5 Reasons Why I Vape Dry Herb
First of all, what does it mean to "vape dry herb?" It means that instead of setting dry and ground herb on fire and inhaling the smoke (and whatever else rides in on the breath, such as ash, resin, plant matter, etc.) the herb is heated to a lower temperature, just hot enough to boil the oils contained to vapor.
Now, let's kick this off by making two things perfectly clear - inhaling smoke of any form is not healthy - be it tobacco, hemp, lavender, anything. Combustion is combustion, and while there are countless potential benefits to smoking herb, our lungs aren't actually excited to inhale anything beyond clean air, and that goes for vapor, as well. Also, I am an old school flower girl and I greatly appreciate the ritual of the bowl spark and joint roll. I have been smoking herb for 21 years, and I cannot imagine a time where I will not continue to do so to some extent.
That being said....this is why I vape dry herb.
Still true to the ceremony, vaping dry flower involves breaking and grinding bud, packing the vessel and heating the herb. It modernizes a method that has been relied upon for thousands of years, connecting the user close to the source in its natural form. For those who appreciate the true flavor of cannabis with its terpenes in tact, this is a cleaner means of achieving that end. There is also the immediate relief that comes for pain and/or anxiety in inhalation as the medicinal molecules travel quickly through the cell walls from the lungs to the bloodstream. This makes dosing a lot easier to figure out as opposed to an edible or oral tincture/oil that can take an hour or more to take effect.
Considered less harmful - though still abysmally understudied as all things cannabis tend to be - vaporizing dry herb does not heat to the point of combustion, greatly reducing the chances of carcinogen production and other toxic byproducts. By vaporizing dry herb specifically, as opposed to concentrates and oils, the consumer is able to inspect the herb itself for mold, insects, quality, etc. There isn't a need to worry about additives, especially if it is understood that the plant is pesticide free. There are a LOT of snake oil sales-folk out there, bottling vegetable oil with a few drops of CBD and calling it medicine. Botanically derived terpenes may come from plants that are treated with harmful pesticides. The closer to the source, the more confident the experience can be. You lucky devils that are able to self-sustain from your own garden are in the best position, of course, to tailoring your medicine confidently to your needs. Not to mention, you save loads of money....
Even if you don't grow herb at home, vaporized herb goes a hell of a lot farther than herb set on fire and dumped in an ash tray. With the temperature maintained properly, one packing of herb can not only last longer than a smoking session, but can be repurposed. Already vaped herb still holds some medicinal properties that can be further extracted in tinctures and oil or butter for cooking/baking. Flower is typically also less expensive than concentrates, and while stems and trimmed leaves can be harsh or unsmokable, they can be vaporized. Don't grind up the stems, though, as the medicine is in the trichomes clinging to the outside.
Back to temperature maintenance... Game. Changer. Different terpenes boil at different temperatures. The energizing and mood enhancing limonene's boiling point is 348°F/176°C, while the calming and sedative linalool comes in at 388°F/198°C. Heating these terpenes beyond their boiling points means burning away their medicinal qualities unused. Many dry herb vaporizers come with temperature controls so you can reach and maintain boiling points, and even increase the temp throughout a session to reach the optimal point for various terpenes in the herb/herb mixture. This provides even greater opportunity for tailoring as you can create custom blends of various herbs.
While vaporizing dry herb does provide a cleaner flavor, the smell of whatever herb is involved is significantly lower. Breath, clothes, hair, a space, none will carry a lingering and acrid smoky aroma. There isn't a cloud of smoke anywhere, even inside, and anyone in the vicinity who is sensitive to smoke won't find their lungs irritated second-hand. There are some vaporizers the size of party hookahs that take up residence on coffee tables, and there are some vaporizers that are almost annoyingly small and should come with some sort of tracking system.
Personally, I love my Pax 3. It's small enough to keep in most pockets (when I'm fortunate enough to be wearing something that comes with actual pockets), and still holds enough to last quite a while. There are four different temperatures at the click of a button, though temp can be adjusted even more precisely with the corresponding app. It's durable, with enough weight to make it a little easier to keep track of. It works with some concentrates, but vaporizes herb beautifully. I have found it easy to clean, long living battery-wise, and perfect for beginners. It also comes with a 10 year warranty which is bananas.
Regardless of the device you choose, I hope you explore all the benefits of vaporizing dry herb from an educated and curious place. Taking notes on terpenes and dosages can help you get to know your body in a whole new way, making it possible to respond immediately to familiar needs with precision and efficacy. What combinations are you excited to try?