5 Tips on How to Use Your Dry Flower Vaporizer Properly
by HelloMD Staff
January 21, 2017
Avoiding Vaporizer Disappointment
Even though vaping is a healthier way to consume marijuana than smoking, many first timers get disappointed. As a result, they forever turn their backs on vaping cannabis. I don’t blame them—everyone wants a great experience.
Here are some reasons that may lead to disappointment:
- Your vaporizer doesn’t match your vaping style.
- You expect exactly the same effects as when you smoke flower.
- You don’t know how to use your vaporizer properly.
The first two issues can easily be avoided by doing proper research and managing your expectations. However, the last issue of not knowing how to use your vaporizer properly may require some willingness, practice and experimentation on your end to be resolved.
There’s a lot of conflicting information on how to vaporize marijuana. In this post I’ll teach you how to use a dry flower vaporizer properly. Learning to use a vaporizer correctly is easier than you might think. With some practice and experimentation, you’ll be getting those clouds of vapor that you deserve.
Tip 1: Set Your Vaporizer to an Appropriate Temperature
Different temperatures serve different vaping needs. Generally speaking, the higher you set your temperature dial, the closer you will come to a smoke-like experience and the stronger the effects of your vapor will be. But here’s the kicker: With 90% of vaporizers, the higher you set your temperature the more flavor will deteriorate.
If you’ve ever vaped marijuana you might know the burnt popcorn taste. This taste gets more prevalent the higher in temperature you go. Your vapor will also be harsher at higher temperatures. But what exactly is a high and low temperature?
Here’s a general guideline to temperature for vaping:
Low-level vaping temperatures
320°F(160°C) – 356°F(180°C) effects:
- Light mental medication
- Very weak bodily effects
- Best for flavor
Mid-level vaping temperatures
356°F(180°C) – 392°F(200°C) effects:
- Moderate to strong mental and physical medication
- Mental and bodily effects both equally apparent
- Good for flavor
High-level vaping temperatures
392°F(200°C) – 446°F(230°C) effects:
- Intense mental and physical medication
- Bodily effects will be very strong
- Harsh flavor
If you’re not feeling the effects of your marijuana, check your temperature and turn the dial up a bit to experiment.
Tip 2: Conduction & Convection Vaporizers Require Different Grinds
Not every dry herb vaporizer needs the same grind. In fact, some vaporizers don’t need a grind at all. They can just take whole nug of flower. To know how to grind the herb for your particular vaporizer, you need to know whether you have a conduction vaporizer or a convection vaporizer.
In a conduction vaporizer, heat gets directly transferred between your herb's particles, so you need to grind your marijuana as fine as you can. To transfer heat properly in a conduction-heating system, your herb needs to be compact and compactness can be easily achieved with a fine grind.
Additionally, since your herb is in direct contact with the heated wands of the heating chamber, you want as many herb particles as possible in contact with it. The finer your grind, the more particles you will be exposing to the heated wands of the heating chamber. To grind your herb fine to a level like this, you need a proper marijuana grinder.
In convection vaporizers, marijuana gets heated by circulating hot air. As a result, you will want to maximize airflow in your herb chamber, thus a finger-type grind is what you should aim for.
Grinding your flower allows you to increase the surface area of exposure, so hot air will heat it more thoroughly. If you’re vaping large amounts, it can be annoying to break up a gram of marijuana with your fingers. Luckily, there are herb grinders which provide you with a fluffy finger-type of grind which is perfect for convection vaporizers.
Tip 3: Conduction & Convection Vaporizers Require Different Herb Packing
Packing your vaporizer properly is essential for producing those huge clouds of vapor. How you pack your vaporizer is dependent on whether you have a conduction or convection vaporizer.
If you have a conduction vaporizer, pack your vaporizer tightly and compactly, but not so compact that there’s no airflow. The optimal packing level is also different per vaporizer, so ultimately you’ll have to experiment yourself.
If you have a convection vaporizer, pack your vaporizer loosely as it's extremely important to have a proper airflow with convection vaporizers. With convection vaporizers, never fill more than 80%-90% and never compress.
There are quite a lot of hybrid vaporizers which get advertised as full or just convection vaporizers, when in fact they’re hybrid vaporizers. If you have a hybrid vaporizer, it’s best to pack your vaporizer somewhere between compact and loose.
Lastly, put as much herb in your herb chamber, so that the bottom part of the chamber is covered with the flower. How much differs per vaporizer, but it’s a simple and effective visual check.
Tip 4: Draw Correctly From Your Vaporizer
While this is dependent on the particular vaporizer and inhalation method (direct draw, whip or balloon), there are three general tips with regards to drawing:
Most vaporizers work better if you “sip” them instead of “rip” them. This means that you draw in a controlled way, like you would sip tea.
Draw for at least 10 seconds.
If you’re new to vaping, realize that sometimes you may not physically feel the vapor, though you will feel its effects.
Tip 5: Keep Your Vaporizer Clean
This might seem like an obvious tip, but even I catch myself being lazy with this, then blame my vaporizer for a foul taste or wispy clouds. Sometimes I open my vaporizer and see the screens are clogged with herb residue—the likely cause of my bad experience.
It’s extremely important to keep your herb chamber, vapor path and especially the screens in the vapor path clear of herb residue. Most vaporizers can easily be cleansed with ISO alcohol or Q-Tips dipped in ISO alcohol. Never dip your entire vaporizer in ISO alcohol.
These five simple tips that can lead to an optimal vaporizer experience. There are specific tips for every individual vaporizer, but regardless of what vaporizer you have, these tips should guide you in the right direction.
If you liked this post and want to learn more about vaping marijuana and marijuana vaporizers, check out Herbonaut where we review the latest vaporizers and write extensive user guides.