Dry-herb vaporizers have long been crucial for allowing cannabis-consumers to get where they need to be without feeling any effects on their respiratory-health. Not only do these devices provide clean, tasty and potent psychoactive vapor containing a spectrum of cannabinoids, they allow for greater efficiency, prolonging your expensive flower. Instead of combustion, these devices rely on convection and conduction to heat the herb, rather than burning it.
Aside from reducing the amount of carcinogens introduced into your body, dry-herb vaporizers in my experience provide a more potent and wholesome high. When combusting flower, the associated high-temperatures burn off many important plant-compounds. This results in an inefficiency wherein beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes are wasted. Dry herb vapes squeeze out the maximum potential of your flower, providing you with these cannabinoids and volatile organic compounds that you would conventionally be missing out on. These vaporizers come in both large-format desktop models as well as portable, battery powered handheld-devices. Devices either implement convection or conduction heating methods, wherein convection relies on non-direct, hot air circulation, while conduction uses a more basic direct contact, hot plate approach. Convection provides the most consistent vapor as the packed bowl is evenly heated, however convection requires a larger form-factor and generally costs more than its conduction counterparts.
My two favorite devices currently on the market are the Crafty (and Crafty+) made by Storz & Bickel, a long standing German medical grade vaporizer manufacturer (known for their infamous Volcano), as well as the Pax 3, a subsidiary of Ploom, owners of Juul.
The second vape I've ever owned, I remember packing my first bowl ever with this device. As we sat at the pond, my friend and I melted away into a multi-hour high that was more euphoric than any smoking experience I've been exposed to. Now onto my second Crafty I have logged more than 400 cumulative hours with both devices. While not the prettiest or flashiest model, the Crafty provides an extremely consistent and hard hitting vape experience. This pure convection device is the best tasting and most efficient hand-held I have used. It has the ability from factory to use extracts and however I recommend a more dedicated setup when enjoying oncentrates. While a terrific end-user experience, Crafty’s are plagued with battery issues and are known to die out usually right when the warranty is up. My second device died within a few months.
The Pax 3
If vaping off of a device that looks like a walkie-talkie is not for you; the sleek and compact design of the Pax 3 lends a hand in its mass-market domination. At college, a good majority of friends own some version of a Pax. While it lacks the utmost quality in flavor, consistency and potency due to it relying on conduction heating, the Pax makes up with its physical design. On its third iteration, the device's discreteness in combination with its app-integration means that this hand-held will cater to a large majority of cannoisseurs. Mysteriously, despite its small form-factor, this device seems to have a much improved battery life over the Crafty’s pitiful supply. With a multitude of vaping modes and extremely precise temperature settings, Pax’s app dominates over the one developed by Storz & Bickel for the Crafty. This device also works with concentrates, however a seperate, and somewhat costly oil attachment is required. I recommend buying the basic Pax 3 without all the additional accessories and using the saved money to begin investing in a solid dab-rig.
A dry-herb vaporizer is quintessential for enjoying flower. Those who have yet to experience the delight that these devices provide are in for a joyful surprise. With so many devices to choose from, there really is no reason to stop you from trying this game-changing way to consume cannabis.
Maine Potcast Contributor/Chief Editor