how to work a vaporizer

How Do Weed Vaporizers Work?

For many, vaporizing has become the ultimate way to get high. It‘s healthier, smoother and saves money. But what‘s actually going on in these little devices? How is the vapour produced?


Over the past decade, vaping has become the choice method of cannabis consumption for millions of stoners around the world. If you’re not the type to keep up with new technology, you might be wondering what all the hype is about. After all, what do they get from vaping that you can’t get from the old fashioned way? There’s more to the answer than you might think.

How Does A Vaporizer Work?

Before we start that discussion, though, we need to go over how they work. Whether they use dry herb or concentrates, vaporizers heat their contents to a specific temperature to create vapor for you to inhale. Rather than the smoke that comes with, well, smoking, this vapor is much kinder on the lungs.

Besides heating to a lower temperature, vaping carries far fewer unwanted substances to your lungs than smoking a joint. When you smoke, weed heats up to around 538ºC (1000ºF), whereas vaping heats marijuana to a much more reasonable 140–220ºC (285–428ºF) range.

Different Types Of Vaporizers

Up to this point, every reputable vape you’ll find on the market shares the aforementioned characteristics. The divide forms, however, when we discuss how the weed is heated up. As far as dry-herb vapes go, “conduction” and “convection” are the two terms you’ll hear getting thrown around. They accomplish the same goal, but there are some key distinctions between them.

Conduction Heating

In short, conduction heating puts your weed in direct contact with the heating element. If this sounds simple and straightforward, that’s because it is.

• Pros

You should be able to hit these vapes pretty much straight out of the box. You also probably paid less for that box to start with, given that these vapes are usually more simple and streamlined.

Because they don’t have a lot of fancy features, they’re usually pretty easy to operate. Moreover, conduction heating usually allows for bigger clouds.

• Cons

Simplicity, as always, comes with drawbacks. For one, when weed is in direct contact with the heating element, you run the risk of combustion. This means a less clean hit, and greater waste. Even when they’re working properly, conduction vapes tend to heat weed unevenly, so you have to rearrange your bowl to fully enjoy it.

Moreover, conduction heating tends to be less precise, although this can make things more simple to operate for beginners.

Convection Heating

As opposed to their conduction peers, convection vapes heat up herb indirectly by circulating hot air through it. This is accomplished by putting a screen of sorts between the weed and the heat source.

• Pros

This separation offers quite a few benefits, not the least of which is even heat distribution. When you don’t have to worry about some of your weed burning while the rest remains untouched, it makes the whole experience much more enjoyable.

Furthermore, convection heating results in cleaner, smoother hits and less waste. Given their sophisticated heating tech, it’s not uncommon for these vapes to be more involved than conduction. Advanced temperature adjustment controls and other stylish enhancements are popular among these vapes.

• Cons

There aren’t many drawbacks with these vapes, but nothing is perfect. Because of the extra step in their design, convection vapes often come at a premium. Along with that, given the herb–heat division, you’ll have to wait a bit to take your first hits.

When you do, you may not get as strong of a cloud as you would with conduction. Moreover, the sophisticated nature of these vapes can make them more difficult to operate for beginners.

Hybrid Heating

As one could guess from the name, hybrid vapes utilise a mix of both heating methods. Air flows through the material to heat your weed evenly, but a heating element still comes into direct contact with the herb to ensure nice hits.

• Pros

Because of this heating synergy, you end up getting larger clouds, with less risk of combustion than with pure conduction vapes. This combined effort also leads to these vapes being competitively efficient, lasting longer off one charge than many vapes in the other categories.

• Cons

While some prefer to vape at higher temperatures, those with more sensitive lungs might have an issue with these devices. This is simply due to them having two heating mechanisms going at once. They’re designed to avoid overheating, but be sure to keep an eye on the temperature.

Beyond that, the only other issue is an escalated price point as a result of complex design.

What Are The Components Of A Vaporizer?

No matter what you choose, you’ll want to get familiar with the main components of a vape. Regardless of heating method, a dry-herb vape will always have an herb chamber and mouthpiece. They’re both self-explanatory; the former is equivalent to a bowl in a pipe, and the mouthpiece is where you inhale. The mouthpiece will also often serve as the cover for the herb chamber.

Of course, the real star of the show is the battery, which can either be fixed or removable depending on your vape. They function similarly, with the main difference being that the latter requires you to remove the battery and charge it separately from the device.

