Vaporizing, commonly referred to as “vaping,” has become a popular alternative to smoking, whether you prefer tobacco cigarettes or cannabis. If you have been smoking tobacco for most of your adult life, then you’re probably tired of hearing people tell you about the risks associated with smoking. You’ve tried so many times to quit the habit, but failed miserably at every attempt. Changing one’s lifestyle is never easy. Contrary to what some may believe, change is neither easy nor always pleasant, especially when cigarette smoking is concerned.
Smokers who have been trying to quit for years may find the solution they’ve been waiting for through vaping. The advent of the vaporizer has provided individuals with a suitable alternative to smoking. One that is safer and a lot healthier than inhaling smoke produced through combustion.
So What Is a Portable Vaporizer?
Before you learn more about portable vaporizers, you should probably have at least a rudimentary understanding of the science behind vaporization. Vaping is the process by which herbs, oils, concentrates, and other substances are heated at a suitable temperature in order to transform the active ingredients present in that particular substance into its gaseous state and release them in the form of vapors. Vaporizers are the machines that allow such process to take place.
The initial designs of these devices are generally bulky and require plug-in units for power. These are known as tabletops or desktop vaporizers, and they are frequently used in homes and hospitals for medical purposes. But as the technology behind vaporizing units became more advanced, the development of smaller and more compact vaporizers became possible. As the industry continues to grow, so did the development of more advanced portable handheld vaporizer units, powered by powerful batteries and equipped with a plethora of features and innovative designs.
A heating element provides the necessary heat to initiate the vaporization process. The heating method used varies between each device. There are three basic heat transfer techniques employed on portable vapes: conduction, convection, or a combination of both.
Combustion vs. Conduction vs. Convection
Smoking uses combustion to produce smoke. This involves directly burning the tobacco in order for it to combust and produce smoke, which the smoker then inhales. The problem with combustion is that the smoke it releases carries with it a bunch of toxic chemicals that can cause serious damage to your lungs. In addition to nicotine, there are other harmful chemicals present in tobacco cigarette smoke, including acetone (may cause kidney and liver damage), acrolein (an extremely toxic chemical), amino naphthalene (proven to cause cancer), cadmium (a highly toxic heavy metal), carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide (a lethal poison), and even lead, which causes brain damage. These are just a few of the harmful toxins that you expose yourself to with each drag.
There are e-cigs (electronic cigarettes) out there that are sold as portable dry herb vaporizers. However, these devices simply combust the substance and is no different than lighting a joint or a stick of cigarette. A common misconception is that e-cigs and vape pens are the same as a portable vaporizer. Not really. If you consider the technical aspects of these devices, you will see that e-cigs and vape pens have cylindrical shapes with parts specific to the design. Portable vaporizers are more adaptable when it comes to the technology manufacturers can incorporate in them. Portable vapes are also larger than vape pens, but significantly smaller than tabletops. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Portable vapes utilize either the conduction or convection heat transfer method, with the more expensive models incorporating both.
The conduction process involves heating substances through direct contact to a heated surface. It presents a high risk for combustion when used on dry herbs, but is effective with essential oils and concentrates. The key to avoiding combustion is to carefully watch your vaping temperature. If the temperature is too high, you run the risk of burning your load. Manufacturing conduction vaporizers is easy and relatively cheap, so the price tags on these babies are quite affordable as well.
On the other hand, the convection heating method, utilizes air to transfer heat from the source to the substance being vaporized. This is achieved by way of superheated air being blown through and around the substance to trigger the vaporization process. The herb is not in direct contact with the heated surface, so combustion is less likely. The downside is that convection vaporizers take longer to warm up compared to the conduction method. And vapes equipped with this technology have a higher price tag attached to them.
Which Type of Portable Vaporizer Is the Best Choice to Buy?
Whatever you might have read or heard, there is no single best vaporizer out there. Asking what the best vaporizer to buy is like asking which food or which brand of shoes is the best. Choosing portable vaporizers is all about personal preferences. What you think is the best for you may not be the perfect choice for others. There is a wide variety of top quality vapes available on the market; what you need to do in order to make an informed decision is to perform some research about the makes and models you are interested in.
The key to choosing a good portable vaporizer is to approach it like when you are buying a smart phone or a tablet. Figure out your options and learn about the different features that come with the device. Ask yourself which you would prefer; conduction or convection. Of course, the answer to that question will largely depend on the type of loads you will be vaporizing—dry herbs/flowers, essential oils, or concentrates. Appearance is another consideration you need to think about. Do you need to be subtle? There are portable vaporizers out there that are disguised as asthma inhalers.
Moreover, battery efficiency and charging times are also major deciding factors when it comes to portable devices like vaporizers. You need to be able to use your device for longer periods, otherwise the term “portable” loses its essence, don’t you agree?
Finally, when purchasing a vaporizer, you need to consider where you are buying it from. There are many online retailers and merchants that sell good quality vapes. They may also have special offers that could save you a few bucks upon purchase.