There are lots of reasons to vape herbs instead of smoking them. Dry herb vaporizers are much easier on the lungs, in comparison with the health risks of inhaling smoke.
Many of the harmful substances in smoking are caused by the combustion process - that is, the burning and the smoke. And not the herb itself. When you vape cannabis, for example, you heat dry herbs to a high enough temperature so cannabinoids (THC and CBD) are released in the form of vapor.
But marijuana isn't the only thing you can use in dry herb vapes. There are plenty of other herbs out there that you can vaporize for their therapeutic benefits and calming properties. You can also combine them with cannabis to give you the mood and aroma of both.
You can blend fresh herbs to give your herbal vaporizer a combination of the flavor and quality of every herb in the blend. It's helpful to use one or two as the base of the blend, with maybe a third herb added for aroma or spice.
Vape Herbs: Alternative to Cannabis
Most people don’t realize you can vaporize herbs other than cannabis in a dry herb vape. You might already have some in your cupboard. Even in areas where marijuana is still prohibited, the best legal herbs will be widely available for sale.
Dried herbs in vapes can provide pain relief, reduce stress, improve mental clarity, and promote restful sleep and deep relaxation. They've been used for centuries for issues such as anxiety, depression, headaches, to treat colds, insomnia, and more.
Some of the most commonly vaporized herbs include vape green tea, passion flower, lemon balm, basil, eucalyptus, peppermint, garlic, St. John's wort, hops, chamomile, lavender, ginseng, thyme, and even catnip.
Vaping herbs is a useful option when natural remedies are preferred. But always consult your doctor before using herbs to treat medical problems.
Herbs to vaporize for relaxation
Many types of cannabis have a relaxing effect, especially if they're a strain categorized as indica dominant. But there are other herbs you can try to help you with stress, at times when you don’t want psychoactive effects from THC.
One of the most popular herbs for anxiety is lavender, which has a sweet and floral aroma. Lavender helps with depression, insomnia, and provides some pain relief from headaches. There's also chamomile, a common tea choice. It has similar calming effects when you vape chamomile. Both lavender and chamomile should be vaped at 257°F (125°C).
If you're having trouble falling asleep, vaping valerian is known to help with insomnia. It is also said to have pain relief and anti-depression properties. Passion flower is also a popular choice for pain relief. For valerian and passion flower, set your dry herb vaporizer to 302°F (150°C).
You can even raid your cat's stash and vape some catnip. That's right: catnip is for humans too! It has relaxing properties for people, very different from its effect on cats. Wild lettuce is another great sedative herb you can try, and it's also known to provide pain relief. St. John's Wort has been used for centuries for its sedative effect and to help with depression. St. John's Wort, catnip, and wild lettuce all vaporize at 302°F (150°C).
Hops, best known as a beer ingredient, can also be vaped. It's said to be good for reducing stress and as a sleep aid. Vape hops at 392°F (200°C).
Herbs for an energy boost
There are herbs on the other end of the spectrum to energize you instead of relax you. For example, you can vaporize herbs that are usually used in popular beverages like teas.
Green tea, for instance. Vaping green tea actually releases more caffeine than you get from drinking it, giving you a quick-hitting boost of energy. Another popular hot beverage for alertness is yerba mate, and yup, you can vape yerba mate too. Vaporize green tea at 365°F (185°C), and yerba mate at 302°F (150°C) .
You can even vaporize coffee beans! Just be sure to go slowly, vaping coffee beans will hit strongly and in a different way from drinking caffeine. Vape coffee beans at 392°F (200°C). Vaping fennel can also give you an energizing effect and help with indigestion, and has both a sweet and spicy taste. Use a temperature setting of 347°F (175°C).
There's also wild dagga (vape at 347°F/175°C), which has mild euphoric effects. And ginseng, a common ingredient in energy drinks. Ginseng gives a natural energy boost and should be vaped at 392°F (200°C).
Vaping for pain relief and headaches
Many herbs are helpful when you’re fighting off a headache. Or if you're just sensitive to loud noises or stress caused by changes in the weather. Just try one of these in your dry herb vaporizer.
Peppermint is a popular herb for body pain and digestion. It has a very refreshing, calming taste. Vaporize peppermint at 338°F (170°C). Spearmint is a little milder than peppermint, but has similar properties, can help with a headache, sore throat, and nausea. Spearmint should be vaporized at 309°F (154°C).
Rosemary can reduce headaches, and help with colds and the flu. It can also be a calming, soothing herb. Vape rosemary at 125°C, or 257°F.
Finally, lemon balm is a great natural remedy for headache pain management, gut problems and sore muscles. To vaporize lemon balm, set your vaporizer to 288°F (142°C).
Herbs to help with colds and flu
There are also a bunch of dry herbs that help with cold and flu season, as well as allergies.
Eucalyptus is probably the most popular herb for cold relief. Eucalyptus naturally strengthens the immune system and speeds up healing. Vaping basil is also great for colds and digestion, as well as elevating your mood. Both eucalyptus and basil vaporize at 266°F (130°C).
Another common choice is thyme, said to be helpful when you're feeling sick with a cold. Vaping mullein is also a useful herb for the common cold. You can vape both thyme and mullein at 302°F (150°C).
