What are vaporizers?
Many users of medical marijuana are looking for the best vaporizers. Why is this?
More and more people now are looking for alternatives to smoking.
For smokers of cigarettes there are plenty of e-cigarettes which are becoming growingly popular.
Users of medical marijuana have increasingly been looking for a different approach to the conventional approach of rolling papers and smoking.
Many different devices have been developed over the years. The use of glass smoking apparatus like the bong has continued to evolve and today we have the additional option of a vaporizer.
History of the Vaporizer
Marijuana, also known as cannabis, has been very widely used for thousands of years. The oldest records in evidence date back to 2727 BC!
The plant has many uses ranging from health and medical purposes to pure recreation. Marijuana is even revered by certain religions for its euphoric effects.
The marketplace for marijuana constantly evolves. Today, it’s legal in many countries for its medicinal properties.
Cannabis has actually been decriminalized in many states since 1973. Medical marijuana seems a new trend but has actually been legalized for 20 years. Some states have even started to tolerate recreational use.
With such a long history of marijuana use, many different methods of consumption have evolved from marinating the resin in olive oil through to soaking it in hot milk. As with anything, man has strived to innovate and to make things as convenient as possible. Rolled cigarettes become pipes and bongs. From there, vaporizers embraced cutting edge technology to approach things with a new slant.
The best marijuana vaporizer has uncertain beginnings…
Some claim the Jamaican pipe was one of the first iterations of the vaporizer. This made use of hot coal and water to coax vapor from the herb.
Back in the 1970s, prototypical vaporizers appeared. Using a conduction process with soldering irons, these crude early versions tended to frequently carbonize and burn the plant.
In 1989, the fabled High Times magazine received a letter from Dr Lunglife. It contained instructions for building a vaporization unit with Radio Shack parts. He outlined his theory that vaping was safer than smoking. There was no scientific evidence to support this at the time. This text was published and is the earliest recorded history of the vaporizer as we know it.
Dr Lunglife had first invented a two-stage procedure. Firstly, the concentrated cannabis oil was extracted from the flowers. This was ingeniously brushed onto the threaded part of a light bulb. This acted as the heating unit. The modified version of his invention sucked the vapor directly from the plant eliminating the first step.
Eagle Bill was another strangely-named cannabis activist who championed the medical properties present in the plant. In 1993, he experienced vaporizing when a grower from California used a heating gun. With this method he was able to pull out the THC using vapor. This idea was adapted by Eagle Bill into the shake and vape process. He drew from the ancient Egyptian taste for using hot stones in order to extract vapor. He brought this model to the 7th Cannabis Cup and introduced vaporizing to the masses.
The next real advance was forced air system vaporization. A fan is used to waft hot air over marijuana. The process was harnessed and put into production in 1996 with the Volcano which we review here. Initially priced prohibitively highly, the cost has since come down and made the classic Volcano an affordable choice for the home.
- Vapor is 95% free of carcinogens and smoke
- Medical marijuana is legal in New York with a vaporizer but not smoking
- With no combustion, the psychoactive ingredients are maximized
- 95% of cannabinoids are obtained with vaporizing
What Can You Use In The Best Marijuana Vaporizer?
There are 3 basic ways in which you can use medical marijuana: oil, dry herb or wax.
This is very much like the oil used in e-cigarettes.
Rather than nicotine, though, the oil is laced with THC instead.
For those who travel regularly, oil is a wonderful and convenient option.
Technology continues to advance but the tried and true dry herb remains the most popular option for users of medical marijuana.
It’s much easier to acquire and also delivers the optimum taste and overall experience.
Both portable and desktop vaporizers work best with dry herb.
Also known as dabs, wax is growing in favor with users today. It’s championed by many hip-hop artists like Wiz Khalifa.
Pen vapes are tailor-made for wax.
It is possible to adapt e-cigarettes but the wick needs to be removed. Treat yourself to a dedicated pen vape instead if you want to give dabs a go.
What is the best vaporizer for weed?
First, we need to look at the different versions of vaporizer on the market…
Vaporizers can be broadly categorized into 3 basic types:
- Cheapest kind of vaporizer
- Small, subtle and stealthy
- Ideal for oil and wax
- Not the best choice for dry herb
- Best value overall
- Perfect combo: power and portability
- Great with dry herb
- A great investment
- Lacks convenience. Indiscreet
- Highly powerful
- Superb for home use
With smoking, the herb itself is burned and then combusts. When the smoke is inhaled, the compounds are absorbed.
Vaping, by contrast, does not burn the herb at all. Instead, it’s heated by a battery-powered element. Oils and waxes can be used as well as the plant itself. Due to the fact that nothing is burned, no harmful smoke will enter the lungs.
So, for those requiring medical marijuana but looking to lessen the health risks, the best vaporizer is a sensible consideration. The last thing such a user wants is for smoke to make existing conditions worse.
