Green Report: Vast world of vaporizers

Dylan Simonson

A volcano vaporizer without the bag on, with four pill bottles filled with marijuana; Diablo Kush, Purple Goo, Afghani Kush, and Super Afghani from left to right.
Volcano Vaporizer (Photo Courtesy of Coaster420)

Vaporizers, or vapes, are considered one of the best ways to consume cannabis throughout the community. Part of the reason for that is it’s seen as healthier, since there’s no actual burning when you vaporize. There is also no smell of smoke, and some even say there’s a better taste. There are several choices to make when selecting a vaporizer, and you must think about your uses and what suits you best.

First off however, let us talk about this no smoke no burning thing. You might say “but I have seen or have used a vaporizer and there was a white cloud that came out, so there must be smoke.” This is actually not the case. That white you see (IF you see it) while vaporizing is vapor. There is heat applied to your flower or wax when vaping, but it is an indirect heat, which avoid combustion, like when you put flame to flower. This indirect heat only affects the cannabinoids, and not everything else the plant offers. When vaping, what you get is roughly 95 percent pure cannabinoids, whereas when you smoke, 88 percent of what you smoke is something other than cannabinoids.

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If there is heat, but no combustion, that means that the temperature for vaporizing must be lower than say when you light a joint, right? Well that is correct. A joint can burn between 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit to over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the source (a cigarette tip burns at about 1,652 degrees Fahrenheit), and the prime vaping temperature is around 347 – 392 degrees Fahrenheit, but 410 is arguably better to get the full effect of cannabis and its terpenes.

Now it is time for the vaporizer itself. The first thing to determine is what you want to vaporize. Do you want flower, hash, or both? Some vaporizers only do one or the other, like the Volcano can only do flower, but the DaVinci Ascent can do both flower and hash, then there’s hash only vaporizers like the KandyPens Prism.

The next question is where and how are you going to be vaporizing? Do you solely smoke at home? Do you smoke at friend’s houses or your office? Do you need to be discrete? Take into consideration all of these questions before you go and spend a solid chunk of money on a vaporizer that will not fit your needs.

If you only smoke a home, you will want a tabletop or desktop vaporizer, like the Silver Surfer, Buddha, or Volcano that was mentioned before. These vaporizers are high powered, and need to be plugged into an outlet, and are bulkier than what you would want to take to a friend’s house. 

If you are on the go or need something more discrete, you are going to want a portable vaporizer. There are many variations of portable vaporizers, like anything from DaVinci, Pax, Magic Flight Launch Box, and even the inhaler looking PuffIt.  

So, go out and research and find what vaporizer is going to best suit your needs, while taking these questions into consideration. Personally, I like the Volcano for home use, and then either the Pax 3.0 or the DaVinci Ascent for portability, but like most things in the cannabis world, it is all just preference, so go discover yours.

Collegian Blogger Dylan Simonson can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @DylanSimonson0