Vaporizers are one of the hottest topics in the cannabis world these days, and for good reason. Delivering a cool, clean and gentle mist, they contain all the cannabis plant’s potency without the smoke. But as with all things in the world of cannabis, deciding you want to try vaping isn’t all that simple. There are several types of vaporizers, and it’s a good idea to know your options before you commit to a purchase.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Follow along with our quick guide to the types of vaporizers, and prepare yourself for an entirely different kind of cannabis experience!
The Basics: What Is Vaporizing?
No matter the type, vaporizers—whether they’re convenient pens or more elaborate tabletop models—all work on the same principle. They apply very precise heat to either a cannabis extract or, in the case of stationary models, to finely ground cannabis flower. This allows the cannabis to release its potent oils into an inhalable mist which we then draw into our lungs.
Compared with smoking, it’s an objectively gentler experience. While smoking cannabis isn’t as potentially irritating as smoking tobacco, cannabis smoke does contain particulate matter which includes known carcinogens such as ammonia and tar.
That said, vaporizing isn’t a DIY experience: you’ll need a device to vape with, and there are choices to make. Let’s scroll through the most common ones.
Types of Vaporizers: From Simple and Disposable to Elaborate Works of Art
When it comes to choosing a vaporizer, there are a couple of questions to consider. Are you looking for convenience or a more intimate and involved interaction with cannabis? Let’s go through the current options.
Portable Oil Vapes
Utilizing cannabis extracted into a neutral oil, these devices have many things going for them, making them the most popular type of vaporizers. Depending on the make and model, these cartridges are designed to be replaced, or the entire pen disposed of once its battery is dead or its cartridge expended.
- Easy to use
- Relatively inexpensive compared with usable life (+/- 200 doses)
- Some models are rechargeable / reloadable with different oil cartridges
- No temperature control
- Some complain of a “sterile” and “clinical” interaction with cannabis
- Used cartridges and pens are often disposable, contributing to plastic waste
Types of Vaporizers: Tabletop Vaporizers
These range in complexity (and price). Some are clean and utilitarian in appearance; others are fashioned into fantastical and one-of-a-kind works for functional art.
- Typically include a temperature control to allow fine-tuning of the experience; this allows users to “target” specific terpenes and cannabinoids at their optimal temperatures
- Owing to careful design and precise control, many feel tabletop vaporizers deliver a truer and more flavorful experience of each the cannabis strain’s specific aromas and flavors
- For some users, these devices deepen the overall cannabis experience, allowing for a more involved and intimate relationship with the ritual aspects of consuming cannabis
- Generally non-portable as they require wall power
- Requires some preparation: Preheating the element, and grinding the cannabis if vaporizing flower
Handheld Flower Vaporizers
These devices allow you to vaporize flower on the fly; some can handle wax or concentrates as well. That said, many feel they’re an unacceptable compromise between a tabletop vaporizer and a pen.
- Enables hardcore flower fans to vape on the go
- Battery-powered and reusable
- Loses the controllability of tabletop vaporizers
- Less discreet than comparable vape pens
As you can see, there are many questions to consider when it comes to vaporizing flower. Which device you ultimately go with will depend as much on your personal preferences and comfort level as anything else.
And remember: We’re always happy to help guide or advise you on the purchase of cannabis products. Find your closest Have a Heart below to get started!