A woman exhaling a cloud of vapor, by Ernestovdp via Pixabay

How To Use A Dry Herb Vaporizer: Our Guide To The Basics

High There

By High There

January 8, 2022

With the massive innovations that have been made in vaping technology, more people are using vapes to consume cannabis than ever. Vaporizers provide an easy way of enjoying weed without smoking or eating edibles; they also produce “vapor” rather than smoke, which is a massive benefit for many.

If you’re a vaping newbie, it can all seem quite confusing to begin with. If you’ve got no idea how to use a dry herb vaporizer (or what a dry herb vaporizer even is), though, you’re in the right place! We’ve compiled a complete guide to dry herb vaping, designed to assist you in your vaping journey.

Today we’ll explain how dry herb vaporizers work, and how to use them. We’ll also share our top tips for dry herb vaping, followed by some handy FAQs. Read on for all the info you need to go from beginner to seasoned expert in no time!

A dry herb vape with cannabis, by AHPhotoswpg via iStock

How Do Dry Herb Vaporizers Work?

Fundamentally, and at a very basic level, a dry herb vaporizer is a device that heats dry cannabis flower to produce a vapor containing cannabinoids. Dry weed gets inserted into the vape’s chamber, where it is then heated to create the vapor.

While other types of vape use cannabis oil cartridges, as the name suggests, a dry herb vape uses standard dry weed in its natural form. The vapor produced is inhaled by users, resulting in a high free of the heavy, potentially cough-inducing smoke produced by joints, pipes, and bongs.

Types of Dry Herb Vaporizer

Though all dry herb vapes heat dry weed to release a vapor for inhalation, the heating method and type of device can vary. To determine the best vaporizer to suit your needs, it’s important to understand the different variations available.

Here’s an overview of the different types of dry herb vaporizers:

Conduction vs Convection Vapes

The terms “conduction” and “convection” refer to different heating methods used in dry herb vapes.

Conduction vaporizers expose your weed to heat directly in the chamber. A conduction vape chamber usually features a heating plate the dry herb rests on, which is then heated through another, outside source. Conduction vaporizers may use a flame to heat the herb chamber, but the fire will never directly touch the plant matter itself.

In contrast, convection vaporizers circulate hot air over the dry weed, typically via some fashion of internal fan, to produce vapor whenever you take a hit. With both methods the flower is heated but not combusted.

Overall, convection heating is considered superior, because it assures more even heating. Because conduction vapes burn the dry weed, they can cause more wastage, and occasionally produce burnt-tasting vapor.

Desktop vs Portable Vapes

As the terms suggest, desktop and portable refer to the style of vaporizer.

A portable vaporizer – often called a dry herb vape pen – is compact and lightweight. It can be carried in your pocket or bag, making it perfect for travel or use when you’re out-and-about.  Because of its smaller chamber it carries less herb; this makes it more suitable for solo use or between a small number of friends, rather than passing between a large group.

Desktop vaporizers, in contrast, plug into a power source and are generally far larger. While a desktop device is bulkier, it will generally use more advanced technology to provide a superior experience. Their larger chambers can produce more vapor and, of course, store more of your dry weed inside.

A man exhales a cloud of vapor, by Connor-Danylenko via Pexels

Advantages of Dry Herb Vaporizers

Compared to both smoking and other types of vaping, dry herb vaping offers many benefits.

If you’re considering investing in a dry herb vaporizer (pen or desktop style), here are just some of the advantages of using one of these devices next time you want to light up;

Better Flavor

When you burn weed, you’re combusting its natural components – this is reflected in the taste of a joint or blunt. Vapor generally tastes far smoother than smoke, as the natural taste of your dry herb is allowed to shine through more when not buried underneath the carbon of smoke.


While you may be wary to roll a joint while you’re out and about, it’s easy to carry your portable vape around with you. Your dry weed is contained within the interior chamber, saving you from having to carry it in a separate container along with a grinder, roaches, papers, and the like.

A Cleaner Smoking Experience

Vaporizers gently heat just the active ingredients in your weed; THC, CBD, and terpenes (IE: all the parts you want). This reduces your carbon monoxide inhalation, making for a far cleaner (and healthier) hit.


If you’re concerned with the smell of weed, a vape is a great way to put your worries at bay. The odor of weed vapor tends to dissipate quickly and travel much less, and a vaporizer doesn’t create clouds of heavy, lingering smoke like a joint, pipe, or bong does.

