The 12 Best Weed Vaporizers to Buy in 2020
Give up the smoke with a vape that’s packing some serious (but subtle) tech.
Vaping weed doesn’t reek. There’s no smoke to tear up your throat. And unless you make a spectacle of it, dubbing yourself that guy, it’s subtle. Those who vape their cannabis often do so because the dosage is easier to control—chalk that up to the wonders of technology—and the effects feel less jolting than more traditional means of getting high. (Although, folks who don’t regularly partake might find vaping to be more intense than smoking, according to one study.) To be fair, you do lose that transformative experience of coughing your esophagus out over a poorly wrapped joint or getting so high off of one rip from a communal bong that the stars fall to Earth and the moon waves hello. Hey, sacrifices must be made.
Vapes make dry herb or concentrate hot enough to activate the THC that sets you sailing, but not so hot the cannabis combusts into smoke, defeating the entire purpose of vaping. To broadly summarize the tech in the least boring way possible, there are two kinds of vape heating systems used to extract high-making chemicals and flavor from cannabis: one that uses conduction heating and one that uses convection heating.
Conduction puts your weed in direct contact with the vape’s heating element—like its coils—often getting you a faster heat time. However, if your product is too close to the heating element for too long, it’ll burn. (Simply shifting it around in the vape’s chamber is an easy fix.) Convection vapes tend to be more finicky and more expensive, but oftentimes are worth it for the vapor alone, especially if you prefer using dry herb. With these, the weed product doesn’t come into direct contact with the heating element. Instead, very hot air from the heating element circulates through the vape with every pull, indirectly vaporizing the product. On one hand, your product won’t combust, and the vapor is more even and flavorful. On the other, convection vapes can take longer to fire up, so patience is a virtue. These days, vapes can stick to one type of heating system or the other, but many market themselves as neither or both.
If you’re here, reading these words, then you’re likely already sold on vaping weed in one of its forms. But we’d be negligent to not quickly run through the science of weed vaping. Going the smoke-free route with a vaporizer is considered “likely less harmful than smoking” marijuana, because smoke itself is bad for your lungs. You know, the whole Joe Camel thing. The CDC has linked lung illness and some deaths to vape products with THC—remember the vape outcry of 2019?—but the big asterisk is that the THC products to blame were for the most part acquired from bootleg, black market sources. The lesson here is don’t be an idiot about where you get your concentrate. And because, annoyingly, marijuana is still illegal under federal law, hard-hitting research about vaping it remains scarce in these early days of legalization.
Speaking of legalization, getting high continues to be something of a political act, not just in terms of fighting for legality, but in terms of fighting for social justice in the cannabis industry. Even as it booms, the industry is rife with inequality, serving the well-funded startups and venture capitalists more than it does the grassroots efforts that made cannabis legit. Buy a real nice vape for yourself, then make the effort to purchase product from dispensaries and companies that fight for incarcerated people locked up for nonviolent drug offenses, invest in the BIPOC communities that are being boxed out of the industry, or fund political initiatives to end the so-called war on drugs, which has long given police an excuse to target people of color.
We know you just want to vape, but vape smartly. Here are a dozen of the best—and best-looking—weed vaporizers you can get right now. Pair one with quality flower or concentrate (or both) and get to it.
Here are the best (and best looking) weed vaporizers and marijuana vapes you can buy online right now, and everything you need to know about vaping cannabis before you do.
How to Smoke Medical Cannabis Properly
Although many methods are available for consuming medical cannabis, smoking continues to rank among the most popular. In this article, we’ll cover why patients sometimes choose this method and discuss some tips and options to help you get the most out of your medicine.
New to Smoking?
Many of our patients were inexperienced with smoking when they first entered the dispensary. We understand that this may be new to you and we expect that you may have questions about how to use our products properly. Feel free to share your questions with our staff and we’ll be happy to assist you. We also have a number of non-smoking options available if you’d prefer to begin by trying a different method.
