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What is a Dry Herb Vaporizer and why you should consider one?

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What is a Dry Herb Vaporizer and why you should consider one?
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WHAT ARE DRY HERB VAPORIZERS?

A dry herb vaporizer is a vaporizer that was specifically designed to be used with dry herb blends only! Unlike vaporizers that were designed for e-juice, dry herb vapes do not use tanks, instead they employ the use of atomizers or heating ovens to vaporize the dry herb materials. There are many different kinds of dry herb vapes that vary in form-factor, design, and functionality. Dry herb vaporizers can be of the Portable, Desktop, Pen-Style, and even Disposable varieties, and they are respectively priced anywhere from $50 all the way up to $600, depending on the style and brand. Dry Herb Vaporizers that use heating chambers or ovens can also be broken down into two sub-categories: Convection and Conduction style vaporizers. We’ll discuss those in further detail as we move along, but first, let’s take a look at the humble beginnings and the history of the dry herb vaporizer and how it has evolved in time.

HISTORY OF THE DRY HERB VAPORIZER

Although vaporizers have boomed in popularity as of lately, it is by far not a new term or product at all. Vaporizers have been around for decades now and their growing popularity and technological advancements prove that they are definitely here to stay. Let’s learn a little more of vaporizer history and how far they have come in recent years.

  • 1994: The very first dry herb vaporizer that came into the scene was called the “Shake and Bake” Vaporizer. This vaporizer came in the scene in 1994 and was invented by the herb enthusiast named Eagle Bill Amato. Mr. Amato’s vision was to create a simple aromatherapy vaporizer that was easy to use and portable, and the design for the Shake and Vape was inspired by the design and form-factor of most glass pipes available at that time. The Shake and Vape consisted of a glass pipe with a large bowl that could be heated using your traditional pocket lighter. The vaporizer was an instant success and it worked quite well, but the fact that a flame source was needed for operation, it limited the vape’s functionality and nowadays it would not be considered a true “vaporizer” because of this flame dependency. By today’s standards the use of flame or combustion to consume your dry herb blends would automatically disqualify this as a true vaporizer, and it would be classified as a pipe or portable bong instead.
  • 2000: Fast forward to the year 2000, and the infamous “Ubie” vaporizer makes its way into the scene. The Ubie dry herb vaporizer consisted of two glass tubes that fit inside one another. Operating the Ubie was pretty simple, users just had to hold a flame to one end of the tube in order to heat up the herb, and then draw the vaporthrough the other tube. Once the herb was sufficiently heated and the user inhaled through the other tube, the heat traveled through the tube and produced a convection-style (more on that later) vapor. Although the Ubie made its debut way back in the year 2000, because of its compact styling and affordability, it is still pretty popular and is sold in many smoke shops till this day. The Ubie’s design and functionality paved the way for future vaporizer technology as it is known today, and it was closer in functionality to a true vaporizer than its older cousin, the Shake and Bake Vaporizer.
  • Late 2000: The year 2000 was a pivotal year in the history of dry herb vaporizers as it was the year that the first true portable dry herb vaporizer was introduced into the market. Drawing upon the success of the Ubie Vaporizer that was released earlier in the year, Arizer introduced the first true combustion and flame free vaporizer - The Vapir Classic. The Vapir Classic vaporizer was the first to employ the use of a battery pack, this made the vaporizer truly portable and freed the user from having to use lighters or torches in their sessions. Although it was larger in size than most portable vaporizers available on the market today, the Vapir Classic did introduce some new features to the world of portable dry herb vaporizers. As mentioned before, the Vapir Classic introduced battery-powered operation which removed the use of flames or torches from the equation, and it also featured digital temperature control which reduced the likelihood of combustion. These two unprecedented features made the Vapir Classic the first true portable dry herb vaporizer on the market at that time. The Vapir Classic did not achieve commercial success due to its impracticality and expensive price tag, but it did pave the way for what we consider a true portable vaporizer today.

These weren’t the only so-called vaporizers around during this era, but we wanted to point out the key players in the game and how they played major roles in the advancement of vaporizer technology. Now that we have discussed the roots of vaping tech, let’s have a look at the different types of dry herb vaporizers that are available to us today!

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF DRY HERB VAPORIZERS?

