Vaping has become the go-to method for experiencing the natural benefits of herbs and concentrates. Learn everything you need to know about vaping with a vaporizer, including how to do it, its benefits, and the type of vaporizers that are available.
As you explore the various ways to consume dry herb and concentrates, you’ll undoubtedly come across vaping. Quickly establishing itself as a prime go-to consumption method, vaping offers an array of advantages for both beginners and connoisseurs of herbs and concentrates.
Vaping is the act of inhaling botanical-filled vapor produced by a personal heating device called a vaporizer. Vaporizers, often simply referred to as vapes, heat up dry herbs, concentrates, and other botanical materials without burning them, releasing their active ingredients in the form of an inhalable vapor.
This highly-favored consumption method for dry herb and extracts allows health-conscious consumers to safely inhale and absorb botanical compounds while protecting their lungs from exposure to harmful toxins.
Better yet – learning how to vape using a vaporizer is relatively simple.
Here, we cover the basics on vaping with a vaporizer– explaining key terms, revealing its benefits, and teaching you how it all works. This beginner’s guide to vaping and vaporizers will provide you with everything you need to get started.
Jump down to the section that most interests you, or read through the entire guide for a comprehensive understanding of vaping and vaporizers.
- What is Vaping?
- What are the Benefits of a Vaporizer?
- Why is Vaping Considered Safer Than Smoking?
- How Do Vaporizers Work?
- What Types of Materials Can Be Vaped?
- How Do You Use a Vaporizer?
- Are There Disadvantages to Vaping or Vaporizers?
- What Types of Vaporizers are Available?
- What are Tabletop Vaporizers?
- What are Portable Vaporizers
- What are Vape Pens?
- Where Do I Buy a Vaporizer?
What is Vaping?
Vaping is a common inhalation alternative to smoking that has surged in popularity in recent years and more people discover its advantages and benefits.
Vaping requires the use of a vaporizer, which are devices that generate botanical-filled vapor by heating your favorite herbs, concentrates, and e-juices. Rather than burning botanical materials to create smoke, vaporizers heat dry herbs, extracts and vape oils to their respective boiling point, the temperature that causes them to boil and then transform into a pure vapor.
Once the active compounds of the herbs or concentrates transform into a vapor, they can be inhaled into the lungs and absorbed by the organ’s alveoli, tiny air sacs that send oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from your bloodstream. When you inhale the vapor, its compounds transfer from the alveoli to the bloodstream, where they can interact with the body’s naturally occurring systems and elicit various effects.
Because vaporizers don’t heat the vaping materials to a temperature that causes combustion, they avoid producing smoke and its various dangerous chemicals and byproducts, providing a healthier and safer consumption method for pursuing the natural health properties of herbs and botanical concentrated oils.
What are the Benefits of a Vaporizer?
Vaping with the help of a vaporizer has become the preferred method of consumption over recent years, offering an efficient and lung-friendly way to experience the natural biological effects of dry herbs and concentrates.
Adults of all ages find that vaping offers a level of:
- Safety, and
… that’s often unmatched by other consumption methods.
Learning how to use a vaporizer is easy, and health-conscious herb and concentrate enthusiasts appreciate that they produce a pure vapor, rather than harmful smoke. This eliminates dangerous chemicals and byproducts associated with burning herbs for safe inhalation.
Vaporizers also offer near-immediate effects compared to many other consumption methods because the botanical compounds avoid having to pass through the digestive tract and liver. Once the beneficial active compounds in the pure vapor reach your lungs, they diffuse very quickly to the bloodstream for more powerful and immediate effects.
For those looking to consume their herbs without attracting attention, vapes can offer discretion by creating clouds of vapor that dissipate in seconds and produce very little odor. This allows you to enjoy your botanicals without causing any lingering smoke or smells of ash that can impose on your family members or neighbors.
In addition, vaporizers come in many sizes to meet the needs of all types of lifestyles and budgets, offering consumers tabletop, portable, and vape pen options. Larger tabletop vaporizer units offer greater power and precision, while palm-sized portable vapes and slim-line vape pens are ideal for herb enthusiasts who are always on the go. Whether you intend to vape at home or would prefer to take your vaporizer on the road with you, there is a vaporizer that aligns with your style of living.
