If you're shopping for your first vaporizer, you have many decisions to make. From desktop vaporizers to portable vaporizers to portable vape pens, there are options from top vaporizer brands to suit every lifestyle and need. One of the most important things to consider when you are choosing between vaporizers is the primary heating method used in the devices. This guide was put together by the experts at our online vape store to help you make this important decision.
Vaporizers work by heating herbs, oils, or waxes to high temperatures, causing them to boil, and give off vapors. The primary heating method refers to the way in which the vaporizer heats up the vaping material. There are two types of primary heating methods: conduction and convection. Each type has its own distinct benefits and drawbacks.
It's important to note that we refer to the heating method as "primary." This is because most vaporizers heat up herbs with both conduction and convection; however, one type is the dominant or primary form of heating.
Conduction vaporizers were the very first type developed by vaporizer companies. A conduction vaporizer has a heating element that is directly in contact with the herbs, oils, or waxes placed inside of the vaporizer heating chamber. As the heating element gets hot, the heat is transferred directly to the vaping material to increase its temperature. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of conduction vaporizers:
- Simplicity - Conduction is a very simple form of heating. Models that use conduction as a primary heating method typically have fewer parts. This can make them easier to clean, and also means there are less pieces that can wear out and break.
- Cost - Typically, conduction vaporizers are less expensive than convection vaporizers, desktop vaporizers are mostly convection vapes. This makes them popular with people looking for cheap vaporizers due to budget constraints, or because they are trying out vaping for the first time and don't want to invest a lot.
- Speed - Conduction vapes get hot very quickly, meaning less wait time before vapor is produced.
For all of their benefits, conduction vaporizers do have some disadvantages that you should be aware of before you buy.
- Combustion Risk - Conduction vaporizers get very hot. In fact, they get so hot that they can actually burn vaping material. This causes smoke to be released instead of vapor.
- Uneven Vaporization - With a conduction vaporizer, the material at the bottom of the heating chamber, closest to the heating element, will vaporize first and release its vapor. The material above it may not fully vaporize, reducing vapor production. As a result, you must shake or stir as you vape to ensure even heating.
- Learning Curve - Conduction vaporizers are a little harder to use. You may need practice to be able to get a full, satisfying draw with a conduction vape, and you may need to experiment with different temperature settings to find out how to get the best results with your vaporizer.
Convection vaporizers were developed to solve the problems that arise with conduction vaporizers. In a convection vaporizer, the heating element is placed away from the herbs, oils, or waxes. Instead of heat passing directly to the vaping material, the heating element warms the air inside of the vaporizer heating chamber. The warmed air then heats up the vaping material. Here's a closer look at the pros and cons of convection vaporizers.
- Enhanced Control - Convection vaporizers give you a greater degree of control over the temperature than most conduction vaporizers. As a result, you can make subtle adjustments to improve your results. For example, you can turn the heat up as you vape to ensure full vaporization, or vape at different temperatures depending on what type of material you're using.
- Even Heating - With a convection vaporizer, the warm air passes all the way through the vaping material. As a result, the top, middle, and bottom levels of the dry herb, oil, or wax heats evenly and vaporizes fully. This means you don't have to shake or stir a convection vaporizer; however, it's important that you don't over pack the heating chamber, as this can limit the flow of air, and lead to poor results.
- Low Combustion Risk - It's very unlikely that a convection vaporizer will burn your vaping material when you have the device set at an appropriate temperature.
- Cost - Convection vaporizers tend to be more expensive than conduction vaporizers, making them bigger investments. There are also more parts in convection vaporizers that can wear out, and require replacement or repair. As a result, consider the warranty of the vaporizer that your purchase.
- Speed - Compared to conduction vaporizers, convection vaporizers are slower to reach their optimal working temperatures; however, it's important to note that vaporizer brands have developed new technologies in recent years to help convection vaporizers heat up faster than the original models that hit the market years ago.
Now that you know the differences between a conduction vaporizer and a convection vaporizer, you're one step closer to finding the right vape for your needs. You can check out our other vaporizer buying guide to learn more, or contact a member of the customer service team here at our vaporizer store for personal shopping assistance.
Combustion is the reaction that occurs when oxygen and fuel combine at a high enough temperature. When you light a cigarette or a medical marijuana joint, some of the materials burn, but unburned particles remain, including carbon, water, and substances called volatile organic compounds. These unburned particles are released as smoke, which is then inhaled.
While inhaling smoke allows you to benefit from the active chemicals inside of the materials you're smoking, it also exposes you to toxins, irritants, and carcinogens. It's these impurities that are responsible for increasing the risk of cancer, irritating the respiratory passages, and damaging the throat and lungs.
Convection and conduction do not give off smoke. The material is released as vapor. Studies have confirmed that vapor contains little to no harmful particles. Vaporized marijuana consists of 95% carcinogen-free cannabinoids, and includes only one polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, a compound that has been shown in clinical studies to cause cancer. By comparison, only 12% of marijuana smoke contains cannabinoids. The remaining 88% consists of more than 111 different chemical impurities, including 12 different carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
The dramatic difference in the carcinogen content between combustion and vaporizing is leading many people to quit smoking, in order to avoid the many dangerous particles given off during combustion.