If you're new to using a dry herb vape, it can be tough to know whether your bud has any potency left, or if it's time to reload the chamber. Sometimes vapor is visible, but other times it's very subtle and invisible. Just because you can't see anything doesn't mean nothing is happening though.
Is there a particular color cannabis should be after it's done vaping? Are there any other ways to know if your dry herb vaporizer is done? Let's look at how different vapes heat herb, and what happens to the material in the process.
How a Dry Herb Vaporizer Heats Weed
You've probably used a "combustion" method like smoking a joint to enjoy cannabis. It's easy to know when your herb is done when you smoke: it turned into ash, and there's nothing left. You couldn't get another hit off of it if you tried.
Dry herb vaporizers heat up cannabis to a high temperature, and release cannabinoids like THC and CBD into vapor. Lower temperature settings will produce fewer effects than high temperatures. You can always also start low, and gradually increase the heat during a session.
When you use a dry herb vaporizer, the cannabis doesn't disappear: just the cannabinoids inside the plant as they are released into vapor. So it can be tough to know when there's no potency left.
Vapor quality difference while vaping
In general, the first hit will be a little weak, as the dry herb still needs to get hot enough. Then, the next bunch of hits should be full strength. The number depends on the size of your vape oven or chamber, but you should be getting 5-10 full-strength pulls of vapor. The taste should be fresh and flavorful as you inhale, and you should feel effects as soon as the air makes contact with your lungs.
After that, the draw will get noticeably less flavorful and probably feel less potent too. However, your vape is likely still good for about 2-5 more draws after those full-strength hits. How much you decide to extend the life of a session is up to you. At higher temperatures, you'll get the most possible effects out of your herb, but it may burn slightly, creating a worse smell and flavor.
Conduction vs convection devices
Dry herb vaporizers can use two different heating methods: conduction and convection. Convection vapes tend to be large desktop vaporizers and not portable, but do a slightly better job of evenly heating the herb in the chamber.
Conduction vaporizers are more compact, but because the chamber directly touches the heating element, some vapes might heat the cannabis unevenly. So the color might be lighter or darker in some areas. If you find that this is often the case with your vape, try giving the dry herb in the chamber a stir halfway through your session.
Another key step: make sure you grind your weed before you load your vape. Use a fine grind for conduction vapes, and grind a little looser for convection devices. Grinding will help with even heating, and make your device as efficient as possible.
After Vaping, What Color Herb?
Vape sessions vary from device to device, so there are no hard and fast rules. A lot also depends on the strain and the temperature settings you used when vaping.
But in general, your herb should be a light to medium brown color when you're done. If you can still see pockets of green, then there's definitely more pulls left. Give the herb a bit of a stir and keep going! Light brown means you can likely still get some effects out of it, but it will have less of a taste.
It's fine to vape your weed further until it is dark brown, but the odor will become worse, and so will the flavor. It still won't be anything like smoking, but higher temperatures vaporizers can release some carcinogens. If your cannabis looks black, you went way too far. Empty out your vape, and reload it if you're still eager for more.
Bonus tip: you can save leftover herb for use in edibles and capsules. This is called AVB, already vaped bud, also sometimes called ABV. It will taste worse and have less potency if you heavily vaped it at a high temperature and overtoasted it. You can even sprinkle AVB in coffee!
Cleaning a dry herb vape
In order to keep your dry herb vaporizer heating evenly and delivering amazing tasting vapor, you have to make sure to clean the device regularly. If the airflow gets clogged at all, that will make it difficult to heat the herb properly.
Most vaporizers include cleaning accessories, and a tool to help with disassembly of the mouthpiece and any removable parts. Usually, removable metal and ceramic parts are soaked in isopropyl alcohol, then set to try. But each vape has its own specific maintenance guide, so be sure to consult your manufacturer's instructions.
Best Portable Dry Herb Vaporizers
Most new users of vaporizers decide to go with a portable vape. They're less expensive than desktop vaporizers, and more versatile because you can pack them in your pocket.
But not every vape is created equal. You'll want one with the following features: compactness, accurate temperature control, long battery life, and ease of cleaning. You also want enough power to produce good quality vapor - most lower-end vaporizers don't deliver the same efficiency and value from your cannabis.
Take vaping to the next level
If versatility is a priority for you, you should consider the Furna, a vaporizer with oven swapping technology. You can load up multiple ovens in advance, and swap one for another with no wait time.
Reloading your vaporizer is often inconvenient when you're on the move, so it's nice to be able to set it all up in advance. Vaping is less discreet when you have to bring out a tool and some accessories to have a second bowl.
Furna even features optional cannabis concentrate ovens, making it just as convenient to switch between dry herb and concentrates. It also has the best battery life out there, making it the ultimate in portable vaping. Check out Furna now.