Why Patients Smoke Medical Cannabis
The popularity of smoking as a consumption method results from a few key factors. First, cannabis is fast acting when inhaled, providing an efficient path to the relief of severe symptoms. Secondly, smoking allows patients to carefully control their dose by taking multiple small inhalations until the desired level of symptom relief is achieved. Finally, smoking is a simple way of sampling a variety of medical cannabis strains in order to discover their unique effects.
A wide variety of products and devices are available to assist medical cannabis patients. Many are available at the dispensary and our staff will be happy to provide guidance in how to use them properly. Here are a few of the most popular options.
Pipes – Pipes for medical cannabis are available in countless styles, including many simple and affordable options. Most pipes are very easy to use with a lighter or matches and allow you to easily control how much cannabis you’re consuming. A few tips regarding pipes:
- Glass pipes are generally considered safest for medical use and provide the best flavor.
- Many pipes have a hole on the side called a “carb” or “shotgun,” which should be covered with your thumb when lighting the pipe. You can release the carb to moderate airflow once the pipe is lit.
- Many patients don’t realize that screens are optional for most pipes. Try skipping screens for easier cleaning.
Water Pipes – This is a larger variety of pipe that offer the added feature of water filtration. When inhaled, smoke passes through a layer of water inside the pipe, which creates a cooling effect. Many styles are available, varying widely in cost and features. A few tips regarding water pipes:
- This method produces a large volume of smoke, so caution should be exercised to avoid irritation and coughing.
- The “carb” or “shotgun” should be used frequently to clear smoke from the chamber. Smoke left in the chamber is more irritating to the lungs.
- Water should be replaced before each use and water pipes should be cleaned regularly.
- Water pipes are easily knocked over and should never be left sitting out or placed in precarious places.
Pre-rolls – These are small cigarette-like cones that contain only medical cannabis. Pre-rolls can be purchased at the dispensary or prepared at home using rolling papers. Many tutorials are available online to help you master this skill. A few tips regarding pre-rolls:
- This method is convenient and provides good flavor when quality flowers are used.
- Keep in mind that a normal sized pre-roll may contain more than one dose, depending on your needs and tolerance.
- Though popular, pre-rolls are not the most efficient way to consume cannabis, because some smoke is lost into the air.
- Pre-rolls tend to produce a stronger cannabis aroma than other methods and should be avoided if you’re interested in minimizing odor.
Proper Preparation and Smoking Techniques
Regardless of the smoking method you prefer, preparing your cannabis properly is critical. You’ll also want to make sure your cannabis is stored correctly at all times to ensure freshness prior to use. A few additional tips:
- When lighting cannabis, inhale softly through your device until you see the flame being gently drawn into the cannabis itself.
- When inhaling, draw the smoke fully into your lungs before exhaling. If you don’t see smoke when exhaling, this means your product isn’t properly lit or your smoking device may be clogged.
- Always use the minimum amount of heat necessary to ignite the product. Excess heat will actually reduce the flavor and potency of your product.
- When preparing a pipe or pre-roll, only include the amount of cannabis you wish to consume at that time. This will help moderate your dosage and ensure that any remaining product can be stored properly for future use.
- Using a grinder will help your cannabis burn more evenly and expose cannabinoids to improve potency.
If you’re new to smoking cannabis, begin by taking only one or two inhalations and wait to feel their effects before consuming more. Be aware that patients new to cannabis sometimes don’t feel an effect the first time. Rather than consuming a large dose, try again at a later time.
We hope these tips have been helpful and we’re happy to answer any further questions at your next visit to the dispensary. Discovering the benefits of medical cannabis can be a very exciting experience and we’ll do our best to help you achieve your health goals. Stay tuned for additional discussion of the other consumption options available to patients.
How to Smoke Medical Cannabis Properly Although many methods are available for consuming medical cannabis, smoking continues to rank among the most popular. In this article, we’ll cover why