Now that we have briefly touched on the history of dry herb vaporizers, let’s get into the different types of dry herb vapes available on the market present day. When it comes to form-factor or design, portable vaporizers are broken down into several different categories. These categories include but are not limited to: Desktop, Portable, Pen-Style, and even Disposable vaporizers. These categories for dry herb vaporizers are also broken down into two other sub-categories: Convection Style and Conduction Style vaporizers. We’ll discuss in detail the pros & cons and the key differences between conduction and convection heating methods later on in this article. Disposable vapes or e-cigs aren’t new to the vaping scene. As a matter of fact, most of the early iterations of e-cigs used replaceable cartridges or were disposed of after use. However, most disposable vapes for e-juice, wax or oily concentrates are new to the vaping scene. We’ll discuss disposable vaporizers in length in a future post when we take a closer look at Wax or concentrate vaporizers. For now, we’ll just focus on the different variety of vapes for dry herbs. The first kind we’ll discuss here are desktop vaporizers.

  • Desktop Dry Herb Vaporizers: Desktop vaporizers for dry herbs are specifically designed to be used at home and plug into any household power-supply. These bigger and more potent units first appeared on the market over fifteen years ago, and they have evolved from simple, plain box-shaped vapes that utilize tubes or whips to draw the vapor, into versatile and powerful units. Some of the higher-end dry herb vapes include digital temperature controls, digital displays, and even powerful internal fans that free the user from even having to draw from the vape at all. The desktop units that have internal fans produce the vapor, then they virtually push the vapor into tubes or whips and can even be used to automatically fill “balloon-bags” of vapor that can be stored for later use without the need for the vaporizer at all. Awesome stuff right?!? The only perceivable disadvantage of a desktop unit is that they are larger in size than portable vaporizers, and of course, you are bound to a house-hold power supply. If you plan on vaping while you are out and about town, or in your outdoor getaways or adventures, then a desktop vaporizer may not be the best option for you. Besides their larger size and lack of portability, desktop vaporizers are immensely popular because of their power, ease of use, vapor production, and versatility. In today’s market, all desktop vaporizers heat up the dry herb materials through convection (more on this later), which makes them the preferred vaporizer of vape enthusiasts due to their health benefits. Desktop units are also broken down into two other sub-categories: whip-style or forced-air units. “Whip-Style” desktop vaporizers get that title because they use medical grade tubing called"whips" in order to draw or inhale vapor as it's produced from the heating chamber or element. One example of a whip-style vape is the Easy Vape 5 vaporizer found here. The second type of desktop unit is the “Forced Air” style vape. These units are a bit more advanced than whip-style units and they utilize a fan that propels the heat over your dry herbs and then pushes it through whips or tubing, or it can fill a “balloon bag” with vapor that can be stored for later use. The Volcano Classic or Digital vaporizers are one of the most popular and preferred forced air units. You can follow this link to check out the Volcano Digital. Some of the more expensive and elite desktop vaporizers offer "dual-functionality," which means they are capable of both, whip-style or forced air functionality. The Vapir Rise Vaporizer is one of the most well-known dual-functionality vapes available on the market today. You can check out the Vapir Rise here. Below you will find an image of a whip-style vaporizer and what it looks like:

This is a popular example of Forced-Air Style Vaporizer:

  • Portable Dry Herb Vaporizers: True portable dry herb vapes have been around since the year 2000 and are quickly becoming the go-to devices for dry herb enthusiasts because of their compact, ultra-discreet design, flexibility and portability. These portable vaporizers are made for herb connoisseurs that are on the market for a unit they can take just about anywhere their travels may lead them. Because of their small stature, these units feature super simple user-interfaces and are usually operated with just a couple of buttons. Just like their bigger brother the desktop vaporizer, which utilizes a power supply for heat production, these units don’t require lighters, butane torches, or other forms of manual heating because they use alkaline or lithium ion batteries to provide the necessary heat for vapor production. This completely eliminates the need to carry wires or other cumbersome hardware when you’re vaping away from home. So If you're looking to vape on the go and do so discreetly, a portable vaporizer is the best possible option for you. But, don’t be fooled by their size! Despite their discreet nature, many modern day portable herb vapes have digital displays, extremely intuitive interfaces that can provide precision temperature control down to the degree, and some units even have the option to set-up preferred temperature or vaping profiles which are stored in the unit’s memory. This functionality is extremely useful for situations where you want to quickly change between media types or strains and vape them at their optimal temps with a single click of a button. These portable or “handheld” units also offer the much preferred convection heating method. Dry herb vaporizers have quickly become the hottest selling vaporizer type, second only to older and wider-spread e-juice models. But, with the advancement of battery and other vaping technologies, it wouldn’t be surprising if these models take over the number one spot sometime in the near future. Some of the best present-day, most sought-out and popular portable dry herb vaporizers on the market today include the PAX 3, Firefly 2, and DaVinci IQ Vaporizers.


