Congratulations. You have chosen the most convenient and healthy way of getting your extracts into your blood stream – wax vaporizers. About 95 per cent healthier than smoking, much quicker than eating, and incredibly tasty to boot, it’s the way to do it.
But how do you do it properly? What’s a good wax vaporizer? Are they really better for you?
The Herbalize Store has a fantastic range of wax vaporizers, but you need to know a bit about them before you can make the right choice for you. Shopping for a new gadget is a lot of fun (or a total drag, depending on how you choose to look at it), but it can be very disappointing if you don’t make the right choice, so here is a beginner’s guide to wax vaporizers.
A wax vaporizer is a device used to heat a waxy concentrate to a temperature where the goodness contained within is vaporized without burning it. Burning stuff produces lots of hideously poisonous chemicals, so this sweet spot is exactly what your wax vaporizer is aiming for.
Generally, a wax vape will not be able to vape dry herbs and the other way around too. You can get ones with interchangeable heating chambers for dry herb and wax, which is worth considering, but if you’re sticking to your waxy oils, go for one that just does that. It will do it better than one that is a compromise.
Most concentrate vaporizers are quite small because they only need a tiny chamber to heat up. One tiny drop of dab/wax/shatter/whatever you want to call it will give you a thick cloud of tasty vapour, so the machines are often quite small. One of the cool things about wax vaping is that they look a lot like an ecigarette, so you can easily take a hit when you are in public and nobody will notice.
The heating element of a wax vaporizer works through resistance and induction: you run an electric current through it, it resists the flow of electrons and produces heat. This heat is then transferred to your waxy deliciousness, which skips being a liquid to form a vapour, which you then inhale.
By varying the voltage, you vary the temperature. More electrons = more heat. Temperature controlled!
Dry herb vapes do not usually go over about 220 degrees Celsius. A dab rig or wax vape pen gets much hotter because it needs to instantly vaporize your wax. Measuring temperatures this high is tough, so manufacturers just put a voltage setting on that you can adjust. With a little experimentation, you’ll find the right variable voltage setting for you.
It is rare for a portable wax vaporizer to come without a USB charger, so you can charge the battery wherever you can charge your phone. Batteries are much better than they were even a few years ago, so you can get 1100mAh battery in a small ecig-looking device that will give you several extended sessions’ worth before it dies.
Some have replaceable batteries, which is super-useful when you’re going out for a mad one or know you’re going to be out of the house, enjoying nature and all that for a while.
Wax vapes do not need much cleaning – the high temperatures blast away nearly everything into your lungs, so there is not much left. This is one of the advantages of this technology. However, you do need to clean them occasionally. It is easy: use some industrial alcohol (outside) and wash them down. The gunk will dissolve in the solvent and you can just wipe it away.
Mouthpieces and attachments will need regular cleaning because the vape will condense on the insides as it flows up the tube. Plus, it’s going in your mouth!
First off, you’ll need a supply of good wax/shatter/crumble/dab. Once you have your concentrated extract in hand, you will need a dab tool to get the wax from your bottle into the heating chamber. Stick it in, try to get it as close to the centre as possible, turn on the machine when you want, and inhale.
Simple. That’s the appeal of them.
They are all basically the same thing. They are all concentrated extracts of our favourite plant, just with varying concentrations of different ingredients. High potency shatter is a very pure extract, containing mostly the active ingredients and not much else. Budder is an extract that has a consistency akin to butter, hence the name. Crumble is basically the same, just a little more granular. Wax is a thicker, gloopier mixture.
Which you use depends on your supplier and your preference. You’re just starting out, so we recommend trying them all! Before you know it, you’ll be an extract connoisseur.
Dab pens are small and portable, they will give good results but not the luxuriant clouds of vapour that a bigger, more precisely controlled wax vaporizer will. An original dab rig with a glass globe and a heated nail is really for the more experienced vapers, so maybe look for something simpler to help you start your vaping quest.
There are a number of different heating elements available. Quartz crystal is popular – it is tough, heats up fast, and is quite efficient. Others use titanium or ceramics. Each has its own advantages and it always ends up a compromise between price, quality, and capability. This article does not have the scope to go into detail but if you check out the Herbalize Store, there is plenty of information there on all the different varieties.
The crucial factor. You can pick up a decent wax vaporizer for under £30. It will give you vapour and last a while. Double the price and you’ll get something like the incredibly popular Dr Dabber; temperature controlled, high quality vape, lightweight, and long lasting.