A Beginner’s Guide to Dry Herb Vaporizers

Vaping has been popular for years, but what is dry herb vaping? It’s not the same as pen-style vaporizers or box mods, which actually deliver an aerosolized chemical solution (no, thank you). 

Dry herb vaping is completely different. It’s healthful, delivering the healing power of steamy cannabinoids right to your lungs, with no additives, carrier liquids or fillers. 

There are a few important things to learn about dry herb vaping that we’ll be covering in this guide. You’ll find out:

  • Why so many people are turning to dry herb vaping to instantly inhale their CBD and cannabis medicine, without the soot and ash that comes with combustion. 
  • The different kinds of vaporizers for dry herb.
  • The parts of a dry herb vaporizer, and how it works.
  • How to choose a quality vaporizer, and how to get the most out of your vaping experience.    

What is a dry herb vaporizer?

A dry herb vaporizer is a portable or table-top device that includes:

  • A chamber, into which you pack your dry herbs — loose leaf high-CBD or cannabis flower
  • A heat source (usually a battery) 
  • An air pathway 
  • A mouthpiece

It’s pretty simple to operate. After you turn your dry herb vaporizer on — usually by tapping a button three or five times — you put your lips to the mouthpiece and inhale. Warm air is pulled over the ground material. The resins and trichomes — the active ingredients of the plant — reach their boiling point and are converted into steam, which you pull into your lungs, where it is instantly absorbed into your bloodstream. Bingo, you get fast relief.

The difference between vaping and smoking herb

When you smoke your cannabis or CBD flower in a joint, pipe or bong, the plant material is incinerated all at once, and converted into smoke, soot and ash. As we know from years of study on cigarette smoking, this combustion releases toxins which enter your body through your lungs, and go on into your bloodstream, where they can be harmful to your health. 

When you dry vape, it’s not like marijuana smoking. The plant material is heated to between 325 and 430 degrees Fahrenheit. At these temperatures, the resins and trichomes of the plant begin to boil, but they do not combust. When you inhale the resulting steam, it then enters your lungs and bloodstream, and you get the dry herb vaping benefits. 

How safe is dry herb vaping? Because there’s no combustion and no smoke, it is much cleaner and safer than smoking weed.  

Dry herb vaporizer accessories you’ll need

, A Beginner’s Guide to Dry Herb Vaporizers

A dry herb grinder

As noted, dry herb vaporizers come in many sizes and shapes, but with almost any unit, there are a few essential dry herb vape accessories you’ll need to get started:

  • An herb grinder. Dry herb vaping works best when you grind your herb to a fine consistency.
  • A loading tool. These are usually metal, and are designed to enable you to tamp your ground herb down into the chamber without making a mess.
  • Airtight glass containers. You want to keep your herb fresh and dry. Many dry herb vapers also save their used herb, referred to as Already Been Vaped (ABV), for use in making edibles.
  • A small brush. You don’t want loose-leaf material clogging the air pathway, so you’ll want to get into the habit of brushing out the device after each use. It’s also a good idea to periodically do a more thorough cleaning.

Types of dry herb vaporizers

Dry herb vaporizers come in many styles and forms, and rely on three heating technologies: 

Conduction: With this type of dry herb vaporizer, your cannabis comes in direct contact with the heat source. You’ll deposit a small amount of ground herb into the chamber or oven, which will conduct heat to the herb until it begins to release steamy vapor. Typically it takes a minute or two for the oven to get hot. Well-known conduction vaporizers include:

Convection: With convection heating, hot air is pulled over your dry herb material when you inhale. You can expect heating that’s more even, therefore you want to pack your cannabis a little more loosely, so it can all be exposed to the airflow for greater uptake. Convection vaporizers heat up on demand, so there’s no waiting. Well-known convection vaporizers include:

The AirVape X from AirVape

Hybrid conduction / convection: Obviously these take advantage of combined conduction and convection heating technologies, so you get the best of both worlds. There are some great options in this category: 

  • Firefly 2
  • Crafty and Mighty by Storz & Bickel

Using the dry herb vaporizer

Most dry herb vaporizers are easy to use. Depending on the heating method and heating element being used, you may have to wait a minute or two for the device to reach the boiling point. But in general, you are going to:

  • Turn your dry herb vaporizer on.
  • Put your lips to the mouthpiece.
  • Inhale deeply. Give it a hard pull.
  • Suck the steam in, then let it out.

Many dry herb vaporizers offer precision temperature control. This is useful because different terpenes and cannabinoids have different boiling points, so you can control what you’re getting out of your flower.

How to Dry Vape CBD or CBG Flower

Additional tips on dry vaping herbs

Regardless of the type of dry herb vaporizer you choose, you are using the enhanced temperature control to avoid combustion and keep smoke out of your lungs, and that’s good for your health. 

Don’t expect the type of vapor production you get from vape pens and box mods, this is not about blowing big clouds. It’s about you having more control over your vaping experience, while you keep smoke and toxins out of your lungs.

Remember that in addition to the herb grinding, there’s some vape maintenance required. You need to keep your vaporizer charged so it’s ready to go when you are. And you want to keep the air pathway clear, so use the tools provided — brush, pick or pick up some pipe cleaners — to clean your vaporizer after use.  

Final thoughts on dry herb vaping

For instant relief with high-CBD flower or cannabis, without the dangers of smoking, dry herb vaping is the way to go. Dry herb vaporizers allow you to inhale the steam from the plant’s resins and trichomes, without the smoke and toxins, so you get immediate relief — and you can set the temperature you want, so you can control your vaping experience. 

Dry herb vaporizers come in a variety of styles and forms. We suggest avoiding any devices with plastic or rubber parts in the air pathway, as these materials can leech harmful fumes when they are heated. Look for stainless steel and ceramic components that will hold up under high temperatures. 

See our top-rated dry herb vaporizers.