Whether you’ve used a vape pen before or you prefer a traditional roll-up, there’s no denying that the portable vape has become a market hit in recent years.
While some may associate vapes with your run-of-the-mill tobacco usage, vaporizing bud has become an increasingly common usage for dry herb vaporizers over the last several years, and one worth exploring if you haven’t.
This article will tell you all you need to know about dry herb vaping, the best dry herb vaporizers, and the top tips recommended by vaping enthusiasts to make sure you vape properly.
What is a Dry Herb Vaporizer?
In simple terms, dry herb vaporizers, commonly referred to as a dry herb vape, are portable devices that allow you to vape a dry herb, such as a cannabis flower.
All dry herb vapes generally work the same way; by using a steady supply of low heat to activate compounds, without releasing all of the harmful stuff you’d find outside of vaping sessions.
There are two types of dry herb vaporizers: conduction vapes, and convection vapes. Each features a few key differences between them, which we’ll run through below.
A conduction vaporizer uses direct heat contact to vaporize your dry herb in a heating chamber.
In contrast, a convection vaporizer works by either:
- Separating the herb chamber from the heat source
- Using a fan to push hot air through your ground herbs
Both conduction vaporizers and convection vaporizers work pretty efficiently, but convection vapes are often preferred. This is because conduction models are a little harder to control and are a less gentle way to extract your dry herb.
What Do You Need to Use a Dry Herb Vaporizer?
In order to get the perfect vaped bud, whether using portable or desktop vaporizers, you only really need a handful of essentials:
Of course you’re going to need your dry herb vape. As we’ve just mentioned this can be a portable vape – like a pen – or a desktop vaporizer. While a portable device will allow you to produce those sweet vapor clouds on the go, a desktop vape allows you to prepare and smoke your herb with ease, all in one place.
You’ll also need your dry herb! This is often a cannabis flower, but you can in fact use many different herbs in many vaporizers – it just depends on what you prefer to smoke.
An important part of prepping your dry herb is separating it apart, often via use of an herb grinder. The grinding process simply affects the efficacy of the heating process.
Herb that is unevenly ground will result in inconsistent cooking. Moreover, a fine grind is more effective than a medium grind because your herb then has more surface area for heat to reach – This is key for both conduction and convection heating.
And for further reading for those just starting out, feel free to check out our beginner’s article “How to Vape Weed: Vaporizing 101” for many more helpful tips!
Vaping Vs Smoking
Making the decision of whether to vape or smoke is, in actuality, quite difficult for most. Smoking a joint is perceived as easier, however, there are unique advantages to most vaporizers.
It tastes and smells better
This one’s easy – because you’re not burning your cannabis flower, and are instead producing vapor clouds, the flavor is less harsh. What’s more, it’s less likely to irritate your lungs and throat.
As well as this, we all know that cannabis smells… less than discreet. With a vaporizer, the smell is less noticeable and far less unpleasant.
A vaporizer is more discreet
As well as the fact that there’s no longer a distinctive cannabis smell, a vaporizer actually produces tiny vape clouds – Smaller clouds than if you’d smoked, and more easily dispersed in the air. This means it’s more suited to discreet consumption.
There’s increased portability
Of course, unless you opt for a desktop vaporizer, these devices are far more portable. Just make sure you pack the chamber beforehand so you don’t have to take your herbs and grinders on the go.
Herb use is more efficient
As opposed to smoking your cannabis, the use of a vaporizer’s chamber and its unique heating methods means that less dry herb needs to be used.
Moreover, whilst most conduction vapes are generally quite efficient, it’s a convection model that scores highest in herb efficacy – as the cannabis flower does not combust.
Cleaner and more environmentally friendly
The reason your throat and chest is less irritated with a vaporizer is that vaping heats only the key ingredients you’ll want from your dry herb.
If you vape rather than smoke, you can lap up the benefits of CBD and THC without filling your lungs with carbon monoxide.
Whilst this is good for your personal health, vaping is also great for environmental health. This is because there’s far less you need to dispose of at the end; simply chuck away your used herb, which is naturally biodegradable anyway, keeping “disposable” cartridges from clogging up your local landfill.
Pros and Cons of Using Dry Herb Vaporizers
Easy to use
One of the biggest advantages of using a dry herb vaporizer is that it can be fairly easy to do. Vaping is pretty simple to do once you have tried it a couple of times, so even newbies can vape their favorite herbs properly pretty quickly.
