These are exciting times for cannabis lovers, because the number of marijuana products out there keep increasing. One particularly cool development is the increasing availability of cannabis concentrates out there.
Concentrates are concentrated forms of herb that are significantly stronger than traditional cannabis flower. If you'd like to learn about all the different types of cannabis concentrate, check out our article about the basics of weed concentrates.
You can smoke concentrates, or ingest them. Keep in mind, you can only eat them once they've been heated, so that the active ingredients like THC are properly activated.
But the most popular way to consume concentrates is definitely vaping.
This shouldn't be a surprise, as vaping is more efficient, allowing users to get more effects out of their concentrates. This means you'll save money over time, as you don't need to buy as much. Vaping also is easier on your lungs compared with smoking, so it's a better choice for respiratory health.
Which vape is best to vaporize concentrates? That'll depend on a couple of factors: whether you want a portable device, and whether you want to vape more than just concentrates. Some dry herb vapes can also vape concentrates - but they're not all equally convenient to use. We'll get to the bottom of these questions and more as we explore the world of concentrate vapes.
Best Vaporizer: Concentrate Only
There's a huge range of concentrate vapes out there, with varying quality. The prices vary a lot too, from cheap vape pens to high-end vaporizers like the Indux Reflux (which start at $2000).
Which concentrate vaporizer makes sense for you will depend on what kind of a concentrate user you are. If you're hard-core into concentrates, and don't consume other marijuana products, then it might make sense to go for a higher-end dedicated device.
Desktop concentrate vapes
Most of the higher-quality devices are tabletop vaporizers designed for home use. Among these, Dr. Dabber, Puffco, and FlowerPot regularly receive top marks from users. But they're not cheap.
But you can expect high quality vapor, and a reasonably durable device, if you go with a well-reviewed concentrate vape.
You can also build your own dab rig, which is a specialized type of bong or water type, designed for use with concentrates. A dab rig has a chamber with a nail which you heat with a torch. You dab the concentrate onto the nail, heat it up, then inhale the vapor.
Dab rigs were a popular choice before there were many concentrate vapes on the market, and it's still a preferred option by many people. Dab rigs can be a little difficult to get started with, but for more technically-minded folks they're great. Just be extremely cautious since many dab rigs involve using an open flame.
Wax pens (or dab pens)
There are also a number of compact vape pens out there designed for use with concentrates. In general, wax vape pens offer worse quality vapor production than the higher-end desktop vapes, but they have the advantage of being way more portable.
However, battery life is usually disappointing with most models, and cleaning dab vape pens can be a real pain. It's easy for them to become clogged. And once they're clogged, you'll be wasting concentrate every session, since you won't be able to get its full effects.
Cleaning your wax pen between every session is crucial, but vape pens are usually designed to be light and cheap, and not really with long-term use or maintenance in mind. Also, a low-end concentrate vape pen won't deliver good vapor to begin with, and will be even less durable in the long-term.
Vaping Concentrates in a Dry Herb Vape
For people that enjoy vaping both dry herb and cannabis concentrate, it can be annoying to use two different vapes. Especially if you're trying to be portable - you don't want to cart around two vaporizers and all their accessories.
Putting concentrate in a dry herb vape is usually an option, if you surround the concentrate with dry herb. This protects the heating chamber from the concentrate which will get sticky as the concentrate melts. However, this doesn't work with all vapes: you need to make sure that no liquid will get into the sensitive parts of your vaporizer.
Another drawback is that you're not really getting the full effects. It's not possible to properly and evenly heat all the dry herb and concentrate in this "sandwich" configuration, so you will miss out on some effects. In a pinch, it's a good solution though.
Many of the top dry herb vaporizers offer additional accessories that allow you to more effectively vape concentrate. Often, you'll be able to buy an insert or liquid pad that you can put inside the chamber, making it easier to vape concentrate without danger to your device.
These inserts are an okay solution, but still have weak points. They can be difficult to load and clean, especially in portable vaporizers. You have to wait in between bowls for hot parts to cool enough so that you can clean and reload them. For folks that only use concentrates very rarely, this might be acceptable; but for concentrate lovers, it will be a source of frustration.
Best vaporizer for both concentrate and dry herb
The Furna vape has a new approach to this problem. Instead of having an insert you put into your dry herb oven, Furna has a swappable oven system that includes both dry herb and concentrate ovens.
Whenever you're done one oven (of any variety), you can instantly swap for a fresh oven. No cleaning or waiting for things to cool down, they're safe to swap at any time. Multiple ovens also means you can pre-pack all your ovens in advance before leaving the house, or starting a session with friends.
It's easy to keep track of which oven is which. The ovens come with multicolored mouthpiece nibs so you can tell at a glance. Also, when you load an oven into the vaporizer, a custom symbol will show up on the display.
The concentrate ovens are specifically designed for concentrate only, and are simple to clean compared with vaporizer inserts and liquid pads. Furna also has a special 510 oil oven, making it simple to enjoy 510 oil cartridges as well.
So instead of having multiple vaporizers, or a dry herb vape that's difficult to reload and clean, you can have everything you need in a single portable vaporizer. Have a look at Furna to see what you think for yourself.