Vaporization – everything you need to know

Have you ever wondered what is it about this vaporization that everyone goes crazy about it? Why are so many people amazed about its effects? Well, there are many reasons but before we convince you that it’s time to switch from smoking to vaporization, it is worth learning a few details about the process itself and the devices used for it. If the first thing that came to your mind is “vaping” e-liquids in electronic cigarettes, we must dispel the doubts. It’s not our subject of interests today. We want to introduce you to the vaporization which raises much less health doubts – vaporization of herbs and dried plants.

What exactly is vaporization?

The vaporization process itself is quite simple. It’s all about heating the plant material to a specific temperature (which varies depending on the vaporized herb) via a stream of warm air (convection) or a heat transferring surface (conduction). It is important that the temperature is low enough to prevent combustion, but high enough for active substances to be released from the herbs. Such substances (e.g. cannabidiol from hemp with a high content of CBD) are transported together with steam and inhaled into the lungs as a vapour, from where they enter the body.

Vaporization is the most familiar to cannabis users (both those who focus on THC and those who appreciate the health-promoting properties of CBD and other cannabinoids). However, the process itself doesn’t impose such restrictions – vaporization will also be a great way to use more and less commercial herbs used in aromatherapy or natural medicine.

Best herbs for vaporization

In principle, we can vaporize all herbs from which we expect health-promoting properties. Also those with a lot of essential oils work well. These are often plants known from herbal teas, and even some spices. Remember, however, that some plants are more suitable than others. Vaporization of bitter marigold or purge, despite their high health values, will not be very pleasant.

herbs for vaporization

However, there is a lot to choose from. Ideal for vaporization are for example:

  • yerba mate, green tea – known for their stimulating properties – when subjected to vaporization, they will give you a quick energy kick;
  • sage, eucalyptus, rosemary and thyme – thanks to bactericidal properties, they help fight infections in the respiratory tract;
  • basil – it’s good for digestive processes, helps get rid of bloating and heaviness;
  • lavender, chamomile – they help to keep calm and regain peace of mind in tension situations, have anti-stress and relaxing properties;
  • hops, damiana – when vaporized, they provide slightly euphoric, relaxing and anti-depressive effect.

Of course, it’s beneficial to make all kinds of herb mixtures. As an addition, mainly due to the pleasant aroma, it is often recommended to vaporize, for example, mint.

What is the best device for vaporization?

Of course, there are special devices for vaporization – they are called, not very originally, vaporizers. It’s at this point that a problem usually occurs. There are quite a few types of vaporizers. They can be stationary or portable; convective or conditional, intended for dried plants, dried plants and oils, or dried plants and waxes (or, of course, all at once). The choice of a vaporizer is a matter of personal preferences and finances. However, you need to pay attention to some features. For your own safety.

When choosing a device for vaporization, the most important thing is its construction. Temperatures, although way lower than during combustion, will still be high – the vaporizer must therefore be built of durable, good quality materials. Some of the cheap devices can pose a threat to the health of the user, or they can be simply destroyed very quickly. No less important is to pay attention to the isolation of the so-called vapor path, which is the path it travels from herbs to our mouths. When buying a vaporizer, make sure the vapor path is separated from electronic “guts” of the vaporizer. This is crucial to avoid inhaling potentially harmful fumes.

vaporization devices

Benefits of vaporization

If you have a good quality and, most importantly, safe device – you can enjoy the benefits of vaporization. There are quite a lot of them:

  • health – vaporization is a great, healthy alternative to regular cannabis smokers [1]. Although cannabis smoke is less harmful than cigarette smoke, it still doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. On the contrary, actually – during combustion, in addition to the desired active substances, we also inhale harmful by-products contained in smoke. These may be e.g. aromatic hydrocarbons or organic pollutants known for their toxic and carcinogenic properties. During vaporization, their presence is drastically reduced – the vapor from the vaporizer consists mainly of cannabinoids (only 4 other substances were found in the samples), while smoke from joint mostly consists of undesirable substances (111 were found) [2]. Remember that smoke from burning rolling paper is also not really healthy. In the case of a vaporizer, we can forget about this issue.
  • efficiency – the vapour obtained from the vaporizer allows to extract almost all active substances from the plant. Using the example of hemp again (because the biigest amount of research is being conducted on it) – during combustion, about 20-30% of THC can be destroyed, and even up to 50% can “escape” with side smoke that never reaches our lungs [2]. This, of course, also applies to other active substances. Therefore, using a vaporizer, we expose ourselves to much smaller losses.
  • bioavailability – many active substances contained in plants are simply more bioavilable via vaporization. Through the lungs, they enter the bloodstream faster than, for example, through the digestive system. When taken orally (e.g. supplements based on white mulberry), we significantly reduce the bioavailability of the substance due to the likelihood of breakdown in the digestive tract.
  • taste and aroma – if you are looking for interesting taste impressions, also here the vaporizer won’t disappoint you. Vapour with essential oils is very delicate, aromatic and pleasant to the senses. Chamomile will be comparatively tasty as in tea, and hemp incomparably better than in a joint.
  • discretion and mobility – vapour from vaporization, despite the intense taste, doesn’t smell as intense as smoke. Thanks to this, you can use it peacefully at home and in public places without disturbing anyone. An additional advantage is the possibility of buying a portable vaporizer, which is discreet (and usually just beutiful).
  • less waste – as we all know, we have a huge problem with garbage in the world today. It’s threfore good to limit it wherever possible. The vaporizer helps to reduce waste as well. It eliminates the need to use pipes, rolling papers paper, filters and all this unnecessary crap. We can vaporize our favorite herbs without throwing away dozens of tea bags or supplement packaging. Therefore, our health, the wallet and the planet can all benefit from vaporization.

Sources:

[1] Loflin M., Earleywine M., 2015: No smoke, no fire: What the initial literature suggests regarding vapourized cannabis and respiratory risk. Canadian Journal of Respiratory Therapy, 51, 1, 7-9
[2] Gieringer D, Laurent J, Goodrich S., 2004: Cannabis vaporizer combines efficient delivery of THC with effective suppression of pyrolytic compounds. J Cannabis Ther., 4, 7-27

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