What Is a Vaporizer
As per a general definition, a vaporizer is commonly known as a device used to extract the active ingredients of plant material, most commonly cannabis or tobacco, but also possibly other herbs, for inhalation.
The technique of vaporization is considered an alternative to burning the herbs (that is, smoking it), as it avoids creating irritating toxic by-products by means of heating up the material to turn its active ingredients into a vapor. Technically, no burning (or combustion) takes place, which means that no smoke is created in the process.
Vapor does not contain tar, and in comparison to smoking cannabis or tobacco (or a mixture of both) much lower concentrations of harmful gases such as carbon monoxide. Vaporizers tend to have various types of extracting chambers which turn the used matter into vapor, and are commonly made of metal or glass. It is possible to directly inhale the created vapor through an installed pipe on the device, or collect it in a jar or bag.
Vaporizers are generally considered less harmful to use than bongs or smoking cannabis or tobacco cigarettes, due to the absence of smoke and the cooler temperatures; the harmful effects of smoking are greatly reduced in the process.
Vaporizing medicinal plants has existed for centuries; but its application to the use of cannabis has only emerged in recent years. In 1993, a Cherokee medicine man named Eagle Bill was introduced to vaporizing by a Californian cannabis grower. This method originally used a heat gun to vaporize the THC. After that, Eagle Bill modified this idea and created the first vaporizer, which he termed „Eagle Bill’s peace pipe of the future“.
The first commercial production of vaporizers occurred in 1994 in Canada. In 1995, an article was published in the Vancouver Times about those vaporizers, increasing the attention and exposure to this unique method of consumption. By 2000, vaporizers were produced in West-Europe and in other countries around the world, both privately and commercially.
Generally, vaporizers use an electric heating element to heat the material. Therefore, a rough classification is often made according to method by which the material is heated.
Thermal conduction, heat conduction or simply heat transfer, involves placing the substance on (commonly) a metal plate. On the plate, the material is heated up to a degree where active ingredients start to be released. This method is considered the oldest on the market. In terms of efficiency, the conduction style is perceived as inferior, since it provides uneven heating.
A type that is considered superior to thermal heating is convection heating. In this method, the subtance never touches the heating element itself. Instead, the heating element produces hot air that flows through the substance, causing it to heat up fast and release the active ingredients. This method of heating releases more active constituents than conduction heating. Many vaporizers working onthe convection heating principle use the user’s draw to pull air from the vaporizing mechanism, through the substance, and into the pipe. Often, the vapor is cooled down by means of using water or ice filtering, similar to how bong water operates on smoke.
Some convection vaporizers use a long draw tube, commonly termed „whip“, through which the user inhales the vapors. Some other vaporizers may have an attached bag into the which the vapor is first blown. After the process of vaporizing, the user detaches the bag and inhales the contents. Here too, it is possible to use an intermediate cool off mechanism on the basis of ice or water, before the vapor reaches the bag.
Convection vaporizers can be either fully automatic, meaning they actively blow air through the heating elements, or manual, where the user needs to pull or inhale the air. Most vaporizers today are based on convection heating.
The third and last type of vaporizers uses the technique of radiating heating. Here, the substance takes in radiant energy, causing its temperature to rise. The energy is created by a thermal mass placed around the substance, or from a light source, such as the Sun.
Medical Point of View
One of the prominent reasons or arguments by doctors or anti-cannabis movements in the past for not legalizing or using cannabis in the medical sector has been the known harms associating with smoking it. Neither cigarettes nor bongs are considered healthy, or not harmful enough, to hollow that argument, as both involve inhaling smoke; vaporizers do not. The advent and growing popularity of vaporizers means that there is a way to consume cannabis with minimal to no secondary harm associated with the consumption method, and maximal efficiency of consumption. As vaporizers create no smoke, they are considered ideal for consumption in a medical environment. In fact, considering the healthy aspects of consuming cannabis, using a vaporizer can be even considered good for the health or an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
Many medical health professionals, including doctors, have recognized the benefits of vaporization; some may even recommend it to their patients if they believe this consumption method of cannabis would benefit the patient.
Typical Use Cases
Vaporizers and consumption of cannabis, whether for recreational or medical use, has increasingly become part of the lifestyle of many people around the world. The obvious benefits of this method of consumption, the lower association with drug consumption and the greater association with healthy lifestyle causes many to try vaporization. There are several stores specializing, particularly on-line, in the development and marketing of chic vaporizers as part of an advanced lifestyle. New inventions, such as portable vaporizers, working on new types of batteries which last for a few hours, which the user can carry on them and use whenever the need arises, revolutionize the market and make vaporizers a lot more relevant to different groups of people.
Personal trainers wishing to reduce pain as a result of overworking; people suffering from insomnia; others which suffer from different conditions, but are too sensitive to smoke of any type, or simply wish to avoid the harms associated with smoking. For all those, vaporizers is a relevant and viable alternative, and a chance to consume cannabis in a healthy manner.