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Vaporizer Buying Guide: What to Look For in a Vaporizer

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Vaping is renowned for its many benefits, especially flavour and health. Check out our guide to the best vaporizers. We explore the differences between many of today’s most popular styles of vaporizers to help you make the right choice!

The recent surge in vaping has left many cannabis consumers wondering if it’s time to look for an alternative consumption method. Of course, with any new development, potential users face plenty of questions before they even consider making a purchase.

  • What are they?
  • How do they work?
  • What’s the best type to suit my lifestyle?

The benefits of vaporizing compared to smoking are readily apparent; they are discreet, highly differentiated for various uses, and, best of all, allow consumers to avoid inhaling potentially dangerous smoke. 

Given all that, it’s little surprise that long-term cannabis smokers are now looking towards safer, alternative methods like vaporizers. Let’s dive into the world of vaporizers, analysing how they work, the different types available, and which style might suit you best.

A brief history of vaporizing

Vaporizing is the act of heating plant matter to the point that it releases the active ingredients without burning the plant matter. Of course, cannabis isn’t the only plant that can be vaporized, but it’s the one we’re concerned with here.

Despite its recent rise in popularity, the technique of vaporizing, as opposed to combusting, goes back centuries. The Scythians, an ancient group of nomads, would drop cannabis seeds onto red hot stones in both daily life and ceremonial practice. In the Middle East, hookahs have been used for over 1,500 years; this is where hot coals are placed above-dried plant matter (or hashish) and the heated air drawn over it.

Even modern concepts of vaporization, such as the portable vape pen, actually date back nearly 100 years. The first electronic cigarette patent was filed in 1927, while the first conceptualisation of a modern-day portable vaporizer was conceived in 1960. 

Of course, we’ve come a long way from throwing some seeds onto hot stones. Modern-day vaporizers employ various methods to heat your cannabis flower and ensure you get the most enjoyment out of every puff. 

Types of vaporizers

Classifying the many types of vaporizers as new can be challenging, and more innovative designs continue to hit the market. Fortunately, we can use a few broad categories to separate them, such as the type of heating used for vaporization, the portability of the device, or even the components necessary for their use. 

One of the most significant differences between vaporizers is the heating element. Two popular heating methods common in today’s vaporizers are conduction and convection. However, many popular vaporizer manufacturers like Storz and Bickel, and Pax, combine the two in a hybrid model. So, let’s examine the benefits and drawbacks of each!

Conduction

Conduction heating is achieved by placing plant matter or concentrates directly onto a heated surface. The heat applied is not sufficient to cause combustion but hot enough to release the vapours of the material. Remember the ancient Scythians throwing hemp seed on red hot rocks? It’s the same idea. 

In vaporizers, conduction is achieved by incorporating a chamber, commonly referred to as an “oven,” within the device. Typically made of stainless steel, ceramic, or other heat-conductive material, the chamber is filled with dry herb or concentrate. When powered on, the device will heat this chamber using a heating element below, bringing the chamber to the desired temperature and releasing vapour from your material. Vapour is then carried along the vapour path to the mouthpiece, where it can be consumed.  

Many portable vaporizers are powered via conduction. Conduction offers several benefits that make it ideal for portability, such as fast heating times and precise temperature control. Conduction vapes have some drawbacks, though, due to the necessary contact between the plant matter and the heating chamber. In a larger chamber, this can lead to some herbs not receiving adequate heat for vaporization, which may lead to waste and a limited terpene profile.

So, let’s look at some of the best conduction vaporizers available!

PAX 3 

A brilliant example of a portable conduction vape is the PAX 3, the newest development from PAX Labs. Incorporating a deep, narrow chamber, the PAX 3 ensures that all material placed within is heated evenly, leaving behind no waste. 

In addition, the PAX 3 boasts a slew of accessories and functions! Check out their unique concentrate container, multiple mouthpieces, and the ability to connect to the PAX app for optimal control of your device. With a pocket-sized, sleek design, and heat-up times under 22 seconds, the PAX 3 makes a perfect companion for those looking to vape on the go. 

DaVinci IQ2 

The DaVinci IQ2 is another high-quality portable conduction vaporizer. Featuring a glass-lined oven and glass and zirconia ceramic airpath, the DaVinci IQ 2 ensures your vapour never touches anything unsavoury. 

