What is a Dry Herb Vaporizer and How Does it Work?

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17 July 2022   •   4 min read

Looking into vaporizers for the first time can seem a little overwhelming. However, a dry herb vaporizer is a perfect place to start for many people. So what is it exactly?

What is a Dry Herb Vaporizer?

Dry herb vaporizers are used to vape dry herbs, as the name suggests. While these devices can be used for vaping a range of different herbs, they are primarily used to vaporize cannabis flower where it is medically legal, recreationally, legal, or both. In some places where cannabis flower is medically available via prescription, it is only prescribed for use via vaporization, which is further growing interest in dry herb vaporizers. Nonetheless, vaporizers are also growing more common as people look toward harm reduction, and smoking is becoming less socially acceptable.

While years ago, calling a device like this a vaporizer would have been sufficient. However, with the proliferation of other types of vapes becoming increasingly popular, it’s becoming more important to specify precisely what you’re talking about to avoid confusion.

Benefits of Dry Herb Vaporizers

  • Healthier than smoking
  • Less smell makes it more discrete
  • More efficient use of your material
  • Better tasted with increased depth
  • Less harsh on the throat

How to Use a Dry Herb Vaporizer

Dry herb vaporizers come in many shapes and sizes and work in many different ways. However, some key parts tend to be similar across many of these types of devices. The material is typically ground or finely chopped when using a dry herb vaporizer. Less commonly, small chunks of the material may be put into the chamber directly with no preparation though this is generally less efficient and won't work well in many vaporizers. It is then typically loosely packed into a heating chamber or perhaps a capsule to later put inside the device.

Once the device is loaded with material, the chamber is either directly warmed in some way, applying heat to the material and vaporizing the volatile compounds it contains. Alternatively, warm air may be passed through the heating chamber to produce similar results. While most devices fall into one of these categories primarily (convection or conduction), there is also a growing trend for devices that provide heat via both approaches to produce a different experience that carries many benefits of both methods.

Can You Use Concentrates in a Dry Herb Vaporizer?

Some dry herb vaporizers support the use of concentrates; others, however, are not well suited at all to their use. Commonly additional accessories (which may or may not be included with the original purchase) are required to use concentrates with these types of devices. The best thing to do is consult the manufacturer to check if a device supports using concentrates.

Many dry herb vapes that aren’t explicitly designed with concentrate use in mind will still tolerate the addition of a small amount of concentrate being mixed into the flower loaded into the device. However, when going this route, try and keep it to a minimum, as once warmed, the concentrate may melt and leak into parts of the device that could damage it or result in other issues.

Can You Use a Dry Herb Vaporizer with a Water Pipe?

Many people who are looking to move away from combustion wonder if you can use a water pipe or bubbler with a dry herb vape. The good news is that most popular devices have water pipe adapters (commonly referred to by the abbreviation WPA) available. If this is something that is important to you, it’s worth checking whether it’ll be easy to source a WPA if it’s not included already and if you consider the additional cost reasonable.

Are Dry Herb Vaporizers Easy to Use?

One of the best things about dry herb vaporizers is that there are many options. Just about anyone will be able to find a device to suit their preferences. It doesn’t matter. Whether you crave portability or want something powerful on your desk at home, there’s a vaporizer for you. Furthermore, while many are electronic or digital in nature, there are even analog options that don’t require batteries and do not have any form of digital controls at all. As a result of this vast amount of variety, there are plenty of devices that are incredibly easy to use. Whatever your barriers are, you can likely find a dry herb vape to suit your needs.