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As society becomes more informed about the health risks associated with smoking, the prevalence of smoking cannabis is diminishing. Over time, we have learned from our past and present unhealthy choices, including the endorsement of cigarettes by doctors. While smoking remains a common method of cannabis consumption, alternative methods are gaining popularity, reflecting a shift towards healthier options. Joints, blunts, and bongs continue to be widely used, but the landscape is evolving.
As we become increasingly aware of the significant health risks associated with smoking, many individuals still believe that the benefits of cannabis outweigh the drawbacks. However, personal realizations can lead to a change in perspective.
For instance, my own perception shifted when I came across a Reddit post discussing the Mighty, a dry herb vaporizer designed specifically for cannabis flower. It was a revelation to learn that vaporizers could be used for dried herb as well, dispelling my previous misconception. This newfound knowledge opened up a world of possibilities for me and others seeking a healthier alternative to traditional smoking methods.
As someone who had never smoked cigarettes, I found myself facing a dilemma when I first discovered cannabis in my late teens or early twenties. On one hand, the experience of being high was undeniably enjoyable, but on the other hand, I didn't find smoking very pleasant (although it was still preferable to the smell and taste of cigarette smoke). Despite my dislike for the smoke, the allure of the cannabis high prevailed, leading me to rely on joints and blunts as my primary method of consumption for over a decade.
The moment I learned about my girlfriend's pregnancy, a profound shift occurred within me, and I realized it was time to make some changes. It was during this period that I stumbled upon the incredible world of dry herb vaporizers, and I made the decision to give them a try. The concept of a less harmful way to consume cannabis seemed too good to be true, but to my surprise, it wasn't!
As I gradually transitioned away from the harmful toxins associated with smoking (which I'll delve into later), I discovered that using a dry herb vaporizer exceeded all my expectations. The experience was truly remarkable. Allow me to explain why.
One of the significant advantages of using a dry herb vaporizer is the ability to avoid the high temperatures associated with combustion. When cannabis is combusted, the temperatures reach levels that produce smoke, which contains various harmful substances, such as tar, benzene, carbon monoxide and other harmful by-products. However, with vaporization, the aim is to prevent the inhalation of smoke and extreme temperatures.
Dry herb vaporizers work by heating the cannabis to a temperature that is below the combustion point, but high enough to release the active compounds as vapor. By doing so, the user can inhale a vapor that contains the desired cannabinoids and terpenes, while minimizing the intake of potentially harmful byproducts found in smoke.
This fundamental difference between vaping and smoking is what makes dry herb vaporizers a healthier (or less harmful) alternative. It allows for a more controlled and efficient consumption of cannabis, providing the desired effects without exposing the lungs to the harshness of smoke and extreme temperatures.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a lot of research on vaping cannabis yet, but vaping nicotine has been proved to be at least 95% safer than smoking nicotine by established UK scientists.
The next two are tough to prove scientifically but in my own experience (and countless others on online forums like Reddits r/vaporents and fuckcombustion.com), you get less of that infamous ‘weed hangover.'
Many of us are familiar with the groggy, hazy and sluggish feeling that often accompanies the morning after a night of smoking cannabis. Interestingly, when it comes to vaping cannabis, this post-smoking "weed hangover" seems to be less pronounced. While the exact reasons for this phenomenon are not yet fully understood, one plausible explanation is the absence of harmful by-products that are typically present in smoke.
By avoiding the combustion process, the vapor produced by dry herb vaporizers contains a higher concentration of the desired cannabinoids and terpenes.
It's possible that these harmful by-products found in smoke contribute to the grogginess and sluggishness often associated with a "weed hangover." By eliminating or significantly reducing the inhalation of these by-products through vaping, individuals may experience a less noticeable or milder aftereffect the following day.
If you poke around on the different dry herb vaping subs, like Reddits r/vaporents and fuckcombustion.com, you might notice a lot of people describing the vaping high as more clean. What cleans means is tough to define, but I agree. It feels more… clean.
It's important to clarify that when consuming cannabis through smoking, the high is not solely attributed to the cannabinoids present in the plant. Other compounds, including potentially harmful secondary compounds, can also contribute to the overall experience.
When using a dry herb vaporizer, the goal is to heat the cannabis to a temperature that vaporizes the cannabinoids and terpenes without reaching the point of combustion. By doing so, the vapor produced contains a higher concentration of the desired compounds, while minimizing the production of potentially harmful by-products.
Initially, when transitioning from smoking to vaping, some individuals may perceive the high as being slightly different or milder. This could be attributed to the absence of certain secondary compounds present in smoke. However, it's important to note that the primary cannabinoids and terpenes responsible for the therapeutic and psychoactive effects of cannabis are still present and can be effectively delivered through vaporization.
