Vaping Dry Herbs vs. Smoking Dry Herbs

What is Vaping?

Vaping has gained a lot of momentum in recent years as an alternative to smoking. Vaporizing heats dry herbs, oils, waxes or other concentrates to a high enough temperature to get them to turn to a vapor but not so high that the substance combusts or burns. Smoke caused by combustion contains many carcinogens not present in vapor. Additionally, vaporizing provides a cleaner taste so you can fully enjoy the flavor of dry herbs, oils and wax concentrates. There are many types of vaporizers designed for different purposes. We will go into more depth on the types of dry herb vaporizers and how vaping dry herbs differs from smoking them.

What is Smoking?

People have been smoking tobacco and other dry herbs for millennia. It is the easiest and simplest way of ingesting dry herbs. There are numerous apparatuses used for smoking including all sorts of pipes, bongs and hand-rolled cigarettes. Budget pipes and bongs can be made with plastic and metal but glass is usually preferred to get the best flavor from dry herbs. These also vary in size from small handheld pipes to massive glass bongs with additional parts to enhance the smoking experience like percolators and ice catchers. Bongs can also be used to enjoy smoking dry herbs. There are also dab rigs, which are similar to traditional bongs, but those are designed specifically for dabbing wax concentrates.

Vapor vs Smoke

Vapor vs Smoke

Smoke is made from burning herbs. This is known as combustion. Combustion is a chemical reaction that can release toxic chemicals and can cause negative effects on one’s health. This being said, most negative effects associated with smoking are linked to smoking tobacco.

Vapor is made by heating a substance to a high enough temperature to release compounds from that substance at a temperature lower than the combustion point. Vapor does not contain many of the toxic compounds created from combustion. There are many methods used to create vapor instead of smoke and we will go into more depth on the differences between these devices the section on dry herb vaporizers below.

Benefits of Vaping vs Smoking

There are three main categories of the benefits of vaping over smoking dry herbs: health, convenience and experience. Many people prefer vaping because they want to avoid inhaling the toxic chemicals caused by combustion.

Additionally, there are many things that make vaping more convenient than smoking. Nowadays, there are numerous portable, battery-operated dry herb vaporizers that can fit in the palm of your hand. You can pack a dry herb vaporizer and toss it in your pocket for use later without having to worry about carrying around a lighter or baggie.

Lastly, vaporizers provide the cleanest possible hits resulting in the best taste and full flavor profiles of quality dry herbs. Some combustion vapes provide an experience and flavor similar to smoking and other high-tech dry herb vapes can be set to complex profiles to get the best flavor and effects of individual dry herb varieties. A few of these high-tech vaporizers can even be controlled using an app on your smartphone.

Smoking Pipes and Bongs

Pipes and bongs are the preferred method for smoking dry herbs. These vary significantly in price and quality. You could find a cheap plastic bong or even a small glass pipe for under $20. On the other side of the spectrum, there are artistically or scientifically designed glass bongs that cost hundreds of dollars. Smoking Pipes typically have a dry air pathway that allows smoke to cool before passing into your lungs. Bongs have a water chamber at the base. Passing the smoke through the water allows it to rapidly cool resulting in smoother rips. Percolators and ice catchers just act as one more step of purifying or cooling the smoke in a bong. There are also bubblers which is basically a cross between a pipe and a bong. They are shaped like hand pipes but with a small water chamber below the bowl for additional cooling and purification of the smoke.

Dry Herb Vaporizers

Using a Dry Herb Vapoirzer

Dry herb vaporizers have been around for decades, but for a long time they were large desktop units that needed to be plugged into an electrical outlet and took several minutes to heat up. Over the last decade or so, portable vapes started becoming more popular as a method to enjoy dry herbs. With the growing popularity of these devices, the technology developed rapidly and now there are so many options to choose from with all different types of technologies and features. Keep reading for more details on the variety of dry herb vaporizers available on the market today.