App connectivity unlocks the DaVinci IQ2’s power, enabling you to track your dosage per pull and session. The IQ2 is quick and discreet for those looking to take their vape with them, featuring heat-up times of under one minute. Compatible with dry herb or cannabis extracts, the IQ2 is another brilliant fusion of design and technology.

Convection

Convection vaporizers work similarly to the oven in your kitchen. However, rather than expose your dried flower in direct contact with a heating element, convection heats the air around it, heating the plant matter evenly. This is achieved by positioning the heating chamber within the device to allow for ample airflow. The warm air is pushed through the herb and then channelled to a mouthpiece, where it is inhaled.

Convection heating possesses some distinct advantages over conduction heating, not the least of which is flavour. The heated air from a convection vape tends to retain the terpene profile of the original plant matter better than any other form of vaporization. Convection vapour also tends to be less harsh, making these devices a favourite among connoisseurs.

However, along with the high-quality vapour comes a hefty price tag. Unfortunately, convection vaporizers are one of the priciest options and are often not portable. 

Volcano

One of the most popular convection models is the legendary Volcano, a desktop, non-portable vaporizer. The Volcano vaporizer, available in a digital or analogue model, is among the most famed convection vaporizers. Acclaimed for its ultra-pure vapour and extraordinary flavour, this modern-day marvel stands alone as the premier convection vape. 

Hybrid

Many vaporizer producers have turned their attention to hybrid designs incorporating conduction and convection. These hybrid designs allow for portability and optimal usage while ensuring an exceptionally smooth flavour.

Hybrid devices feature a combined heating element and chamber. The flow of the heated air, combined with the conduction heating, allows simultaneous conduction with ample airflow, aesthetically pleasing flavour and consistency.

Compared to conduction and convention vaporizers, hybrids can heat up faster.

Conduction vaporizers often need the dried flower to be moved around for optimal usage, and convection vapes usually take a while to reach the desired temperature. These hybrid models are rapidly gaining popularity by offering convection-quality vapour at a much lower cost than most convection vaporizers. They are renowned for their portability and price.

Here are a few of the more popular hybrid vaporizers currently available. 

Crafty+ 

The Crafty+ is a portable vaporizer by Storz & Bickel which combines convection and conduction to provide even, efficient heating. Boasting impressive power and performance, the device’s small profile and battery power make it perfect for taking on the go. 

Thanks to the conduction element, the Crafty+ can be ready in less than 60 seconds while offering users the enhanced flavour and smoother vapour of a convection device. In addition, the Crafty+ features app controllability, allowing users to adjust settings from their smartphone. 

Mighty 

The Mighty vaporizer is produced by the same manufacturer as the Crafty+ but boasts additional upgrades. The more notable traits are increased battery life and a larger-sized filling chamber. 

This device features a large LED display that allows users to set temperatures directly on the device. The two lithium-ion batteries can be recharged, but the device can also be plugged directly into power and used as a desktop vaporizer. 

Plenty 

The Plenty looks like something you’d find in the tool section, but despite its appearance, it is a powerful hybrid vaporizer! However, due to its size, it is primarily a desktop vaporizer.

This device utilises a similar hybrid convection-conduction heating as the Crafty+ and has a wide temperature range from 266 to 395°C. The Plenty’s stainless steel whip serves to cool vapour as it travels the path to the mouthpiece. So, if you’re looking for a unique desktop vaporizer with excellent flavour, look no further!

Up in smoke

Throughout this article, we have shown that vaporizers come in a wide variety of types, sizes, and styles. Understanding their differences can help you make an educated and informed decision about which is appropriate for you. Hopefully, vaping will further your enjoyment of cannabis, saving your lungs from the perils of smoking. 

Check out our wide selection of vaporizers here. We offer premium products from world-renowned manufacturers to help you enjoy cannabis in the healthiest, most enjoyable way possible. 

  • Disclaimer:

    Laws and regulations regarding cannabis use differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.



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Baby Boomers

Who’s Smoking Weed In The US? Here’s A Breakdown

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If you’re at a Pink Floyd light show, the odds are the person next to you is high. But what about when you are at a grocery store, or waiting in a procession for your college diploma, or in a voting booth?

Marijuana users come in all forms. They don’t all look the same, especially in today’s world where cannabis is much less associated with its burnout stigma that clung to it during the War On Drugs era. 

In fact, there really is no “type” of marijuana user, at least not according to most recent studies. Usage is up in many categories, from baby boomers to young women. With many states and companies loosening laws and policies on drug testing at work, the odds that your co-worker is a cannabis enthusiast may have gone up significantly as well.

