There are two primary types of heating methods for herbal and wax vaporizers: conduction and convection. Conduction involves the transfer of heat through direct contact while convection involves heat transfer via air particles.
Conduction heating works by utilizing direct contact of the herb with a heated surface, often times solid metal or a screen. A common issue to be aware of with vaporizers like this is burning of the herb due to uneven heat distribution. It is very difficult to regulate the temperature with vaporizers that use conduction and we recommend to periodically stir or shake the material.
Convection heating, on the other hand, works by passing heated air over the dried herb, vaporizing the material more evenly and efficiently. This makes convection heating the preferred choice for many looking to get the most out of their experience. The herb never comes in touch with the heating element; instead air is either forced by a fan, or through inhalation, over the herbs and through the mouthpiece. Ceramic heating elements retain heat extremely well and are unaffected by cool air drawn through the system.
Studies have found that the sweet spot for vaporizing herbal material is around 338°F. At this temperature the active elements in herbal material are converted to a vapor that can comfortably be inhaled. While the exact amount of components released depends on the compounds present and the temperature, none of the toxic bi-products of smoking herbal material is present in the vapor. This means that vapor will have a much higher percentage of the desired herbal material elements when compared to smoke.
Many vaporizers typically feature a digital temperature control that allows you to alter the ratio (the term ratio is important here) of active components you’re vaporizing. When you ignite herbal material with a lighter, you are releasing all essential elements at once, often times destroying desirable elements that give herbal material its unique flavor, smell, and effects. Since certain elements have the lowest boiling point, around 132°F, they are typically the first compounds to be released by vaporizing. As such, if you are looking for a tasty, aromatic hit, you should select the lowest available temperature setting on your vaporizer and slowly work your way up to 350°F to finish off your material.