Vaping’s popularity is growing unbelievably fast, and it’s very encouraging to see more people switch away from smoking every day. But sometimes you’ll see a review, try out that particular vape, and not get the same results you saw in the video. That’s definitely a frustrating experience and all of us have been through it at least once. As is often the case, nuances in operation make a huge difference.
Whether you’re a total vaping newbie, a pro, or just unboxing a new device, here are my ten techniques that will ensure a fantastic experience across the entire spectrum of dry herb vaporizers.
I – The Dank
The importance of using quality herb cannot be overstated. Even a badass vape like the Mighty can’t make dank clouds from schwag. Simply put, garbage in = garbage out. These days it is easier for many of us to get good herb with legalization spreading, but even in legal areas, you’ll notice a big gap in quality between top-shelf flower and the bargain stuff. Considering how efficient vaping is and how much herb (and money) you’ll save versus smoking, go ahead and get the best flower you can. You’ll be glad you did.
II – The Grind
Grinding your herb correctly is critical to getting good performance from vapes like the Storz & Bickel Crafty+. I prefer a medium or medium-fine grind because it works the best with the most vapes. Grinding too coarse will leave a lot of surface area unexposed to the heat. You also want to avoid grinding too fine or pulverizing your bud into a powder. It’ll be tougher to work with, clog up your vape more, and particulate can even fly through into your mouth... nobody likes particulate flying into their mouth. Medium grind is the way to go.
III – The Damp
Getting your herb dry is important to vaping, especially in butane powered pieces like the Sticky Brick Runt. If the flower has too much moisture it will not vaporize as well. After I grind up a nugg I’ll leave it sitting exposed for an hour or so to dry out. If you’re looking for max vapor, let it dry completely. However, doing this will cause your bud to lose some of those flavorful terpenes and the vapor will be harsher.
IV – The Pack
For most vapes, a “full but not tight” pack will give you the best results. I go for a full oven, but I don’t compress it or try to force any extra in there. Some vapes like the Pax 3 do well with a firm pack in the chamber, but for most pieces, filling it up without stuffing it is the best bet.
V – The Temperature
Of course, the temperature is very important to vaping, but especially so with beastly cloud monsters like the Healthy Rips Fury Edge. If the temp's too low, you won’t get much vapor and you’ll miss out on all the fun. Too high and the vapor will be harsh - nobody wants that either. The “best” temperature will depend on your personal preference, the vaporizer, and the situation.
Personally, I start my new vapes at 370F and adjust from there. If I’m ripping through water, I bump it up to 390F. I advise finding your own starting temp and fine-tuning from there, like a musician using a certain song to check new speakers before recording. Temp not only affects how big your hits are, but the potency and the terpenes extracted at different heat levels lead to different experiences and highs. Also, remember to let your oven roast a little bit longer even after the vape says it’s up to the temperature you want. This extra time lets your herb get as warm as the oven itself and some extra juice will build up for that first (and tastiest) hit.
VI – The Rate
Slow and steady or hard and fast, these are philosophical questions that humanity has asked throughout the ages. The pace of your hit is a very important factor that is often overlooked, especially by new users of new vapes. Hitting a vape like the Arizer Solo 2 is different than hitting a joint, blunt, pipe, or bong. In general, when you hit a vape, go slower and with a steadier tempo. The hot air needs time to pass through your bud and pick up all the good stuff. Hitting too fast results in thin vapor that's less potent and flavorful. Start off with a slow, consistent, and gentle draw. Adjust from there.
VII – The Pull
Also, use a longer inhale. Vapes that produce exceptionally potent vapor do better with slow and long hits. As more and more warm air flows over your bud, it extracts even more vapor than possible with just a short puff. If you’re a medical patient or don’t want to take huge lungful’s don’t worry, this is more about a comfortable, easy, extended pull that gives you a full and rich dose of your sticky-icky medicine.
VIII – The Stir
I’ve never used a vape that didn’t benefit from a bowl stir mid-session. Stirring exposes fresh surface area to the warm air and can give you many more miles from your herb. Even the best convection vapes will have a major performance increase after just a quick stir.
IX – The Funk
All tools must be cleaned eventually, vapes are no exception. Good maintenance will keep most of today’s vaporizers lasting many years. Failing to clean them will cause them to gum up, work poorly and taste bad. While an Arizer glass stem is easy to visually inspect (and clean), something small and complex like the DaVinci IQ will build up goo in little cracks and crevices over time, which will impact performance before you realize it. That said, the IQ is has proven itself a top-tier travel vaporizer that is sophisticated, capable, and robust… totally worth a little extra Q-tipping care every now and then.
X – And Again
The first joint you rolled was probably not perfect. But the more you rolled, the better your joints became. Vaping is somewhat similar. My reviews are done after I’ve had a vape for several weeks, so I’ve got my technique down by that point. I’ve also used a lot of vapes, so it is a bit easier for me to pick one up and get good results from the start. Keep practicing and you will develop a technique that works best for you.
And most importantly, remember to have fun getting stoned. After all, this isn't advanced calculus 🤓