Why is Vaping Considered Safer Than Smoking?
Vaporizers offer a safer alternative for those looking to avoid the negative effects of smoking. While smoking burns botanical materials to produce carbon monoxide and other dangerous byproducts, vapes safely release the active compounds by heating your favorite dry herb, concentrates, and e-juices to a lower temperature.
Vaporizers are specifically designed for inhalation without harmful smoke toxins. By avoiding combustion, vapes do not create the same harmful by-products created by smoking, including:
- Carbon monoxide
- Particulate matter
- Respiratory Irritants
Studies over the years have shown that vaporizing does produce fewer carcinogenic compounds. Researchers comparing vaping to smoking concluded that “vaporization… is a safe and effective mode of delivery,” after they found that vaporizers deliver the same compound potency to the bloodstream while producing reduced carbon monoxide and without causing adverse events. Others discovered that switching to a vaporizer from smoking caused “meaningful improvements in respiratory function” after only a month.
It’s important to point out that the safety and quality of your vaping sessions will be influenced by the materials that you vape. Not all dry herbs, concentrates, and vape liquids are created equal. You will absorb the compounds within the materials that you vape, so you want to make sure to only use high-quality products.
How Do Vaporizers Work?
All you need to vape is your selected type of vaping material – such as dry herb, concentrates, or botanical e-juice – and a vaporizer.
A vaporizer heats up and turns botanical vaping material into a vapor for inhalation. While vapes can vary in design, usually they consist of:
- A battery or power cord
- An atomizer or cartomizer that holds the vaping material and houses the heating element that heats up your dry herb, concentrate, or e-liquid
- A mouthpiece
The heating elements of some vaporizers are separate from their heating chambers, which holds the botanical materials as they’re warmed up.
The vaporizer’s battery or power supply cord generates the power for the heating element, which heats your material to a temperature range beneath the point of combustion. Common boiling point temperatures used for vaping can range between 157°C – 220°C / 315°F – 428°F, but can vary depending on the material and the vaporizer you’re using.
Vaporizer devices use either convection or conduction heating to precisely and evenly vaporize your botanical vaping material to its vaporization point. Conduction heating vaporizers pass heat around your material to heat it up. Vaporizers with convection heating elements have their heat source directly touch the vaping material.
What results is a pure, clean, and nearly odorless vapor containing the beneficial compounds of your herbal material. The compound-rich vapor produced in the heating chamber or atomizer travels through a vapor pathway, where it can then be pulled into the lungs.
This vapor is typically released from the device’s mouthpiece, which you can use to pull the botanical clouds into your lungs. Depending on the type of vaporizer, the compound-rich vapor is accessible from a:
- Direct-draw mouthpiece
- Hose-like draw tube called a whip
- Detachable balloon bag
Most vaping enthusiasts prefer to hold the vapor in the lungs for a moment before exhaling to breathe out any remaining cloud.
What Types of Materials Can Be Vaped?
While different vaporizers support the vaping of different materials, dry herb, concentrates, and vape liquids are generally the more popular vaping materials. Some models of vaporizers are multi-compatible and can work with multiple types of botanical materials, while others are specifically compatible with one or the other.
Dry herb is dried and cured plant material, usually the buds or flowers of the plant. Most dry herb blends will need to be ground to a fine consistency with a grinder before they’re placed inside a vaporizer’s heating chamber. Vaping dry herb allows you to consume all the natural compounds found in the herb for a generally more flavorful vaping experience.
Concentrates are botanical extracts that contain concentrated amounts of active compounds. These herbal extracts generally provide a more potent vaping experience and more profound natural effects.
Vape oils and e-liquids (or e-juice) combine a botanical oil, such as CBD oil, with some type of vegetable glycerin or propyglene glycol base. Some vape liquid and e-juice-style vaporizers come with reusable cartridges that can be filled with your favorite botanical liquids like CBD vape liquid, while others are designed to be used with disposable, pre-filled cartridges. Beginners just learning how to vape often appreciate the simplicity of pre-filled cartridges.
How Do You Use a Vaporizer?
