Modern vaporizers are highly efficient devices that make medicating more efficient, convenient, and enjoyable. However, getting the most out of such devices requires a thorough understanding of their features, particularly with regard to heating and temperature control.
Getting the temperature just right is perhaps the single most important factor in determining the effectiveness and efficiency of a vaporizer. There is only a relatively small range of temperatures at which herbs will produce sufficient quality vapor without combusting. Below this range, the herbs will not vaporize at all; any higher and you run the risk of burning up your herbs.
Types of Temperature Control
Most vaporizer heating systems fall into one of three categories: digital, analog, and press/manual. Digital and analog vaporizers work in a similar way, and differ only in the method with which the temperature is set by the user. Digital vaporizers tend to provide the most accurate heating, and many such models feature a temperature display letting you know when the desired temperature has been reached.
Analog models typically come with a rotating dial for setting the temperature. Although less accurate than digital vaporizers, analog models generally allow for smaller temperature increments, or ‘in-between’ settings.
Manual or press-style vaporizers generally do not include temperature controls. Instead, temperatures are regulated by the amount of time the heating button has been pressed: keep it pressed for a short while to get smaller doses, and hold it longer for bigger, cloudier hits. With such vaporizers, careful timing is necessary in order to compensate for the lack of temperature control.
Another important factor to consider is the time it takes for the vaporizer to reach the desired temperature. You need to know how long a particular vaporizer will go from totally cold to optimal vaporizing temperature, and make your choice based on your needs and preferences. Pen-style vaporizers generally heat up the fastest, with vaping temperatures reached in as few as 10 seconds. Larger portable units tend to take slightly longer, with 1 to 2 minutes typical heating times. Fully featured desktop units that require a lot of power will take longer to heat up, with 2 to 4 minutes being the average.
All factors being equal, you should choose a vaporizer that can get up to the optimal temperature at a comfortable rate and maintain that temperature. Such units will provide the most efficient performance. Vaporizers that provide only push-button operation and those that heat up the vaporizer too quickly are best avoided because of the increased possibility of burning up your herbs.
Suggested Vaporizing Temperatures
With most vaporizers, the ideal temperature range for vaporizing dry herbs is 350° F to 375° F. This varies somewhat depending on the model, however, so it is a good idea to become familiarized with the features and capabilities of your vaporizer. Keep in mind also that dry herbs tend to vaporize at a much lower temperature than wetter herbs, so set your vaporizer’s temperature control accordingly.
It is also worth noting that the temperatures at which different ingredients in the herbs vaporize also vary. Different cannainoids and terpene (molecules that produce smell) compounds become activated at different temperatures. For this reason, a vaporizer that offers a good deal of control over the entire range of temperatures is preferable to one that offers only a few ‘coarse’ settings.
Optimal Temperatures for Popular Vaporizers
The best performance with different vaporizers comes at different temperatures. This is yet another reason why you should become familiar with the capabilities of your unit when you first use it. Take a look at some of the recommended vaporizer temperatures below.
- Arizer Extreme Q – 420° F
- Vapir Rise – 380° F
- Volcano Digital – 365° F
- Da Buddha is a popular model that does not allow for temperature-based settings, and its optimal temperature can be achieved by setting the dial to 1 o’clock.
These temperatures should only be used as a starting point for finding the most appropriate temperature for your needs. Paying close attention to the performance of your vaporizer and determining how it affects your herbs is essential in order to get the most out of the experience.