That's why it's not uncommon for some users to have an adjustment period when switching to vaporizers. The coughing sensation you experienced during your first puffs is relatively common, especially for individuals who were accustomed to smoking. Vapor can feel different in the throat and lungs compared to smoke, and the adjustment may take a bit of time.
Taking a two-week break from combustion was a wise decision. This break allowed your body to adjust and recover from the effects of smoking. During this period, your respiratory system had a chance to heal and cleanse itself from the by-products of combustion.
Related article: Marijuana Tolerance, Withdrawal Symptoms, and 5 Tips to Take a T-Break
As a result of this break, you likely noticed a positive change in the quality of your vaping high. Many individuals report that the high from vaporizing cannabis feels cleaner and more focused compared to smoking. This could be attributed to the absence of the additional by-products found in smoke, allowing you to experience the full potential of the cannabinoids and terpenes without the interference of other compounds.
It's encouraging to hear that your vaping experience improved over time. This underscores the importance of patience and giving your body an opportunity to adapt to the new method of consumption. As you continue to vape, you may find that the high becomes even more enjoyable, consistent, and satisfying.
Individuals who are accustomed to heavy smoking may initially find the vaping experience to be underwhelming. It's important to acknowledge that quitting smoking can be challenging, and it may require patience and practice. However, with determination and perseverance, you can successfully transition to vaping and never look back.
It's essential to approach this transition with an open mind and remind yourself of the reasons why you decided to explore vaping as a healthier alternative. Remember, change takes time, but by staying committed and gradually reducing your reliance on smoking, you can successfully make the switch and find greater enjoyment in the world of vaping.
This advantage of vaping cannabis is likely my personal favorite.
It allows you to truly savor the flavor of cannabis. Instead of just catching a faint lemony note from Lemon OG strain, vaping provides an explosion of taste. Suddenly, all the distinct strains become more enjoyable to taste, and it becomes easier to differentiate them based solely on flavor.
Let's be frank, when you combust cannabis, you hardly experience the true essence of the strain. Perhaps you detect a subtle taste, but it is mostly overshadowed by smoke and ash. It's no surprise that the discerning judges (though not all of them) at Cannabis Cups prefer using vaporizers to select the most delectable cannabis strains.
Regardless of whether you reside in a country where cannabis is illegal or not, if you seek to consume cannabis in a discreet manner without drawing attention from your neighbors, roommate, or even your family, vaping cannabis provides an optimal solution to address these concerns.
Vapor from Dry Herb Vaporizers emits significantly less odor compared to smoke. In fact, the difference is quite remarkable. Not only does vapor produce minimal lingering smells, but it also doesn't cling to your clothes and hair. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the absence of persistent odors after your initial indoor vaping sessions.
Furthermore, vapor tends to dissipate rapidly. While I won't claim that it becomes completely undetectable if you enter a room within one minutes after someone has finished a vaping session, I must admit that the scent is generally barely noticeable. What's more, the odor will fade away significantly faster compared to other methods of consumption.
If you find yourself in a public setting and have concerns about the discreetness of consuming cannabis, using a vaporizer offers a more inconspicuous option. This is not only due to the reduced odor, but also because the majority of the public will likely assume that you are vaping nicotine. This perception adds an extra layer of discretion and minimizes the chances of drawing attention or arousing suspicion.
In comparison to rolling a joint or blunt, loading your vaporizer is incredibly simple. It doesn't require any particular skill, making it accessible even for friends who only indulge in cannabis occasionally.
It’s a two-step process, first; grind your cannabis. Second; put your cannabis in the vaporizer.
Many vaporizers actually lets you skip step 1 as you can put a whole nug in the oven/chamber/loading area. I’m pretty sure you could train a monkey to do it for you. How cool would that be?!
Vaporizers comes in 2 different loading styles:
An oven which you scoop cannabis or nugs into (Mighty, Firewood 7, Firefly 2, DaVinci)
Or stem loading where you mash your stem into some grinded cannabis (Dynavap, Arizer Solo 2, Tinymight). Stem loading makes it incredibly easy to load up your vape on the go. When I’m out and about I carry a little airtight container with pre-grinded cannabis.
These are my two jars I carry with me, one for the fresh ground marijuana, and the other one for my ABV, which we will talk about it in the next section.
Cannabis is undoubtedly an expensive commodity, and in certain locations, it can be challenging to acquire. Consequently, wasting cannabis feels like a grave mistake. We've all experienced the heartache when a full grinder accidentally spills, and the precious herb scatters on the carpet. It's a painful reminder that this exquisite plant shouldn't be treated so carelessly.
A vaporizer can’t prevent you from dropping your grinder, but it can help you conserve your cannabis. A lot, actually!
