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How do Vaporizers actually work?

For many, vaporizing has become the ultimate way to get high. It‘s healthier, smoother and saves money. But what‘s actually going on in these little devices? How is the vapour produced?

It‘s all about heating cannabis just enough so that the cannabinoids evaporate into the air, without letting the temperatures burn any of the herb. The resulting vapour is free of any combustion products such as tar, carbon monoxide and other nasty toxins that are commonly found in smoke.

Now, there‘s two ways to heat up the cannabis - either through conduction or convection:


Conduction vs. Convection



In conduction based vaporisers, the cannabis is touching the heating element. Most such vaporisers use hot plates to heat up the cannabis, which effectively transfers the heat directly to the cannabis, rapidly releasing the cannabinoids into the air, ready to be drawn in.

Conduction Pros:

• The herb is heated rapidly, allowing for much more immediate vaping after the device is turned on.
• Conduction vaporisers can be made simpler in design and are usually more affordable

Conduction Cons:

• As cannabis is in direct contact with the heating element, there is an increased risk of combustion.
• Temperature control is much less precise, making them often harder to use.
The heat is distributed unevenly, as the heat is only transferred into the cannabis at the point of contact with the heating element. This means that the cannabis often has to be shaken and moved between draws.

Examples: DaVinci, Magic Flight Launch Box, PUFFiT, WISPR, IOLITE


In convection vaporisers, the cannabis is heated indirectly through hot air. A screen or gauze is keeping the cannabis well separated from the heating source, thus protecting it from burning. The heat source warms the air to a precise temperature, which is then passed through and around the cannabis, heating it up and causing it to vaporise.

Convection Pros

• Convection vaporisers allow for more accurate temperature control than conduction vaporisers.
• Precise temperature control and no physical contact with the heating element greatly reduces the risk of combustion.
As the heated air is passed through and around the entire surface area, the cannabis is vaporised evenly, reducing the need to move and shake the weed
• Convection vaporiser offer a more user friendly experience, especially for beginners.

Convection Cons:

• Convection vaporisers are usually more technologically advanced and more complicated in design, which means they are usually more expensive.
• As the cannabis is not in direct contact with the heating element, it takes longer for a convection vaporiser to heat up the cannabis than a conduction vaporiser.

Examples: Volcano, DaVinci AscentArizer Solo, Arizer V-Tower, Plenty, Herbalaire, VapirRise

In conclusion, both conduction and convection vaporizers work very well and produce exquisite highs. But because of the exact temperature control and the evenly distributed heat, convection vaporizers tend to be the preferred choice, specially for desktop vaporizers.