With the growing popularity of dry herb vaporizers in 2024, it’s no surprise that we are getting more and more customers asking us how dry herb vaporizers work. 

Load it up, turn it on, and hit it, right?

While the entire process seems simple (and it is), there are a few tips & tricks to get the best performance from your herb vape. In this blog, we’ll be going over some vaping fundamentals, as well as some lesser-known tricks to let you all the ways we know how to use a dry herb vaporizer.

If you’re a complete beginner, you might be interested in checking out our post on what is a dry herb vaporizer to understand the differences of convection vs conduction vapes, vaping vs smoking, and portable vs desktop vapes! 

Let’s get into it!

What are dry herb vaporizers?

  • Dry herb vapes are considered a cleaner and more efficient way to consume cannabis compared to smoking.

To prevent combustion of your flower in their chamber, they use ovens that will stay below 440F. This creates a slow process of releasing the active essential oils, terpenes, and THC of your flower without the release of other off-gases like carbon monoxide which creates the initial headrush of a bong toke.

Because of the lower temperatures of dry herb vapes and their cleaner vapor, people often say that the high feels ‘cleaner’ and it will be much easier or your throat and lungs. 

Storz & Bickle Mighty+ and Mighty filling chamber comparison

Who are dry herb vaporizers best for?

  1. People looking to quit smoking joints or bongs
  2. People seeking medical cannabis usage as an alternative to edibles or oils 
  3. People who want to enjoy marijuana with less smell 
  4. People seeking more efficiency from their cannabis

While these all might be very different reasons for people to pick up their first dry herb vaporizer, the most notable is the efficiency of vaping compared to smoking.

Not only is 30% of THC destroyed during combustion of cannabis flowers, but you also won’t be utilize your burnt cannabis in edibles like you can from dry herb vaping. Once your dry herb vape bowl is spent, the leftover weed has activated, decarboxylated THC that you can use in devices like the Magical Butter Machine for your next batch of edibles.

Personally, I will even use my cooked weed as a pepper alternative on my dinner if I ever feel like a light dose equivalent to about a 5mg THC edible dose. 

Breaking down the steps of a vaporizer

Regardless of what kind of vaporizer you’re using, they all work the same at a basic level.

You’ll be charging your vape up, loading the chamber, and then cleaning out the chamber.

Solo 2 Loading the Chamber

This is a cycle that will go on and on until your vaporize eventually gives out.

In between these basic steps, though, is a lot of subtle differences between brands and device which you should know and understand to help you get the most out of your personal device. For the most part of this guide, we’ll be focusing on portable vaporizer tips and the subtleties between how to use the different types. 

How to grind weed for portable vaporizers

Probably the most important factor to getting good results from your dry herb vaporizer is the proper use of a weed grinder as the grind consistency will play a big role into the results you get! There are a few different ways to load your chamber or stem up with ground material,  but let’s first take a look at the different kinds of grinds you can do. 

  • Fine grind: A fine grind is definitely best for conduction vapes like the DaVinci IQ2 or Utillian 421. This gives the most cannabis surface area for extraction and will give you better results, but this will not work quite as well with convection-based vaporizers. With a fine grind, you’ll usually pack down the herb into the oven a bit!
  • Medium / coarse grind: A coarse grind is definitely better for hybrid or convection vaporizers as it will let air pass through the herb much better than a fine grind and cause less draw restriction. Convection vapes like the XMAX V3 Pro or Utillian 722 will definitely work better with this type of grind consistency.
  • Scissors or unground: If you have no grinder around, then you may have to rely on scissors to do the work for you. While this won’t work so well with most devices, certain units like the Arizer Solo 2 or the Dynavap M 2021 will do pretty fine with this, and even work alright with whole/hand-picked herb. You’ll still get better results with a good grinder though! 

Most grinders will grind medium-coarse. To finely grind herb, just flip your grinder upside-down and keep cranking it until you get your desired results! While scissors and hand-picking will do alright, you’ll really notice a big improvement when using a grinder. Check out our quick Grinders 101 linked here to learn more!

If you want to somewhat skip this step, you might be interested in a 3rd generation vaporizer known as the Zeus Arc GTS which comes equipped with the Zeus Xtruder Grinder so that you’ll be easily able to fill up to fifteen dosing capsules all at once.

dynavap and tools420 grinder

How to load your weed into the chamber

Depending on the type of dry herb vape you have, the packing technique will influence your the kind of vapor you get. In general, there are two distinctly different packing techniques for the type of herb vape you have which include a firm pack, and a loose pack.

