First, let's set the right expectations
I should tell you that you won't be getting the same kind of huge, thick vapor clouds you see in vape mods or eCigs. Weed vapes produce dense, but not thick vapor that dissipates quickly. With herbal vaping, it's more about the flavor and the aroma.
So, with your expectations set at the right level, it's time to get started.
Of course, the most obvious tip is- USE A GOOD VAPORIZER. Otherwise, none of these would work.
Get Your Herbs As Dry As Possible
It seems obvious, right? They are called dry herb vapes, after all, so the drier the herb, the better the vapor. You should always get the driest herbs you can from your dispensary, but if they're not dry enough, then you can use a simple glass jar to get them even more dehydrated.
To dry up your herbs- place it in a glass jar, place tissue paper on top of, and beneath, your herb and leave it overnight. If there is any moisture in the herb, it should get sucked into the tissue paper. You can also use moisture-absorbing bags that you can buy on Amazon to help with the process.
Grind It Up
A good grinder is useful for many different reasons. One reason is that it helps to vape your herb more efficiently by breaking it up, which increases the surface area.
Properly ground herb has a lot of exposed surface area, so hot air can travel through and pick up the terpenes and other potent molecules. A lot of surface area would cause your herb to “burn” evenly and will get you the most vapor. A Good Grinder is essential to producing nice, abundant, and flavorful vapor.
My favorite grinder is the SLX grinder (Review | Buy). It also has a Ceramic coating, so nothing sticks to it. It turns as good as new even after a year of heavy use and 0 cleanings. So SLX or another, use a high-end grinder that would ground your herb finely and evenly.
Pack the Perfect Oven
Most weed vapes have specific instructions on how much herb should be placed in the chamber. But a general rule of thumb is to pack a full & fluffy oven. The reason is that dry herb vapes work best when the heated air can pass through the ground herb and heat it up evenly.
In addition to getting better vapor, you will also get better flavor and potency because you will be extracting more of the active substances in the herb. You will also lower the draw resistance, so you don't have to pull as hard from the mouthpiece.
Packing too much herb in the chamber reduces the airflow, which means that you have to inhale harder, which means that you won't get a lot of vapor. The perfect oven is- fluffy & even, just like with other items on this list- experiment and understand what works best with your vape.
When choosing a dry herb vaporizer, it's important to consider the oven size. If you're a solo vaper, I'd suggest a vape with a small oven such as the Solo 2 (Review | Buy) or the KandyPens Pro (Review | Buy). If you vape with a spouse or a group, definitely go for a larger oven such as the one of the Mighty Plus (Review | Buy) or the Pax 3 (Review | Buy).
Turn Up The Heat
This tip might depend on vapers preference and could be subjective to some. The higher you set your temperature, the closer you will come to a smoke-like experience, and the stronger the effects of your vapor will.
But here's the tricky part. For most vaporizers, the higher you set your temperature, the more your flavor will deteriorate, and the harsher the vapor is. So, experiment and find the sweet spot between flavor and vapor production.
I start most of my sessions around 380°F and increase up to 390°F towards the end. It's nice to start a session low and get that fresh aroma and then increase to get the full effect.
If it's bigger clouds you want, then you'll need to go higher than the ideal, but you should keep in mind that you won't be getting the best flavor from your herb. Some vapes, for example, the Firefly 2 (Review | Buy) do not produce a lot of vapor even on higher temperatures. That does not make them any less potent than vapes with higher vapor production such as the DaVinci IQ (Review | Buy) or the X-Max Starry (Review | Buy).
Use The Right Inhaling Technique
Long, slow draws help you to extract more of the vapor, but the length of the draw is different with each vaporizer. So, you should experiment with your vape to find the draw duration that works best for you.
Most vaporizers work better if you ‘sip' them instead of ‘rip' them. This means that you draw in a controlled way, and take a full breath in. Long, slow inhales help you to extract more of the vapor. This part is a bit hard to explain because it is different from one Vape to the next.
No matter which vape you use, it will take a few draws to get the hang of it. Generally, I recommend drawing for 6-10 seconds and taking a full, controlled inhale. You can adjust the speed and intensity to find the perfect draw.
If drawing is hard, you may have overpacked the oven. Try to take out some material and loosen-up/ fluff the rest. Practice makes perfect, so experiment and analyze the results.
Each vape has a different draw-resistance (the amount of resistance felt while taking a draw), so your inhale paste depends on the particular vape you're using. Vapes like the Mighty or POTV One (Review | Buy) has a low draw resistance, while vapes such as the Firefly or the G Pen Pro (Review | Buy) have a higher draw resistance.
I strongly recommend cleaning your vape right after a session. You see, cleaning your vape is like washing the dishes- it's easy if you do it right away, but if you wait, the residue will dry up and will be harder to remove. Heat melts it, so clean your oven right after your session, when the oven is still semi-warm.
You should empty the oven after every session and use a small brush to remove any used herb if needed.
Once every 8-15 uses, take the vape apart and clean all residues and clogs. Most vaporizers can be easily cleaned with ISO alcohol or Q-Tips dipped in ISO alcohol. Never submerge your entire vaporizer in ISO alcohol.
Vapes such as the Mighty (Review | Buy) and Solo 2 (Review | Buy) require very little maintenance, and they are also designed in a way that the mouthpiece is the only component that gets dirty. Mouthpieces are not expensive and can be replaced easily, making these two vapes practically maintenance-free.
Let Your Vape Sit For a While
Another good thing to do in conjunction with the above technique is to wait twenty or thirty seconds to start inhaling after the vape has reached the temperature you selected. Or, during a session, you can wait ten to thirty seconds between draws.
The reason for waiting, in either case, is that heat continues to build up in the oven. If you combine this with the above draw technique, you can significantly increase the amount of vapor you produce.
As I mentioned in the beginning, dry herb vaporizers just don’t produce vapor that is comparable to smoke or e-liquid vapes. The guy you saw at the bar blowing huge clouds was not using a dry herb vaporizer. He was using a vape mod. Herbal vapes produce very flavorful and aromatic vapor, but it is not thick.
These tips will help you get more vapor from your dry herb vaporizer and will improve vapor production, flavor, and reduce draw resistance.
Do you have more tips that are not on this list? Write them in the comments, and we’ll update this post!