How Tightly Should I Pack My Dry Herb Vaporizer?

Two hands holding an open cannabis grinder, one half is filled with ground weed.


Vaping using a dry herb vaporizer is an efficient, healthier, and more discreet way of consuming cannabis and enjoying the benefits of THC and CBD. Especially when compared with combustion methods like smoking.

And since it’s more efficient in extracting active ingredients from dry herbs, 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 more bang for your buck, you’ll want to make sure you’re loading your vaporizer correctly.

Use a grinder, pack the oven carefully

This means grinding your herbs to the right consistency, and loading it into the chamber properly, without overpacking it. Just how dense a pack will depend on your vaporizer type, we'll get to that in a bit.

But the general principle is kind of like rolling a joint correctly: using a grinder helps a joint burn more evenly, giving a smoother smoke, better flavor, more effects, and less waste. You want a tight roll, but not so tight that the air doesn't flow.

Tips for packing your vaporizer

So how tightly should you pack your dry herb vape to make sure you get the best possible vaping experience? Remember, airflow is key when it comes to vaping, so don't overload - or underload - when filling the chamber.

Otherwise, the cannabis won’t be heated evenly, and the vapor won’t be able to travel effectively into the mouthpiece and into your lungs. Some herbs will heat higher than your target temperature, and might even burn.

As you'll see, a little bit of preparation goes a long way in terms of producing higher vapor quality and more satisfying vapor clouds. So if you're looking for the best way to pack the bowl of your device, you'll want to check out the following tips.

piles of cannabis ground to different degrees: very fine, fine, medium, coarse, very coarse, and whole.

Convection and conduction vapes

Packing your vaporizer correctly depends on a few factors that will be specific to your vape, so consider the type of vape you're using before before taking out your grinder and filling the bowl or herb chamber.

Dry herb vaporizers come in two varieties: conduction and convection vapes. Conduction vaporizers, which represent most of the portable vapes out there, produce best quality vapor with a fine grind. This allows the heating of the maximum surface area of the herb, and lets the hot air easily flow through the device to the mouthpiece.

Convection vaporizers work better with a slightly coarser grind, so don't overuse your grinder, you don't want the herbs to be become too powdery. Convection vapes produce better vapor when heated air can easily flow around the herbs. They sometimes have a screen to prevent particles from getting through the mouthpiece, but the screen won't do much to block powder.

A grinder is key, but don't grind too fine

You’ll have to figure out the best technique for your particular vape, some work best with a medium grind, while others work best with a finer grind. We find grinding the material down to medium or fine (1 - 2 mm diameter particles) works great for most conduction vapes.  

Too fine a grind can even result in unwanted combustion, burning herbs if the temperature gets too high in parts of the oven. Also, fine particles getting through the mouthpiece can be unpleasant. And even if the desktop or convection vaporizer has a screen before the mouthpiece, material that's been ground to a powder will likely get through that screen.

But regardless of your vaporizer device type, conduction or convection, portable or desktop, using a grinder is always essential to getting the most potency from your sessions. And the overall goal behind achieving the right grind is making sure you get the right airflow.


A person cleaning glass with a squeegee.

Dry herb vaporizers need regular cleaning

The importance of airflow also means that even if you've gotten amazing at loading the vape right, that won't matter if your device is clogged. You should clean your vaporizer whenever the air begins to flow less smoothly.

If you want to maximize the draw, flavor, and effects of your vape, it's crucial not to wait too long. 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 chamber.

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 herbs work better ground a certain way.

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.


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Don't over-pack dry herb vapes

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 cram as much herb as you can into the chamber of your vape. Don't do this!

Packing too tightly will restrict the airflow, and you'll get a drastically reduced draw. You won’t get much vapor, and you’ll have an unsatisfying and weak effect. The heat won't be distributed evenly, because not all of the herbs are heating to the temperature you selected - there's not enough surface area for it to get properly heated.

You’ll be disappointed if you get too eager when packing your vape bowl. It can also be a waste of good bud! Burnt cannabis also doesn't work as well as AVB or already vaped bud.

Pack the bowl evenly

As you're filling the vaporizer bowl with herbs, press the material down a little with a tamper, so that it’s evenly packed into the heating chamber. Not 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.  

Touch your middle finger to your thumbTouch your tamper to the fleshy part of your hand to get an idea for how tightly you need to tamp the Dry HerbTamp the dry herb in your oven to a similar consistency.


Try different pressures and packing to find your own sweet spot. Once you've figured out your preferred technique, you'll quickly be able to load your chamber with perfectly ground herbs without thinking much about it.

It's easy to load your vape properly

Don't worry, you don’t need to obsess over all this. Just pay a bit of attention and make sure you don’t have any air-blocking clumps or giant gaps in the chamber will mean much better vapor. It will also prevent the formation of “hot spots” where heat can get trapped and potentially burn herbs and affect their flavor.

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 spilling herbs into the parts of the chamber where they don't belong. The Furna includes handy filling aids that let you get the perfect level of density.

Don’t underpack the vaporizer oven

Underpacking your vaporizer’s chamber is just 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 a nearly full oven, packed fairly tightly, but not too densely that air won’t pass through it.

If you want a session that's less full-on, 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 contained.


Vaporizer with dry herb and concentrate ovens by Furna

Benefits of a quality dry herb vaporizer

If you love vaping and having options that don't involve smoking or combustion, but you have an older or lower-end vape, it might be time examine what newer or upgraded vaporizers have to offer. Or perhaps you're currently using an oil vape pen and thinking about switching.

Both conduction and convection vapes have come a long way. Older or lower-quality vaporizers might have difficulty heating the herbs in the chamber to a precise temperature, especially as time goes on. This can mean hot pockets, combustion and potential smoke, and can make targeting terpenes difficult.

The new generation of portable vapes

Portable conduction vaporizers have gotten smaller in size, charge faster, and are more convenient than ever before. It's worth investing in a current-generation dry herb device for the long term. And if you're using a vape pen, considering switching for the many benefits of vaping dry herbs.

If you're looking for tips about the best portable vapes out there, check out our article about the best portable vaporizers for dry herb.


Person wearing backpack on mountain path, extending arms outwards.

Conveniently packing a portable vape

Loading a vape is easier to do when you’re in the comfort of your own home, rather than on the move. If you enjoy vaping on the go and want to reload your vape while you’re out, you'll find it tough to do as good a job.

But if you have a multi-oven vaporizer like Furna, you can prepare 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, keeping your vape as efficient as possible.

Reloading a vape while on the go can be very inconvenient, so check out Furna’s oven-swapping vape.

Dry herb vaporizers are easy to use

If you're new to dry herb vaporizers, all this discussion around packing a vape chamber might sound complicated at first, but you'll get the hang of it after just a couple of sessions. It'll eventually become second nature, an unconscious technique you won't even have to think about.

Even without these packing tips, a dry herb vaporizer would be a healthier, more cost-effective way to consume cannabis compared with smoking. But if you keep your grinder handy, and pay a bit of attention to how you fill your bowl, you can push your vaporizer that much further, making buying a dry herb vaporizer an even smarter decision.


Furna vaporizers with swappable ovens