As this landscape of marijuana users continues to shift, here are some interesting findings as to exactly who is smoking marijuana these days.

marijuana cannabis joint
Photo by Cavan Images/Getty Images

No, Cannabis Users Aren’t Lazy Stoners

The idea that cannabis users are unmotivated high school dropouts is a stereotype that is disappearing, mostly due to the fact that it simply is not true. According to the most recent Gallup Poll, both college graduates and those without a college degree enjoy smoking weed in similar numbers. According to the poll, 12% of college graduates say they consume marijuana while 18% of non-graduates say they consume.

RELATED: Does Science Support The ‘Lazy Stoner’ Stereotype? Here’s What A New Study Found

The authors of a June 2021 study wrote that, “Marijuana users are equal to or more likely to exercise than non-users,” adding that, “the commonly held perception that marijuana users are largely sedentary is not supported by these data on young and middle-aged adults.”

So the idea that cannabis makes you lose your ambition is not exactly a sound argument. 

Democrats Are More Green Than Republicans, for Now

According to the same Gallup poll, 20% of Democrats smoke marijuana, while only 12% of Republicans say they indulge (with independent voters coming in between the two at 17%). This statistic alone is likely not all that surprising, seeing how historically Democrats in power have historically been more supportive of cannabis legalization.

However, Republicans and Republican lawmakers are starting to come around to the idea of cannabis legalization, suggesting that perhaps in the not too distant future Republicans may use, or at least support, marijuana as much as Democrats.

Several studies, including one poll we recently reported on, suggest that support for cannabis legalization within the Republican party is on the rise. Republican candidates are even currently supporting and drafting cannabis legislation. This means that in some states, people can vote for a Republican and vote for cannabis legalization at the same time. Times have changed.

seniors and cannabis
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Baby Boomer Pot Use Is Booming

It may have taken several decades, legalization and a change in the general societal view of marijuana, but it seems as though Baby Boomers are finally starting to embrace cannabis use in their golden years. 

“Consider that not even 10 years ago 0.4% of adults 65 and older said they had used marijuana in the past year, and now it’s 10 times that at 4%,” Benjamin Han, a NYU School of Medicine professor told Reuters in 2020. Han was also the lead author of a study conducted by JAMA Internal Medicine, which discovered this increased cannabis usage he mentioned. While this group still does not consume marijuana nearly as much as younger generations, this increase means that there is perhaps less of a wall between generations when it comes to marijuana use as some might think.

The Future of Cannabis Is Female

While many demographics have shown an increase in cannabis use, none have shot up recently as much as Generation Z women. “Year-over-year sales for Gen Z women, defined as those born in 1997 or later, grew the fastest in 2020 compared to any other cohort, at 151%,” reported NBC News.

RELATED: Why The Future Of Cannabis Is Female

There are many possible reasons for this large spike. Some reasons include the ease and inviting atmosphere of cannabis retail facilities, and also the growing interest to use low doses of marijuana to treat anxiety and other conditions instead of prescriptions. “The future of cannabis is female,” said Bethany Gomez, managing director at Brightfield Group.



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The Rise Of Marijuana Mixology

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It seems like every time you enter a dispensary, there is a brand-new way to consume cannabis.  Whether it is an edible in homage to a favorite snack food, or a tiny discreet vaporizer, there is no lack of creativity in product development.    

One of the latest trends in recreational cannabis consumption is less inspired by exotic creativity and scientific achievement; it’s derived from hundreds of years of mixing and shaking behind the dark mahogany bars of the world.  

The cannabis cocktail is quickly gaining popularity as a fun and effective way to ingest CBD or THC.  Retail beverages like THC seltzers are available in recreational dispensaries nationwide, and they are exploding in popularity.    

These retail beverages are a popular way to enjoy marijuana, but some enthusiasts are turning the concept of drinking cannabis into its highest art form — the crafted cocktail.  By savoring cannabis through a straw, a union has formed between budtender and bartender, and the result is delicious. 

RELATED: Mixing Marijuana: How Cannabis Interacts With Melatonin, Caffeine, And Alcohol

Marijuana mixology can be approached in many ways.  There are cocktails with strong spirits and alcohol-free elixirs, just as there are libations -infused with THC while others use only CBD derived without THC.  All variations will affect the way the consumer feels an hour later, but in crafting these modern classics, the flavor comes down to the same balancing techniques used in any classic cocktail.  