  • A firm pack: This technique works much better for conduction vapes, and it allows conductive heat to more evenly cook your herb. With a fine grind and firm pack, you’ll really notice a significant difference of vapor production.

Keeping the chamber full on a conduction vape is recommended for better vapor production as the dry herbs can fly around inside the half full chamber instead of being pressed against the host surface.

  • A loose pack: A loose pack greatly favors convection vaporizers. Allowing the hot air to easily pass through the herb won’t affect the draw resistance and gives your THC a much more even extraction.

Arizer ArGo filling chamber

A loaded Arizer ArGo stem

What temperature to use for dry herb vaporization?

Temperature plays a big role into the performance you get from your herb vape.

In general, most people prefer to start low at a temperature of around 160-170°C, and gradually pump up the setting throughout the session. This allows you to get the good flavors right away, though you will get less vapor as a result. To learn more about this process, be sure to read our ‘What is the best temperature for vaporizer weed‘ blog!

  • Going back a bit, it’s always a good idea to give new vaporizers a quick burn off cycle on the maximum temperature. This will help to purge any leftover debris or dust from the manufacturing process 

As for normal dry herb vaping, low temperatures can give you a different kind of high – more energetic and of a head high. This is better suited for daytime and afternoon use where you want to remain functional and focused.

High temperatures will give you more of a couch-lock syndrome high, which is way better for evenings or after-work sessions. While the flavor will taste more like roasted-popcorn, you’ll be spewing out much thicker clouds of vapor.  

Overall though, your set temperature 100% comes down to personal preference.

Personally, I love sticking to low temperatures so that I can taste all of the terpenes in the strain that I’m using. Especially with expensive strains that will have unique trichomes or terpene combinations, I will try to stay below 350°F or 176°C so that I can really enjoy all of that cannabis goodness, at least for the start of a session. 

  • With that being said, if you’re someone coming from smoking joints and will want bigger overall clouds, you might be interested in a starting temperature of 392°F / 200°C.

How to clean a dry herb vaporizer?

Maintenance of your dry herb vape is quite important to keeping your sessions consistent in terms of vapor output and flavor. Thankfully, it’s very easy and simple to clean them.

A bottle of 90%+ isopropyl alcohol can be bought from most pharmacies, drug stores, and supermarkets for around $5.

Wiping away resin buildups or old herb with these tools can really improve flavor, airflow, and overall performance quite significantly.  

We recommend cleaning your herb vape every 5-10 sessions, or whenever you notice performance dropping off significantly. This can be a day/night difference you might’ve not noticed right away. Keep it clean and happy and your vape will keep you baked and happy!

The most important part to keep clean is your mouthpiece so that your airflow doesn’t become clogged. To prevent this, give your chamber screens a quick glimpse after every session to make sure there’s nothing obstructing your airflow. 

Pax 3 how to clean

Dry herb vaporizer tips and tricks

  • Change your mouthpiece/stem: Some vapes like the XMAX V3 Pro benefit massively from a different mouthpiece like that from an Arizer Air MAX, improving flavor and smoothness. See if your unit takes aftermarket mouthpieces!
  • A water pipe adaptor (WPA): Transforming the experience entirely, a WPA can give new life to an old device. Pairing a vape with a bubbler for vape bong can lead to massive hits and heavy highs all while being smooth on the lungs.
  • Fully charged battery: Some units will perform better on 100% charge than on 40% charge in terms of heat-up and power delivery. Most units will perform the same across the board, but it’s definitely a good idea to always have it fully topped up just in case! It’s just the nature of how energy works in regards to battery.
  • Humidity of your herb: Playing a big factor in smell, taste, and even vapor production, throwing in a 60% humidity pack with your herb in an air-tight jar is a good and cheap way to have a better experience! Humidity packs are very cheap ($1-5 each) and certainly worth it. You wouldn’t drink warm beer, would you?
  • Read the Manual: If you’ve just opened your vaporizer and it feels like you’re looking at a UFO, it might be a good idea to give the owner’s manual a quick read-through. 

Different types of draw techniques 

Depending on the kind of vaporizer you end up getting, they’ll all perform better with different kinds of inhale techniques. 

  • For one-hitter types of dry herb vapes like the DynaVap, all that you’ll need is one short inhale to fully clear the 0.15g bowl, and there isn’t much variator apart from that unless you use a bubbler!  