Also, the delivery system is superior. Just 25% of available THC is activated through smoking. Using a vaporizer makes use of 46%. This means that those seeking medical relief can enjoy more beneficial cannabinoids in the system than through smoking.
We will look first at the pen and portable vapes in general before examining a specific desktop model in more detail.
For medical marijuana users who travel around frequently, a vape pen is a smart weapon to choose.
They are very small and thus discreet devices. They also cost relatively little.
Vape pens are very similar to e-cigs. They come with three specific parts:
- Battery: This can be either removable or built-in. The most common charging method is by USB connection
- Atomizer: This is where you place your concentrates or herb. The substance is heated and atomized. Some have wicks but these can cause you to inhale particles of silica so many users prefer a pen with no wick
- Mouthpiece: This can be made from different materials. It’s where you take the hit from. It’s important to look out for one which will not heat up and burn the lips. Removable mouthpieces make cleaning a great deal easier
When it comes to choosing the best vaporizer pen, think about how you will use it and what you want from it. Read plenty of vaporizer reviews then head to a store and check out the many different varieties available.
This type of vaporizer comes somewhere between the ultra-portable pen and the unwieldy desktop style.
Portables will cost you slightly more than pens. In return you will enjoy superior build quality and enhanced vapor production. They also have a larger capacity which can be important for some users.
The prime function is to vaporize dry herbs but some portables are also suitable for using waxes and concentrates.
Portable vaporizers vary in price quite considerably so look into this closely. Vaporizer reviews are readily available are a smart way to be guided in your purchase taking advantage of the advice given by users.
The design and size can all be factors which affect what any given user wants from a portable vape so, as with the pens, you are best advised to have a look at the many different choices on the market. Select the one which best fits your wallet and your pocket or bag!
In terms of the best portable vaporizer, think about the above points and decide on what feels right.
The final type, the desktop vaporizer, offers more power at the expense of convenience.
If you want a long-lasting piece of kit that you will leave at home then a desktop fits the bill. They plug in so there is no need to worry about battery issues.
Any serious user of medical marijuana should invest in a top quality vaporizer.
Prices of desktops can differ very substantially and somewhere in the middle of the price range is the classic Volcano.
Volcano Vaporizer Review
The Volcano is the original, most well-known and arguably the best vaporizer.
We will look here at an easily digestible breakdown of this legendary desktop vape.
You can buy the Classic or the new Digital version. The Digital is more expensive but also more precise. You can key in your desired temperature and operating the equipment is very simple. The Digital also boast auto-shutoff. The Classic is actually more rugged and heats up slightly more quickly.
It’s for this reason that we have recommended the Classic.
The design looks appealing but is functional too. The pyramid shape means it is very stable. Heavy, stainless steel components bolster this stability and mean there is little chance of knocking it over.
The Volcano is German engineering at its finest. It comes with a 3 year warranty so you can purchase with the utmost confidence.
You can use several different vaping methods with the Volcano. The most common are the balloon method and the whip.
You first need to allow the unit to heat up properly. This may seem frustrating if you are used to the immediacy of a pen but it’s worth the wait. It’s only around 3-5 minutes for it to heat it fully. When it’s ready for use, the red light will go out.
Balloon: Remove the top from the Volcano and put your filled herb chamber inside. Attach the valve and balloon. Once you have filled the balloon, remove it and attach the valve to the mouthpiece. Be careful not to overfill this or it could burst. (The green temperature button will stop this.)
Whip: This approach requires the separate purchase of a vapordrome which is not offered by the manufacturer. This is more flexible and up to 4 whips can be attached at once.
Far less dangerous than smoking, with the Volcano you inhale what you put into the device with no sacrifice to the flavor.
You will enjoy a crisp and clear taste with no noxious chemicals involved.
If you want to avoid dryness, you can easily buy a water filter to cool things down nicely.
If you really want to extract the most from your herbs or oils then the Volcano is perfect for the job.
There are other factors at play such as the quality of the merchandise you place inside, how nicely you grind this up and the selected temperature but without a reliable unit like the Volcano, you cannot get the best vapor.
The large heating area guarantees a consistent vapor. If you start off with a lower temperature you will sidestep any risk at all of burning the ingredients. As your confidence grows so you can heat things up!
Despite the price-tag, the Volcano represents value for money because it will last so long. Durability and quality is a rare combination.
The main thing to be cautious about is not leaving it switched on for extended periods. Be sure not to forget about it and allow it to heat overnight or your unit could be damaged or even completely broken.
Pros and Cons
- Great quality parts built to last
- Superb and consistent vapor
- Several operational modes
- Easy to adjust the temperature
- Take a long time to start up
With bags which are easy to fill and clean and unparalleled vapor production, the Volcano really is the market leader when it comes to desktop vaporizers.
You could search long and hard for alternatives but the Volcano Classic truly is a classic.
If you buy this vaporizer then it will be a worthwhile investment and also help to protect you from the damage caused by smoking.