Vaping sage can also help you when you're under the weather, helping with brain function and digestion. Sage vaporizes at 374°F (190°C). Vaporizing licorice is great for cold and flu symptoms too. Set your device for 392°F (200°C) for licorice.
Anise also is great for cold symptoms, and helps with cramps. Anise can be vaped at a temperature of 257°F (125°C).
Is It Safe to Vaporize Herbs?
Using a dry herb vaporizer is perfectly safe, and has far less of an impact on your lungs compared with smoking. If you use vapes at very high temperatures, you will breathe in some carcinogens, but it still won't come close to the levels you hit with smoking weed, let alone the even higher amounts with tobacco.
There have been issues in the past with people experiencing lung problems after vaping. But the devices causing these problems were oil vaporizers, and not dry herb vapes.
Also, all of the cases were happening with people who had bought unregulated black market devices. So if you're considering buying an oil vape, do it somewhere where the vaping industry is legal and regulated.
You should also stay away from budget dry herb vapes. If the price of a vaporizer is too good to be true, you’ll pay for it in the long run, with inefficient sessions that waste your herb. And sometimes, to cut costs, manufacturers use cheaper parts that will release fumes when the device is heated.
High quality vapes will have an isolated airpath, separate from the electronic components. This way you can make sure that you're only breathing in the vapor you're looking for, and not unwanted chemicals.
Health benefits and relaxing properties
Like the cannabis plant, many of the herbs you can vape can be quite enjoyable in moderate amounts, but if you have too much, it can be unpleasant. It all comes down to your personal experience and how the active ingredients affect you.
This is why it's best to start slow, and with a small amount, when you're trying a new herb. What could be an amazing herb for you might be a completely different story if you have too much of it in your dry herb vaporizer.
For example, instead of getting a boost of energy helping with brain function, you might end up feeling jittery and anxious. Or what's supposed to be a calming effect might make you fall asleep instead. So even though it's safe, use caution when vaping herbs.
How Do You Vaporize Herbs?
It's not hard to vape herbs, whether it's cannabis or a plant without hallucinogenic effects. All you need is a dry herb vaporizer that lets you heat the herbs up to the correct temperature. Once your herb of choice has hit that temperature, it will release its active ingredients (and herbal flavors) into vapor.
First, grind up your herb using a grinder. This exposes more surface area of the plant, giving you stronger effects. It also makes it easier to heat the herb evenly, so that there are no hotter and colder areas.
Once you've ground your herb, fill the heating chamber of the vape, without overfilling it, then tamp it down lightly. This will give you the best vapor and airflow.
There are many dry herb vapes on the market these days, and some have better vapor quality than others. Different herbs vaporize at different temperatures, so get a vape with accurate and precise temperature control. Otherwise you can burn your herbs, ruining the taste and giving you some of the negative effects of smoke.
If you're wondering if there's anything better than PAX 3, keep in mind that the PAX has a very high minimum temperature, meaning you can't safely vape delicate herbs. PAX 3 has other drawbacks too - although it's certainly a decent vape, it's nowhere near the best out there.
Most dry herb vape pens don't make the cut, not even close. They might be slim and portable, but in general, vape pens produce weak vapor. They can't accurately and evenly heat herbs to the right temperature, giving you less effects and less control over your session. They're also tough to clean, making it harder to get good performance from a vape pen long-term.
Desktop dry herb vaporizers
If you're looking to only vaporize herb at home, then you might want to buy a desktop vaporizer. They need to be plugged into the wall, but because they have access to more power than a battery, desktop vaporizers are usually more powerful and deliver excellent vapor.
They also cost a lot more, since more materials are needed. But the best desktop vaporizers will be durable and last a long time.
But most people choose to buy a portable dry herb vaporizer. They're cheaper, for one thing. And even if you use it mostly at home, it's convenient to be able to carry portable dry herb vaporizers from room to room. With desktop vapes, you're stuck with a bulky device plugged into the wall.
Best Dry Herb Vaporizers
When looking for vapes, you need a device that gives you accurate temperature control. This way you can get the right effects when you're vaping herbs, and not burn them. Quality vaporizers will heat the herb in the chamber evenly, and make efficient use of your cannabis or other herb.
A dry herb vaporizer should also be easy to pack and clean, so you get good quality vapor over the long term. As mentioned, an isolated airpath is important. Low-end vapes will often add a concerning plastic or metallic smell because the heated vapor passes through electronic components.
Battery life, speedy heat-up times, and quick charge times are other key things to look for in a vaporizer.
Most convenient portable dry herb vape
The Furna vaporizer delivers on all these criteria, but also has the added feature of swappable ovens. Most portable vapes have just one oven, and often a single bowl isn't enough for a session or excursion.
Then you're stuck cleaning out the vaporizer, and reloading it, before you can continue. And it's not always very easy or convenient to do this, defeating the purpose of a portable device.
With Furna, you get multiple ovens, and you can swap a used one for a fresh one instantly, without having to wait for it to cool down. You can even customize the ovens with colored tips on the mouthpieces, or special icons in the vaporizer's display. This helps you keep track of your different cannabis strains and herbs.
There are also specialized ovens for concentrates and 510 oil cartridges, giving you all the options in a single device. Check out Furna and see how it can revolutionize your vaping sessions.