Vaping can be intimidating to some beginners, but learning how to vape is a relatively simple process once you become familiar with how to use your vaporizer.
To use a vaporizer, follow these steps:
- Plug in your vaporizer or fully charge the vaporizer battery. Vape pens may take several hours of charging before they’re ready for use.
- Insert your favorite dry herb, waxy concentrate, extract, or e-juice into the vaporizer chamber. If you are using a vape pen that uses pre-filled cartridges, screw your selected cartridge into the pen’s battery.
- Turn on your vaporizer so that the heating element can apply heat to the materials. Tabletop and portable vaporizers typically have an on/off button that must be manually turned on and off, while vape pens feature a single button that you press to turn/stay on and release to turn off.
- Select your temperature, if applicable. More advanced vaporizer models offer precise temperature control or temperature presets, allowing you to select between a lower heat for smaller clouds and a higher temperature for bigger plumes.
- Draw the vapor from the vaporizer mouthpiece and inhale it into your lungs.
- Hold the vapor in your lungs for a few seconds and then exhale.
- Take a minute or two to see how you feel before taking another draw of vapor from your vaporizer.
For more on the basics of how to vape, information, and more head over to our Vaping 101 section.
Are There Disadvantages to Vaping or Vaporizers?
Beginners to vaping and vaporizers are often concerned with potential downsides. Compared to other common consumption methods, vaping does have a few disadvantages that in some cases can be cumbersome.
- Vaping can require some additional setup time compared to other methods. When vaping dry herb, for example, the material must first be ground into a fine consistency using an herb grinder.
- Depending on the model and type of vaporizer, it may take some time for the unit to heat up before it’s ready to go.
- Vaporizers other than those that work with pre-filled cartridges will need to be cleaned after each use to maintain their performance.
- Start-up costs of vaping can be a disadvantage in some cases. While vaping can save money in the long run because of its efficiency, initial costs of tabletop, portable, or vape pen vaporizers can be a burden for many consumers.
- Vaporizers require some type of power source, either through a wall outlet or via a charged battery. Being away from a power outlet or having a low battery can pose vaping challenges.
What Types of Vaporizers are Available?
Because of growing demand, health-conscious consumers can now select from tabletop, portable, and vape pen vaporizers. Each type of vaporizer caters to different needs, lifestyles, and budgets.
What are Tabletop Vaporizers?
Tabletop vaporizers plug into a power source and are ideal for at-home operation. Offering unparalleled functionality and precision, premium tabletop vapes are powered with convection heating and offer greater temperature control.
Tabletop vaporizers are generally either whip-style or forced-air, although some models offer both options. Whip-style vaporizers feature tubing that vapor is inhaled through. Forced-air models feature a fan that propels the vapor into a bag or balloon that is eventually detached and inhaled from.
Tabletop vapes offer versatility in that they are typically designed to work with both dry herb and concentrates.
What are Portable Vaporizers?
Designed to fit in the palm, portable vaporizers are battery powered and meant for those who seek portability. These handheld vaporizers are slightly bigger than vape pens, and they typically feature temperature control and a chamber that can house dry herb or waxes.
What are Vape Pens?
Vape pens are the most popular type of vaporizer for those just learning how to vape. As slim as a writing utensil, vape pens offer optimal portability and discretion. Designed for e-juices and atomizer cartridges, battery-powered vape pens are economical while offering a high-quality vaping experience. Generally, they work with refillable or pre-filled cartridges.
Need some help figuring out which type of vaporizer fits your needs? Check out our Complete Vaporizer Buyer’s Guide.
Where Do I Buy a Vaporizer?
Today, vaporizers come in different sizes and offer an array of features designed to cater to varying needs and lifestyles.
Medical Marijuana, Inc. offers a curated selection of the best portable, vape pen, and desktop vaporizers. Our assortment of carefully selected vapes is designed to help you find a high-quality vaporizer that aligns with your lifestyle, needs and price range. Shop our complete line of vaporizers to find the one that best fits your needs, now.
The vape products and vaping advice featured in Medical Marijuana, Inc. posts are specifically for people looking to support their health with legal natural botanicals and are not created with nicotine or tobacco users in mind.