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For vaporizing newbies and enthusiasts, you’ve likely come across the conundrum of having to choose between a convection or conduction vape.
Thanks to technology in marijuana, we’re bombarded with choice. And with choice, comes decision making.
And when you’re potentially spending more than $300 on a single vaporizer, it’s well worth doing a rough analysis before you make a decision. Which means evaluating the pros and cons.
So here’s a deep dive, Ganja Dispatch style, into the pros and cons of conduction and convection vapes, with a solution at the end.
However first, let’s remind ourselves of what vapor is.
You can find an detailed article about the differences between vapor and smoke shortly. As for now, here’s a short and sweet overview.
Wait for it…
Vapor is not the same as smoke.
Cannabis vapor, as in steam from boiling cannabinoids and terpenes, are created in temperatures under 445 degrees Fahrenheit. While combustion smoke, is created above the 445 degree mark.
And in combustion smoke, you’re inhaling toxic chemicals known as carcinogens. Which after a prolonged time, you’re building up tar in the your body, making you cough, wheeze and experience bronchitis-like symptoms.
That is, at the very least.
Pure vapor on the other hand is carcinogen-free! Well, depending on how clean your product is.
And pure cannabis vapor is created through two types of vaporizers: conduction and convection vapes.
Let’s begin with conduction vaporizers.
[Related Article:10 Health and Safety Benefits of Vaping Weed]
Conduction vapes rely on the transfer of heat through direct contact, sort of like how a bonfire acts when melting camping style marshmallows. Or rather, how a pot of water boils on a stove.
In a boiling water scenario, you get hot water because it’s in direct contact with the metal pot, which is being fired from below.
Here’s how your cannabis gets heated in a conduction vape:
The battery initially heats the coil. Then, the coil heats the chamber (that is metal or ceramic). And with your dry herb or concentrate inside, being in direct contact with the chamber’s walls, it’s further heated into vapor.
Unfortunately, simplicity doesn’t mean perfection as conduction vapes do have drawbacks. A major one is how they unevenly heat the cannabis inside.
For instance, since heating is through direct contact, the only portion of cannabis heated is the portion touching the chamber’s walls, such as the herb’s sides and bottom.
This results in a number of things. Good and bad.
A bad is you’ll have lower quality vapor in ways that are less cannabinoid and terpene-rich (less potent, less flavor). And, there’s also a higher chance that toxic smoke is produced.
Another bad for conduction vaporizers are that they can be less efficient, as in you won’t get the same number of draws (puffs) as convection vapes, especially in circumstances where you plan on vaping periodically (stop-and-go).
This is because they’re designed for continuous puffs (draws), like when you’re smoking an entire joint in one session with friends. For instance, if the same joint is used in multiple sessions, having to be put-out and re-fired, then you won’t nearly get enough tokes. Not to mention the same potency and flavor.
Here are the pros and cons of conduction vapes in more detail. The image is clickable.
As for a convection vape, it heats cannabis through liquid or gas, such as steam and hot air.
In other words, a convection vape create cannabis vapor by circulating hot air through and around the cannabis inside. Just like how a convection oven works.
This is how it goes down in a nutshell:
A battery heats a coil or metal/ceramic plate to a certain temperature, which creates steam that circulates around the chamber. This steam is then hot enough to turn cannabis into vapor.
And since convection vapes use a different heating method, they have numerous strengths and weaknesses also.
One strength, is its suitability for stop-and-go use, that is, for multiple short sessions. Another good, is its more balanced heating of cannabis, which in turn produces higher quality and more flavorful vapor.
However, given that they apply more even heating and higher quality vapor, they’re generally more expensive and are more complicated to use.
Here are the pros and cons of convection vapes in more detail. The image is clickable.
But wait, you don’t always have to choose between conduction or convection vapes, because hybrids also exist.
A hybrid vape uses both conduction and convection heating methods to some extent, depending on the model.
This means they heat cannabis through both the chamber walls and hot steam, somewhat combining the best of both worlds, and therefore, carrying the strengths of each method.
You can find a more detailed article shortly.
But with so many choices, how do we pick the best vaporizer for our own needs?
The answer depends on a few factors, such as what you’re smoking (dry herb or concentrate), how often you smoke and your budget, to name a few.
For instance, if you have dry herbs, many prefer convection vapes as they can be more efficient in doing the job. But for those who mainly vape in social scenarios and in longer sessions, conduction vapes are probably a better choice.
But then again, if you’re starting your vaping weed ways and money is a factor, then we suggest a cheaper and easy-to-use conduction vape. This way you’ll test the vaping universe and see if it’s your thing.
And then if it is, you can work your way up! As with most things.
That’s it. Please comment and share. And look forward for more articles.
Your Californian Marijuana Providers,
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