Cannabis vaporizers: A safer alternative
Vaporizing cannabis sativa has long been recognized as a safer alternative to smoking marijuana and a faster method than eating it. A lot of people have never even heard of a vaporizer. Kat Williams talked about vaporizers in one of his recent stand-up specials because even he had not heard of them. This page will strive to educate people about the benefits of vaporization and give information about the many types of vaporizers available. It is the opinion of the author of this site that marijuana should be legalized and one of the first steps to that goal is giving people the facts they need to make a rational decision.
Table of Contents
Introduction – What is a Vaporizer?
Vaporizer Style 1 – Conduction
Vaporizer Style 2 – Convection
Vaporizer Style 3 – Radiation
What you end up with – Marijuana after vaporization
Vaporizers 101 – Educational video about vaporizers
Unique Types of Vaporizers
Sublimation: Your dear, dear, friend.
A vaporizer is a device used to ingest marijuana without the negative substances such as smoke and tar. Marijuana is placed into the vaporizer and then using various methods I will describe below the temperature is raised to around 415°F (212°C). At this temperature the active chemicals in marijuana, Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabinol (CBN), and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are converted to a vapor that can be inhaled. The plant material is never burned and all the harmful effects of smoking are removed. Some models of vaporizers allow for attachments such as water filters or ice cooling.
Conduction style vaporizers describe any vaporizer where the cannabis comes in direct contact with the heat source. There are two types of conduction vaporizers. One style uses a heating plate that is warmed electrically. The other type uses an open flame to heat the cannabis but uses a flame filter to prevent ignition such as the Vapman Vaporizer. One common issue with conduction vaporizers is burning of the cannabis due to poor temperature regulation.
Convection style vaporizers describe any vaporizer where the cannabis is heated using hot air and never comes in contact with the heating element. There are two styles of convection vaporizers. One uses forced air from a fan and another is powered by the user’s lungs. Two examples of forced air styled vaporizers are the Volcano Vaporizer(pictured) and the The Extreme Vaporizer by Arizer. Two example of human powered convection vaporizers are the Green Tile Hot Box Vaporizerand the Digital Hand Ceramic Electric Vaporizer. A lot of these vaporizers feature digital temperature control to keep from burning or igniting the marijuana.
Radiation vaporizers describe any vaporizer that use radiant energy such as a halogen light to heat the cannabis. Most of these that I have seen have been official medical marijuana equipment prescribed by a doctor. These vaporizers feature a digital temperature gauge which controls the halogen heating element. The bulb is kept on till the cannabis reaches just below the desired temperature. A sensor detects when a person inhales and that triggers the light to turn back on and heat the marijuana to its sublimation temperature. Some feature water chambers to cool and filter the vapor to make it easier for patients to inhale.
What You End Up With
This is what cannabis looks like after being used in a vaporizer. As you an see it has not been burned. All the active ingredients have been sublimated into a vapor. Some people are tempted to try smoking the leftovers but this is not advised. It tastes horrible and there’s no THC left so what’s the point?
If you prefer you can turn the vaporizer to a lower temperature or just hit it a few less times each time. This will leave some THC in the cannabis and you can use the leftovers to make cannabutter or you can smoke it if you can stand the taste.
This video explains how vaporizers work and also demonstrates how to use a vaporizer. He also discusses how different quality marijuana works in a vaporizer. It was created by Maui Normal, Patients Without Time, and Democracy in Action.
Some vaporizers have a unique design that differentiates it from other run of the mill vaporizers. One of these is the Kia Vaporizer. It uses your standard heating base and whip design that most convection vaporizers use but adds the bonus of being built into a lock box. Now you can keep your stash and vaporizer safe and secure in an innocuous looking case. Another is the VAPIR ONE 5.0 Vaporizer. This is a very sleek portable vaporizer that gives you the option of either just inhaling yourself or using a fan to inflate a bag so you can share.