You might have heard about herb vaporizers and are interested in trying one for yourself. Before jumping in and buying one, it’s important to know what an herb vaporizer is as well as the best ones on the market to ensure you are getting a high quality vaporizer.
How Does an Herb Vaporizer Work ?
An herb vaporizer heats up the active materials and creates vapor containing this plant material. The vaporizer’s heating element only gets hot enough to vaporize the active components of the plant leaving the rest to be discarded after use. The dry herb vaporizer will retain the flavors and aromas of the herb that are extracted during the process that creates the vapor. When you inhale the vapor, you will be able to taste in great detail the trichomes and terpenes given the absence of smoke – Especially with a higher end vaporizer.
Why Are Herb Vaporizers Preferred Over Concentrate Pens ?
There are many different reasons why more and more people are choosing to use herb vaporizers over concentrate pens.
1.) Herb vaporizers are seen as safer
When using an herb vaporizer, you are not burning the herb, you are just heating it up to extract what you need while leaving behind what you don’t. Since there is no combustion involved, there is less of a chance harmful toxins are being released into your lungs or into the environment around you. The result is more of a mist; most people do not have problems when inhaling it and it does not affect the lungs as much.
In fact Storz & Bickel have two vaporizers in the Mighty+ and Volcano Hybrid which are classified as medical devices in the EU, Canada and Israel.
2.) More Flavor
While water pipes have become rather involved with enhanced purification and percolation, nothing can provide taste and flavor like a quality herb vaporizer. The flavor given by an herb vaporizer is leaps and bounds better than a mouthful of smoke.
3.) Peace of Mind
Some of the fillers and additives found in concentrate pens and pods have been proven harmful. You might not even know that your concentrate pen has fillers. When using an herb vaporizer, you will know exactly what it is that you’re inhaling and not have to worry about consuming something harmful for you. Since you can better monitor your plants, whether grown at home or purchased at the dispensary, herb vaporizers are seen having a leg up against dabs and pens for health reasons.
While herb vaporizers offer a plethora of benefits over their concentrate counterparts and more traditional means of consumption, not all herb vaporizers are created equally and there are plenty of ill-designed, Chinese rebrands and counterfeits out there which defeat the purpose of using an herb vaporizer in the first place.
Here are the top 5 vaporizers by category for herb currently on the market.
#5 Arizer SOLO 2 | The Best Quality Vapor to Cost
The Arizer SOLO 2 is easy to use. It heats up and is ready to use in just 23 seconds. While the battery is internal, it has a very long battery life. The all glass vapor path provides amazing flavor and the stainless steel heating element offers total assurance that no harmful materials are being introduced into your session.
Released in 2017 the SOLO 2 was once $239, which was seen as a bargain even then for such a high quality vaporizer. Now at $164.99 the Arizer SOLO 2 has not skipped a step in terms of popularity outselling the rest of Arizer’s line up by 3:1. Even with the release of the new Arizer Air MAX, the Arizer SOLO 2 remains the most popular halfway through 2022.
The vapor offered by the SOLO 2 is both flavorful and robust and with an easy to adjust temperature control and LED screen you can dial in your preferred session with ease.
#4 PAX 3 | The Best Portable Herb Vaporizer
While 4 of the 5 best herbal vaporizers are classified as portable, only the PAX 3 is what I would call a true portable vaporizer. Yes you can take the Mighty+ or the Arizer SOLO 2 on a walk, but try throwing it in your pocket, hopping on your bike and you will be singing a different story.
A tragedy of most herb vaporizers is that they are not portable or convenient and ones that are like the G Pen Dash leave alot to be desired in the vapor quality category.
The PAX 3 is the portable champion by a long shot offering durability, a sleek design, quality vapor and yes (with a 4″x 1″ inch profile) true pocket friendly portability.
The PAX 3 also offers top of the line app integration giving you a myriad of customizations for your session.
#3 Firefly 2+ | The Tastiest Vapor
Full disclaimer, the Firefly 2+ is one of the most returned vaporizers under our trial period. The finnicky nature and on demand convection heating utilized make it difficult for the vapor newbie to get quality consistent hits. Furthermore being pure convection the unit must be cleaned regularly to ensure optimal airflow. That being said a few trial and error sessions and following our Firefly 2+ tips you will have this vaporizer down pat in no time.
For those who love the nuances of different strains, the Firefly 2+ is the best for flavor. A favorite of growers, botanists and all other lovers of the plant no other vaporizer beats the tasty vapor provided by the Firefly 2+ Vaporizer. The Firefly 2+ is made of some of the highest grade inputs making it one of the healthiest cannabis vaporizers on the market and the on demand convection let you put it down and pick it up drawing as you see fit. This functionality also makes it the best vaporizer to micro-dose with. The Firefly 2+ utilizes dynamic heating which let you sample the different flavor profiles of your herb & plants as you work your way up through your session.
#2 Volcano Hybrid | The Heavyweight Champion
The Volcano Hybrid is much more expensive than other types of vaporizers and is the only desktop vaporizer on our list of best herb vaporizers. The Volcano Hybrid is more for serious users or those looking for something with the best efficiency and functionality. The Volcano Hybrid is the most up to date luxury version of the Volcano Vaporizer (A vaporizer that has been ranked #1 since it’s inception 20 years ago)
While the Volcano Hybrid can only be used at home, it does offer great functionality for multiple users via vapor bags which can be filled up and passed around or single use sessions utilizing the Hybrid whip while playing video games. Fully equipped with Bluetooth functionality for precision control and insight into your session The Volcano Hybrid is the Volcano Vaporizer for the modern era and the best at home desktop vaporizer for those who spare no expense for the best.
#1 The Mighty+ | If You Can Only Own One
While the Hybrid Volcano may be the heavyweight champion, the Mighty+ Vaporizer [from the same manufacturer (Storz & Bickel)] is the pound for pound greatest. Since it’s 2014 release as the Mighty Vaporizer no other herb vaporizer has sold more.
The Mighty+ offers the best combination of vapor texture and flavor almost as if you are inhaling a pine flavored mist. The unit is easy to control with three main buttons and like with some of the others vaporizers on our list, there is no learning curve – you input your herb, heat it up and draw away without needing to worry about any refinements to optimize vapor production.
While I don’t like to give personal recommendations as everyone is different, when asked what my favorite vaporizer is, I always say if the store was burning down and I could only grab one vaporizer, that vaporizer would be the Mighty+.
The Vaporizer Fundamentals Remain
Interestingly enough, the top 5 vaporizers are from companies who pioneered the dry herb vaporizer space (circa 2000-2010) . These companies and their vaporizers have stood the test of time improving where they can when technology permits.
While there are a few smaller European companies pushing the envelope with amazing vaporizers like the Tinymight and Herborizer, these vaporizers are small batch craftsman made or in the case of Herborizer, require a complex set up that is more akin to a chemistry lab project than a vaporizer.
Sadly for the industry (and those who love herb vaporizers) is that they have not evolved to the level once believed. Going through our list you can purchase any of the previous models (Arizer SOLO, Firefly 2, PAX 2, Classic Volcano and Mighty) and get the exact same vapor you would get from the new and improved models. While the newer and improved models offer features such as easier to navigate user interfaces, better battery life, quicker heat up time and Bluetooth integration, they still produce the same vapor using the same heating elements and designs as their predecessors. We made this point with our blog about how the Mighty is basically the same as the Mighty+.
So if you are looking to a quality herb vaporizer do factor in the brand as well. You can’t go wrong with a vaporizer from a trusted and established brand and you will save some money on an older or refurbished vaporizer while still hitting those high notes.