Using a dry herb vaporizer is a better alternative to smoking marijuana (or tobacco products). Vaping is easier on your respiratory system and lungs compared with smoking. It smells and tastes better, and it's more efficient with your herb, letting you save money on cannabis.
That said, there are a lot of myths and urban legends out there about using vaporizers. It can be confusing out there for someone trying to figure out if dry herb vapes are for them.
Let's see if we can untangle some of the confusion, and get to the bottom of what's fact and fiction when it comes to vaping.
Vaporizing Myths: Health Effects
Is vaping weed dangerous? Didn't people die from using vapes?
This is probably the top myth about vaping. In 2019, the United States experienced a wave of vaping-related illnesses. Hundreds of people were hospitalized with severe respiratory illness, and a handful of people died of it.
This resulted in a wave of negative press about vaporizing, and for people that didn't read past the headlines, it seemed to be an urgent warning about the safety of cannabis vapes.
Many of the vaporizers that caused problems were actually nicotine products: e-cigarettes. Some of the vapes were cannabis vapes containing THC. But they were oil vaporizers, not dry herb vaporizers.
Buy vaporizers from licensed, regulated manufacturers
And even more importantly, these products were created by and sold through the black market. Because they were not subject to the same control as regulated and licensed manufacturers, these oil vapes and e-cigarettes were actually dangerous to use.
It's possible they had added vitamin E acetate, and that caused the vaping-related illness. Regardless, the tragic event makes it clear that you should buy all cannabis products from licensed, regulated producers in legal markets.
And this is doubly true when it comes to oil vapes, because of the risk of vaping-related illness from illicit products.
Is vaporizing cannabis less healthy than smoking?
Smoking weed might be less harmful than smoking cigarettes, but you still inhale some bad chemicals and carcinogens when you smoke marijuana. But with vaping, you're not actually burning the weed, you're just heating cannabis up to release vapor.
Because you're not breathing in smoke, vaping is considered by researchers to be healthier than smoking weed. It also results in less lung irritation and coughing.
Misleading news coverage about vaping dry herb
Again, sometimes the headlines about vaping can be confusing.
For example, a July 2021 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health claimed to show that vaping cannabis was twice as bad as smoking cigarettes or smoking weed. And countless articles were written with "vaping cannabis is worse for you than smoking" headlines.
But overwhelmingly, the kinds of vapes used by the participants in the study were oil vapes, not dry herb vapes. And yes, heavily using low-quality oil vaporizers might indeed be worse than smoking.
More research on the topic is definitely needed. But all those bad headlines about vaping have nothing to do with the safety of dry herb vaporizers.
Dry herb vape questions: cost and strength
Is vaping weed weaker than smoking pot?
Vaporizing cannabis is actually stronger than smoking it. A 2018 study compared THC levels between smokers and vapers. The people who vaped had 40% more THC in their bloodstream.
It's easy to see where vaping can get this reputation though. We've all had an unsatisfying vaping session one time or another. In the earliest days of vaporizing, the cheaper vapes were so terrible they had basically no effect. Or they were so difficult to use that it would be tough to get consistent sessions.
For others, they might have been passed a vape once and it just did nothing for them compared with a joint.
Reasons why vapor might be weak
And the sad truth is, a lot of dry herb vaporizers out there are of low quality, and don't deliver satisfying vapor at all. They might heat the weed inconsistently, or just be made of low quality parts that affect the vapor path.
Another factor is maintenance: vapes need to be cleaned regularly, and more often if you're a heavy vaper. Eventually the vapor path will get clogged and start affecting how much THC is in your vapor. If you get passed a clogged vape, it’s not going to be as fun as one that’s in proper working condition.
Finally, if you're using a convection vaporizer, then you might have to pull for a little longer and in a steady controlled way, before you finally get some vapor. If you're using a conduction vaporizer like Furna, it's more or less foolproof. Just breathe in and enjoy consistent, satisfying hits with no wait time.
Is vaping too expensive?
Buying a quality dry herb vaporizer might be a pricey up-front cost, but there are a number of ways you end up saving money in the future. For starters, as mentioned above, a study demonstrated that you get 40% more THC and CBD effects from vaping compared with smoking.
This is because when you smoke weed, you're burning a lot of the THC and CBD before you get a chance to breathe it in.
On top of that, you can even use your leftover vaped weed and get high from it a second time. These leftovers are known as already vaped bud or AVB.
Some people might think vaping costs too much. Smoking a joint is simple, all you need is rolling papers and a lighter.
But in the long run, vapes actually save you money. And for some people, that might be even more of a selling point than vaping being easier on your lungs.
Weed Vape Myths: Smell and Taste
Are vaporizers really odorless?
Some people claim that dry herb vaporizers have no smell at all, but that's just not true. They create way less of an odor compared with smoking cannabis though. And also, the smell doesn't linger in the air or on fabrics for very long.
But if anyone is expecting vaping to be undetectable: sorry, it still will smell like weed. But using a vaporizer smells less than smoking, and much easier to be discreet.
Does vaping taste worse than smoking?
This myth about vaping is a weird one. Vaping actually tastes better than smoking, because you're able to taste the clearer flavor of the cannabis, without any flame or smoke affecting the aroma.
Maybe if you've got a truly terrible strain, it's better to smoke it than fully taste its awful flavor. But 99% of the time, a vape will give you better taste than smoking.
Where does this myth come from? It could be in part that people have a certain nostalgia for smoking joints, or even cigarettes. Or maybe they're just not vaping properly, so they find themselves unsatisfied with a vape session.
To get good tasting vapor and satisfying effects, you'll want to make sure to grind your weed before vaping it, and to clean your vape regularly. And you'll need a quality dry herb vaporizer, of course.
Vaping marijuana vs smoking: portability and convenience
Are vapes too obvious to use in public?
It's a myth that portable vaporizers are bulky, attention-attracting devices. It was true a long time ago: the first few generations of vapes were awkward looking and difficult to bring around.
But the newest vaporizers are much more portable, and vaping nowadays will attract far less attention compared with smoking. Mostly because the smell is so much subtler than smoking a joint.
That said, using a vaporizer next to someone while indoors is still pretty obvious. So use your discretion when vaping in public. Although it's not as in-your-face as smoking, vaping is still an activity best saved for certain public situations and not others.
Are portable dry herb vaporizers actually convenient to use?
It's a myth that portable dry herb vapes are actually convenient to use when you’re on the go.
Sure, they're lighter and feature better battery life than they used to, but dry herb vapes share one big problem when you're bringing them around with you: they're annoying to reload.
If you're planning to only have one vaping session all day, that might not be an issue for you. But if you're planning to use it more than once, or want to have a group session with friends, you'll have to reload your vaporizer.
Reloading your vape isn't as convenient as it could be. First, you have to empty out the oven and clear out all the vaped herb. Then, you have to wait for it to cool down. Finally, grind up some more weed and carefully load it into the chamber of your vaporizer.
It's not always convenient to do all that when you're on the go. And it's definitely not discreet.
A more portable, versatile dry herb vaporizer
The Furna vaporizer deals with this issue with its unique oven-swapping system.
You can load up multiple ovens with cannabis before leaving the house, or before a session with friends begins. Then, when one oven runs out, you can instantly swap in a fresh one, with no waiting or awkward reloading.
Furna also has specialized ovens for concentrates and 510 oil cartridges which are just as easy to swap in, giving you even more versatility and convenience.
So it turns out the inconvenience of vaping is a myth after all. Because now there is a portable dry herb vape that's truly convenient to use.