More Bang For Your Buck

As it optimizes your usage, a dry herb vaporizer is a great way to make your weed go further. Because they don’t combust the flower, fewer cannabinoids and terpenes are lost to over-heating, meaning convection vaporizers will certainly save you money on weed in the long run.

Vaping Vs Smoking Weed

Vaping and smoking are among the most popular ways that marijuana is consumed. While smoking is the traditional method of getting high, innovations in vape technology have made vaporizers increasingly popular in recent years.

When deciding whether you’d like to smoke or vape, it’s a good idea to consider the differences between the two.


Many people across the globe enjoy vaping their dry cannabis because its discretion and convenience. A portable dry herb vape pen can be used on the go without attracting unwanted attention. It also saves you time on grinding and rolling your weed – all you have to do is insert the flower into the chamber and you’re away.

When you vape, you don’t inhale smoke. Instead, you take in vapor. The vapor produces the same psychoactive effects as smoke does, but tends to be cleaner and lighter on your lungs (though can carry similar long-term health risks to smoking).  Vapor also carries a less pungent odor than smoke does.

Vaping can often get you higher than smoking because

. When you vape, you’re enjoying everything that your cannabis has to offer.

Smoking Weed

Smoking is the more traditional method of consuming cannabis. Depending on a user’s personal preference, weed is rolled into a joint, on its own, or with tobacco or a herbal alternative. It is also smoked using a pipe or bong, in which case the flower is not ordinarily mixed with another substance like tobacco.

The main advantage of smoking over vaping is that smoking doesn’t require much in the way of special technology – All you really need is a dry herb and a heat source (though

is also a recommended feature).

While smoking might also often be considered the easier method it can result in greater weed wastage overall. It is also less discreet, as clouds of pungent, long-traveling smoke (rather than vapor) are produced.

Ground cannabis, contained in a weed grinder, by Kindel Media via Pexels

Using a Dry Herb Vaporizer: Step-by-Step

If you’re still unsure about how to use a dry herb vaporizer, do not fear!

Here is a simple step-by-step guide to smoking with a dry herb vaporizer, from prepping your weed to taking a hit. Read on for all the must-know info about the process.

Step 1: Grind Your Weed

The very first thing you need to do is grind your marijuana – A standard grinder will work perfectly, but there are

if you find yourself in a pinch.

Aim to grind it finely, as this will allow the flower to burn or heat up more evenly once you’ve added it into the chamber of your dry herb vaporizer.

Step 2: Pack the Vape Chamber

Secondly, you’ll need to remove the lid or cap of your vape’s chamber and insert the weed. You can do this with your fingers, a small scoop, or even a self-styled funnel made from cardboard.

Be sure to fill the herb chamber evenly. Be sure to avoid over-or under-filling, as this will compromise the vaping experience. While larger desktop vaporizers will hold more weed, dry herb vape pens have a smaller chamber capacity.

For more comprehensive advice on this, be sure to check out our guide on

where we go more in-depth on the how’s and why’s of packing a dry herb vape properly.

Step 3: Power Up the Vape

The next step is to boot up your vape pen or desktop device. Different devices will use different controls, but most dry herb vaporizers will feature a clearly marked on-button that you’ll need to push.

If you’re using a desktop vape, you’ll need to plug it into a nearby power source. Larger devices can take up to a minute to heat up, so be sure to factor heating time into your vaping process.

Dry herb vape pens are typically rechargeable, so if you have a vape pen, ensure it’s charged before your next vape session.

Some vapes, particularly older conduction models, may use butane or some other combustible fuel source in their heating process. Make sure your vape is filled properly and that no residual fuel is exposed before beginning the ignition process.

Step 4: Choose a Temperature

While not all dry herb vaporizers will have a temperature control function, many devices will let you adjust the heat of the chamber. The temperature usually ranges between 312 and 440 Fahrenheit, though this can vary from brand to brand.

Setting your dry herb vaporizer to a lower heat will provide smoother drags, while higher temperatures will produce fatter and more powerful clouds. As we mention further below, some cannabinoids are also only available at higher temperatures (such as THCV), and lower temperatures are typically associated with fewer psychotropic effects.

