Nowadays, there are many different ways to consume cannabis. We aren’t just choosing between joints and bongs. Going to a dispensary can be an intense experience, especially for someone that hasn’t been before and was used to buying from the local dealer growing up. From marijuana edibles and cannabis oils to creams, tinctures, and beyond, the choices one has at a dispensary are diverse. Weed vaporizers have also become popular over the past 10 years.
A weed vaporizer can come in all shapes and sizes, making it possible for consumers to “smoke” their buds in a less smoky way. In fact, vaporizing weed is a smoke-free activity, making it more discrete and perhaps less harsh on the consumer.
What is Weed Vaporizing and Is It Safe?
Weed vaporizers make it possible for people to inhale weed without smoking it. Bare with me. Before getting into the details about what vaping is and how it’s different from smoking cannabis, it’s important to share a disclaimer. The long-term effects of vaping are now well known. It is quite new as a consumption method doesn’t have the years of study and research that went into educating consumers about the dangers of smoking on human health. And while the health complications associated with vaping e-cigarettes have made international headlines, vaping pure cannabis oil is different than smoking e-cig oils that have many different ingredients as it’s not loaded with additional ingredients.
Inhaling any foreign substance into one’s lungs can possibly lead to health issues down the road. Cannabis smoke, for example, has some of the same carcinogens found in the tar from tobacco smoke. This problem with smoking stems from the combustion of the plant, not the plant itself. According to Marilyn Huestis, the chief of chemistry and drug metabolism at the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “people who vaporize report decreased respiratory symptoms.”
Does this mean that vaping is healthy? No. But it may mean that it is healthier than smoking. For people who are looking for the healthiest way to consume cannabis, edibles and tinctures are probably healthier yet.
What Are Weed Vaporizers?
A vaporizer or as many people call it, a vape is an electronic device that is used to vaporize substances, in many cases liquids and oils. The aerosol that is produced from vaporizing the cannabis oil is inhaled by the user, delivering the desired effects of the plant.
The idea for the first electronic vaporizer dates back to the 1920s. In 1927, Joseph Robinson filed a patent for the first electronic vaporizer, a tool that he envisioned being used for medicinal purposes.
But because smoking wasn’t thought to be a health risk in the early 20th century, people continued smoking cigarettes without giving much thought to the possible health risks. In 1963, Herbert Gilbert created the first smokeless cigarette but wasn’t able to find anyone interested in manufacturing the product. Again, this was mainly due to the fact that people in those days didn’t believe smoking was unhealthy.
In 2003, Hon Lik invented the e-cigarette after his father died of lung cancer. Lik, a heavy smoker as well, created the electronic vaporizer that produced high quantities of aerosol, mimicking the look of smoke and making the transition for him easier.
Types of Weed Vaporizers
Nowadays, vaporizers come in all shapes and sizes. They aren’t all like Hon Lik’s cigarette-looking e-cig with the end that lights up like it’s burning. When it comes to weed vaporizers, there are styles for different occasions, including small and discrete ones for use on the move and large vaporizers fit for parties. Weed vaporizers can be used to vaporize cannabis oils and loose cannabis flowers.
Tabletop Weed Vaporizers
Tabletop vaporizers, like the classic Volcano, are great for use at home. This type of vaporizer is typically large and charges in an outlet or USB dock. Tabletop vaporizers are far more powerful than the smaller, on-the-move vaporizers that most people are used to seeing on the street. For that reason, the ‘vapor’ that they produce is typically much stronger and can leave users feeling extra high for extra long. These vaporizers can be used for both vaping loose leaf buds and cannabis oils.
How Much Does a Tabletop Vaporizer Cost?
The most basic tabletop vaporizers can start off around $80. These are good for people with a lower budget.
For people who are looking to use the tabletop vaporizer on a regular basis and want the best experience, plan on spending anywhere between $200-$600.
These small vaporizers look like pagers and are pocket-sized for use on the go. These handheld vaporizers use batteries and are compact, making it easy to move about.
How Much Does a Portable Weed Vaporizer Cost?
Portable electric weed vaporizers usually run between $100-$250. They are a bit pricey relative to vape pens but they are also built to last. These vaporizers can also hold more cannabis oil than vape pens, saving users trips to the dispensary. If you plan to vape loose leaves and not oil, make sure to buy the right vaporizer. Each model is designed differently and a vaporizer for oils can’t be used to vape loose leaf.
Both convenient and aesthetically pleasing, vape pens have become the most popular weed vaporizers on the market. They are small, light, and sleek. These little pens can be charged with replaceable or rechargeable batteries and produce very small amounts of ‘smoke,’ making them the best option for people looking to take a puff here or there on the street. The cannabis oil that is smoked comes in pre-filled cartridges that can be purchased together or separately, allowing for the same pen to be used indefinitely. Vape pens are typically used with cannabis oils. It’s less common to find pens for loose leaf use though it is possible.
How Much Does a Vape Pen Cost?
Vape pens for cannabis are quite inexpensive. Disposable vape pens on their own, without cannabis oil, can run as low as $10-$20 for oils but loose leaf pens can be more expensive. Vape pens with replaceable cartridges can cost anywhere from $20-$100. Average pens typically won’t cost more than $40. The cartridges of cannabis oil can be purchased at your convenience from dispensaries and websites and will vary depending on the cannabis strain.
How to Choose A Vaporizer?
Choosing the right weed vaporizer depends on your needs and wants. Vape pens are certainly the most inexpensive and convenient choice. Vape pens also have the most options available as they are extremely marketable and many companies have started selling them.
How to Use A Vaporizer
Vaporizers, depending on the type, are extremely simple to use. Vape pens usually have a small button that you can press to trigger the pen to start working. Some don’t have buttons at all and only require the user inhaling to start working. They are all quite straightforward and any doubts when purchasing your vaporizer can be cleared up at the dispensary.
Why Use Vaporizers for Weed?
Beyond the health reasons mentioned earlier, using vaporizers for consuming weed is a very convenient and efficient alternative to smoking buds.
For people who enjoy cannabis on the go, the difference between smoking a joint and using a vape pen in public is drastic. Smoking a joint can’t really be done in a discreet fashion as they produce a lot of odiferous smoke. Also, lighting a joint on the road can be problematic on a windy or rainy day. A vape pen, on the other hand, can be easily used in the rain or wind and won’t call attention as it doesn’t produce a copious amount of smoke or a strong smell.
Vaping cannabis is an incredibly efficient way of getting high. For someone who is used to smoking joints or blunts, switching over to vape pens can save a ton of money as the amount of oil that will be consumed compared to buds in a blunt is minimal.
Not all ways of consuming cannabis are equal. Smoking a joint of OG Kush will give you a different experience than if you vaped OG Kush or even consumed a cookie made from OG Kush cannabutter.
Because of this, it’s best to experiment with different methods to see how they will affect you. Using a tabletop vaporizer and filling a huge balloon of pure cannabis aerosol will likely rock your world if you’re used to smoking bowls or joints. And taking a quick hit of a vape pen if you’re used to smoking blunts on your own won’t hit you the way you might expect or hope for.
Testing in moderation is key and will help you find the method of vaping cannabis that is best for you.