Dynavap M Portability

  • For convection vaporizers, they’ll often use a long and slow inhale technique 

Because they rely on hot air passing through the chamber, there is often bigger air intake holes to allow for bigger inhales. If our customers have never used a convection vape before, they’ll often complain that they think that it’s not working. However, unlike conduction vapes, a good convection vaporizer will need five to ten second inhales to work their best.  For example the XMAX as seen in the video below works best with 10-15 second inhales.

For hybrid heated vaporizers, which come mostly at a premium cost, it won’t matter so much what kind of inhale you take because they will normally have superior vapor production. Because of that, we normally recommend upgrading these sessions with vaporizer bubblers and bongs. Especially with the Mega Globe Whip Bubbler, you’ll be able to take the Mighty Plus or AirVape Legacy Pro to the next level.  

How long does a dry herb vape chamber last?

Compared to smoking or joints, dry herb vaporizers will take longer to ‘finish’ a bowl because of their lower temperatures.

On average, they’ll take between 2-10 minutes before your bowl can be considered ‘spent’. There’s a variety of different factors at play including how frequently you are inhaling, the humidity of your herb, and your set temperature, but some dry herb vapes will have much faster THC extraction than others. In our dry herb vaporizer reviews, we’ll have a dedicated section for THC extraction where we tested how good or bad a vape’s oven is for cooking your THC. 

For example, we could look at the Solo 2 vape with its 10 minute bowl extraction time and say that it is quite weak and slow compared to others. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad vape though, as some users might prefer the slower extraction time so that they can relax and not feel a need to rush through their inhales. 

If you want another way of knowing when your bowl is spent, you can also go by two other details:

  1. When your bowl is no longer producing as much vapor or begins to taste like burnt popcorn 
  2. If you want to go visuals, you’ll be able to open your oven and see if the green of your herb has disappeared and been replaced by a dark brown color of fully extracted weed 


Smoking vs Vaping discreetness + portability 

As one of the last benefits of dry herb vapes to talk about, dry herb vaporizers will have much less odor produced during a session compared to smoking.

While they still do smell like marijuana and will spread across the room, gone is the smell of skunk that sticks to the walls and your clothing.

Especially with convection vaporizers, having a session will smell more like a freshly mowed lawn for just a few minutes before the odor dissipates. Outside, you’ll be able to have sessions without nosy neighbors wondering what you’re up to.  Due to compact design of portable vaporizers, you’ll also be able to bring them anywhere for an easy session. 

For even less odor from cannabis vaporizing, you might also be interested in wax vaporizers as their only odor is the smell of melting sugar for a few minutes after a session. You can learn more about this in our Wax Vaporizer Buying Guide or check out our How To Remove Weed Smell Guide.  

In terms of portability, dry herb dosing capsules are a very helpful accessory if you prefer vaping on the go. They are basically pre-loaded sessions that fit into the oven which allow you to swap them in and out without any chamber added messiness. If this will be a great feature for you, be sure to double check and see if your vaporizer will be compatible with dosing capsules or not. 

Using dry herb vapes for aromatherapy

The vaporizer brand, Arizer, is known for including aromatherapy vape accessories in their kits which will allow you to vaporize herbs, flowers, and rinds besides just cannabis. For example, within their Arizer XQ2 model, there is an included aromatherapy dish for the chamber, as well as a sample pack of lavender.

There are tons of other botanicals that you can use in their dishes to freshen up a room including orange rinds, chamomile, lemongrass, and more. These herbs or flower will all have a unique temperature to use for aromatherapy, so make sure you look them up before trying them if this is up your alley. 


Desktop Vaporizers 

Desktop vaporizers are a much less popular option compared to their portable counterparts, but still deserve a quick shoutout before we wrap up this blog. They are designed only to be used at home as they will rely on being plugged into a wall, as well as being much larger.

However, they do pack a bigger punch because they’ll have stronger heaters as well as larger bowls to work with. This increased power also allows for the versatility of hookah whips and fillable balloons as opposed to normal mouthpieces. 

Arizer Extreme Q 2 what's included in the box

Final Thoughts 

And so there you have it – Our tips and tricks on how to use a dry herb vaporizer! Some of these are pretty basic, but we hope our small tips like a Boveda Humidity Pack alongside a proper grind and packing technique can really transform the performance and experience you get from your weed vape.

Keep your vape clean and charged up, and feed it the best herb you can find!

A lot of getting to know your own dry herb vape is just through trial and error from getting vaping session under your belt, though. While this blog might be a good place to start, only through your own experimenting will you be able to find the perfect vape and session settings for yourself – Happy vaping! 

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