Vaporizers, colloquially known as vapes or vape mods, allow smokers to inhale THC and nicotine products without delivering hot smoke to the lungs. There are many different types of vapes which have some of the same basic parts and rely on one of two heating methods. To choose the right one, out of thousands available, it helps to know the basics of how they work.
Types of Vapes
The various vape types can be broken up into dry herb, drip and tank vaporizers, and then further categorized by the method of heating. All these types work in the same basic way, heat is applied to the dry herb or liquid via electrical coils, raising the temperature to just below combustion point. This heat turns the product into a vapor which can then be inhaled. There are portable vaporizers, such as the Ghost MV1, or desktop ones for home use.
The basic parts of most vaporizers are the battery, the body and the mouthpiece. Dry herb vapes will have an herb chamber while liquid vapes will have a vaporization chamber. Desktop versions will have a plug instead of a battery and will need to be connected to an outlet to work. Battery operated mods can either have removable and rechargeable batteries or have charging cords for built-in batteries. Mod bodies are designed to be comfortable to hold and use, have a firing button as well as some buttons for adjusting the temperature. Most will have locking features to keep you safe when carrying the mod in a pocket or bag. The mouthpieces of vaporizers are generally hollow tubes allowing for inhalation of vapor and can be made from metal, plastic or glass or shaped into straws, bulbs or wide rings. Single-use nicotine vaporizers, or e-cigarettes, will not have rechargeable batteries, many adjustment features or refillable cartridges.
There are two basic heating methods for vaporizers, conduction or convection. There is also a hybrid of the two in some high end vapes. Conduction heating is the most common and is when the heating element comes into direct contact with the herb or liquid. Convection methods heat air which is then passed through the dry herbs to heat them. The conduction/convection hybrid is said to produce a more rich-tasting vapor.
Vaporizers are relatively simple machines with many configurations in terms of types, parts variations and aesthetics. These units heat marijuana and tobacco products enough to vaporize them and allow the user to inhale vapor instead of smoke. Knowing some of the basics of parts, heating methods and types can help you choose the right mod for your needs.