Vaporizers offer a healthy alternative to smoking cannabis by cutting down on toxins and carcinogens inhaled during consumption. Vaporizers work by heating up cannabis to a temperature that releases THC from the plant into a combustion-free airy vapor. When properly used, vapor inhalation is as effective as tradition smoking, but without the harshness. This primer to vaporizer essentials introduces smokers both new and old to a healthier way of enjoying their cannabis.
Our guide sticks devices that work with traditional cannabis flower rather than the oil, dab, and wax concentrates which may be more difficult to find. Vaporizes come in all shapes and sizes; our guide looks at the very best of those on the market - from home to portable use.
HOME USE VAPORIZER
Volcano Classic with Solid Valve
When it comes to stationary models, there is really only one choice: the Volcano. Far from a portable unit, the Volcano is a home/office appliance with a heating base that skillfully fills a large balloon-like, multi-functional poly bag with an ample volume of THC-infused vapor. Buy the solid valve version which requires a touch more work, but is their most effective valve. The Volcano is best used in a group environment of two or more friends, though do not be alarmed to see professional users consuming solo bags. Play safely. ($670)
Atmos Herbal Pen
Considered the new kid on the block in the world of "pen" vaporizers, the full-sized Atmos Herbal Pen looks like any old typical e-cigarette but is engineered to work with traditional flower as well as oils and waxes. The pen packs a punch and works incredibly well. On a full charge, the Atmos Herbal will keep up with your day. ($190)
Still a standout favorite in the portable class of vaporizers, the Launch Box is one of the smallest portable vaporizers on the market. The form factor is milled from solid wood with a metal heating unit that conducts power to the device by a simple battery for very fast vaping. Simply punch in the battery and draw air from the included stem. One downside to the Launch Box is that the included rechargeable batteries power down quickly; heavy users will need to keep batteries on the included charger almost nightly. For those using the device from home, consider the optional Power Adapter 2.0. ($120)
The Ploom PAX is to vaporizers what the iPod was to music. A beautifully designed product, the PAX is shaped like a flat cylinder and looks like an oversized e-cigarette, making it a good choice for stealth, outdoor use. A built-in rechargeable battery powers the PAX for a good number of sessions; the included charging stand makes powering up a breeze. Available in multiple colors. ($250)
The Firefly, like the PAX, comes in an elegant form factor, but weighs almost twice that of the latter, which is far from light when compared to options shown above. But where the Firefly is heavy, it makes up for in power: the Firefly pulls a well with each draw. Available in multiple colors. ($270)
Regardless of which vaporizer you choose, a proper grinder is a necessity. Vaporizers require finely ground organic material to operate properly, but not all grinders are the same. Here is our selection of grinders that do the job every time.
One of the finest we have used, the ZEUS is milled from airplane-grade aluminum and comes in a conventional 3-inch size with catch screen for special dust residue (save it; use it). ($49)
Magic-Flight Finishing Grinder
Specially-made for the Magic-Flight Launch Box, this Finishing Grinder delivers micro-ground organics that are sized right for any vaporizer, though it grinds far less than traditional 3-inch grinders like the ZEUS. ($40)
Ball Mason Jars
The professional choice in keeping things fresh. Forget Ziplocks, film canisters, prescription pill bottles -- none of these will keep your organics airtight. Choose mason jars for this job. Ball Mason Jars are available in a wide selection sizes and while not portable, they keep everything fresh for ages. Yes, you will still need to rely on another vehicle for taking organics on the road with you, but store your home stash in these jars.
Visine Advanced Lubricant
Enjoying organics does bring certain minor "side affects" to some users. A common ailment, Keratoconjunctivitis sicca -- better known as dry eyes to most -- is easily treated with a few simple drops of Visine Advanced. Save yourself unneeded explanations and invest in a bottle.