How to Choose a Vaporizer: Conduction or convection?

July 10, 2019

Conduction vs Convection Vape

In this new era of legal medical and recreational cannabis, many stoners smoke weed not only to treat certain medical conditions, whether it's anxiety, depression or back pain, but also because they consider marijuana consumption to be part of their lifestyle.

Side note, if you’re wondering about he difference between Vaporizer high or Smoking high, which you should to know what you getting yourself into, please check our explanation here

The responsible ones, however, are always trying to find a healthy balance between their marijuana lifestyle and their health and productivity in society. The herb can be a safer and healthier alternative to alcohol, or any medication for that matter. Vaporizer manufacturers have realized this, and they've been working on methods and technologies to accommodate this new trend in the society.

Related article: What Are the Benefits Of Vaping Weed? 7 Reasons To Vape Weed Instead Of Smoking It.

When it comes to conduction vs convection vaporizers, there is not much to say. Conduction and convection are the main technologies vaporizer manufacturers are looking into. They're two different methods of heating your herbs (or food if we are talking about ovens). 

Conduction Dry Herb Vaporizers

Conduction dry herb vaporizers are the most common. The dry herb, oil or wax is heated up by coming into contact with something that is already hot. This method can sometimes cause inconsistent heating through the herb, which can cause taste and vape quality issues. However, a quality vaporizer has a ceramic bowl (the oven), which might solve some of those quality issues.

One of the downsides of conduction vaporizers is that they cook off some of your bud even while idle; after you're done hitting it, the herb may keep burning, which makes the method a bit wasteful.

On the upside: conduction vaporizers can reach higher temps, allowing extraction of certain molecules that are unavailable from convection. This makes it more likely to combust the herb.

daily smoke shop discount

Convection vapes need a longer draw length in order to work properly. They also require less power to operate compared to a convection vaporizer, therefore it's more common among portable vaporizers. To elaborate, every vaporizer manufacturer's goal is to make their vape units as portable and powerful as possible. To do so, they need to sacrifice either the vaporizer size (which the battery usually plays a large role in), or the technology used (convection or conduction). And since conduction needs less power, many manufacturers choose it to ensure smaller and lighter units.  

Conduction vapes need a finer grind, where convection vapes perform better with a coarse grind. With conduction it helps to stir the bowl halfway through a session, and with convection it helps to stir every 3-4 hits per session.

A few examples of vaporizers with conduction technology:


Convection Vaporizers

Hot air is blown over the dry herb, oil or wax, much like a convection oven. This allows all of the product to be heated more evenly and consistently.

What's cool about convection vaporizers, unlike conduction vaporizers, is that many of them are "on demand" vaporizers. So basically when you stop pulling through the dry herb, the weed you have in the vaporizer stops cooking immediately, unlike conduction. This can save you a lot of bud.

Also, the taste is generally a lot better. The downside is that convection vaporizers use more power, which will negatively affect the battery life. My advice, if you get a portable convection vaporizer, is to make sure you can vape while charging.

The best convection vaporizers on the market are:

Convection/Conduction Hybrid Vaporizers

These vaporizers are becoming more popular. Obviously this unit has a bit of both technologies, which is a compromise for the battery life. Many people believe that hybrids get the best extraction, or at least get an extraction that is similar to convection in terms of efficiency. The vapor can be a little harsher though.

Recommended  hybrid vaporizers on the market:

The writers at HighTimes have written a great article comparing the different types of heating elements in convection versus conduction vapes. That article can be found here if the type of heating element is particularly important to you. Keep in mind that in addition to these two main styles, there are others that will claim conduction or convection, but they are a cross between both.

This is pretty much what you need to know about convection vs conduction vaporizers to make a knowledgeable decision about which vaporizer is right for your lifestyle.