What is vaporizing and how do you vaporize Marijuana or Cannabis?

Vaporizing is heating the marijuana to a level where the active ingredients (THC or CBD cannabinoids for example) are vaporized so that they can be inhaled. Vaporizing is an excellent way to enjoy marijuana because you inhale a lot less of the things you don’t want to inhale. You’ll need a device to help you achieve this. There are a bunch of different types of vaporizers and they come in all shapes and sizes, but the concept is similar. Hot air heats up the buds until the THC vaporizes. There, now you understand how basically every vaporizer works. Let’s drive it home with a diagram.

More vaporizers are coming out all the time, but there are a few I’ll describe here so you get the feel for different types. Note, this is not a buying guide and I don’t get any financial benefit from the products mentioned below. I personally have more experience using Stortz and Bickel products which is why you see them in my examples. Alright let’s get to it.

Balloon Vaporizers

The Volcano

The Volcano by Stortz and Bickel is the most iconic vaporizer out there. This german engineered device is no joke. It’s looks like an apollo space shuttle with a balloon on the top. The Volcano uses a heater and a fan to blow hot air upward. That hot air passes up through the ground herbs and fills the balloon with vapor.

Once the balloon is full, the balloon (and it’s plastic clip nozzle) snaps off. Then connect the mouth valve and you are good to go. See below.

Why buy a volcano?
The Volcano is expensive, but the balloon mechanism helps the heat dissipate a bit prior to going into your lungs. This is a huge plus for both the smoothness of the hit and your respiratory health. If you want the premium in home experience the volcano is the way to go. You can get a carrying case for the Volcano, but it is not particularly portable.

Whip Vaporizers

Whip type vaporizers differ in that instead of the vapor being captured in a balloon, it goes through a cooling coil (the “whip”) directly to your mouth. But the concept is the same. When hitting a whip vaporizer, you will have to inhale more firmly because it is the suction from your mouth that pulls the hot air over the herbs.

Here are examples of a few whip vaporizers:


Arizer Extreme Q:

Silver Surfer:

Portable Vaporizers

There are a number of vaporizers not he market now that are compact, discrete, and portable. Some of these work so well they can actually serve as your primary vaping device at home and when you’re on the move. Portable vaporizers typically have a metal bowl where you put the herbs. The surfaces of the metal bowl heat up and that heat gets spread through the herbs vaporizing the THC. Here are a few to be familiar with:

The Pax:
The Pax is made by a company called “Ploom”. This vape is super sleek and discrete. The light on the body illuminates purple when it is heating and then green when it is ready to hit. Just bring it up and rip away. Depending on how tightly the herbs are packed will depend on how hard you need to pull (suck in with your mouth).

The Mighty and The Crafty:
Mighty (larger)
Crafty (smaller)
Stortz and Bickel, a company you’ve seen earlier on this list, finally made the move into portable vaporizers with these two products.

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