With advances in technology, smoking is no longer the only method for consuming dry herbs, and in general, any form of smoking is becoming more and more taboo. Due to this, vaping is becoming increasingly popular. To determine which method is best for you, here are a few essentials you need to understand the difference between vaping and smoking dry herbs.
What is Vaping?
Vaping is one of the newer alternatives to smoking dry herbs, and we are talking about vaping the actual dry herbs, not vaping a derivative of it like an e-liquid or the popular JUUL pods. When vaping herbs, instead of the direct touch of a flame, the herbs are heated via a convection vaporization process. After loading the dry herbs into the device, the vape heats up the chamber to a specific temperature and the hot air within the chamber gently heats the dry herbs. However, instead of heating the herbs to the point of combustion, they never get there, so instead of smoke you get vapors, and instead of ashes, you get broken down, browned herbs that eventually turn to dust if you vape them long enough. Vapor forms more slowly than smoke, is less visible, and as it is produced, the vapors are then inhaled.
Dry Herb Vaporizers
Smoking dry herbs has been going on for thousands of years. Although many people assume it automatically means cannabis, there is actually a huge variety of dry herbs you can smoke or vaporize. This can include (but is not limited to) lemongrass, mullein, bearberry, skullcap, and mint.
In most cases, dry herb vaporizers fall into one of two sizes – portable vapes and desktop vapes. Desktop vaporizers are more stationary options, while portable vapes provide a discreet way to take your vaporizer on the go. Vape pens are the most popular choice for users looking for a nice portable vaporizer.
Although there is a multitude of dry herb vapes to choose from, for the most part, they all do the same thing – there is some form of a chamber to hold your dry herbs and that chamber then gets heated to a certain temperature. Depending upon your specific vaporizer of choice, it can take a bit of trial and error to determine the best temperature setting for your dry herbs. Thankfully, once you find the optimum temperature settings, you can effectively create a variety of different effects from more mellow experiences to more intense outcomes.
What is Smoking?
When smoking dry herbs, you are combusting the material, and technically denaturing the chemical composition of it, creating carcinogens that may be avoided with dry herb vaping. Combustion occurs with extreme heat from a lighter’s flame, or in the case of a combustion vape, a red hot coil. Either way, the dry herbs are heated until they combust, causing them to create smoke, and eventually breaking the herbs down to ashes. Common methods for smoking dry herbs include using papers (think of a cigarette with dry herbs instead of tobacco), bowls, pipes, bongs, bubblers, and combustion vapes like the AGO Vaporizer.
One of the biggest advantages of smoking is the overall experience. As a whole, smoking tends to create stronger and more intense effects than vaping dry herbs. The high temperatures and heat provide a quicker and more intense results.
Unless you plan on purchasing an elaborate glass piece, smoking requires less of an upfront investment than vaping. Being able to purchase some cheap rolling papers from a variety of locations, tends to prevent many smokers from ever trying vaping as an option for their dry herbs. Not to mention, smoking devices you can purchase require no learning curve, nor do they require the amount of maintenance vaporizers require to keep clean. But, keep in mind, you can get highly rated dry herb vaporizers for under $50, like the Titan 2 dry herb vaporizer.
Smoking pipes can be made from a wide range of materials. The most common choices include glass, metal, silicone, and wood. Each material offers its own distinct advantages. For instance, glass tends to offer a cleaner hit, with silicone providing a more durable option. Nevertheless, each of these devices uses combustion for the heating process, typically using some form of flame for the heat source (such as a lighter).
Vapor vs Smoke
When it comes to making a decision between smoking and vaping, it essentially boils down to a personal preference decision. Nevertheless, the biggest difference between vaping and smoking is the heating element and how it heats up your dry herbs. Smoking dry herb requires a higher temperature and uses combustion to create the smoke you inhale. On the other hand, vaporization requires a lower temperature and uses the convection heating method. These processes create low enough temperatures to release the resins and oils within the dry herbs without burning the actual plant materials. These components are released into a vapor, which is then inhaled by the user.
