Dry herb vaporizers offer a ton of advantages compared with smoking. You get more THC and CBD out of your herb, there's less of a smell, and vapor is easier on your lungs than smoke.
But there’s a bit of a learning curve with vapes vs smoking. Using a lighter to smoke a joint or pipe is easy, and dry herb vapes and dry herb vape pens don't have quite that level of ease of use.
So how do you hit dry herb vapes? There are just a few things to keep in mind, and soon enough you’ll be vaping like an expert. These tips will help you get the best hits from your vape or pen, and make switching from smoking to vaping a breeze.
How to Use a Dry Herb Vaporizer
At their core, dry herb vaporizers are simple devices: they have a heating chamber that you load dry herbs into, including of course cannabis. You pack your herb into the heating chamber, press the power button, and choose your temperature settings. Then the vape heats up.
Every vape or pen can be different, so read the user manual for your device to be sure. Most portable vapes use conduction heating, where the heating chamber touches the coils directly.
Convection vapes use convection heating, which works kind of like a convection oven. The coil heats air, and then hot air flows over the heating chamber.
How many seconds to inhale from a vape
Once the dry herbs have heated up, inhale from the mouthpiece. A slow, steady inhalation for about 10 seconds will give you the strongest effects and the most flavor. Some vaporizer models do better with more forceful pull, so experiment a bit to figure out what works both with your bud.
You don't have to hold your breath after taking a hit from dry herb vapes. The cannabinoids (THC and CBD) will be absorbed into your lungs instantly. The same rule applies to smoking weed.
There’s also a way to get even more mileage out of your cannabis. Once your dry herb is vaped, you can save it for later use as AVB (already vaped bud). Also known as ABV weed, you can use AVB in recipes, coffee or tea, and more. You can even smoke it, but smoking it is kind of harsh.
How do you Know if Your Dry Herb Vaporizer is Working?
If it seems like your vape isn't producing much vapor, keep in mind that vaporizing dry herbs doesn't always produce clouds of vapor. Especially at lower temperature settings.
A better way to tell is taste. If you can taste the flavor of the herb, that means the terpenes are vaporizing. You’ll still get THC and CBD once the flavor starts to decrease - that’s because terpenes vaporize before cannabinoids. But once you start tasting nothing, there’s probably only a hit or two left. If you taste a burnt flavor, then it’s definitely done.
Getting better vapor from a vape
To get great vapor every session, you have to load your vape properly. Otherwise, you’ll get worse effects and waste weed.
First, grind your dry herb before loading it in the vape. Ground cannabis is easier to heat evenly, which will give you better vapor.
Second, when packing the ground herb in the chamber, don't pack it too full. If it's overpacked with material, that will interfere with airflow and even heat transfer. That said, it shouldn't be too loose either.
You don't have to obsess over this, just grind your herb for every session, and pay a bit of attention to how it's loaded. Over time you won't have to consciously think about it, you'll just develop an instinct for how to do it.
Hit Dry Herb Vape, Repeat
At the end of the day, using a dry herb vape isn't rocket science. There's nothing to learn exactly, vaping is pretty simple after all.
But not all dry herb vaporizers are created equal. There's a huge range of dry herb vapes on the market, and they vary in quality and power.
When looking for a dry herb vaporizer, you want one that gives you consistent vaping sessions, quick heat-up times, and a long-lasting battery. Most users new to vaping go with a portable dry herb vaporizer. They're less expensive than desktop vaporizers, and you can enjoy a session anywhere.
Dry herb vape pens
Most dry herb vape pens produce weaker vapor - they're less efficient with your bud, and won't get you as high. A pen also tends to be less durable and have lower battery life.
You'll probably be frustrated with the shortcomings of a vape pen, and eventually want to upgrade to a better, non-pen, device.
Best Portable Dry Herb Vaporizers
The best dry herb vapes include Storz & Bickel's Crafty and Mighty, the Furna, and the DaVinci IQ2. The PAX 3 is also a popular choice. We have a handy chart comparing dry herb vapes to help you see the advantages and disadvantages of each one.
These vaporizers use conduction heat, so grind your herb and make sure the material is evenly loaded and packed. This will give you perfect pulls and delicious vapor.
You don't want to risk ending up with pockets of heat that burn your herb. This will create smoke, make the vapor harsh, and waste weed. Regular cleaning of the vaporizer is also key to getting good, clean vapor.
Also, don't be tempted by a dry herb vape pen, a pen can't compare with the vapor produced by the vapes listed above. If you buy a pen, eventually you'll just want a better vape. Keep in mind, the most efficient vapes pay for themselves in the long term by saving you herb.
Can you use a dry herb vape for cannabis concentrates?
You might also want a vaporizer that can handle concentrate. If so, definitely check out the Furna, which can instantly swap a dry herb oven for a concentrate oven with a ceramic element. It also has an oven for 510 oil cartridges.
It's way easier to load wax using Furna’s swappable oven system. Most other dry herb vapes that say they can handle concentrate actually require using awkward inserts, which are annoying to deal with and can get messy.With Furna, you also get the option of pre-packing ovens in advance, before you leave the house. You can swap ovens instantly, with no interruption of your session or waiting for things to cool down. To learn more about how it works, check out Furna vaporizers.