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Dry Herb vs. Oil Vapes: A Complete Comparative Guide To Vaporizers

Dry Herb vs. Oil Vapes: A Complete Comparative Guide To Vaporizers

Vaporizers are an alternative to bongs, dab rigs, and hookahs. Also, vape pens or vaporizers in much smaller sizes have emerged as a substitute to cigarettes. They are referred to as e-cigs. You may already know that vaporizers can work with different materials to produce smoke, or as it is referred to in this case, vapor. But how do you use vaporizers with different materials?

Irrespective of the various designs, features, and styles, all types of vaporizers share the same fundamental concept. You have to choose one that is suitable for what you wish to smoke, such as dry herbs, concentrates, oils, waxes, etc.

What Is a Vaporizer?

The first thing worth noting is the distinction between smoke and vapor. When you use a bong, you burn dry herbs, so what you get is smoke. If you have a hookah, you aren’t burning shisha tobacco in the bowl. You are using hot air to heat the material to generate smoke.

Thus, you can refer to hookah smoke as vapor. Like dab rigs and hookahs, a vaporizer doesn’t burn the material you wish to smoke, whether dry herbs or oils. Instead, a vaporizer heats the material to produce vapor. Since there is no combustion involved, you can refer to it as vapor.

That said, a vaporizer may use conduction or convection to heat dry herbs, oils, etc. Both types of vaporizers have a heating element inside. This heating element may be a coil or a chamber that is known as the atomizer. If the heating coil or element touches dry herbs or oils, then the vaporizer uses conduction. If the atomizer uses hot air to heat, the vaporizer uses convection.

Whether a vaporizer uses conduction or convection, the atomizer or heating element is powered by a battery. This battery is rechargeable, and some vaporizers may allow you to use the device even while you charge them. These tech specs form the core of almost all types of vaporizers.

Types of Vaporizers

You can classify vaporizers into various types based on the different features, including but not limited to the following:

Dry Herb vs. Oil Vapes

Let me use the material you want to smoke as the first distinguishing factor. Vaporizers can be used to smoke the following:

  • Dry herbs
  • Concentrates
  • Oils
  • Waxes
  • E-juices

E-juice is a separate category because it may or may not use cannabis flowers. The other four use flowers in the form of dry herbs or their extracts in distinct compositions, i.e., oils, waxes, or concentrates.

A vaporizer may be compatible with only concentrates, oils, and waxes. A vaporizer designed to smoke dry herbs may not be compatible with the other forms. However, some vaporizers have a heating chamber that works for dry herbs as well as concentrates, oils, waxes, etc.

A vaporizer for dry herbs may use conduction or convection heat. Likewise, vaporizers for oils or waxes can also use conduction or convection. Almost all vaporizers use convection heat in any case since hot air circulates through the device. But not all vaporizers use conduction.

In the case of dry herbs, a vaporizer using conduction doesn’t imply it will be burning the flowers because these devices have precision temperature control. The heating element will only heat to a preset extent to produce vapor without burning the flowers or dry herbs.

The same is true for concentrates, oils, and waxes. Vaporizers using conduction for oils will use a precise temperature to produce vapor. This conduction is similar to how dab rigs work. But it is impossible to know the precise temperature while dabbing.

The other difference between dry herbs and oils is how you load them in a vaporizer. Vaporizers for dry herbs require you to grind the flowers before loading them inside the heating chamber. A vaporizer for oils, concentrates, and waxes don’t have any such preparatory requisite. 

Desktop Vaporizers

Desktop vaporizers are large and not really portable. They are ideal for groups that want to use a relatively large quantity of dry herbs or flowers. Generally, desktop vaporizers are only for dry herbs because smoking or vaporizing expensive oils and waxes in a large quantity isn’t viable.

Desktop vaporizers for dry herbs may have a hose with a mouthpiece for you to smoke. These are known as whip vaporizers. The other type of desktop vaporizers have a bag or balloon that you fill up with vapor and then pass it around for everyone to draw delicious puffs.

Handheld Vape Pens

Portable vaporizers come in various designs, but the most popular size is the handheld vape pen. Most handheld vape pens are small enough to fit into regular pockets. These are discreet, with powerful batteries, precision temperature control, and several other cool features.

E-Juice Vape Pens

E-juice vape pens are a different category. You can’t use dry herbs. Any oil, concentrate, or wax you may be able to use should be in a compatible cartridge. These cartridges vary in form and function. An e-juice vape pen may have an atomizer, clearomizer, or cartomizer.

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