Benefits of Vaping vs Smoking
Like smoking, vaping is a very straightforward process. You simply grind your dry herbs, pack in into the chamber of your device, heat it, and inhale the vapor. However, compared to smoking, vaping offers a long list of advantages. The most common reason users tend to choose to vape over smoking is due to the health benefits. Since vaping requires lower temperatures, it is much easier on both your throat and lungs. Not only that, but it also reduces the number of toxins. These include reducing toxins created from the combustion process with dry herbs.
Although vaping offers many health-based benefits, there are plenty of other advantages to vaping. Most importantly, it is more discreet than smoking. While the combustion process releases smoke, vaping produces vapors that are less visible and dissipate very quickly, where smoke tends to linger. And with that added discretion, vaping gives you a bit more flexibility when looking to enjoy herbs on the go. Smoke can be harsh, vaping allows you to control the heat setting and deliver puffs of vapor that are easy on the throat.
Dry Herb Vaporizer vs Bong
Both dry herb vaporizers and bongs are favorite choices for dry herb consumption. Each one caters to their distinct style of consumption and has their own following of enthusiasts.
Dry Herb Vaporizers
As stated above, dry herb vapes are a healthier alternative to smoking dry herbs. They use convection heating to produce vapors which are very different from smoke. Whether portable or desktop vaporizer, dry herb vaporizers can vary drastically in terms of what they offer, the look, the price, and everything else. But, ultimately, they all end up doing the same thing, which is heating a chamber to a certain temperature to gently vape some dry herbs.
While vaporizers may have been around for years, bongs have existed for centuries. Although bongs have evolved over time, these smoking devices are still very popular among users who prefer to smoke rather than vape. Generally, bongs are made from either acrylic, glass, or silicone. However, there are other material options that exist. In their simplest form, a bong will typically consist of a bowl (where you place the dry herbs to be smoked), a chamber (where the water is stored to cool the smoke), a stem, and a mouthpiece. Users tend to prefer this form of a smoking device because of the ability for both quick inhalation as well as the ability for large amounts of smoke (or hits). Like vapes, bongs can vary drastically in design, price and everything else.
Convection Vape vs Combustion Vape
Dry herb vaporizers use one of two different methods for heating. Depending on the specific vaporizer, it will heat the dry herbs using either combustion or convection techniques. Due to this, it is important to understand the difference between the two methods of heating. To ensure you are getting the specific benefits you are looking for (especially if you are looking for a the more healthier option between smoking and vaping), it is imperative you know the difference.
Combustion vapes are not like the typical dry herb vaporizer everyone is talking about. They are still considered a type of vaporizer, but instead of the herbs being heated by hot air inside a chamber, they herbs are heated by a metal coil inside the chamber. After the chamber is loaded, the coil is heated, and the direct touch will burn the herbs, create smoke, and reduce them to ashes.. This type of vape uses combustion to burn the dry herbs instead of vaporizing it (like a true vaporizer). Thus it creates smoke, rather than vapor.
The convection process is just like a convection oven and it reduces the negative side effects found from inhaling smoke. Convection vaporizers are true vaporizers and they offer temperature-controlled heating. As the vape heats up, the hot air flows throughout the chamber, gently heating the herbs. Using a lower temperature and the air to heat the herbs, rather than combustion, you are able to extract the compounds without burning the dry herbs.
Due to the various technological advances over the years, portable vapes have come a long way. Not only do they provide a more discreet and smoother experience for vaping your dry herbs, but you no longer have to wait lengthy periods of time for the device to heat up. In fact, many portable vapes can heat up quicker than their desktop counterparts. Plus, depending on your choice, many portable vaporizers are designed for dry herbs as well as wax and oil concentrates.
Best Dry Herb Vaporizer
Like many other products, choosing the best dry herb vaporizer can seem overwhelming. After all, there are different models, shapes, sizes, features, and various other functions that can make you feel like you are going in circles trying to determine what route you should go. But when it comes down to it, they all will heat your dry herbs and get the job done. What it really comes down to is three things - your budget, your vaping needs, and your personal preferences. Try the Titan 1 or Titan 2 if you want quality on a budget.