How to Choose a Vaporizer

Vaping has become extremely popular in the world of cannabis consumers these days. This is likely due to the fact that vaping mitigates some of the health risks associated with inhaling hot smoke from combustion. This popularity has spawned a lot choice in vaporizers and, thus a lot of confusion. There are a lot of junk products out there and we want to help you make an informed choice. The most important thing to consider is what type of cannabis products you are going to vape.Dry Flower or Concentrates?This is the first thing to consider and will influence you choice in vaporizer more than anything else. There are vaporizers that will accept both dry herb and concentrates but they tend to be clunkier and more expensive. So if portability and budget are important to you then you may want to stick to a model that is dedicated to one type or the other. Personally when it comes to dry herb, I prefer joints. I know it's not the healthiest way - but I'm old school. When It comes to hash, I love a good hash and tobacco joint - I'm super old school. However, when it comes to oil and some of the newer concentrates like shatter and rosin, vaping is my preferred method. Concentrates tend to be messy and a good vape pen solves that. While I' have used a vaporizer and I remember when Marc Emery claimed to have invented the soldering iron version when he ran for mayor of Vancouver, I've only ever actually owned a very basic generic pen that I lost before I'd consumed a quarter of the oil (it was good oil). This post represents my research into the subject and the methodology I am going to use when I finally buy one. I don't want to own a whole bunch of them (I probably will anyway), because not only am I old school - I'm a cheap bastard.

Are you a Control Freak?

Vaporizer with 5 temperature settings

One of the great things about vaping is that you aren't actually burning the cannabis and thus the vapor cloud has a higher concentration of active cannabinoids than if you burn the same product. This means that one hit from a vape is stronger than an equivalent hit from a joint or bowl. The temperature that the cannabis is vaporized at has a significant effect on the cannabinoid profile of the vapor cloud. Some models allow you to control the temperature to a single degree while others have a single setting and still others may have a few preset temperatures. As an example, THC has a boiling point of 157 C while THCV boils at 220 C. So in theory, if your vape temperature is lower than 220C you would end up with a higher concentrating of THC in your vapor cloud, and no THCV. Since THCV has a moderating effect on THC, as a recreational user looking for a bigger buzz, this might be what your looking for. Personally I like some degree of control, but if you are going to be vaping oil in a cartridge, then a single temperature is probably fine. Studies have been done that show the ideal vape temperature that gives the widest cannabinoid profile is 200C. At least according to the following study. Others say that 210C is best. In the end it's up to you.

Vaporizers decarboxylate cannabinoid acids at about 200°C and release neutral, volatile cannabinoids, which enter the systemic circulation via pulmonary absorption from the vapor <22>. The non-pyrolytic vaporization avoids the formation of hazardous combustion products, such as tar, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), carbon monoxide, and other carcinogens (e.g. benzene) <2225>.Medicinal Cannabis: In Vitro Validation of Vaporizers for the Smoke-Free Inhalation of Cannabis

It is important to note that benzene boils at 200C ,so any temperature above that and you are getting a known carcinogen in your vape. Below that and you are missing out on terpenes and other cannabiboids. Benzene is found in cannabis at much lower levels than in cigarette smoke, so don't worry about it too much. Most single setting vaporizers operate in the "sweetspot" between 200-210C.

Convenience at What Cost?

Another thing to consider is the degree of portability you require. There are vaporizers that require warm up time and are quite large that are designed exclusively for home use. At the other end of the spectrum there are "pens" that are designed to be carried in your pocket. There is even one that is disguised as a pen and actually writes - very James Bond, but I would posit that if you're that paranoid then maybe you should consider another hobby. With concentrate vaporizers one load can last quite a long time while one bowl of dry herb , well you know how fast you can smoke a bowl. Personally I like the convenience of a concentrate or wax pen as they are sometimes referred to.


There is a surprising degree of compatibility of cartridges and accessories across vape manufacturers but, it's something to look out for. If you are into concentrate cartridges then you want to look at the threading that is used to attach the cartridge to the battery. There are two main types of threading that have been developed over the years and have become industry standards.

510 Connection

There is a great deal of speculation on what this number means. It is actually a machinist term. 510 means 10 threads at 0.5 mm per thread. The diameter is 7mm. If you were to create this thread yourself, it would use an M7 x 0.5 tap. This type of connection has the male threads on the cartridge and the female threads on the battery. This is rapidly becoming the industry standard and is probably the most widely compatible with available tanks and accessories. It was the original spec on the Joytech 510.

808 Connection

This connection is sort of the polar opposite of the 510 as the male threads are on the battery and not the cartridge or tank. This design tends to provide better airflow and has traditionally been less prone to leaks.

Asthetics and Design

Now that you've chosen the type of vaping you want to do most often and the degree of control you want, it's time to consider the balance between practicality and looks. Yes looks are important. Plus the practicality of the design. where is the charger port etc. There are lots of different colours and styles to choose from. I mean let's face it , dong bongs aren't for everyone.

So What am I Gonna Choose

I think I'm going to go with the Yocan Magneto. While it only offers a single temperature it has a couple of features that I really like. Namely the silicone storage container that's built into the bottom and the integrated magnetic dab tool. It also sports the luminescent option so that you can find it when you drop it and it rolls under the couch. I've heard that the stock coils are not the greatest so I think I will pick up a box of the new ceramic "donut" coils for the Evovle Plus as the coils for the two models are compatible.

After I purchase it I'll do a review and let you know if I made the right choice. Let me know what you think of my choice in the comments.

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