Those who choose medical marijuana over conventional pharmaceuticals are generally doing so from a health standpoint. A common objection from those opposed to medical marijuana is that it is a smoked substance and therefore contains the same, if not more, harmful chemicals than a tobacco cigarette. In response to those skeptics we would like to bring to you our introduction to vaporizers, the healthier alternative to smoking.
Vapor Vs Smoke
When smoking medical marijuana via a joint, pipe or bong, the organic material is lit by flame and combustion produces the inhaled smoke. This smoke is a direct result of burning the marijuana. The resin in the trichomes are simultaneously vaporized in the process, thus releasing the active ingredients, THC, CBD, and the other cannabinoids. When vaporizing medical marijuana, an indirect heat source heats up the organic material just to the point of vaporization of thecannabinoids but well below the combustion point of the organic matter. This means only the resin vapor is released in the process and the smoke from the organic matter is avoided. This delivers the desired cannabinoids and avoids the unhealthier byproducts of smoking marijuana.
Electric Vs Manual Grinders
The top level distinction in the grinder world are electric vs manual grinders. Electric grinders are typically repurposed coffee or spice grinders with a few cannabis specific grinders finding their way onto store shelves. These do an excellent job on dry medicine but for fresher stickier medicine they don’t perform as well due to the traditional blender style blade design. They cost more, require batteries, and are trickier to clean than a manual grinder. Manual grinders are the most popular type and have cannabis specific blade designs and other features like kief screens for sifting and collecting trichomes for hash or other uses. The lower cost and abundance of design styles also makes them a popular choice. Manual grinders come in many different diameters and heights allowing for a variety of grinding and storage capacities depending your particular needs. As a rule of thumb, wider grinders grind more at a time and taller grinders have more storage capacity.
Table Top Vaporizers
Table top electric vaporizers usually use an external power supply to heat a ceramic element which provides the indirect heat needed for vaporization. Table top vaporizers usually have the largest capacity thus requiring less refills per medicating session. Table top vaporizers tend to have adjustable temperature settings which provide options for the types of cannabinoids vaporized since they each have their own vaporization points. The most unique option for table top vaporizers is the forced air bag options. This uses a fan to inflate a food grade balloon or bag with vapor. This contained vapor can now be inhaled at a constant concentration for very precise titration. The vapor will lose it’s concentration over time as the resin vapor condenses onto the bag itself if not inhaled rapidly. The default operating mode is with a whip or a medical grade tube usually with a glass mouthpiece that patients use to inhale with. The marijuana is usually held in a glass chamber or bowl immediately after the heating element. Table top vaporizers tend to be the most expensive in vaporizer market. The most traditional table top vaporizer is the manually heated, coal powered, hookah previously described above.
Portable Hand Held Vaporizers
Vaporizer manufacturers have created smaller more portable, hand held devices that effectively vaporize medical marijuana. The traditional form is the flame buffered pipe design which is manually heated by a lighter or butane torch. These are less expensive than electric portable vaporizers. The electric vaporizers usually have a rechargeable battery powered element. Some portable vapes use a basic wire element such as the Magic Flight Launch Box and some use a ceramic heating element such as the Arizer Solo. The herb chamber capacity is substantially less than a table top vape and will require more frequent refilling if being used throughout the day. The price point of portable hand held vaporizers are similar if not slightly lower than the table top vapes so convenience and portabilityat the cost of battery and capacity limitation are the determining factors when deciding what kind of vape is right for you. A few hand held vapes use forced air to assist in vapor production such as the Puffit X vape. And the last portable vape type worth mentioning is the pen vape category. Generally these are re-purposed e-cigarettes which were designed for liquid or concentrates and have been retrofitted with impractically small herb chambers. When looking at a hand held portable vape be sure that it was designed from the ground up as a dry herb vaporizer.
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