappable ovens and mouthpieces like Furna, that’ll reduce how frequently you’ll need to clean your vape.
Finding the perfect grind will be a matter of experience and taste. You may find that your vaporizer performs best with a particular grind, or that different strains of cannabis work better ground a certain way.
And if you’re planning to store your cannabis for longer periods of time, it’s a great idea to keep it at the right humidity. This isn’t hard to do: just get some Boveda packs, pop one or two in your storage container with your bud, and then they’ll stay at the optimal humidity. Which means you’ll get more vapour and potency in the long term.
Resist the Urge to Overpack
It’s easy to operate on instinct when loading up your vaporizer. If you’re in the mood for a full-on session and a large effect, you’ll naturally tend to try to load up as much herb as you can into the chamber of your vape or pack it in super tight.
But if you do this, it’ll be self-defeating! If you pack a dry herb vape too tightly, you’ll restrict the airflow, and get a drastically reduced draw, meaning you don’t get much vapor, and you’ll have an unsatisfying and weak effect. It doesn't allow for even heating meaning a less efficient use the product.
You’ll be disappointed if you get too eager when packing your bowls. It can also be a waste of good cannabis!
Pack it Evenly
You’ll want to press the herb down a little with a tamper, so that it’s evenly packed into the chamber. No so much pressure that it's a tight brick, more like a gentle squeeze to make sure it's consistent. Our trick for getting this right is to get a feel for a well tamped vape. Simply put your finger and middle finger together and use the tamper to press the fleshy part of your hand below the thumb to see how that feels. Then, with that feeling in mind, tamp the cannabis in your vape to the same feeling.
You don’t need to obsess over all this, but just paying a bit of attention and making sure you don’t have any air-blocking clumps or giant gaps in the chamber will mean much better vapour. It will also prevent the formation of “hot spots” where heat can get trapped and potentially burn your herb and affect its flavour. Try different pressures and packing to find your own sweet spot.
Many vaporizers out there will include some loading tools to make it easier to control how tightly you’re packing the cannabis. A simple tool like a funnel can work wonders in helping you get the right packed density, and avoiding spillage of herb into the parts of the chamber it doesn’t belong in. The Furna includes handy filling aids that let you get the perfect level of density.
Don’t Underpack the Chamber
Underpacking your vaporizer’s chamber can be almost as much of an issue as overpacking. You might find yourself in the mood for just a light session, but it’s still best to pack the oven the same way as always.
A loosely packed or half-empty chamber can mean uneven heating and an unsatisfying session. In order to achieve the best results, most vapes need nearly full ovens, packed fairly tightly, but not too dense that air won’t pass through them.
One way to control how strong a session you experience is by using the vaporizer at a lower temperature. Or, you could try a lighter cannabis strain, in terms of the amount of THC or CBD it contains.
Portability and Loading your Vaporizer on the Go
One final thing to consider is where you will be loading your vaporizer. Loading your vape with the proper technique is easier to do when you’re in the comfort of your own home, rather than when you’re on the move. If you use your vaporizer on the go and will want to reload it while you’re out, you might find it tough to do it as effectively.
If you have a multi-oven vaporizer like Furna, you can load up your ovens before leaving the house, and swap in a fresh one whenever it’s needed. This also means not having to clean your oven as often, which will help with airflow and keeping your vape as efficient as possible. If you’re ever frustrated by having to reload a vape while on the go, you’ll want to check out the possibilities offered by Furna’s oven-swapping vape.