They’re healthy, they’re efficient, and they’re expensive. Are dry herb vapes actually worth the price? Dry herbs are undergoing a veritable renaissance. Sweeping dry herb legalisation and a growing movement of acceptance is sweeping the globe. Herb now has a new image. No more will it be associated with dark, smokey college dorms festooned with blacklight paintings and that one Scarface movie poster. Now, it is seen as a legitimate, natural alternative to addictive medications and side-effect laden sleeping aids. A major contributor to this image is the advent of the dry herb vaporizer.
Dry Herb Technology
While the technology has been around for decades, it is only in the last few years that the dry herb vaporizer market has really taken off. Once they were kludged-together prototypes and curios, now they’re slick pieces of consumer technology packed with all manner of bells and whistles.
Increasingly, vaporizers are considered the best way to consume dry herb, but are they worth the cost? The best vaporizers on the market can have price tags of hundreds of pounds, putting them in the same category as other luxury consumer electronics. Before splashing out on a vaporizer, its only natural to try to figure out if you’ll be getting the bang for your buck.
The first step to figuring out if a vape is a quality device worth your hard-earned cash is to learn exactly what it does. So let’s take a look at what makes the top vapes on the market best sellers.
Forget all the extras. Forget ergonomic designs, forget haptic feedback, forget OLED screens, and forget Bluetooth connectivity and companion apps. The only thing that you should truly worry about when you’re picking out a vape is how well it can vaporize your herb.
Vaping herb isn’t a new innovation. In ancient history, the Scythians, an ancient nomadic tribe, would take hemp seeds and place them on red-hot stones. This would cause the seeds to boil and vaporize, emitting a vapour that could be inhaled.
No matter how futuristic your vape looks, it still works to the same principles as a hot stone. If you’re going to pay for one, you want to make sure that it does this well.
There are two main methods of heating in the vape market; conduction and convection.
Conduction applies heat directly to the surface area of your herb. This works on a similar principle to the Scythian’s rocks, or a modern stove. This method of heating is most common among portable vaporizers like the PAX 3 or the Mighty, where it’s rapid heat up time is a major advantage.
Convection, on the other hand, works more like a fan oven. The vaporizer gradually heats the air surrounding the herb. This gradually bakes it out, resulting in a dense, tasty vapour. This method is generally seen in desktop vaporizers, where its slightly longer heat-up time is less of an issue.
Both of these methods have been refined, miniaturised, and perfected. The majority of vapes feature some level of temperature control, this allows users to directly control the quality of their vapour. If you want a dense, flavourful vapour, then set your temperature high. If you want a smooth, mild vapour, then set it lower. This level of control is unprecedented among any other method of herb consumption and is more than worth the price of admission in sheer reliability and customisation.
Some of the top vapes have combined both methods of heating. Not only that, but they also have some of the most accurate heat control systems, allowing users to control their vape experience down to the most precise degree.
The Volcano from Storz & Bickel is the undisputed king of the vape market. Yes, it has a hefty price tag, but in exchange, you get the zenith of vaporizer technology. It uses a hybrid heating system to create vapour that is up to 90% purer, it has a temperature control system that is accurate down to a single degree.
If you are a true herb enthusiast, The Volcano is worth the cost.
Vaping vs Combustion
Ok, so modern vapes are great at vaporizing your herb, but is that much better than the much cheaper methods that use combustion? There’s a bit to unpack here. Firstly, only some methods of combustion are much cheaper than vapes. If you look at a Roor or Grace Glass bong, then you’ll see that some of their best bongs are far more expensive than the best vaporizers. Secondly; it depends on what you want from your dry herb.
Combustion is a classic, everyone is familiar with it, and even a novice can access the most basic forms of combustion. However, while some are satisfied smoking, it comes with a lot of baggage. When you burn your dry herb you release all the active ingredients that make herb so popular. Unfortunately, that’s not all you release. When you burn plant matter, you release carbon, tar, toxins, and carcinogens directly into your lungs. This can lead to long-term health issues in some cases.
Combustion is also inefficient, a lot of your herb goes up in smoke, dissipating into the air (which can also smell quite a bit).
When you vape herb, however, you boil all the active ingredients out of it while leaving all the carbon and toxins locked up in the plant matter. If you’re interested in any potential health benefits, then the added cost of a vaporizer is a fantastic way to spare your lungs the harsh smoke associated with combustion. If that doesn’t convince you, then imaging the long term savings you can reap from using your herb more efficiently!
Budget Vapes That Still Pack A Punch
Yes, a lot of vaporizers are on the more pricey side. But not all of them. The vape market is a big place and its growing by the day. All of this competition has lead to some manufacturers focusing on creating high-quality vapes that are available at an affordable price.
Vapes like the Black Mamba allow you to enjoy great, conduction vaporization without the hefty price tag. If you are willing to spend a bit more, then the earlier generations of flagship vapes are for you. Yes, the Pax 3 is a high-end vape, but the Pax 2 has many of the same features at a lower price.
The vape market is growing by the day, and more and more affordable vaporizers are appearing. Regardless of what you decided is within your price range, vaporizers are fantastic products, and you’re sure to get your money’s worth.