Though many of us in the Dime Bags community share a love for cannabis, our preferred methods of ingestion are probably different. With dozens of ways to consume it – such as joints, edibles, capsules, and dabs – there is one method in particular that is picking up steam (or should we say, vapor?).
There are two main types of cannabis vaporizers: tabletop and handheld (or portable). We’ll be talking about handheld vapes in this post, which can be used for both dry herbs and dabs.
Though they come in many shapes and sizes, handheld cannabis vaporizers are generally made of the same three basic parts: the battery, chamber, and mouthpiece. Some look like pens, with slim batteries and simple designs (also called “e-cigarettes”). Others are boxier, with a larger battery and more settings options (also called “mods”). Some of today’s mods are even equipped with touch screens, and they typically produce more vapor than pens since they’re more powerful.
How Vapes Work
One reason people opt for vaporizers is because they heat your cannabis to a specific lower temperature than using a lighter to burn a bowl, so you can expect your hits to be pretty tasty. Some vapes come with three standard heat settings, while others allow you to specify the heat down to the degree.
Depending on the style of your vaporizer, it’ll either use a conduction or convection method of heating. “Conduction” means your flowers burn by touching a hot surface, such as a metal coil. The material put into your vaporizer is heated through direct contact. “Convection” means your material is heated by passing hot air through the chamber. This usually leads to more even burning with an overall better flavor.
Pro tip #1 – you MUST use a grinder to break down your buds if you want an even burn! Load finely ground cannabis buds into your chamber, and be careful not to overfill it or pack too tightly. You’ll want air to be able to flow through.
Pro tip #2! Make sure you let your vape heat up fully BEFORE taking a hit. This can take anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds depending on your vaporizer. Keep in mind that a low temp will get you a tasty hit, while a high temp will give you a powerful hit. Mess around with the heat settings to see where your sweet spot is.
After your vaporizer is pre-heated, it’s finally time to let it work its magic! Inhale through the mouthpiece for a clean, tasty hit – some vapes will hit automatically as you inhale, while others require you to hold down a button. Most will automatically stop heating after a few seconds to let you know your hit is done and to keep the device from overheating.
Pro tip #3: clean the chamber after each session to keep hits tasty and the airflow clear. Like any weed accessory, vaporizers can get pungent. Store your handheld device in an Omerta bag to keep it protected and smell proof.
Vaporizers and Dabs
Like using a vape instead of a bong, you can also use a vape instead of a dab rig. While you can fill vaporizers directly with cannabis oil or dab wax, many dispensaries sell pre-filled cartridges. Carts are easy to use, require little to no effort, and are crazy versatile – most cartridges fit on most pens, unless a company makes its own pods designed for its own battery system. Although dry herb and dab vaporizers are essentially the same thing in terms of design, make sure to keep them separated and not mix the two substances to avoid a sticky mess.