The 12 Best Weed Vaporizers to Buy in 2020
Give up the smoke with a vape that’s packing some serious (but subtle) tech.
Vaping weed doesn’t reek. There’s no smoke to tear up your throat. And unless you make a spectacle of it, dubbing yourself that guy, it’s subtle. Those who vape their cannabis often do so because the dosage is easier to control—chalk that up to the wonders of technology—and the effects feel less jolting than more traditional means of getting high. (Although, folks who don’t regularly partake might find vaping to be more intense than smoking, according to one study.) To be fair, you do lose that transformative experience of coughing your esophagus out over a poorly wrapped joint or getting so high off of one rip from a communal bong that the stars fall to Earth and the moon waves hello. Hey, sacrifices must be made.
Vapes make dry herb or concentrate hot enough to activate the THC that sets you sailing, but not so hot the cannabis combusts into smoke, defeating the entire purpose of vaping. To broadly summarize the tech in the least boring way possible, there are two kinds of vape heating systems used to extract high-making chemicals and flavor from cannabis: one that uses conduction heating and one that uses convection heating.
Conduction puts your weed in direct contact with the vape’s heating element—like its coils—often getting you a faster heat time. However, if your product is too close to the heating element for too long, it’ll burn. (Simply shifting it around in the vape’s chamber is an easy fix.) Convection vapes tend to be more finicky and more expensive, but oftentimes are worth it for the vapor alone, especially if you prefer using dry herb. With these, the weed product doesn’t come into direct contact with the heating element. Instead, very hot air from the heating element circulates through the vape with every pull, indirectly vaporizing the product. On one hand, your product won’t combust, and the vapor is more even and flavorful. On the other, convection vapes can take longer to fire up, so patience is a virtue. These days, vapes can stick to one type of heating system or the other, but many market themselves as neither or both.
If you’re here, reading these words, then you’re likely already sold on vaping weed in one of its forms. But we’d be negligent to not quickly run through the science of weed vaping. Going the smoke-free route with a vaporizer is considered “likely less harmful than smoking” marijuana, because smoke itself is bad for your lungs. You know, the whole Joe Camel thing. The CDC has linked lung illness and some deaths to vape products with THC—remember the vape outcry of 2019?—but the big asterisk is that the THC products to blame were for the most part acquired from bootleg, black market sources. The lesson here is don’t be an idiot about where you get your concentrate. And because, annoyingly, marijuana is still illegal under federal law, hard-hitting research about vaping it remains scarce in these early days of legalization.
Speaking of legalization, getting high continues to be something of a political act, not just in terms of fighting for legality, but in terms of fighting for social justice in the cannabis industry. Even as it booms, the industry is rife with inequality, serving the well-funded startups and venture capitalists more than it does the grassroots efforts that made cannabis legit. Buy a real nice vape for yourself, then make the effort to purchase product from dispensaries and companies that fight for incarcerated people locked up for nonviolent drug offenses, invest in the BIPOC communities that are being boxed out of the industry, or fund political initiatives to end the so-called war on drugs, which has long given police an excuse to target people of color.
We know you just want to vape, but vape smartly. Here are a dozen of the best—and best-looking—weed vaporizers you can get right now. Pair one with quality flower or concentrate (or both) and get to it.
Here are the best (and best looking) weed vaporizers and marijuana vapes you can buy online right now, and everything you need to know about vaping cannabis before you do.
Cannabis Inhalers: Are They Effective?
Saturday December 21, 2019
F ollowing on the heels of more widespread cannabis legalization has come a multitude of ways to consume the versatile plant, like edibles, concentrates, dry herb vaporizers, and many more. One such innovation is the advent of the cannabis inhaler. Similar to inhalers used for asthma, they deliver a discrete and precise dose of cannabis compounds CBD or THC. Cannabis inhalers offer a combustion-less consumption experience that could be perceived as safer than other methods, like vape pens (especially given the recent vape cartridge crisis) and smoking joints, which comes with many unpleasant side effects, like the inhalation of smoke – known to contain hazardous chemicals like carbon dioxide and particulates. And don’t forget, every time you light up you’re inhaling some of the chemicals from your lighter, like butane. But are cannabis inhalers effective?
Information on Inhaled Cannabis and Marijuana Inhaler Features
CBD and THC dosed precisely in inhalers is believed to help those with lung conditions like asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Some studies have shown that THC delivered via inhaler can act as an effective bronchodilator that works as well as known asthma inhalers Albuterol or Ipratropium for one-to-two hours.
Bronchodilators are very important for the treatment of asthma, a serious and potentially dangerous lung disease that inflames and narrows lung airways, causing shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Bronchodilators can relieve these symptoms by relaxing the muscle bands that tighten around the airways, and clear mucus from the lungs.
A New England Journal of Medicine study found as far back as 1973 that inhaled cannabis caused bronchodilation (though particulate matter from smoke can be a lung irritant), saying, “Marihuana smoke, unlike cigarette smoke, causes bronchodilation rather than broncho-constriction [narrowing of the air passages], and, unlike opiates, does not cause central respiratory depression [i.e. a decrease in breathing>.”
It is believed that cannabis activates the CB1 receptor, present in the peripheral and central nervous systems, and inhibits the contraction of airways.
It is also thought that the activation of the CB1 receptor reduces pain, hyperalgesia (heightened sensitivity to pain), rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pain. Some medical patients prefer using cannabis inhalers because they are discrete, smokeless, virtually odorless, and won’t call any undue attention to your marijuana medicine of choice because cannabis inhalers closely resemble regular inhalers. One benefit of cannabis inhalers is that they are thought to have a higher bioavailability, which refers to the degree and rate that medicine is absorbed and its effects felt.
Cannabis Inhalers on the Market
Currently, two companies, Panaxia Pharmaceuticals, and Rafa Pharmaceuticals are working on cannabis inhaler clinical trials targeting cancer and asthma patients. They believe that cannabis inhalers will gain easier market acceptance because inhalers are already a familiar mode of administering medication. They are also betting that cannabis inhalers will help cannabis on the whole be more accepted by doctors, because inhalers can be precisely dosed.
Though cannabis inhalers have yet to make a big impact in cannabis markets, there are a couple of THC inhalers available at dispensaries in Colorado, including the AeroInhaler and the Santana Smooth (yes, that Santana, the inhaler is named after the song “Smooth,” the 1999 hit collaboration of Santana and Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas). Designed to dose precise hits of THC and terpenes, these inhalers are not necessarily for those looking for a euphoric high due to their precise dose delivery. However, THC, despite its party-boy reputation, is thought to have many healing properties, like pain and inflammation reduction, appetite stimulation, and the reduction of nausea and vomiting.
Other inhalers on the market are the CBD-only Maven Hemp, the Vapen Clear, which offers THC, THC/CBD hybrids, as well as CBD hybrids, and the CBD Luxe. Right now, cannabis inhalers are not the cheapest option on the market, retailing from an average of $50-100 for 100 puffs. By contrast, even more expensive vape pens top out at $40-60.
So, is it worth it to pony up the extra cash for a cannabis inhaler? That depends. If you, as a consumer have been concerned by the illnesses and deaths related to vaping, finding a consumption method that feels safe is important. Or if you are a medical patient with asthma, COPD, or other lung illness, using an inhaler can provide quick and discrete access to medicine that won’t upset your lungs.
Have you tried cannabis or CBD inhalers? Share your experiences with other readers in the comments below.
Cannabis inhalers are a new way of marijuana consumption. Learn more about their effectiveness and information relating to the dosing of CBD and THC, as well as what's available on the market.