All you really need to learn is how to pack your vaporizer and how much herb you should use at once. Once you have figured this out, vaping ground herb is as simple as pressing a button and inhaling the vapors!
Can be Cheaper than Other Methods
An often underappreciated benefit to using a vape pen is that it can be cheaper than some other smoking gadgets. There are so many budget dry herb vaporizers out there so finding one to suit your budget is never too much of a struggle.
On top of this, most dry herb vaporizers feature a rechargeable battery. This can save you from regularly needing to buy batteries, which may not sound like a lot of cash, but it can quickly add up if you smoke a lot.
Enhances the Flavor of your Weed
As we said earlier, your weed will taste far better and be much less irritating to smoke if it’s consumed via vaporizing.
With every vape cloud, you’ll have a smooth taste that is considerably less harsh than that found in a joint.
Requires Regular Cleaning
Maintenance is key to a long-lasting vaporizer, which means you will need to clean out the herb chamber regularly to keep your pen working. For this, you’ll need a pipe cleaner or cotton swab. This can be a massive drawback to some people who just want to smoke their dry herb without much effort.
However, cleaning a vaporizer is usually pretty simple. As most portable vaporizers out there feature a removable herb chamber, you can easily get in there and give it a quick scrub with something as easy as a pipe cleaner or cotton swab. Just ensure your pen is completely dry before use to avoid any potential accidents.
Battery Life Can Be Low on Some Products
This is usually more common with cheaper vape pens, but the battery life can be quite poor. Luckily, most vapes on the market will make use of a rechargeable battery so you don’t need to spend a fortune replacing the battery every other day.
To avoid this drawback make sure you research any potential portable vapes you are planning on buying. This way you can make sure you buy a pen that has a decent battery life for a comfortable vaping experience.
Packing a Dry Herb Vaporizer
So you’ve decided a dry herb vape is for you. What now? Well, it might be useful to know how to actually pack one of these handy devices!
Thankfully, we’ve compiled an easy step-by-step guide for how to pack a dry herb vaporizer – just follow along and you’ll be good to go.
Step One: Grind Your Weed
It’s highly recommended that you grind your dry herb before you start vaping; you’ll want an even, fine grind for a more enjoyable vaping experience.
However, too fine a grind is also possible. If you grind your herbs too finely, they could burn up quickly before they’ve delivered the quality vaping session you deserve. It’s also important to factor in that the grinding process will differ based on whether you’re using a conduction vape or convection vapes.
For example, most convection vaporizers utilize a removable chamber that sits within or on top of the vaping device. In contrast, most conduction vapes have a heating chamber integrated within the device – this is where you’ll pack your herb.
Step Two: Pack Into the Bowl Evenly
Now that you know how to grind your weed and how the packing process may differ based on the model of your vape pen, it’s time to pack the herb into the bowl.
The keyword here is ‘evenly’. A bowl that’s packed too tightly will restrict the airflow within, making it harder to burn your product. Pack it too loosely, however, and the product will burn away faster than you can say ‘weed scooper’.
The result? Wasted product. That’s why it’s key to pack your bowl as evenly as possible.
Step Three: Check for Clumps or Gaps
This final step, like those before it, is pivotal in ensuring that your herb is packed evenly and efficiently. In turn, this will avoid any product being wasted.
If your herb is packed in a clumpy or chunky fashion, it will not be packed firmly – meaning that it may burn quickly and waste your product. What’s more, gaps in the packing of your herb can cause an uneven burning process, meaning you won’t maximize the goodness of your product.
Top Tip: Try Using a Dosing Capsule
One way to avoid this problem is to ensure you’ve measured out the correct dosage of herb. You can purchase small metal containers called ‘dosing capsules’ which help you to measure out the amount of herb you want to use. This allows you to easily insert product into your vape chamber as evenly as possible – allowing for the best possible vape session.
Top Tips for Packing Your Dry Herb Vaporizer
Now we’ve run through the basics, let’s finish off by providing some top tips and tricks for packing your dry herb vapes as easily and pain-free as possible.
1) Avoid overfilling or underfilling
The most common problem people may experience with packing their vape stems from over-or-underloading it. With underpacking, if you don’t put enough ground herb into the chamber, you won’t be able to make those lovely vapor clouds.