Apart from that, fixed battery vapes tend to be more convenient and boast more unconventional designs. On the other hand, if you run into any battery issues, you’ll have to replace the whole device. Removable battery designs, in contrast, face design limitations while staying functional through most battery issues.

There’s no single solution to everyone’s vaporizer needs, but one of these types of vaporizers is bound to suit your lifestyle better than the others. Happy vaping!

Stoners around the world have started vaping their cannabis, and there’s good reason why. Read more to learn all about vapes and exactly how they work.

How Does a Cannabis Vaporizer Work?

Among the many cannabis products that are available on the newly legal market, the cannabis vaporizer is gaining popularity. Unlike pipes, joints, and other traditional means of consumption, vaporizers do not combust your cannabis to heat it and release cannabinoids. Rather, they use a variety of methods to heat your cannabis concentrates and flower without burning them. This atomizes cannabinoids into a vapor format that can be inhaled without the carcinogens, tar, and other byproducts of combusted ash.

How Do Cannabis Vaporizers Work?

Tabletop vaporizers use a hot plate that is heated prior to its contact with cannabis. Once the device has heated, ground cannabis is added to a chamber just above the plate and a fan blows the heat through the ground cannabis. This brings the cannabis to a temperature that releases cannabinoids into the bag as a vapor, which can then be inhaled.

Concentrate vaporizers often use a “oven” of sorts, known as an “atomizer,” which heats the concentrate, releasing the cannabinoids contained within.

Cartridge technology is similar to nicotine vapes. These devices absorb, heat, and release cannabinoids from a viscous cannabis oil contained within the chamber.

How to Choose a Cannabis Vaporizer

When selecting a vaporizer, consider the following questions:

  • Where will I be using the vaporizer?
  • What kinds of cannabis products will I use?
  • Do I want a lower maintenance, single-use option or am I willing to regularly clean a reusable option?

Tabletop vs. portable cannabis vaporizer

If you aren’t interested in portability and prefer reliable, larger vaporizers, a tabletop option may be your best choice. Tabletop vaporizers are generally preferred for vaporizing flower.

For portability, ease of use, discretion, and an odorless experience, handheld vaporizers and vape pens are a natural choice. These range from single-loading devices that must be reloaded with flower or concentrates after each use to pre-filled cartridges. Pre-filled cartridges or “carts” come in disposable or reusable varieties, and are typically specific to the vaporizer.

Flower vs. concentrate vaporizers

If you prefer flower, your vaporizer options will become increasingly limited as portability increases. The best option for flower is a tabletop or high-end handheld device, such as the PAX 3. Cheap flower vaporizers tend to break easily and burn flower.

If you’re a concentrate consumer or enjoy being able to take only a few puffs and feeling as if you’ve smoked a larger amount, concentrate vaporizers and vape cartridges are going to be the best option for you.

Taking Care of Your Cannabis Vaporizer

The maintenance demands of your vaporizer will vary by device. Disposable vape pens that are designed for single use should be stored upright in a cool, dry place (preferably in a case). Excessive heat and moisture can damage your battery, negatively affecting its ability to hold a charge.

Most vape pens show a green light when charged, and a red light when the battery is low. Try not to completely deplete your battery or overcharge it, as this can reduce the overall lifespan of your battery. If you follow the charging instructions for your pen but it doesn’t seem to work when you use it (no vapor comes out), either the pen connection to the coil is dirty or the coil is dead.

You can clean the coil with isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab. If you clean it and it still doesn’t work, replace the coil or buy a new battery completely. Clean your pen regularly, especially the mouth piece, which can be soaked in alcohol. And when you’re done with it, you can recycle it.

If you’re using a reusable vaporizer for concentrates or flower, you’ll need to clean it regularly. Soaking the main, non-electric components in isopropyl alcohol will help reduce resin and keep your vapor tasting fresh. And if you’re using a device that has an additional plastic bag to fill the vapor, you’ll need to replace this every few months for flavor and cleanliness.

Your reusable vaporizer should also be stored in a cool, dry place, where it is not at risk of being knocked to the ground.

Find a Cannabis Vaporizer That Works for You

At Happy Valley, our knowledgeable staff can help walk you through different cannabis vaporizer options, providing recommendations based on their interactions with other consumers. Give yourself some time to get acquainted with its features and the effects of the product. Some vapes will hit harder and produce a more potent vapor. Others may require multiple puffs to feel as desired. A little trial and error will go a long way in perfecting your vaporizing experience.

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This guide will help you better understand cannabis vaporizers, including how to select the right one for you and how to maintain your vaporizer.