Convection Vape vs Combustion Vape

Combustion Vape vs Convection Vape

There are two main types of dry herb vaporizers: convection vapes and combustion vapes. Convection vapes are the healthier and more popular type of dry herb vape. They bake herbs like an oven creating a true vapor. Combustion vapes are just an electronic way to smoke dry herbs. They burn the herbs, creating the same effect of smoking minus the butane from a lighter. Combustion vapes like the AGO Vaporizer are typically more economical and can be a convenient way to smoke herbs on the go.

Convection vapes offer the most variety of features, styles and capabilities. These can range from around $40 to $400. A cheaper convection vape will still bake your herbs resulting in a true vapor. As you get to the more expensive dry herb vaporizers like the Pax, Firefly and DaVinci lines of vapes, there are loads of more features. For example, you can set complex vaping profiles using smartphone apps customizable for different varieties of dry herbs and personalization. As well, these companies spend a lot on research and development to provide the ultimate vaping experience. Of course, they are also designed with the highest quality components and will last years if maintained properly.

Portable Vapes

As we mentioned before, dry herb vaporizers used to be bulky, desktop units. Now, there are limitless portable dry herb vapes on the market that can easily fit in the palm of your hand. Some of these portable vapes provide better flavor and smoothness than anything else and can easily be transported around. Vapor has less smell and dissipates quickly in the air so you can enjoy dry herbs discreetly just about anywhere. The E-CLIPSE is one of the most popular mid-range dry herb convection vapes and provides excellent flavor and quick heat up time. Some of the more popular high-end dry herb vaporizers like the DaVinci, Firefly and Pax lines boast impressively fast heat up times and provide a vaping experience like no other.

If you are looking for a portable vape, but prefer the taste and experience of smoking, check out a combustion portable dry herb vape like the AGO. These are popular in wet and windy conditions where it might be hard to light a pipe. With a combustion dry herb vape, you can get a flavorful vapor in any weather.

Dry Herb Vaporizer vs Bong and Pipes

Dry herb vaporizers have gained popularity over traditional bongs and pipes for a few reasons. First off, vapor is smoother and tastier and can be easier on your lungs than inhaling smoke from bongs and pipes. Secondly, dry herb vaporizers are extremely portable and convenient to use in more places. Technology has not changed much in the world of bongs or pipes but dry herb vapes are constantly being redesigned to deliver the ultimate dry herb vapor.

Best Dry Herb Vaporizer

E-Clipse Dry Herb Vaporizer

There is not one best dry herb vaporizer. A lot of it comes down to personal preference and also the value. Not everyone can drop $300 for the newest dry herb vape. That being said, convection vapes do provide cleaner taste than combustion vapes. Many convection vapes ranging from the E-CLIPSE to the DaVinci IQ provide complete temperature control down to the degree. Many dry herb connoisseurs like this level of control. They can vape at a lower temperature for smooth and flavorful vapor or vape at a higher temperature for thicker, more powerful vapor. Other vapes like the FireFly 2 have auto temperature settings which automatically heat at the ideal temperature to get the best vapor from your dry herbs. To find out more about individual vapes, check out our list of dry herb vaporizers or read more in our vaporizer learning center.

24-hour Online Vape Shop Near You

Whether you are looking for a dry herb vaporizer or smoking pipe, feel free to check out your local head shop. However, here at, we have an extensive selection of everything you need. We always offer FREE USA shipping with no minimums and unlike your local head shop, we are open 24/7.

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1 Response


April 21, 2022

Vaping is great n’ all… But at the end of the way, I don’t quite get that same, heavy, stony high from a couple bong hits with some fresh sticky bud. At home I almost always opt for the bong, but when I want to retain at least some productivity, convection vaping, or some distillate is nice. Cleaner head high for sure. I just love how we’ve been in a golden age of weed production quality, and smoking/vaping innovation. Great time to be a burnout!

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