With overpacking, it’s key to remember that you should pack your vape’s chamber firmly, but not aggressively. If you’re having to force it in, chances are you’re overpacking it, which will result in an airflow restriction and a restricted draw.
2) Ensure your grinding technique suits the vaporizer model
By this, we mean that the process of grinding and packing varies slightly according to whether you’re using a conduction or convection vape. We’ve run through this slightly earlier, but let’s take a look in more depth.
With conduction vaporizers, you’ll want to grind finely. Powder-fine often works very well. Because conduction involves herb contact with a direct heating source, a finer grind means more herb will come into contact with the heat, making heating more even and effective.
With a convection vaporizer, you’ll still want a decent grind but it can be a little bulkier than what you’d use for conduction vaporizers. This is because the hot air used in the convection process will mix and heat your herb – so you’ll want to maximize airflow in the bowl. Too fine a grind will restrict the airflow, therefore meaning a medium grind is better.
3) Keep your Vaporizer Fresh and Clean
Ultimately you’ll want to keep your vape both fresh and clean.
No matter the model of vaporizer that you use, you’ll need to maintain it regularly to ensure it’s performing at an optimal level. Each vape has three key parts that will need to be clean and clear at all times.
Of course, this is so your vape works as best as it can, but it’s also important because resin – that is, the leftovers from your herb – is acidic and can corrode the parts of your vape that are made out of plastic.
Why is resin so harmful?
Resin is an oily residue that gets built up when your dry herb is heated. If you allow resin to accumulate, the airflow inside the chamber will become more and more restricted.
As a result, it’s not you that’ll be taking a hit – it’ll be the performance of your vape.
Cleaning your bowl
In order to keep your overall vape device clean, you need to ensure your bowl is clean. With most convection vapes, old chunks of weed that remain can both restrict airflow and affect the taste of what you’re vaping. If you’re tasting AVB, or already vaped bud, you won’t be happy.
With conduction models, old chunks of AVB can form layers of protection around the fresh herb. This prevents heat exposure with your new herb – causing an inefficient vape.
Cleaning your screen
Your vape’s screen performs a pivotal function; it prevents weed particles from ending up in your mouth by passing down the vapor path. If you draw weed particles into your mouth, this can be quite unpleasant!
In stopping weed particles before this point, your screens can become dirty and clogged. A clogged-up screen can stop both weed particles and vapor – i.e., the good stuff you want!
That’s why it’s important to regularly clean, or even replace, your screen.
Should you pack a dry herb vaporizer?
Given that dry herb vaping devices are extremely useful and can provide a quality high, we’d say yes, do become well-acquainted with how to pack one.
Having the personal know-how to do it yourself means that you become well-acquainted with how the device works and what each part is doing in order to give you thick, potent vape clouds.
How tight do you pack a dry herb vaporizer?
Ideally, when packing a dry herb vaporizer you want to push it down enough so that the herb is spread evenly throughout.
You don’t want to pressure it too much so that it becomes one solid mass as this can cause you to quickly burn your dry herbs and offer an uneven vape.
As we’ve suggested earlier, the tightness of your packing will depend on the grind of your herb. This, in turn, depends on the model you’re using. Remember, convection heating requires a milder grind whereas conduction heating requires a finer grind!
What’s the best temperature for my dry herb vape?
Most vaporizers will have a “default” setting of 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and while this will work as a bit of a one-size-fits-all cudgel that doesn’t make it the one-and-only “best” temperature setting you can use. Our article on “What’s The Best Temp To Vape Weed?” has in-depth information to share, but as a starting point? 375 °F will likely do the trick.
Are dry herb vaporizers worth it?
As we said at the very beginning, it’s clear to see that vape devices are sky-rocketing in popularity on the market. Many see vaping as absolutely worth the cost of entry, and it’s easy to see why – Vaping can provide a clear, smooth high with none of the abrasive products you’d get from smoking weed joints.
We hope this article has been informative and helpful in showing you how to pack a dry herb vaping device, why you should, and the easiest way to do so.
Vaping can be an extremely pleasant experience, especially when it comes to weed and other dry herbs, so it’s key to know how to do it properly in order to have the best experience possible. With our handy tips and tricks, packing should be a breeze! Happy vaping!