  • Pen-Style Herb Vaporizers: Although Pen-Style herb vaporizers can technically be classified as simply portable vaporizers, their super-unique and discreet styling puts this type of vaporizer in a category all its own. These models, and keychain vaporizers discussed more in-length in our article - "The Rise of The Keychain Vaporizers and Why You Should Be Considering One!", have become the latest rave in vaporizer technology. Pen-style vapes simply cannot be surpassed in the portability and discreetness departments. You may be asking yourself: Why are they called “pen-style” vapes? What does that mean? The answer is simple: because they closely mimmic the form-factor of any modern day ball-point or gel pen that you may find in most office environments. Some of these models are so beautifully crafted that you can’t honestly tell if it’s a pen or vape, even if you are holding it in your hands and inspecting it closely! Pen-Style herb vaporizers typically utilize conduction heating, which enables rapid heating of your dry herb materials. Pen-style units are perfect for those looking for a quick, easy and discreet vaping experience. Although pen-style vapes are usually designed for one specific media type, certain models allow you to interchange atomizers in order to use them with different kinds of media. The only cons to these ultra-portable units are battery life, and the fact that it uses conduction style heating which sometimes may cause combustion instead of true vaporization. If you’re looking for a super discreet herb pen that you can just about take and use anywhere, the a pen-style herb pen may be the best option for you. One of the best selling pen-style vaporizers we have in our store is the Grasshopper Vaporizer found here.


WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CONVECTION AND CONDUCTION STYLE DRY HERB VAPORIZERS?

Conduction and Convection are two different ways of describing the heating processes used in modern day vaporizers. Below, we’ll discuss the key differences between them and what is the preferred method and why.

  • Conduction Method: Conduction style vaporizers have a heating element that requires the media you are using to come into direct contact with the heating element. Most older vaporizers, or even the newer more compact units use this method because it uses less power and heats up your media pretty quickly. This is optimal for keychain vaporizers and pen-style herb vaporizers which require tiny batteries and very small atomizers or chambers. The downside to conduction style vapes is that this method can often cause actual combustion of the media because of the heat and there’s no option or way to control the temperatures. Once the media has been combusted, you won’t get the natural aromas and flavor profiles that you are supposed to get with true vaporization. Another con with conduction is that it may burn your media un-evenly. This is why most herb enthusiasts prefer a vaporizer of the Convection flavor.
  • Convection Method: With the convection style vaporizers, the media never comes into direct contact with the atomizer or heating element. Instead, this method of vaporization utilizes the circulation of heat around the media, it never comes into direct contact with it. This method ensures thorough and even vaporization and also preserves all the natural flavor profiles and aromas from your dry herbs. These units also allow the flexibility of precise temperature control. This enables you to adjust the precise temps in which you can vape different media or experiment with the best settings for different types of dry herb strains. These are the main reasons why most modern day vapes use convection style heating and it is also makes it the most popular vaporizer type among the vape gods.

I hope this article helped to shed some light on the origins, uses, and functionality of dry herb vaporizers. Whether you decide to go convection/conduction, desktop or portable, vaping cannabis is healthier than smoking it the traditional way. You will no longer inhale harmful carcinogens along with your precious herb. The health benefits alone make vaping your dry herbs a no-brainer, but there are other benefits as well. When you vape dry herbs you are conserving the natural flavors and aromas of your blends, and since you aren't combusting the herb, you also get a more powerful effect from less amounts of media. Your lungs and your pockets will thank you for making the switch from traditional smoking. If you want more information on the perks of vaping weed, our friends at "Smoking WIth Style" have written a great article on the benefits of vaping marijuana and it's effects. Check it out.

I know this may be a lot of information to take in all at once, but we hope that it helps you make an informed decision when it comes time to buy your very first dry herb vaporizer, or when you want to replace an older one. You can take a look at the extensive line of dry herb vaporizers that we carry at our store. We are always here to answer your questions. You can shoot us a line through our Contact us page, call us, or use our in-house chat module for almost immediate assistance even on weekends! No matter what the question may be, we are here to help! Stay tuned for the next post in which we will get into the details of the increasingly popular Wax Vaporizers.