In today’s high-tech world, we finally have an electronic alternative to the traditional act of smoking the flowering buds of the hemp plant, known as CBD flower. Portable vaporizers exist solely for flower products, carefully but thoroughly heating the raw hemp buds to produce vapor that is inhaled into the body in the same manner as traditional smoking setups like pipes.
Anyone interested in vaping flower rather than smoking it, you’ll need to get your hands on the proper vaping device, as not all vaporizers on the market are made specifically for flower. When choosing the perfect device for your hobby, you will first need to decide between a conduction or convection device.
What are CBD Flower Vaporizers?
CBD flower vaporizers are devices that are made just for flower products. Many of us already vape CBD e-liquids and have devices that are made for this type of product. While great at turning e-liquid into vapor, they are NOT appropriate for flower, which has needs that are different from liquids. In short, trying to stuff ground up flower into a system designed for oils will cause the hemp buds to burn rather than vaporize.
Because flower is a solid rather than a liquid, the entire nature of the vaping hardware is unique. These devices force vapor out of the flower through one of two means: conduction or convection. Regardless of which choice you end up going with, these devices both operate in the same general manner. The flower goes into a chamber that is part of the device, and the chamber is heated from the power of the battery. This allows vapor to be produced from the flower, which is inhaled through the mouthpiece.
As CBD flower vaporizers get more advanced, many come with exciting features including different output options, airflow options, temperature control functionalities, and more. Flower vaporizers can be extraordinarily complex technologically speaking, or be incredibly user-friendly and intuitive.
Two Types of CBD Flower Vaporizers for Hemp Flower
Now we can discuss the differences between these two types of vaping methods. Keep in mind that while both conduction and convection-based flower vaporizers fulfill the same function, which is creating vapor from the raw flower buds, they do so by two totally different means. Some beginners may not think that this distinction matters all that much. However, the reality is that vapers tend to have a strong preference one way or the other.
Conduction-based vaporizers actually heat the product directly, meaning that heat makes direct contact with the flower that’s in the chamber. To make this process possible, the flower must be ground up very well and packed tightly in the chamber. If you were to put whole flower buds into the chamber, it would heat unevenly as not all of the product would be making direct contact with the coil, or heating element.
Overall, conduction vaporizers are newer to the market than convection vaporizers.
#1: Usually Cheaper
One welcome advantage of conduction vaporizers is that they usually cost less than their convection counterparts. They are simpler devices overall, and therefore don’t cost as much to produce.
#2: Many are Equally Compatible with Concentrates
Most conduction vaporizers are just as compatible with concentrates as they are raw flower because concentrates require direct heat to properly vaporize. This is why you’ll see more conduction vaporizers advertised as 2-in-1 devices. If you are a concentrate fan, this can be a big plus.
Because conduction vaporizers are simpler, they’re easier to use. They do not require as many steps and are more intuitive overall. Also, they usually have less adjustable options, there is no need to tinker around with different settings to get the vaping experience you are looking for.
#4: Heat Up Very Fast
Due to the use of direct heat, conduction vaporizers heat up very quickly, so you won’t need to wait to take a hit.
#5: Usually More Portable
Conduction vaporizers tend to be more portable than convection vaporizers, which comes in handy if you like to vape when you’re out of the home.
#1: Can Be Wasteful
Conduction vaporizers tend to produce more waste than convection vaporizers. Why? Because the constant exposure to direct heat can cause the flower to create a good deal of debris. And, that debris needs to be cleaned regularly to keep the device working properly.
#2: Don’t Always Heat the Herb as Evenly as They Should
Direct heat causes the herb making direct contact with the heating element to vaporize, while the rest of the herb does not. This leads to uneven heating.
#3: Can Burn Your Flower
The direct heat can sometimes burn your flower, and burnt flower is wasted flower.
#4: The Vapor May Be Harsher
Another thing about direct heat is that it can cause the vapor to be harsher because you’re inhaling scorched product.
Convection-based vaporizers, unlike conduction-based vaporizers, heat the flower indirectly rather than directly. This is because the heat source never makes direct contact with the flower that’s loaded into the chamber. Instead, steam is forced into the chamber, which allows all of the product to reach the same temperature at simultaneously. Due to this, you do not need to grind the herb as finely or pack it as tightly.
The process of using a convection vape is a bit different. Mainly, it requires that you allow the chamber to reach the desired temperature before loading your product.
#1: Heats More Evenly
By nature, convection allows the flower to be heated more evenly. By pushing heat through the entire chamber, all of the flower reaches the same temperature at the same time.
#2: Vapor is Smoother
Forced heat leads to smoother vapor, because the flower is not getting heated directly and potentially scorching as a result.
#3: Easier to Clean and Maintain
Convection vaporizers tend to be easier to clean and maintain, because forced heat prevents burnt debris that results from direct heat exposure.
#4: Not as Likely to Scorch the Flower
Because the flower is not as likely to be scorched due to direct heat, you won’t have to worry as much about product getting wasted by being burnt rather than turned into smooth vapor.
#5: Often Offers More Settings
Convection vaporizers usually come with more output settings that allow you to control the temperature of the chamber, thus bringing out different qualities of your vapes in terms of both flavor and the compounds that are activated. For instance, you can vape at a low enough temperature to take in THCA and CBDA, precursors to THC and CBD respectively, which degrade once they’re heated at too high of a temperature.
#1: Usually Not as Portable
Convection vaporizers are not as small and portable as conduction vaporizers, because they’re more complex devices.
#2: The Process is More Involved
The process of pre-heating the chamber and then adding the flower is a bit more involved than just packing all of the flower into your device and pressing a button, as is the case with conduction vaporizers.
#3: Longer Heat-Up Time
Because of how convection works, the flower isn’t heated instantly like it is with conduction. This means you need to wait just a little bit before you can take a hit.
Is One Type of CBD Flower Vaporizer Objectively Superior to the Other?
So, looking at the pros and cons of both conduction and convection vaporizers, do we have a clear winner? Well, what we can tell you is that each device has something to offer.
- Conduction vaporizers are probably the way to go if you want something that’s fast, easy, and portable.
- Convection vaporizers are better suited for those who want something that is going to deliver a higher-quality experience while offering more efficient, low-maintenance technology.
Basically, the vaporizer that’s right for you depends on your priorities when vaping CBD flower, so ask yourself what it is that you want out of your flower experience before making a decision. Both types of vaporizers are easy to find, and each one ultimately performs the same task of turning your flower into bioavailable vapor. Therefore, the choice is simply yours.