Convection vs. Conduction Vaporizers
Posted by Glenn Beierle on 09/11/2017 in Products
Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Inhaling cannabis lets you get relief quickly, but the most popular inhalation method, smoking, isn’t exactly the healthiest way to consume medical marijuana. So what do you do if you need the fastest alleviation of your symptoms with fewer health risks? Vaping works as a healthier alternative to smoking due to the much lower amount of toxins you take in.
To vape marijuana, you need to use a vaporizer. Vaporizers heat marijuana just enough to create a vapor without burning it. You may have heard of vaping in the context of vaping e-cigarette juice, but medical marijuana patients can take advantage of the trend, too.
Vaporizers mainly come in two varieties: conductive and convective. Each type heats cannabis differently. Let’s learn about the difference between the two and what you should know to pick the right one for you.
How Do Convection Vaporizers Work?
Have you ever used a convection oven while cooking? It circulates the air to make cooking and baking faster. Convection vaporizers work using a similar concept.
Convection vaporizers heat marijuana without directly touching it. They have their own mini convection ovens that circulate heat in the air around the weed. The name comes from the scientific definition of convection, which frames it as the transfer of heat through gas — like air — or liquid.
Compared to conduction vaporizers, convection vaporizers are a newer development in marijuana technology.
How Do Conduction Vaporizers Work?
Conduction vaporizers were the first type of vape on the market. Continuing the oven metaphor, conduction ovens transfer heat to food using direct heat. Rather than heating the air around the cannabis, conduction vaporizers get in direct contact with the marijuana. You place the marijuana on top of a heating element that gets hot and vaporizes the weed. Instead of heating a gas or liquid, conduction involves heating something solid, like the heating element.
Pros and Cons of Convection Vaporizers
Convection vaporizers can make vaping more convenient and efficient thanks to perks like:
- A Safer Vape: Convection vaporizers don’t burn your bud due to lack of direct contact with the heat. Burning marijuana can pose a safety risk, and inhaling the smoke damages your lungs.
- Even Heating: Every time you breathe in the vapor from a convection vaporizer, you should experience a similar taste and smell. Since convection vaporizers evenly heat the weed, they provide a consistent hit every time.
- Less Is More: When you use a convection vaporizer, you can use less marijuana since they don’t waste as many terpenes. More terpenes means more flavor and health benefits.
On the other hand, convection vaporizers also have some downsides that you should know about, such as:
- Higher Cost: Since convection vaporizers have slightly more advanced mechanisms, they have a higher price tag. Depending on the money you have to spare on your marijuana medicine, convection vaporizers might be outside your budget.
- Slower Vape: Convection vaporizers take longer to heat up your cannabis. Since a convection heater heats up the entire compartment rather than a heating element, it has more to warm up.
- Harder to Use: While they generally provide a higher-quality experience, convection vaporizers can be harder to use for patients new to using marijuana.
Pros and Cons of Conduction Vaporizers
While convection vaporizers can be a great way to vape marijuana, conduction vaporizers have their strengths, too. The pros of using a conduction vaporizer include:
- Lower Price Tag: Convection vaporizers can cost too much for patients looking for lower-cost medicine and accessories. They get the job done while saving you money so you can afford more medicine.
- Easier to Use: Since they don’t have as many bells and whistles, conduction vaporizers provide a simple vaping experience.
- Faster Vape: If you need relief right away, conduction vaporizers immediately heat your bud. This means that you can feel the effects sooner than you would if you used a convection vaporizer.
But, like convection vaporizers, conduction vaporizers have certain traits that could be a deal breaker for you, like:
- Chance of Combustion: You vape because you don’t want to smoke, right? Well, when a conduction vaporizer lights your weed, it makes you breath in the same toxins while putting you in danger. Obviously, you don’t have to worry about combustion every time you use a conduction vaporizer, but you must take extra care.
- More Bud Required: Conduction vaporizers don’t extract the oils from marijuana as well as convection vaporizers do. So, you must use more marijuana to get the same effect you would with a convection vaporizer.
- Inconsistent Heating: When a conduction vaporizer heats marijuana, it mainly heats the bottom layer of it. So, sometimes you’ll inhale vapor from the hotter part, and other times, you’ll inhale vapor from the cooler part. This means that every time you inhale, you will experience a different flavor and smell.
Which Marijuana Vaporizer Is Right for Me?
The marijuana vaporizer that will work best for you depends on a few factors. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much can I afford to spend on a vaporizer?
- Do I feel confident operating a vaporizer with more features, or should I start off simple?
- When do I need to feel the benefits of my marijuana?
Also, keep in mind that vaporizers come in the form of portable pens and tabletop vaporizers for home use. You should also consider whether you need a more powerful vape or one that’s easy to transport.
Where to Learn More About Marijuana and Vaping
Before you medicate with cannabis, you should read as much as you can about medical marijuana and its uses. We have all the knowledge you need at MarijuanaDoctors.com. Check out these links to get started with your research:
- Ways to Use Medical Marijuana: How does vaping compare to other methods of marijuana use? This article will help you find out.
- Find a Local Marijuana Doctor: Medical marijuana patients must ask their doctor for a recommendation before vaping weed for medical reasons. Use our search engine to look for one.
- Find a Local Dispensary: Dispensaries sell vaporizers and marijuana products for vaping.