Beginner's Guide To Dry Herb Vaporizers: Anatomy And How To Use One

How To Use A Dry Herb Vaporizer

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Last updated:

In this walkthrough, we'll teach you all about how dry herb vaporizers work, including their essential components and how they come together to provide an elevated experience.

If you want to enjoy cannabis flower without dealing with pipes or joints, you'll be happy to learn that vapes aren't just for concentrate users. That's right: allow us to introduce you to the world of dry herb vaporizers. In this article, we'll walk you through their components and how they work. Once we've covered that, we'll teach you how to enjoy this wonderful product of human ingenuity for yourself.

What Is A Dry Herb Vaporizer?


"Wait a minute", you might be thinking. "If you put dry herb into a device that applies heat, isn't that just smoking?". Well, not quite. Instead of setting the herb ablaze, the weed is placed into a chamber that gently heats the material until vapor is released. Since no combustion is involved, there is no resulting smoke. This offers more benefits than you might think. Do you like smoking efficiently? Then you'll love vaping. When you light your weed on fire (i.e. whenever you smoke), you lose a significant amount of cannabinoids and terpenes to the scorching heat. With vaping, the cannabis never actually combusts, so you end up getting the most out of what you've got.

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Dry Herb Vaporizers Offer Plenty Of Advantages


The increased potency (and potential safety benefits) of vaping over smoking is one thing, but the vape craze comes down to one main feature: convenience. You can fit any portable dry herb vape in your pocket, and you don't have to deal with any bulky glass or delicate rolling papers. It's no wonder that droves of on-the-go smokers have moved from smoking to vaping. There are desktop herb vaporizers great for group sessions at home, but we'll just be focusing on the portable vapes for today.

Anatomy Of A Dry Herb Vaporizer

With a truly vast array of options, it's important to know how different vaporizers work so you can make an informed decision. Even the most advanced models aren't too complicated, and basic ones can be extremely to the point with their build. However, there are a few key components that are standard across the vast majority of brands and designs.


  • Batteries

There are two kinds of vape batteries: fixed and removable. It doesn't affect the vaping experience (i.e. the quality of your hits) per se. Your experience with the vaporizer itself, though, will be impacted by your choice.

Fixed Batteries

With a fixed battery, you don't have to worry about losing it unless you lose the whole device. When you want to charge it, you just have to plug it in. Also, since manufacturers can essentially put the battery wherever they want, there's great potential for design variety. This versatility also encourages greater power storage potential compared to a standard battery. However, once the battery dies, it doesn't matter if the rest of it works like a charm. Unfortunately, you'll have to replace the whole device.

Removable Batteries

Admittedly, a removable battery adds a couple more components (the battery and charger) to deal with, but there are plenty of benefits too. If you run out of battery and want to vape in an instant, just have an extra (charged) battery on hand. They're not too expensive either, so most users can have at least one at the ready. That extra battery is also handy if one happens to die for good. Not having to throw away your vape in that event is a plus, too! As discussed, the power storage of these batteries will be smaller than their fixed battery counterparts, but not by much. The designs of these vapes will often also be less brill to fit the battery, if that matters to you.

  • Herb Chamber

Now for the question we always ask about new technology: "Where does the weed go?". In dry herb vapes, there's a convenient slot known as the herb chamber where you'll put your ground-up weed. In there, as we talked about before, the weed will be heated (using convection and/or conduction technology) until vapor is released. Portable vapes usually have small chambers, so make sure you have your stash at the ready for extended vaping.

  • Mouthpiece

It's a small piece and seems inconsequential, but it affects the overall experience more than you might think. The best ones are formed to interact comfortably with your mouth as you inhale. Narrow at the tip and wider toward the base, it fits the lips and makes vaping a breeze. Flat tips don't feel quite as right, but can be necessary for more pocket-friendly vapes. Also, longer tips make for smoother hits since the vapor travels further before hitting your lungs.

  • Display

Getting into non-universal features, some vapes have displays where you can tell how much battery you have left, and what temperature your vape is at. Some displays even allow you to tailor the temperature of your vape. Why would you want to do this? Well, for those unfamiliar, heating your weed at different temperatures allows for different experiences. The lower the heat, the milder the high, and the potency climbs up as things get hotter and hotter.

  • Accessories

Unless you have to account for a removable battery and its charger, the only accessories you'll need for your vape are the charger and a cleaning brush. Maybe get a grinder if you don't have one, and the packing tools and water pipe attachments on offer are definitely intriguing and useful. However, those are purely optional, and you can have a great time vaping without them.

Which Materials Make For A Good Dry Herb Vaporizer?


While there are great plastic and metal body vapes alike, there are some notable trends in quality. Plastic, as you might expect, is generally associated with cheapness. Even popular, beloved products that contain plastic components are sometimes avoided by the connoisseurs among vapers.

Aluminium, in contrast, is regularly found in premium options, but that isn't to say there aren't budget-friendly metal options too. Moving toward the mouthpiece, plastic typically graces the cheaper models, while glass is standard with fancier varieties. When it comes to the herb chamber, this tends to be made of ceramic or a similar heat-safe material. It's not strange to see quality materials on budget options, though, so brand research is advised.

How To Load And Use A Dry Herb Vaporizer


The process of using a dry herb vape is probably the simplest thing about it. The procedure varies across models, but for now let's assume you have a standard pen-style model.

  1. The bowl is likely under the mouthpiece, so unscrew it and load your ground weed in the bowl. Make sure you don't overfill or cram it, though, as this could impact your vaping experience in a negative way.

  2. After you screw the mouthpiece back on, turn on the device (usually by clicking a main button several times). From there, bring the vape to your lips if heating is instant, or wait until it reaches the appropriate temperature.

  3. Place the mouthpiece between your lips, press the button (if available), and inhale slowly and consistently. Your inhale shouldn't last more than four or five seconds if you're new to vaping. Hitting any longer may cause you to cough, and any shorter will make for negligible vapor.

  4. After a few hits, you'll probably need to refill the bowl. To do that, just unscrew the mouthpiece, dump the contents of the bowl in your ashtray, and repeat the steps from earlier.

  5. As you use it more and more (depending on what your manual says), you'll need to clean it out as well. Make sure not to skip this step. It can permanently damage the vape if you let it stay dirty for a lengthy period of time.

Learn More About How Vaporizers Work


We hope you appreciated our walkthrough! If you'd like to learn more, you can check out the following posts on our site:

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.