It does this in 3 ways:
Smoking a joint is not the most efficient method of cannabis consumption. According to various reports, as much as 70% of the THC in a joint can go to waste. Approximately 23-30% is lost due to pyrolytic destruction, while 40 to 50% is released as sidestream smoke. On the other hand, vaping your cannabis results in zero waste, ensuring that none of the valuable compounds are lost in the process.
The majority of vaporizers have a relatively small capacity for material. For example, a Dynavap typically holds approximately 0.1 grams per bowl, while a Mighty vaporizer can hold around 0.2 grams per bowl. Using a little quick math you could vape 10 Dynavap bowls instead of a 1g joint. And I guarantee you will not be able to go through 10 Dynavap bowls in a row just because you can smoke a 1g blunt.
The reason behind my previous statement, that most individuals would find it challenging to vape 10 Dynavap bowls consecutively, stems from the fact that vaporizing cannabis allows for a more efficient extraction of cannabinoids. In a single bowl, you can experience the full spectrum of cannabinoids.
Related article: New Study Shows Joints Waste 300 Percent More THC Than Dabs
Oh and before we move on: speaking of less waste, once you have finished a vaping sesh, you can actually save the vaped cannabis, commonly referred to as AVB (Already Vaped Bud), and repurpose it for making edibles.
The AVB has undergone complete decarboxylation during the vaping process, making it ready for consumption without the need for further heating. While you can technically eat it raw, it won't taste that good, so I would suggest mixing it with some peanut butter and make a PB&J sandwich.
Dry herb vaporizers can easily handle cannabis concentrates too. Many vaporizers are equipped with specialized concentrate pads, often resembling small dosing caps with a metal mesh or cotton pad inside. Additionally, there are accessories available, such as the Dynacoil sold by Dynavap, specifically designed for vaporizing concentrates. These options provide efficient and effective ways to enjoy your concentrates with the convenience of a dry herb vaporizer.
One method I often employ is creating a mixture of flower and concentrate, forming it into a small ball, and placing it inside the vaporizer oven. This technique enhances the potency of the session, as well as prolongs its duration. By combining both flower and concentrate, you can experience the benefits of both forms of cannabis in a single session, resulting in a more robust and extended experience.
Another approach to incorporating concentrate in your dry herb vaporizer is to create a "sandwich" by placing a small piece of concentrate between two layers of ground bud. This method ensures an explosion of flavor and enhanced effects. It is crucial to use concentrate pads or employ the sandwich method to prevent the concentrates from melting directly onto the electronic components of the vaporizer, ensuring a clean and safe vaping experience.
Another captivating advantage of vaping compared to smoking is the ability to control the temperature. Not everyone is aware of this, but different cannabinoids are released at different temperatures.
Each cannabinoid possesses distinct medicinal properties (as claimed, I'm not a doctor). By adjusting the temperature during vaping, you have the opportunity to selectively activate specific cannabinoids and potentially tailor your cannabis experience to target desired effects or potential therapeutic benefits.
Take a look at the picture below. It explains which cannabinoids gets released at different temperatures:
The most renowned cannabinoid is THC, which is widely recognized for its psychoactive properties. However, CBD has also gained tremendous popularity and can be found practically everywhere these days.
CBD stands out for its non-psychoactive nature and its potential to induce a sense of calm and relaxation. This intriguing cannabinoid has captured the interest of many individuals seeking its various potential benefits.
This is how I utilize temperature in my vaporizer:
If my goal is to experience a "light high" that allows me to engage in daily activities such as going to the grocery store, hitting the gym, or being physically active, I prefer vaping at lower temperatures ranging from approximately 340°F to 365°F. Vaping at these lower temperatures helps to preserve the more subtle and uplifting effects of the cannabinoids, allowing for a functional and energizing experience while still enjoying the benefits of cannabis.
On the other hand, if I desire a "couchlock-high" experience that essentially immobilizes me and makes it challenging to engage in activities mentioned earlier, I opt for vaping at higher temperatures, typically ranging from around 390°F to 428°F. Vaping at these elevated temperatures helps to release and activate the cannabinoids known for their relaxing, sedative, and potentially more intense effects, providing a profound sense of relaxation and physical stillness.
I have a theory that within each of us lies a collector's spirit. It seems that many individuals find enjoyment in collecting various items, each according to their own unique interests. While some may collect stamps or delve into peculiar hobbies like gathering pictures of clowns (I've heard the new John Wayne Gacy Netflix documentary is quite captivating!), there are others, like myself, who find fascination in a less eerie pursuit: collecting vaporizers.
Welcome to the world of VAS - Vaporizers Acquisition Syndrome. Unfortunately there is only one cure: More vaporizers. VAS is basically just FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) transformed into the vaping world. There is a big community of people who own dozens of different vaporizers and collecting them is a fun hobby.
Another fun thing about vaporizers is modifying your vapes. Most, if not all, can in some way be modified to provide different advantages:
The possibilities are endless!