Cannabis Vaporizers: A Gentle Alternative to Smoking

Whether you love cannabis for its euphoric effects or you’re looking to manage chronic symptoms and conditions, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy this gentle, all-natural remedy. And without much doubt, one of the most exciting is the cannabis vaporizer, a cutting-edge method of accessing cannabis (aka, marijuana, weed, ganja)—and one with a surprisingly long backstory.

If you’re interested in understanding how cannabis vaporization works, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll share everything we know about the THC vaporizer, including potential health benefits and the major product types.

The Cannabis Vaporizer: How Does It Work?

At first glance, using a vaporizer for cannabis might look similar to smoking it through a pipe or joint. But there’s a key difference: Instead of burning cannabis flower—which introduces potentially irritating smoke into your airway and lungs—vaporizers heat cannabis to the point at which its volatile cannabinoids and terpenes are released as a cool mist. The result? Vaping is a gentle and—in the opinion of many users—highly refined experience.

While vaporizers are sleek, high-tech pieces of technology, the concept actually dates back thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, various mixtures of herbs and oils were heated over hot stones to create aromatic vapors. And as early as the first centuries AD, smokers in North Africa were using the shisha, a pipe which draws tobacco or cannabis smoke through water to create a vape-like effect.

Vaporizers for Cannabis: The Concentrate vs Flower Debate

While there are many types of cannabis vaporizers, the major division is between those devices designed to work with cannabis concentrates and extracts, and those that use ground cannabis flower. Here’s an introduction to each.

Concentrate Devices

Cannabis concentrates and extracts are a large family of highly potent products that go by many names, including wax, budder, batter, and live resin. Because they deliver such a high proportion of both THC and flavor, they’re a great match with the naturally cooling mist produced by vaporizers.

You’ve probably seen sleek pen-style vapes, also known as 510 vapes for the style of threaded cartridge they use. Portable, discreet, and rechargeable, most are designed to work with a highly purified cannabis distillate, a consistent and economical format of THC and/or CBD.

One variation on the pen-style device is the dab pen or wax pen. While superficially similar to 510 threaded pens, these specialized devices are designed to work with solid cannabis concentrates such as wax. While they require more upkeep in terms of cleaning and care, many people regard these devices as an upgrade from the more common vape pen.

Then there’s the dab rig. A specialized device made to work specifically with cannabis concentrates, dab rigs are a bit like a high-tech water pipe or bong. Whether they’re heated electrically or require the use of a hand-held butane torch, dab rigs are definitely a step up both in terms of the powerful experience they deliver and the cleaning, care, and know-how they require.

Flower Devices

These specialized cannabis vaporizers work with ground cannabis flower to deliver a uniquely “natural” experience: The distinctive flavors and aromas of fresh cannabis flower without the potential harshness of smoke. There are three major types: Desktop devices, and handheld units

Desktop units are generally the most deluxe option. Most offer variable temperature controls, allowing you to fine-tune your experience. Whether they’re rechargeable or use wall power, they’re generally not meant to be portable.

Vaporizers for Cannabis

In addition, they do entail regular cleaning and maintenance in order to work their best.

In recent years, handheld flower vapes have come a long way, and now approach desktop units in terms of versatility. It’s important to know that, like desktop units, they require regular cleaning to deliver consistent results.

Benefits of Cannabis Vaporization

In addition to highlighting the distinctive flavors and aromas of specific strains, using a vaporizer is better for your health than smoking. Compared with smoking, one study found that using a cannabis vaporizer reduces potential harm to your airways.

This finding was underscored by a subsequent study, which found that specifically among medical cannabis users, vaporization is becoming the preferred route of administration due to its health-related advantages over smoking.

Using a Cannabis Vaporizer: Top Tips

While vaporizers can be considered high-tech devices, they’re incredibly simple to use.

  • When you inhale, imagine you’re sipping a hot beverage. Why? Small, gentle puffs allow for a fuller vaporization of the cannabis distillate, concentrate, or flower.
  • Keep your vaporizer clean. If it’s a refillable concentrate or flower unit, clean the chamber regularly by disassembling the unit and cleaning it with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol.
  • If you opt for a flower vaporizer, invest in a grinder. Because of the increased surface area, you’ll end up vaporizing more (and wasting less) flower.

Explore DC’s Best Marijuana Vaporizers at Takoma Wellness

If you’re looking for the region’s best marijuana vaporizer selection, we’ve got options for every need and budget. As Washington’s #1 family-run dispensary, we’re dedicated to helping you get the very most from your marijuana experience. Interested in knowing more about cannabis vaporization? Just ask! We’re always here to help.

As Washington’s #1 family-run dispensary, we’re dedicated to helping you get the very most from your marijuana experience. Interested in knowing more about cannabis flower? Just ask! We’re always here to help. Or, check out the wide selection of Washington’s very best cannabis flower we have in stock right now.