In the past, those who smoked cannabis either for medical or recreational purposes did so with a bong, a joint, or a one-hitter that looked like a cigarette. Those who smoked tobacco did so with a pipe, a cigar, or a cigarette. These days, it’s very rare for you to see people using a pipe, a bong, a joint, a one-hitter, or a cigar. While there are still many who smoke cigarettes, more and more people are switching to the use of vaporizers.
Vaporizers are devices that heat your material of choice (most people vape cannabis or tobacco, but you can vape other herbs if you want) up to the temperature that releases its active ingredients in the form of vapor (hence, the device’s name). The main reason for the device’s recent surge in popularity is that a number of studies have shown that it is a healthier alternative to smoking.
The process of combustion that happens when you smoke releases not only the material’s active ingredients, but also harmful substances like tar and carbon monoxide. In fact, it is still illegal to smoke marijuana in New York State, but those who use weed for medical purposes are allowed to either eat or vaporize it. The fact that vaporizers only heat the material to the point of releasing the active ingredients without reaching the point of burning the material means no harmful substances are released along with the vapor.
Before you make the switch from smoking to vaping, bear in mind that there are a few decisions you’ll have to make. That is because there are now countless options available when it comes to vaporizers. You may even want to first give vaping a try by joining sessions using a friend’s vaporizer so you’ll get a good idea as to what features you want your own vaporizer to have. This helps ensure that when you do buy your own vaporizer, you’ll be able to determine which one best suits your needs.
Tabletop vs. Pocket Vaporizer
Take a little trip to a shop that sells vaporizers in your area and you’ll likely see a variety of units placed on tabletops or kitchen counters. These units are meant to be plugged into an electrical socket while in use and are among the first vaporizers ever developed. They either come with a bag or a whip from which you inhale the vapor produced by the device. This type of vaporizer is usually deemed ideal by those who wish to vape mostly with a group of friends.
If you prefer vaping on your own or vaping on-the-go, then you may want to consider buying a pocket vaporizer instead. As people started leading more and more active lifestyles, manufacturers saw the need to develop vaporizers that can easily be carried around in a bag or in your pocket. Today, there are various portable vaporizers for you to choose from. They are usually powered by batteries and have pretty sleek and discreet designs.
Whether you choose a tabletop vaporizer or a handheld one, you basically need to follow the same procedure. First, you grind the desired amount of herb (or as much as your unit can hold) to an almost powdery consistency. Second, you load the material into the device’s heating chamber. Third, you turn on the device and then wait for it to heat up. You may then feel free to start inhaling, or in the case of a tabletop unit with a bag, start filling up the bag with vapor.
Features to Consider
As mentioned earlier, there are several decisions you need to make and considerations that need to be taken when choosing a pocket vaporizer. Before thinking about the features you want your vaporizer to have, perhaps it’s a good idea to first think about how much you are willing to spend on a handheld unit. Note that portable vaporizer can sell for as little as $55 to upwards of $200. If you don’t want to end up spending way more than you can realistically afford, it’s best to set a ceiling on how much you’re going to shell out.
If you just want to see whether vaping is something you’ll enjoy doing for the long term, you may want to start with an entry-level unit that costs $119 or less. If you’re sure you want to switch from smoking to vaping, but you don’t have unlimited funds, then a mid-level unit selling for $120-$199 could be the right one for you. If money isn’t a problem and you want to get the unit with the most advanced features, then you’re free to choose one that costs more than $200.
Other than the cost, you’d do well to check how easy a particular unit is to use. If you’ve been smoking for a long time, you may feel that it’s too much of a hassle to switch to using a device that requires you to go through a complicated process just to enjoy a puff. Fortunately, most portable vaporizers only require you to press one button to turn it on and another button for adjusting the temperature. There are even units with pre-set temperatures, which means you just need to press the ON button to start vaping.
Temperature control is another factor you’d want to consider. As mentioned above, some units have pre-set temperatures. There are also those that have a dial for adjusting temperature as well as those with digital temperature control. Some people are okay with pre-set temperatures, but others want the ability to control their device’s temperature settings. If you value precision, then a unit with digital controls may be best for you. Of course, you’ll have to be prepared to pay more for such a unit.
Since we are talking about buying a pocket vaporizer, the quality of vapor is definitely an important consideration. After all, you’ll want to get the best value for your money, right? One of the best ways to determine vapor quality is to seek feedback from family and friends who’ve used the unit you’re considering. It is also a good idea to check out reviews of all units you’re considering so you can learn from the experience of others.
If, after taking all of the above factors into consideration, you still have a few options left on your list, you can make the final decision based on the design you most prefer. There are units that resemble lighters, electric razors, mobile phones, and other electronic gadgets. There are also those that have their own unique design. The best news is that most portable vaporizers have discreet designs, so if you used to hide whenever you had to puff cannabis, you no longer have to. You can vape practically anywhere you want without people lifting their eyebrows at you.
There are people who still feel that the traditional habit of smoking is cooler than vaping, but the health benefits of making the switch should be enough to make you think twice about continuing to smoke. Just give it a try; a single puff will immediately show you the huge difference between the sharpness of the smoke as it hits your lungs and the gentle and flavorful wisps of vapor you get from a vaporizer.