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If you've recently decided to purchase or are considering a dry herb vaporizer, these tips will help you maximize your bud's potential.
When experimenting with your first vaporizer, you may initially find it disappointing. While some may have immediate success, many people feel underwhelmed when using a dry herb vape for the first time. This is normal, as there is a learning curve, but it will definitely be worth it. Take the time to familiarize yourself with your device since you've made a good investment.
It's common for some to claim that vaporizers don't provide the same level of high as smoking. However, it's important to note that there's more to it than just packing your bud and inhaling. Therefore, it's possible that after your initial puffs, you may still feel underwhelmed.
But don't give up just yet. Give your new vaporizer a chance. Once you use it correctly and become comfortable with it, it will become second nature, and you'll never want to go back to traditional smoking methods.
Related article: How to Choose a Vaporizer: Conduction or convection?
A "cloud" is not necessarily a sign of a good hit: Since there are many different devices that work in different ways, here's a general idea of what you can expect. Your first puff may not produce a lot of visible vapor, but it will have a great taste. Vaping lets you really enjoy the flavor and smell of the flower. After a couple of puffs, you'll start to see more vapor.
Run it EMPTY on a high temperature before you use it the first time: When using a dry herb vaporizer, it's important to begin by cleaning the chamber with rubbing alcohol and a Q-Tip. For electric vaporizers, set it to a high temperature, while for butane vaporizers, run it through a heat cycle. This step is necessary to eliminate any leftover machining oil from the manufacturing process. It is advised to repeat this process for three or four cycles. Additionally, I recommend cleaning the mouthpiece and any parts that might retain a plastic smell or taste.
Vaping high vs. smoking high: It's important to recognize that the type of high experienced during vaping sessions differs from smoking sessions. Vaporents often describe it as a "clean high," and many users report that the effects feel more relaxing or "stoney" compared to smoking. Additionally, vaping may not provide an immediate impact like smoking does, and it might take around 10-20 minutes to experience the full effects. To inform beginners about these differences, I wrote a blog piece to help them understand what to expect before purchasing their first vaporizer.
Use a grinder: Avoid breaking the bud by hand. The key to maximizing your vaping session is to grind your bud, but ensure it is not ground too finely to prevent it from passing through the screen.
Vaporizers operate by applying an optimal level of heat to the herb, allowing the cannabinoids to be released without combustion. In this process, the surface area of the herb plays a crucial role, making a finer grind preferable. However, it's important to note that convection vaporizers tend to perform better with a medium grind.
It's important to remember that the optimal grind and packing method can vary for each vaporizer. Some vaporizers require a finer grind, while others may work better with hand-busted bud. For example, the Pax vaporizer tends to extract most efficiently with a really fine grind and a tight pack. On the other hand, the Mighty vaporizer performs best with a medium-fine grind, and different packing amounts can still work well due to its convection heating and quality engineering.
That being said, finding the optimal and efficient results for your vaporizer often involves a process of trial and error.
Packing your vaporizer: To achieve effective heat distribution and best vapor production:
When using a conduction vaporizer, it is recommended to tightly and fully pack the chamber. Unlike convection vaporizers, there is no need to leave space for air between the grinds in order to vaporize them. Ensure a tight packing for optimal results.
For convection vaporizers, it is advised not to overfill the chamber. Dry herb vaporizer experts suggest filling the chamber no more than halfway. It is recommended to start with a smaller amount and gradually add more if needed. When arranging the bud in the chamber, aim for a loose, airy, and even distribution.
Stir the cooked herb: To ensure even vaporization, it is recommended to stir the herb every few draws, particularly if the chamber is overpacked. However, be cautious not to stir excessively, as it may cause the herb to crumble into finer particles that could pass through the vaporizer filter and be inhaled like fine AVB dust. It's important to note that this tip may vary depending on the device. For example, with the Arizer Solo 2, stirring the bowl may not be necessary.
Have extra batteries: If possible, it is advisable to purchase spare batteries, especially if your vaporizer has replaceable batteries. This precaution comes in handy in case you run out of power while on the go. Running out of battery can be frustrating and may prematurely end your vaping session, leaving you with no other option but to head back home. However, if you find the constant charging of batteries tiresome, you might want to consider a desktop vape, although they lack portability. Always ensure to adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines when selecting the appropriate battery specifications and charger for your vaporizer.
