While there are still plenty of hemp traditionalists who prefer to smoke their CBD flower, either by inserting it into the bowl of a pipe or rolling it up in paper, modern technology has allowed us to vape the buds of the hemp plant in a way that’s more controlled, efficient and smooth compared to smoke. CBD flower vaporizers are a huge trend right now and are getting more advanced with each new model introduced onto the market.
CBD flower vaporizers fall into one of two categories: conduction and convection. These are two means of heating which lift vapor from the flower buds in different ways. While both of them ultimately deliver the same general experience, their differences are notable enough that it is important to understand how each one works.
We will be offering a side-by-side comparison of both conduction and convection vaporizers for CBD flower, weighing the pros and cons of each so that you can decide between the two that’s best suited for your vaping needs and preferences.
Vaping Devices for CBD Flower
A CBD flower vaporizer is a special type of vaporizer device that’s made specifically for vaping the flower buds of the hemp plant. Vaping flower rather than smoking it offers plenty of advantages, with the most obvious one being the lack of smoke. Vapor is smoother than smoke, meaning you’re less likely to cough, and it doesn’t linger in the air in the way that smoke does. Vaping devices also give the user more control over their vaping experience, as the technology behind them is more consistent and reliable, and many of today’s vaporizers come with various presets and other output options that allow us to control various aspects of the general vaping experience.
It's important to point out that you should never try to vape CBD flower in a vaping device made for another type of product. For example, trying to stuff flower buds into a device made for vape oils is a bad idea, as the heat of the coil will simply burn the flower in a way that can totally ruin it.
Conduction Vaporizers vs. Convection Vaporizers
Now, let’s talk about the two main types of flower vaporizers, which are conduction-based vaporizers and convection-based vaporizers. As you will see, these two devices actually operate in totally different ways that each have a big impact on your vaping experience.
Conduction vaporizers are a bit newer than convection vaporizers, and the main thing that they offer is directly heating the flower. In other words, the flower makes direct contact with the heating source to create vapor. For this to happen, the user must finely grind their flower and insert it into the chamber of the vaping device. It must be tightly packed to ensure that the flower heats as evenly as possible. When the device is fired, the heating element reaches a specific temperature, which allows the vapor to be produced and inhaled through the mouthpiece.
Easy to Use
Conduction vaporizers are generally considered the more user-friendly choice between the two, because conduction is just a simpler heating process than convection. Therefore, they’re easier to operate, which can be helpful if you’re totally new to vaping and want a fast and easy way to get in that cloud of hemp compounds. They also tend to have less adjustable features than convection models, meaning there is no need to do as much to get the vaping experience you are looking for.
Work with Concentrates
The large majority of conduction vaporizers are equally compatible with concentrates, which is why these types of devices are usually marketed as 2-in-1 vaping systems. Concentrates need to make contact directly with a heat source to vaporize, so fans of concentrates can easily use them as dabbing pens as well as flower pens.
Overall, conduction vaporizers tend to be more portable than convection vaporizers, because the technology is simpler and so the devices are smaller. This is a convenient feature if you’re looking to vape your flower when you’re on the road.
Offer Fast Heating
The use of direct heat allows the flower to heat up and vaporize almost instantaneously, so you do not need to wait to get your inhales of CBD flower.
They Often Cost Less
In most cases, you will find that conduction-based vaporizers are less costly than ones that rely on convection. Again, this is because the overall technology is simpler, and therefore these devices cost less to manufacture.
They Don’t Heat Your Flower as Evenly
One complaint that some CBD flower vapers have is that conduction vaporizers do not heat flower evenly. This is only natural, as only some of the flower is actually making direct contact with the heating source.
May Create Harsher Vapor
Direct heat is more aggressive than the heat produced by convection vaporizers, and so your hits may be a bit harsh from time to time, and potentially irritate your throat.
Can Scorch Your Flower
Direct heat can also burn your flower, and burnt flower is wasted flower, not to mention poor-tasting flower.
Need to Be Cleaned Often
Direct heat can lead to a lot of debris build-up, which means you will need to be on top of your regular cleaning sessions to keep the device working as it should.
What makes convection vaporizers different from conduction vaporizers is the process they use to heat the flower. Instead of allowing the flower to make direct contact with a heat source, they blow forced steam into the chamber holding the flower. This means that they offer indirect heat rather than direct heat, which heats the product more evenly. All of the flower in the chamber therefore reaches the same temperature at the same time.
Due to the nature of convection vaporizers, you don’t need to be as on top of the grind of the flower or pack it as tightly. Using this type of vaporizer requires a different process from that of a conduction-based device. First, you need to allow the chamber to reach the right temperature. Then, you can load the flower and get to vaping.
Less Likely to Burn Your Flower
Convection vaporizers are not known for burning flower, because the indirect heat prevents scorching.
Promote Smoother Vapor
Due to the low risk of scorching, and the even heating process, convection vaporizers usually promote smoother vapor that is less likely to make you cough.
Easier to Maintain
Convection vaporizers are easier to maintain, because not as much debris develops. The lack of debris comes from the fact that the product is never actually burning from its heat source.
They Tend to Offer More Heat Settings
Most convection vaporizers offer a wider array of heat settings than conduction vaporizers, which allows you to explore different qualities of the flower. For example, many offer settings low enough to vape CBDA and THCA, which are precursors to CBD and THC. These compounds may offer unique properties, and when they’re heated at too high of a temperature, they burn away.
Take Longer to Heat Up
While conduction vaporizers offer instant heating, convection vaporizers require a bit more time to reach the desired temperature.
Not as Travel-Friendly
Most convection vaporizers are not as portable or travel-friendly as conduction vaporizers.
Require a Bit More Effort to Operate
While conduction vaporizers require simply packing the chamber and pressing a button, convection vaporizers require a bit more involved of a process, in which the chamber is pre-heated, and then the flower is added.
Conduction vs. Convection: The Bottom Line
So, which of the two vaporizers is better? Well, it depends on what type of vaping experience you’re looking for. If you want something quick, relatively easy, and highly portable, conduction is the way to go. If you want the smoothest, most customizable, and most efficient means for vaporizing flower, then convection is probably right for you.
Both of these types of vaporizers can easily be found on today’s hemp market, so weigh the pros and cons of each to decide what you want when you vape hemp flower buds.