One of the greatest attractions held by vaporizers is how much smoother they make your dry herb experience. They spare your body the harshness and heat of the smoke produced by combustion, instead allowing you of draw smooth, tasty, and potent vapor.
Vaporizers work by using their heating systems to take advantage of the various active ingredients found inside herb. The heating system is gently evaporated leaving all the plant matter behind. This means that the toxins, carbon, and fine particles contained in the plant matter stay in the vape and well away from your lungs.
Thanks to all of this it’s easier and more comfortable to have long vape sessions. However, is that necessarily a good thing? Thanks to the smoothness of vapor it is far easier to take huge, lung-filling hits. What do these super-sized hits do once they’re inside your body? Are they harmful? Are they beneficial?
The density and consistency of your vapor hit is reliant on two things: the heat of your vape’s chamber and the particular herbal blend you’re using. Both of these factors are, with most vapes, adjustable to your preferences.
The heating system and temperature settings on your vape are by far the most immediate way to change the consistency of your hits. Vape heating systems fit into two categories, conduction or convection. Conduction vaporizers heat your herb directly like a kitchen stove. This means that these vapes can reach vaping temperature incredibly quickly. Convection / hybrid units, on the other hand, are similar to a fan-forced oven, they pass heated air through your herb; leading to better heat coverage but also a longer heat-up time.
On top of this, the heat of your vape’s oven can affect your vapor quality. Low temperatures yield a thinner, smoother vapor and higher temperatures generate denser vapor while unlocking a different spectrum of active ingredients. With this in mind you can see that a convection vape set to a high temperature will create an incredibly dense hit, while a low temperature conduction vape will produce a thinner, smoother hit.
This means that the size of your hit doesn’t matter as much as the density of your vapor.
Is It Bad For You?
No matter how dense your vapor is, as long as you’ve set a reasonable temperature, all it should contain is the active ingredients of your herbal blend, and it will only be as harmful as the chemicals in said blend. While you could argue that large hits of dense vapor are tantamount to high doses of these chemicals, vapes inherently provide these active ingredients at a slightly slower rate combustion would (because you can take multiple draws from a single fill).
With that being said, you should always carefully monitor the colour and taste of your material during each session. Just because dry herb vaporizers are designed not to overheat your material, doesn’t mean it’s not possible. If you taste any kind of charcoal-like flavor while exhaling or your material darkens any further than a few shades during a session, it’s best to consider a lower temperature or, failing that, a faster draw speed.
Another important factor to consider is that some conduction units will overheat the material towards to the end of a session, especially if you’re one of those people who really like to drain every last bit of vapor from the load. Of course, this is the most efficient way to vape, but from our experience, the bulk of the flavor and effect comes from the opening half of the session.
The Proof’s in the Pudding
At the end of the day, vaping is a personal experience. Everyone has their own rituals and procedures for getting that perfect session. Not everyone out there will enjoy taking long draws. All we can say here is that, despite the length of your draws, there are always methods for making vapour more tolerable for your lungs.
People with sensitive lungs may want to explore mouthpiece extension options (eg. Silicone tubing) or simply drawing at a slightly faster pace. But above all else, get to know the taste and colour of your material and listen to your body as this will rarely guide you astray.