Vaporization is becoming a global trend before our eyes, and while the concept is still not very popular in Central Europe, in the western part of Europe and our neighbors across the ocean, vaporization is kicking smoking ass. It’s used by a wide variety of people, from celebrities to vaping enthusiasts and those in love with the medicinal properties of herbs and the efficiency of delivery associated with the process.
But what is vaporization anyway? Why does anyone need it and what is everyone so excited about? Is it even a what?
Let’s take a closer look
In this article on Weeducation, we’ll walk you through why more and more people are making the switch from smoke to vapor.
In the simplest terms, vaporization involves heating dried herbs to a certain temperature (depending on the effect you want to achieve) without burning the material. Under the influence of the heat, the herbs begin to secrete their active ingredients, which are inhaled into the body in the form of vapor.
It goes without saying that vaporization does not occur in a vacuum and our material must heat something. It is not necessary to say that vaporisation does not occur in a vacuum.
The vaporization requires the use of a vaporizer. Therefore, reading your mind with the power of a fortune teller, we pose another question, namely:
You’re right – a vaporizer is a device used to heat herbs to extract their active substances. If you can not yet imagine how such equipment may look like, we are already here to explain.
There are two types of vaporizers (analogy based on the principle of computers): stationary and portable.
A stationary vaporizer is a rather bulky device and more often than not you will find them in Dutch coffeeshops. Usually the vapor is inhaled from a special balloon, through a hose, or directly from the unit. We still have in our heads a wonderful evening session at Anytime (coffeeshop in Alkmaar) – on a scale of 1 to 10, a strong 420. But for now, we will not go into the topic of stationary vaporizers here, because we are interested in portable models.
To illustrate the look of a portable vaporizer, we’ll put it this way: Think of the device as an iPod or geek gadget that’s usually small in size, has a few essential features, and blends in nicely. We have a neatly built in dryer compartment and a convenient mouthpiece from which we draw the active ingredients in the vapor.
Alright, now for a bit of technology.
Vaporization is easy to learn even for extreme humanists who have had nothing to do with technology, technique, and anything that deviates from interpreting poetry.
If you want to vaporize your herbs, just open the vaporizer, load the desired amount of material into the chamber, close the device, turn it on and set the right temperature.
And then wait until the vaporizer heats up and all the goodness is ready for inhalation.
Depending on the type of active ingredients contained in the herbs, there are other temperature ranges considered “ideal”, but this is more for people who use herbs for typical health purposes. For regular vaporization, we don’t need to have the temperature honed to every single degree.
This does not mean that vaporizers can not calibrate it. A few high-end units even have dedicated apps that can not only control the temperature with great precision, but also have special modes that adjust the operation of the vaporizer to the user’s personal preferences.
Once the device heats up to the desired temperature, there is nothing left to do but put your face to the mouthpiece and start inhaling – just that much (effort) and that much (goodness).
In this battle, vaporization has the edge in every round to knock them out completely at the end.
Without further ado, here’s why vaporization is better than smoking:
While current studies have not confirmed the long-term harm of cannabis smoke on the lung health of regular smokers – and even suggest greater lung capacity in stoner smokers – it’s important to remember that these studies looked at pure dried vapor without additives. However, most people smoke with an admixture of tobacco, the long-term side effects of which are well proven.
During the vaporization process (unless you are operating at very high temperatures), there is no combustion process at all, and thus almost exclusively active substances are released. The reduction of harmful substances at low and medium temperatures is up to 95%.
This, in turn, immediately brings up point number two.
When it comes to vaporization efficiency, it’s best exemplified by the cannabinoids contained in cannabis.
A study conducted by Chemic Labs in Canton, Massachusetts compared vapor from a Volcano desktop vaporizer to smoke from burnt dried cannabis. The results were crushing for smoking, as the study found that the vapor produced by the vaporizer consisted of as much as 95% THC – and only small amounts of CBD (Cannabidiol) and CBN (Cannabinol). By comparison, the smoke from the burnt dried product was 88% composed of non-cannabinoids.
You don’t have to be a math whiz to tell the difference.
On top of that, there is the sheer yield that comes from using the material. What is sufficient for 5 inhalations during smoking, with vaporization gives us up to 20.
The question is whether the results of the above study, which tested the performance of vaporizer designed specifically for medical marijuana patients, translate to other commercial units, among which the range of quality is, tortually speaking, wide.
In an ideal world this should translate, but we know from experience that few portable vaporizers are able to match the effects of the Volcano; also talking to cannabis users on a daily basis, we regularly come across messages that in theory everything looks beautiful, while most models have problems “proving” the appropriate quality of vaporization.
Here we come to the issue of “what you like”, because vaporization gives completely different effects than smoking. First of all, the feeling after vaporization is cleaner than after smoking, and the effects are definitely more energetic rather than relaxing – plus they last longer because a lot more cannabinoids enter the body than when smoking.
When it comes to creative work or a busy schedule during the day, vaporization again comes out on top. The only downside to vaporizing is that you may feel the effects of the herbs a little slower after inhaling them, but as we all know, the world belongs to the brave and patient.
Not everyone likes the taste of marijuana smoke, which is fine. Vaporization, on the other hand, allows you to extract from the herb its entire aroma and flavor profile, and even if you recall our words that the taste of vapor will lead to a new category of food-pairing – it’s just mega enjoyable.
So what makes vaporized herbs taste better than smoked ones? Vaporization leads to the release of terpenes from heated herbs, a group of compounds naturally occurring in them and responsible for their characteristic aroma and flavor. During combustion, unfortunately, most of these terpenes are destroyed. The first impressions after switching the papers to the vaporizer are guaranteed to make your eyes fall out of orbits with surprise.
Speaking of papers, smoking is terribly indiscreet, regardless of where you do it. In an apartment, the smoke seeps into the walls, furniture, floats around the room, and escapes into the stairwell, making it not only a nuisance, but can provoke unkind people to pull out their inner onion. Outside, on the other hand, your squirming may cause passersby to twist their heads – both bad and bad.
By contrast, the vapor produced by vaporization is devoid of the unpleasant smell of smoke, and the aroma itself is virtually undetectable. Even after inhalation in a closed room, a few minutes after the session is over, you can no longer smell anything. In public places, however, the vaporizer is the textbook definition of incognito mode.
And while puffing vapor near random passersby isn’t a smart thing to do, the vast majority won’t even pay attention to the vaporizer, thinking it’s something like a more hipster e-cig.
For anyone who values discretion, a portable vaporizer is gold.
We’re not going to hide the fact that the initial cost – as we’ve already said – can be expensive, because a good portable vaporizer can cost between $100 and $300, which immediately deters potential herb enthusiasts who would like to change their habits for a healthier one. And since on a cheap device you can only acquire frustration and aversion to this method of consuming herbs, activating the hose in your pocket will rebound.
Nevertheless, if someone has contraindications to smoking marijuana or his taste buds do not like cannabis smoke and expects slightly lighter psychoactive effects, then vaporization is worth considering as we do not want to give up inhalation.