Step 5: Hit the Vape

Once your dry herb vaporizer has reached the desired temperature, you’re ready to start vaping. Simply put your mouth directly over the mouthpiece and inhale deeply.  You might want to chase your inhalation with a small breath of regular air, as this can push the vapor deeper into your lungs.

After inhaling, you can exhale at a steady pace – you don’t need to hold the vapor in your lungs for a long period to feel the full effects, and a few seconds should be sufficient.

If you’re vaping weed for the first time, simply sit back and enjoy the smooth high that dry herb vaporizers provide. We’d advise you to start slowly and determine how it’s making you feel before going back for more. When you’re ready, you can return for another hit! Just be sure to turn off your device when it’s not in active use to prevent wasting both your weed and your battery/fuel life.

Top Tips For Using a Dry Herb Vape

So now you understand the basics of dry herb vaporizers, it’s time for our vaping top tips. If you want to go from novice to specialist, be sure to remember these while you’re hitting your vape pen!

Don’t forget to clean between uses

Now, this might seem like boring advice, but trust us, it’s important. If you don’t clean your vape regularly, you’ll end up with a buildup of grime and dust that will affect the taste when you inhale. It’s recommended that moderate users clean their devices about once a week.

Luckily, dry weed is far easier to clean out than concentrates. All you’ll need is a bristled cleaning brush, a cotton cloth, and a toothpick to unpick any weed stuck in your vape’s filter screen. Simply disassemble, clean, and put back together.

If you find a decent amount of residue built up over time, the same advice as above applies, but with a bit of isopropyl alcohol used as a cleaning solution. Just dip your brush or swab in the alcohol and rub vigorously until any residue has been removed.

Don’t forget to grind your weed before using

If you’re in a rush, it might be tempting to put whole nugs of weed into your portable dry herb vaporizer and begin vaping, to save time on grinding.

Though this will still get you high, inconsistent heating may waste your weed. If your cannabis is ground finely and evenly, it will warm more evenly, and your vaping will be more consistent. Overall, it’s important to avoid uneven heating whenever possible.

Always ensure an even herb distribution

Tied to the above point, this tip is crucial. Once you’ve loaded the dry herb into the heating chamber, your work isn’t done!

You should ensure that there’s an even spread within the chamber, by stirring it around gently with a small tool or makeshift instrument. It’s a good idea to do this throughout your vaping session to maintain an even distribution of herbs.

Experiment with temperature

When it comes to heating temperature, there’s no one-size-fits-all mark. Interestingly, different strains vape best at different temperatures, as the optimum temperature depends on what cannabinoids and terpenes the strain is more dominant in.

Strains high in THC and low in CBD generally require a lower temperature, while those with high CBD and low THC levels may require more heat. Because of this, it’s a good idea to experiment with different heats before committing to one for a full session. 

A man exhaling a vape cloud, by Lorend_g via pixabay


Are dry herb vaporizers worth it?

There’s no single best way to get high- it’s all about personal preference. For many people, using a dry herb vaporizer pen is the best way to consume marijuana.

A dry herb vaporizer is worth it if:

  • Discretion is a factor for you.
  • You’d like a portable device to use easily on the go.
  • You want to vape your standard weed, rather than purchasing concentrates or oils.
  • Ease of use is a priority.
  • You want a smoother smoking experience.

Do dry herb vaporizers save money?

In short: yes. Although you have to fork out the initial cost of the device, a good vape will pay for itself within a few weeks of regular use.

Dry herb vape pens help you to conserve your weed by optimizing the smoking process. They can also produce a more powerful high, meaning you’ll need to use less of your herb to feel the full effects.

Will vaping set off a smoke detector?

Though you’re less likely to trigger a smoke or fire alarm with vapor, it can still happen.

While standard smoke detectors won’t generally pick up on vaping, devices that detect particle changes or broken light beams can still be activated by vapor clouds. Even though vaping is less detectable than smoking overall, it’s always good to be aware of your surroundings.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully you now have a clearer idea about what dry herb vaporizers have to offer. From convection to conduction, desktop to portable, there are a ton of different weed vapes to choose from!

Provided you take on board our advice, you can’t go wrong when using one of these innovative devices. Prepare to enjoy the many benefits that vaping dry weed has to offer, including convenience, discretion, portability, increased potency, and an improved taste. Happy vaping!

High There

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