Photo by Lisa Fotios via Pexels

Successful mixology is the art of balancing a cocktail’s key components, which, according to Diageo Bar Academy, are sweet, sour, bitter, saltiness, temperature, texture and alcohol (or the lack thereof).  Cannabis cocktail experimentation maintains the same balancing act, but adds the very specific flavor profile of marijuana.  Although the perfect balance for a great cocktail can be found using an array of different specific ingredients, certain flavors are already beginning to stand out as favorites.  

RELATED: Women Are Overwhelmingly The Main Buyers Of This Cannabis Product

Citrus flavors like grapefruit, lemon and lime are among the most common popular ingredients in many cannabis cocktail recipes. Grapefruit drinks, like Wunder’s Grapefruit Hibiscus sparkling — its most popular and award-winning flavor, according to Popsugar — are sought-after flavors.  Its bright acidity and slight bitterness likely helps compliment the flavor of the cannabis while also balancing the flavor profile of the overall drink.   

Most cocktails play with the herbaceous flavor of cannabis rather than trying to completely mask that flavor, which is perhaps why other herbs are finding their way into these new drinks.  Basil, cilantro, rosemary and even tea extracts have all been folded into different recipes. Hollywood Mixologist Maxwell Reis summed up the importance of cannabis flavor in these drinks when he told Goop in an interview that his CBD cocktails can “impart a unique flavor to any cocktail that could use some vegetal nuance.”  

Negroni
Photo by Flickr user mariobonifacio

RELATED: Why Cannabis-Infused Drinks Are Hit Or Miss

For cocktails with THC but no alcohol, one trend is the use of tranquil flavors reminiscent of spa relaxation.  Notes of cucumber, aloe and even watermelon are infused to alcohol-free elixirs to bring more tranquility to the already relaxed beverage.   

“The flavor reminds the consumer of a healthy space, perhaps yoga, the spa, or vacation,” Michelle Sundquist, director of innovation and product design, told Cannabis Products. 

Although it is true that great cocktails, new and old, come down to the perfect balancing of spirit, sweet, sour and bitter and salty, there is creativity and achievement to be made in this new, exciting and delicious realm of marijuana mixology.  



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How Climate Change Is Linked To The Spread Of Viruses Like Monkeypox And COVID

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Experts believe climate change makes it more likely for viruses like COVID and monkeypox to spread and infect more people.

There are currently two viruses affecting large amounts of people all over the world. This year saw the rise of monkeypox, with about 67,000 cases worldwide. 2020 saw the rise of the COVID pandemic, which continues to affect people despite the fact that there’s a vaccine and multiple boosters out.

Climate change might make this phenomenon even more common in the years to come. NPR provided a breakdown of climate change and its impact on these types of viruses, explaining why the two are linked together.

Do You Experience Withdrawal If You Stop Using Cannabis Cold Turkey?
Photo by Photographer, Basak Gurbuz Derman/Getty Images

COVID and monkeypox are both zoonotic diseases, which means that they spread between humans and animals. Climate change, which affects animals’ habitats and is linked with human migration, means that humans and animals will likely be forced into the same spaces, facilitating the transmission of different diseases.

RELATED: Can You Get The COVID-19 Booster And Flu Shot At The Same Time?

“Elements such as deforestation, population growth, and animal breeding have removed the boundaries between where humans and wild animals live, bringing them into closer contact,” explains NPR.

As animals and humans are more exposed to each other, pathogens start to change and mutate, with odds of them being easier to spread from one to the other. “Depending on the particular germ, when it has an opportunity to do this multiple times, the germ adapts to the new species,” said Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum, vice chairperson for clinical research.

Globalization makes matters worse. Nowadays, people are traveling to novel places and more often, meaning that any disease that spreads in one country could spread to another in a matter of days.

Still, despite the great technological advancements that exist and the awareness of these diseases, it’s very difficult for experts to predict incoming pandemics and viruses. While scientists may research diseases and their odds of spreading and becoming the next pandemic, it’s almost impossible to predict which disease and which region is at risk.

RELATED: Monkeypox Cases Are On The Rise — Here’s Who Can Get A Vaccine

It’s difficult to warn people about these dangers and to make governments take a stronger stance, especially when they know what’s at risk. Researchers believe including diseases and health risks and the cost of these in public policy might help people take climate change more seriously, and take some meaningful action.



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