So, you want to vape cannabis instead of bonging / piping / smoking joints? In this article we will look at the essential things to consider when buying your first vape machine, and hopefully narrow your personal choices from a confusing constellation down to a list of 2-3 that might suit you best.
What is a vaporiser?
A vaporiser is a machine that cooks as opposed to burns the cannabis product in a special chamber. It releases vapour from the cooking process and this is what you inhale. This differs from a bong where you are still inhaling smoke, though the smoke has been cooled.
There are four types of vaporiser that we consider below: the desktop, the weed / concentrate pocket vaporiser, the weed only pocket vaporiser and the concentrate only pocket vaporiser:
The Desktop Vaporiser is a machine that is plugged into your mains electricity supply and is generally too big to be moved beyond your home space. They benefit from exact temperature controls and can cook a lot of product, perhaps for a big session or for a day’s medicinal supply. They can cost several hundred dollars per unit, but you get what you pay for.
At a price that won’t make you sweat and with different ways of consuming your vapour, this is the best desktop on the market today. Cheaper than many portable vaporizers on the market, the Arizer Extreme Q still offers capabilities that you cannot get from portables. It offers accurate temperature control that allows you to achieve exactly the right cannabinoid and terpene mix from your draw, enabling you to get just the hit or medical value from the vapor. You can also consume virtually any cannabis substance in its oven.
The original desktop vaporiser, it can tightly control the temperature and, therefore, chemical makeup of the vapour you consume. You can also take several bags of vapour to be used over up to 8 hours away from the machine.
Portable Weed or Concentrate Vaporisers
A Weed / Concentrate pocket vaporiser is a machine that runs on batteries and like the desktop machine can cook virtually any preparation of cannabis. Some of the better machines in this category are better than certain desktop vaporisers, and we have found you don’t have to pay out big to get the best.
A next step down is the pocket vaporiser that can cook different types of concentrates. Wax is a solid concentrate that can give a great high. There are also preparations that are similar to the ‘e-juice’ you get for tobacco. Both of these types will have been adulterated with certain chemicals to help them melt in the vape machine, and some people worry about the as-yet-unknown health effects of adding those chemicals.
The CFX is one of those machines that break boundaries. Forget the idea you should spend more to get more as this is far cheaper than many other vaporisers yet does a far better job than many more expensive ones! Once more you have a choice of almost any cannabis concentrate or product, and this means you have a pocket sized machine that you can use whatever the preparation you have to hand. We like this vaporiser so much you can read a detailed report here.
Until only recently this was the king of all mobile vaporisers. You will pay a little more for this machine but, certainly, with the complete kit, you have a wide variety of options as to how to use it. If you can handle the price and know what you are doing with vaporisers then do consider this close to the top of your list! We do have a more in-depth review of this vaporiser here.
The makers of the legendary Volcano desktop vaporiser have just reinvented the pocket vaporiser. With great temperature accuracy it gives you exactly the hit you want. The Mighty is also extremely simple to use and can be used with wax, concentrate or weed as you need.
Towards the lower cost spectrum you have the Portable Weed Vaporiser that only cooks weed. Where you have a guaranteed supply of the good stuff, this is often a cheap and reliable entry into the world of vaping so you can see what it is like. They run on batteries and can be kept well out of sight of prying eyes - perhaps should you need a medicinal hit while at work.
Convection heating at a good price point
Convection heating is where air is heated and then surrounds the cannabis product to cook the weed without the risk of burning it. That’s why Arizer, the makers of the best vaporiser of all in this article the Evolution Q, lead the way in weed only vape machines. It also has swappable batteries for those days where you cannot / will not get home for a while. If you have the supply and want a cheeky puff away from home then do consider this as an option!
For discretion and control - the best pen sized weed vaporiser
Want a vape that is very small yet can be finely controlled? Thanks to having a Bluetooth enabled smartphone app, you can finely control the temperature and length of draws on the Da Vinci IQ. This means that it has fewer buttons to fiddle with and can be small enough to disappear when you pop it out of others’ sight!
Much simpler to use than the Da Vinci (and not as pretty!) the Arizer Solo II could well be the machine you use as a quality entry into weed vaping.
The final and often cheapest variety of vaporiser is the concentrate only vaporiser. These machines are very similar to nicotine vaporisers but are built around discretion - you won’t see someone vaping concentrate with a grenade sized machine outside a bar. Those vaping pen-sized machines outside the same bar, however, may be having more fun than you! You do have to think about the chemicals added to help the cannabinoids vaporise that while not fully understood may have certain adverse health effects from long term use.
Most popular concentrate pen
In terms of sales volumes the most popular vape pen in the USA, the Linx Hypnos Zero is a great concentrate only pen with a powerful battery, a ceramic bowl for the concentrate and four heat settings so you can get just the draw you want when and where you need it!
At only 4.2 inches long this is a tiny machine with a big blast thanks to its dual coils. It has a huge 900mAh battery to give you hours of outdoor pleasure too.
Why are you using a vaporiser?
- So, now we have considered the machines that are on the market, you need to consider where and how you will consume your cannabis products, and what you can get where you live.
- Where do you want to use it? If at home then consider a bigger or more expensive one that has better temperature control and more options as to how to use it.
- What’s your budget? A small budget can mean a very ordinary vaping experience - though we have showen you a couple of machines that won’t break the bank that are very, very good!
- What do you want to use it for? If you are a medical cannabis user then do consider a desktop as a priority for home use, but also have a decent weed / concentrate machine to hand. You will find however that there are battery powered machines that are better than some desktops.
- Are you experienced or inexperienced in using a vaporiser? As with everything in life, it may pay to spend a little less money on a new machine than someone might who knows what they want and how to use it. Take your time and see what it is like!
- Is versatility important? Some people have unlimited supplies of a certain product - perhaps if they grow their own at home. Others may live in a state or country where cannabis is heavily criminalised and have an intermittent supply at best. Versatility is important for this group as you may not know what or where you get your next hit from.