Session versus On Demand: A Weed Vaporizer Comparison

Boxers vs briefs. Belts vs Suspenders. Session vs on demand vaporizers. Debates raging across the world!
With such an important question in vaping, we aim to help you get situated on this important distinction—because we know—you need the Best Dry Herb Vaporizer for your lifestyle. So without further ado, let’s get the session versus on demand debate started!

Session and On demand Vapes for Pot: The Knowledge

So what’s the big difference between session and on demand anyway? And who uses them? You have the questions, we have the answers.

Session Vaporizers Explained

  • Session vaporizers heat your material for a given period of time, once you turn on the device.
  • You can adjust the temperature, but the vape will keep heating for a set period of time—usually from around 5-8 minutes.
  • Weed vaporizers usually have an auto shutoff feature to preserve battery life and prevent you from inhaling any burnt material.
Pax 3 Review
The Pax 3 is one of the most popular and advanced session vaporizers available.

On Demand Weed Vapes Explained

  • With on demand vaporizers, you don’t have to use all the herb in the chamber at once like you would with a session vape.
  • You can hit it and quit it (temporarily), return for another hit or two, and continue until all the herb is cashed.
  • On demand vapes need to have fast heat up times so that they’ll be ready whenever the user is. 0-60 right now!
  • On-demand vapes also tend to have smaller chambers than session vaporizers since on demand vaping time is more stretched out than session vaping.
Ghost MV1 Dual Use Vaporizer Review
The Ghost MV1 is a futuristic looking on demand vaporizer that can use both herbs and concentrates.

Session vs On Demand Herb Vapes: Who wants What?

Session Vaporizers

  • Session vaporizers are great for users who want or need a steady infusion of THC since these vapes give a nice, long dose in each session.
  • If you’re a social butterfly then session vapes are great for groups because you can pass it around. Everyone gets a hit!

On Demand Vaporizers

  • On demand vaporizers are best for people who want, or need, to microdose i.e. they only need a small amount of THC at a time.
  • On demand vapes are more efficient because none of the herb goes to waste—so if you want to save $$$, an on demand vaporizer may be the way to go.
Ghost MV1 VS Arizer Solo 2
Both the Arizer Solo 2 (L - session vape) and the Ghost MV1 (R - On Demand vape) feature vapor cooling glass mouthpieces, the Solo 2 has a longer and a shorter mouthpiece option.

Heating Systems: How they affect Session and On demand Vaping


  • Heats up the herb by passing hot air over it.
  • The herb doesn’t contact any hot surfaces and all of it gets heated evenly.
  • This method is used in the majority of dry herb vaporizers because it preserves the flavor better since the herb won’t get burnt.
  • Session vaporizers tend to use this method because of the flavor preservation.
  • On demand vaporizers also utilize this method because it is the most efficient way to vape herbs.


  • Conduction vaporizers work by heating up the surface the herb is placed on, like a skillet on a stovetop.
  • This method has a fast heat up time so you would expect it to be used in on demand vapes but it rarely is.
  • After the heat is turned off, the surface remains hot and continues heating the herb.
  • Heated air only passes over the herb during each inhale. So, there isn’t a concern that the herb will continue heating once the device has been turned off.
  • Session vaporizers occasionally use conduction but they need careful temperature regulation to avoid burning the herb.

Session vs On demand: Pros and Cons

Ghost MV1 VS DaVinci IQ v pax 3 v solo 2 v pax 3
The Ghost MV1 on demand vaporizer (2nd from L) has healthy competition among the field's premium herb vaporizers.

Session Vaporizers

Session Vaporizer Pros
  • Great for social butterflies or individuals
  • Good for people transitioning from smoking to vaping
  • Wide variety of options in style and pricing

Session Vaporizer Cons
  • Need to use all the herb in one sitting
  • Effort or accessories required to alter session length
  • Not the best choice for first timers

On demand Vaporizers

On demand Vaporizers Pros
  • Can vape on your own schedule
  • Good for microdosing
  • Efficient use of herb

On demand vaporizer Cons
  • Small chamber size = small amount of herb
  • Mostly solo vaping (could be a + for some)
  • On demand vapes can be expensive

Vaporizer Recommendations

Now that you have the low-down on the differences between session and on demand vaping, you’ll want to know some good vape choices in each category. You’re already in the right place so keep reading.

Session Vaporizers

The Crafty

One of the OG dry herb vaporizers, the Crafty delivers big flavor in a practical, easy to use package.
It’s available from Vape-Smart for $279

Crafty dry herb vaporizer
The Crafty, pictured with the carry can and capsule caddy, is a hybrid – convection / conduction vaporizer.

The DaVinci IQ

The DaVinci IQ combines brains with beauty and offers users a plethora of customization options and interesting innovations. This is a conduction vape that uses a cool and unique zirconia pearl that keeps the heating even.
It retails from DaVinci for $274.99

davinci iq coupon code
The DaVinci IQ is a stylish little portable with lots of unique features and customization options.

On demand vaporizers

Ghost MV1

The Ghost MV1 looks like a funky rocketship and can vape herbs and concentrates. You can take a hit, take a break, come back and the MV1 will be ready for you.
It retails from Ghost Vapes for $295

Ghost MV1 Dual Use Vape Review
The Ghost MV1 is one of the most stylish vaporizers around and it gives great vapor as well.

The Firefly 2

The Firefly 2 is a portable, instant on-demand vaporizer that feels kind of like an e-Bowl, and is ready when you’re ready. It’s small, it’s cool, it’s awesome freaking flavor.
It’s available from Firefly for $329

firefly 2 review
Among it’s many cool features, the Firefly 2 has a viewing portal where you can watch your herb vaping in the convection oven.

The Ghost MV1 is pretty bad-ass but so are the IQ and Crafty, curious to see how they stack up against each other? Then check out our comparisons that pit the Ghost vs the Crafty and see how the Ghost versus the DaVinci IQ plays out.

Session vs On demand: Final Thoughts

So session or on demand? There’s no one size fits all answer, it depends on what you want or need. Do you find a full herb chamber to be too much and don’t want to try packing a smaller load? Are you a cheapskate frugal person who wants to use every ounce of herb? Then on demand vaporizers are perfect for you since there’s no pressure to vape all your herb at once.

Do you need a high dose of THC for medical reasons? Do you like to share? Then session vaporizers are your best choice. You have all the info you need so make your choice, we can’t make it for you. If you want to check out some more vaporizers, take a look at our list of the Best Dry Herb Vaporizers.

A huge proponent of the vaping lifestyle who would love it if everyone who smokes makes the switch to vaping instead. Loves CBD and would like to see it infused into everything. Aside from the world of vaping, he also loves reading, health & fitness, gadgets & technology, and culture, both the pop and regular kind.

  1. An excellent write-up.
    Very much useful information for both the beginner and aficionado.

    S&B would argue their Crafty is a hybrid, (60/40) Convection/Conduction but this is subject to interpretation.
    For my purposes I consider it a Convection Vape, one of the few that you mention in a small band of Convection Vapes that aren’t on-demand.

    However, every unit you highlighted are the trailblazers in their respective categories.
    The info from the write-up is exactly what helps educate the new vape users on choice.
    Great job.

  2. Beginner –

    Is on demand and convection the same thing or different (this is starting to confuse me)? Is the arizer solo 2 on demand/convection. Being new to vaping herb for medical purposes; is there a lost of on demand / convection units (all in composing) I’ve spent hours searching but can’t find such a list.

    I would like the ability to come and go from the vap without having to consume all the product at once.

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