Conduction vs. Convection Vape Pens – What’s Better for Vaping on Herbs?
Let’s talk convection vs. conduction vaporizers.
If you’re new to the dry herb vaping game (read: weed vaping), these two terms might not mean all that much to you.
And that’s okay.
If you’re switching from smoking to vaping your herb, know this — whatever type of vaporizer you choose (convection or conduction), you’re doing yourself a world of good. Vaping always wins when compared to smoking. Always.
But, that said…
… as you move along the dry herb vaping learning herb, you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting the best possible experience. That’s where knowing the difference between conduction and convection vape pens comes in handy.
And that’s what we’re going to discuss in this post, but, first, let’s take a quick look at how all dry herb vaporizers work.
How Does a Dry Herb Vape Pen Work?
A dry herb vaporizer is supposed to take smoke, soot, and ash out of the equation — this is the reason why we don’t regard pipes, bongs, and combustion vapes as true vaporizers.
A dry herb vape ‘cooks’ your material without burning it. The resulting vapor is actually an aerosol that’s packed with active ingredients from the herb (for example, THC, CBD, flavonoids, terpenes, and more).
Like I said, the goal here is to avoid burning stuff up — if this happens, you might as well smoke your herb as you’ll be inhaling tar and thousands of other harmful compounds.
But… is there a difference between dry herb vaporizers? And does it matter?
Does My Vaporizer’s Heating Method Really Matter?
The answer to this question is an emphatic yes!
Well, think of it this way — what’s the difference between cooking meat on a grill and in a specially coated pan designed to quickly sear the meat and keep the juices inside.
The answer is — flavor.
The two heating methods used in vape pens — convection and conduction — will both ‘cook’ your herb. But only convection will prevent the flavor — flavonoids and terpenes — from burning up in the process.
You see, conduction vaporizers use a heater that comes in direct contact with your product. And since flavonoids and terpenes are very sensitive, they tend not to survive the encounter.
Here’s a graphic representation of what I mean:
As the heating coil warms up in a conduction vaporizer, it ‘cooks’ most of the compounds in the herb… but the flavors simply go ‘poof’ — and they don’t make it into the aerosol you’re inhaling (at least, they don’t make it there unchanged… delicious and scrumptious as they should).
Still not sold on convection vaping?
Let’s explore both heating methods, compare their pros and cons… and then you can make up your own mind.
Conduction Vaporizers — The Pros and Cons of Conduction Vaping
We’re starting this off with conduction vaporizers.
These vapes mostly have an integrated heating chamber with a heating element — a coil or a rod — that heats up fast. It’s in direct contact with your product.
While this means that there’s no heat-up (read: annoying wait) time, it also means that some of your product is at risk of burning up (the bits that are leaning against the heating element).
For a conduction vape pen to work properly, you need to finely grind your herb, pack it tightly, and then put the chamber together and press the fire button. You can draw immediately — but the flavor won’t be on point.
The biggest problem with conduction vaporizers is that they can ruin your herb. The second issue is that a lot of that herb goes to waste — you need to physically open up the chamber, move the product around, and then go again if you want everything to ‘cook’ evenly.
Conduction vape pen pros:
·Affordable and easy to find on the market
·Heat up fast and can be used right away
·Simple to use — no bells and whistles
·Use rechargeable batteries (built in or external)
·Most are handheld devices that are very portable
Conduction vape pen cons:
·Can potentially burn your weed or herbs, creating smoke
·Lots of product remains unused and wasted
·You need to open up the chamber to stir the dry flower
·Heating is uneven, which makes use somewhat difficult
Now, let’s take a look at convection vaping.
Convection Vaporizers — The Pros and Cons of Convection Vaping
Convection vaporizers are similar in style and build to conduction vaporizers.
In the past, however, convection vaping technology was a bit bulkier, which meant that the device itself was usually a desktop instead of being handheld.
That’s no longer the case.
Small convection vape pens are now available (you’ll see our flagship Kind Pen TruVa Mini 2.0 below), and they’re a great addition to any dry herb vaper’s collection.
Convection vaporizers don’t have a standard heating coil — at least, they don’t have one that touches your dry herb directly. Instead, you place your herb inside a chamber without a heating element. The heating element is below it, and it heats up the chamber by heating the air around it.
Needless to say, this style of heat-up does come at a cost — convection vaporizers usually take some time to get to the right temperature before you can start vaping on them. But, on the plus side, you know that you’re a) not inhaling any smoke, and b) the flavors are alive and kicking!
Convection vape pen pros:
·No risk of accidentally burning your dry herb and inhaling smoke
·Better flavor — intact flavonoids and terpenes
·Even heating which ensures you use up all your material
·Maintenance and cleaning are easy
Convection vape pen cons:
·A bit trickier to find on the market
·Can be a bit more expensive than conduction vapes
·Heat up time extended when compared to conduction vape pens
·Most are desktop vaporizer (but handheld are available)
·A bit larger than traditional vaporizers
·Vapor is hotter and drier
Which Type of Dry Herb Vaping is Healthier?
Looking at this from a strictly lung health perspective, you want to steer clear of any vaporizer that produces smoke.
Smoke is the enemy here.
That’s why you’ve quit smoking blunts, right?
Well, if that’s the case, don’t go for a conduction vape. You want to avoid smoke… and even the possibility that some will be produced by accident.
Conduction vs. Convection Vaping — Which is Better?
You skipped to this part, admit it…
Because if you read all the above, you would know that convection vaping is always better. There’s no convection vs. conduction vape pen scenario in which conduction comes out on top.
That’s because you want clean vapor, loads of flavor, and maximum efficiency.
Well, if that’s the case, always go for a convection-style vape pen.