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Convection or Combustion: Choosing The Best Way to Vape Your Cannabis

vaping cannabis
Written by Steven Bridge

In an era where cannabis is becoming more and more widespread – both for medical use and recreationally – many people are turning to the more healthy option of vaping their buds rather than smoking them.

From smoking, to eating, vaping (vaporizing) and more, cannabis has been used for millennia across the globe by various cultures; not only for it’s medicinal and calming effects but also as a way of life for some religions and ancient cultures. Less than a hundred years ago, cannabis became prohibited – especially in the west – and its use punishable by a criminal record and even jail time.

All that has changed drastically over the past decade as countries like Israel, Brazil, Portugal and many states in North America have moved to legalize or decriminalize cannabis for personal use. Many states in the USA also have provisions for the medical prescription of cannabis to patients as a natural and healthier option compared to toxic pharmaceutical medications usually prescribed by doctors.

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In this day and age, people want choice, and for many in affluent societies, life is all about choice. That’s why many people are also turning to a more modern, more refined, and healthier way of taking their cannabis – and it’s called vaping or vaporizing. When you think about smoking cannabis – cone-shaped joints and water pipes often spring to mind, especially if you listened to Bob Marley in college. But these days there are different ways to take cannabis and many different types of cannabis strains to consider.

There’s the traditional, THC-heavy cannabis that people associate with the high felt from smoking or vaping it. There’s a bunch of different strains out there, all carefully crossbred by someone somewhere to increase their THC content and manipulate their cannabinoid and terpene profile to influence potency. There are Sativa strains which are used in the morning and afternoon that don’t knock you out. Then, there are Indica strains which are suggested for nighttime use or just before bed as a sleeping aid.

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Then, there are different methods of taking the strain you have chosen, including smoking it in a joint or pipe, using a THC or CBD extract in a vape pen or vaporizing it in a desktop or portable vaporizer specially designed for the purpose. There are also edibles like THC or CBD Gummies and Oil Tinctures that can be taken under the tongue. However, vaporizing cannabis is a fast-growing trend that is taking the world of Cannabis by storm.

Smoking or Vaping?

vaping cannabis

Vaping CBD oil

Once you’ve chosen the right Cannabis strain for your needs – be that a sativa or indica strain for daytime or nighttime use, or a CBD-rich strain or one heavily THC-dominant – it’s time to decide how you want to take your dose of cannabis. Bear in mind though that when you smoke Cannabis in a joint, pipe or bong, it combusts at a high temperature of over 700 degrees F and that means you are burning plant material into your lungs. While that does lead to some of the strongest overall effects from the cannabis you’re smoking it can also be heavy on the respiratory system, make you cough and leave a tickle in your throat and your lungs feeling agitated.

That’s why so many people are turning to vaping cannabis as a safer, cleaner, more economical and more effective method of consumption. Vaporizers heat cannabis via a small heating element to a preset temperature of your choice. It’s known that THC burns at roughly 374 degrees F and that is the sweet spot that many people set their vaporizers at. You then inhale from the mouthpiece of your vaporizer, taking in a thin looking “smoke” that is tasty and actually just vapor which comes from the cannabis inside the bowl.

When combusting Cannabis in a bong or pipe, you only get one hit and then you are left with stinky black ash and a nasty cough as your lungs try to deal with the trauma you just put them through. But when you vaporize cannabis, you’re left with toasted brown bud in the bowl, with only the cannabinoids you want from the plant material. Then, there are two methods of vaporizing to consider: Convection and Conduction – and both offer different effects and vaping experiences.

Convection or Conduction?

Desktop vaporizers are those kept at home, plugged into an electricity source and not portable. Portable vaporizers are battery or flame powered devices that can be used on the go in a stealthy and inconspicuous way. And while almost all desktop vaporizers use convection technology, many portable gadgets on the market use conduction for extracting the cannabinoids into your lungs.

The dictionary definition of Convection is: “The movement caused within a fluid by the tendency of hotter and therefore less dense material to rise, and colder, denser material to sink under the influence of gravity, which consequently results in the transfer of heat.”

The dictionary definition of Conduction is: “The process by which heat or electricity is directly transmitted through a substance when there is a difference of temperature or of electrical potential between adjoining regions, without movement of the material.”

When it comes to vaping cannabis, some people prefer the convection method while others favor conduction. But what’s really the difference? Many prefer convection for vaping cannabis buds or CBD flowers and that’s because it offers a better flavor with no chance of your buds getting black or close to combustion. When you use a Conduction-style vaporizer, the material uses its own heat to “conduct” the vapor to the vapor path and out through the mouthpiece, and this gives a stronger, body-high effect for many people.

Convection vaporizing tastes better, preserves more terpenes, and is more economical. With Conduction, the heat source (oven) is in direct contact with your bud meaning it gets hotter using this method and that often gives stronger effects. Conduction vaporizers may be a little more idiot proof and user-friendly, but convection vaporizers are the way to go if you value efficiency and high vapor quality.


If you have decided that you want to try vaping cannabis instead of smoking it, all you need do is decide whether Convection or Conduction vaporizers are the best option for you. If you want a simple to use no brainer device, the PAX 3 and DaVinci IQ vaporizers are second-to-none and offer strong effects through Conduction. If you prefer a smoother, lighter vaping experience, The Crafty or Firefly 2 are a couple of great options as they excel in flavor and efficiency and offer a well-rounded Convection experience.

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About the author

Steven Bridge

Having been a cannabis and CBD aficionado for many years, Steven spends much of his time opposite a shiny MacBook, researching, exploring, understanding and creating interesting reading for people interested in knowing more about CBD, Vaping, Cannabis Strains and Delivery Methods, and just about anything related to magical green herbs that help people with anything from sleepless nights to pain.