You’ve probably seen videos and pictures of people producing thick, milky clouds with their vaporizers. You’ve also probably tried to produce that kind of vapor yourself only to end up with thin, wispy clouds. So what the heck happened?
It could be any number of things and this article will set you straight about the different possibilities. Fair warning: you’re not going to get super-dense clouds from any dry herb vaporizer. You’ll get light to medium vapor at most—-but nothing like a cigarette, and especially not a vape mod using e-liquids or anything of the like.
This guide is all about getting more vapor from your weed vape, not massive vapor. Now that you know what to expect, let’s get started!
Solution 1: Make sure your herbs are completely dry
They’re called dry herb vaporizers for a reason, right? So, the drier the herb, the better the vapor. You should always try to get the driest, most desiccated herbs from your supplier. If you don’t think your herbs are dry enough, there are a few things you can try:
1. Use a glass jar
Put your herbs in a lidless glass jar overnight with tissue below and on top of your herb. This will prevent the formation of mold if the herbs have any moisture.
2. Use rice
Rice absorbs moisture so place your herbs in a rice container and take them out after a few hours. Take care to remove any grains stuck to your herb.
3. Use an oven
Spread some of your buds out on a cookie sheet. Preheat the oven between 100°F and 150°F and heat up your herb for ten minutes. Turn them over and heat them for another ten minutes if moisture remains. No longer or you’ll end up burning your supply.
4. Use paper and plastic
Place your herbs in an paper bag for 6-8 hours. Remove them and put them in a plastic bag for 5-7 hours. Alternate these methods, reducing the time by about an hour for each bag. This keeps the moisture even throughout the process and prevents the outside from drying faster than the center.
Solution 2: Use a good herb grinder
Grinding up your herbs to a fine consistency makes it easier for your dry herb vaporizer to heat them up more evenly and efficiently. The better your vaporizer can vape your herb, the bigger the clouds will be. Give the SLX grinder ($60 from Vape-Smart) a try if you want the best grind possible, it’s fast, efficient, and has a non-stick surface that rarely needs cleaning.
Solution 3: Pack the chamber tight (but don’t overdo it)
Many dry herb vapes will have recommendations about how much herb you should put in the chamber, but if it’s clouds you’re after, pack that chamber tight. The vapor comes from the herbs, so do more herbs=more vapor? Well, it depends on the vaporizer you’re using, if its airflow might be restricted by an overpacked chamber then don’t pack too tight.
The performance of the Crafty vaporizer ($279 from Vape-Smart), where the chamber is below the mouthpiece tend to suffer if the chamber is overpacked. A restricted airflow means weaker hits, which means weaker vapor.
Weed vapes that have the herb chamber and the mouthpiece on opposite ends don’t usually suffer from this problem. The DaVinci IQ weed vaporizer ($274.99 from DaVinci)) is a good example, it even has a zirconia pearl in the chamber to optimize heat distribution.
Solution 4: Choose a higher temperature
There is an ideal, universal temperature for all dry herb vaporizers where the terpenes and cannabinoids are vaporized most efficiently. Terpenes give each strain of herb its distinct aroma and produces various mental effects in the user, like stress relief or mood elevation. Cannabinoids produce the medicinal effects like pain relief and nausea reduction.
However, if it’s big clouds you want then you need to go a little higher than the optimum temperature even though you won’t be getting the best flavor from your herb. Here are some of the temperature ranges for most dry herb vaporizers and what you can expect from them:
320°F or below
not much cannabinoid activation | some flavor
Little to no vapor
some cannabinoid and terpene activation | light high that increases with temperature | good for beginners
optimal temperature range | peak flavor | cannabinoid/terpene production at max | stronger high
Medium sized clouds
harsh flavor | intense high | experienced vapers only
Solution 5: Change up your technique
If you want big clouds then your technique is just as important as your equipment, perfecting your inhalation/exhalation routine can yield some big results. Give the direct lung inhale (DLI) technique a try:
- Empty your lungs as much as possible.
- Draw the vapor directly into your throat and down into your lungs.
- Exhale slowly.
Using this technique will get you bigger clouds than just exhaling normally. Another upside to this technique is that you get a more intense hit, the downside is that this is really a technique for more advanced vapers.
You can also stack your hits, you do this by doing a bunch of inhales without exhaling and then exhaling all the vapor in one go. Again, this is a technique for advanced vapers.
Solution 6: You might have the wrong type of vaporizer
Some stealth vaporizers are meant for the shadows, away from prying eyes. If you own one of them then you won’t be getting big clouds because they’re meant to be discreet. And there’s nothing discreet about a big ol’ vape cloud.
You might also own a vaporizer with on demand heating. These type of vaporizers heat up quickly and allow you to take a hit, chill for a while, and then return. These type of vapes don’t usually produce big clouds since you’re not going to get big clouds in a single hit.
Plus, they tend to have smaller herb chambers than other vapes. Less herb means smaller clouds. If you have a small pen vape device then you won’t be getting huge clouds either since they also have a smaller herb capacity than larger vaporizers. The Firefly 2 dry herb vaporizer ($329 from Firefly) or the Ghost MV1 dual use vaporizer ($295 from Ghost Vapes) won’t give you big clouds but you do get to vape on your own schedule.
Solution 7: Get the right dry herb vaporizer
The Arizer Solo 2
If it’s big clouds you want then dry herb vaporizers will never be as impressive as concentrate vaporizers or e-cigarettes. The reason is that wax vapes and e-cigs vape liquids (yes, the wax is technically a liquid) and when liquid heats up a lot of vapor is produced.
Dry herb vapes will never be able to match that because of simple physics, solids produce less smoke/steam/vapor than liquids. So, with dry herb vapes, it’s better to focus on the flavor rather than the cloud production. You’ll get way more satisfaction that way. If you want to check out some dry herb vapes that will definitely give you satisfaction, check out our list of the Best Dry Herb Vaporizers.