There are many ways to consume cannabis. Some of those ways are ancient while others have only come about in the last few years. Vaporizers are one of the latest ways to consume cannabis. These devices differ from other consumption methods and many believe that vaporizing is healthier than smoking even though there is little to no evidence of such. Vaporizers do provide a better tasting experience than smoking to many users but there are many reasons a person may choose to go another route.

Vape Pens

What is a Vape?

Vaporizers or 'vapes' are devices that heat cannabis up without combusting it. Vaporizers use either convection (heat through air) or conduction (heat through contact) to heat the product. It 'vaporizes' the THC and other cannabinoids off of the surface like boiling water. This converts the active ingredients from an oil like coating on the plant into an air-born vapor. The oil based cannabinoids effectively boil off of the heat plate and are then inhaled by the user.

Vaping keeps the temp below combustion level so the plant matter never burns. This provides a more flavorful hit without the added chemicals of propellants like butane or pollutants like ash, chlorophyll and tar. Some vaporizers even allow adjustment of temperature to maximize flavor and choice.

Adjustable Temperature is good if you want a more flavorful hit as some flavinoids and terpenes (the compounds that create smell and flavor) combust at different temperatures. The left over plant matter is then discarded. Instead of having ash at the end, the user is left with plant matter that looks browned.

Vapes can be specialized to only work for oil or flower while others are capable of vaporizing any product. Some vaporizers are stationary while others are designed for on the go. The unifying factor between all of them is that it delivers cannabinoids without combusting the plant matter.

What is the Difference?

Vaporizers have all sorts of options and variations available. So much so that it can be hard to compare different models even within categories. Prices range from just a few dollars to several hundred or even thousands with little to no visible difference. This is a case of paying for a brand and you do not need to pay thousands of dollars to get a good experience.


There are some factors to consider before deciding on a vaporizer. Consider how you intend to use your vape. Are you going to be taking a single hit every couple of hours alone or are you looking for something transportable that you can whip out at parties? Does your smoking location have easy access to power outlets? These kinds of questions can help you decide on what kind of device works best for you.

Mobile- Mobile vaporizers have a battery and a combustion chamber. These include pens with single-use cartridges like those sold by Golden Xtracts, flower only hand-held devices like the G-Pen and even wax/oil only devices like those made by Flowermate. These mobile devices are harsher than the other options available but offer the ability to get clean and flavorful cannabis vapor on the go.

Mobile vapes have a wide range of styles and sizes available to help any consumer find a mobile solution but they all have their drawbacks. Make sure to research the manufacturer of any device you intend to buy in order to make an informed decision.

Stationary- Stationary vaporizers are ones designed to stay at home and often require the use of a torch to heat a surface called a nail. The cannabis is then put in contact with that heated nail. This style is referred to as 'dabbing'. Bongs, Nectar Collectors and Dab Rigs are the most common variants of this type of device.

To properly heat a nail, hold the torch flame over it until the contact surface is visibly red hot. Remove the heat and wait for the surface to return to normal color (clear for glass, grey/silver for metal) and then apply your product to the nail.

Volcano Vaporizer

Powered- Usable on stationary devices or as a device of their own, powered units have a plug that goes into a wall outlet like those from Bee-Nail. The nail is heated to a set temp and remains there like a little stove burner. These devices plug into a power outlet to provide a clean and consistent hit.

This style of heating is called an e-nail (for electronic nail) and consistently provides a high quality hit of vaporized cannabis. Because of the need for a power tether, this style of vape is generally the most difficult to set up or move but provides the most consistent and highest quality hit when properly adjusted. Price is also a factor as it has the highest entry point for any vaporizing device so far.

A powered vape will allow you to dial the temperature of the nail to the exact right spot and keep it there indefinitely. If you are a heavy user or are interested in getting the absolute best tasting hit out of a stationary vaporizer, a powered device is just what the doctor ordered.