Related article: Portable vs Desktop Vaporizers for weed, Which One You Should Get?
Find your middle: The number of bowls or sessions required can vary from person to person, depending on individual tolerance levels. However, it's worth noting that many individuals find that vaping a small amount of weed, as little as 0.05g to 0.1g, can be more than sufficient. Personally, I vape on a daily basis, and typically, I feel the effects of just one vaping session. I usually vape around 6 or 7 p.m., and that single session keeps me high until I go to bed at around 11 p.m. Nevertheless, it's important to remember that every individual's tolerance level is unique, so it's crucial to find your own balance.
The ideal temperature: Understand the ideal temperature for your session and the type of high you seek, here is a step by step guide, or this illustration tells it all:
Dosing capsules: One of my favorite vaporizer tricks that I didn't know for a long time, is the dosing capsules. If you can get them, like The Mighty dosing capsules. They will help to keep your vaporizer clean, and very easy for on-the-go sessions.
Don't turn on and off between hits, It is recommended to keep your vaporizer turned on until you have finished using it. Most vaporizers are designed to maintain a stable temperature, and they consume more power during the heating-up phase compared to when they are maintaining the temperature. The duration of a bowl typically ranges from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the type of vaporizer you have. However, once you are finished, don't forget to switch off your vaporizer to conserve power and ensure safety.
Use a bong/bubbler: In other word, vapebonging. Many dry herb vaporizers come with or offer bong adapters or water pipe adapters (WPA), allowing you to continue using your favorite bong or water pipe. For a smoother hit, try using warm or hot water. Using cool water or ice in an ice catcher may cool the hit, but it can result in a harsher throat sensation and increased likelihood of coughing. On the other hand, warm water will help maintain moisture and provide a more gentle vaping experience.
Maintain/clean frequently: If you're not concerned about saving the reclaim, it is recommended to clean your vaporizer every 6-8 uses using isopropyl alcohol (ISO) and/or pipe cleaners. Regular cleaning helps maintain optimal vapor production. It's a straightforward process that takes around 5-10 minutes, so there's no reason not to do it at least once a week..
Here are couple of signs that your bowl is done, you may want to consider them all:
Smell/taste: it starts tasting/smelling like burnt popcorn
Color: Take a moment to open your bowl and observe. Typically, your already vaped bud (AVB) should have a dark brownish color. It's important to note that the appearance of AVB can vary from one session to another, primarily due to the different temperature settings people use on their vaporizers. For beginners, relying solely on the color may not always be the most accurate indicator. However, as you gain experience and become familiar with your vaporizers and preferred temperature settings, you will start noticing subtle details and be able to differentiate between different colors.
Finally, when it stops producing vapor
Turn on the vaporizer, set your temperature. Once it gets to required temperature, leave it for few seconds for the herb to cook
Completely exhale the air out of your lungs, then take a VERY slow but deep pull till you start feeling the irritation in your throat (don't suck on it too hard). Don't bring it into your mouth, you will be using your lung sucking power to create a vacuum (do not ever breathe/cough vapor out your nose. Very unpleasant).
Once you feel the irritation in your throat, it's time to continue inhaling fresh air instead
Cough if you need to, don't choke yourself. Also, make sure to have some cold water next to you to cool down your throat just in case you start coughing.
Hold the vape...... 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi...
Although it may require some effort, I can assure you that it's all worth it. By choosing to vape instead of smoke, not only will your lungs thank you for avoiding combustion, but the lingering smell will be significantly reduced. From a financial standpoint, you're in for a pleasant surprise as well. Vaping flower allows you to use literally half the amount you used to burn, while still achieving the desired effects.
Additionally, you'll have leftover material known as AVB (already vaped bud), which can be easily utilized to make cannabis-infused butter for edibles. I'm constantly amazed by how much I can extract from my flower through vaping.
That's all our vaporizer tips and trips for now folks. I will add more as I discover more. Stay toasty my friends...