Vaporizer FAQs: The Ultimate List

By Staff / October 10, 2015

 


People have been using medicinal herbs and oils to treat a wide range of ailments for thousands of years. Herbalism was truly the first medical science, and the entire pharmaceutical industry is based upon studying the efficacy of herbal extractions, and then creating laboratory versions that do essentially the same things. Whether pharmaceuticals are improving what exists naturally or sending medical science down a complicated, dangerous road is a debate for another day. But there’s no debate about the efficacy of medical herbs. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find thousands of pages of information, detailing the various herbal mixtures and the issues they treat. And with the alternative medicine industry topping billions of dollars a year, you’d have to admit the usefulness of these treatment regimens is now a universally accepted fact. So, how do you best deliver these valuable, life-improving herbs to your system?

 

For most of the long history of herbal medicine, the primary delivery system was smoking. Our predecessors would hunt down the proper herbs in nature, identifying them by sight and smell, grind them up, roll them in paper and they were off to the races. While it’s certainly true you can achieve the desired affect this way, smoking is far from perfect, and brings a whole host of unwanted health complications. Enter vaporization, which really took off in the 1960s, when technology advanced to the point where desktop and portable vaporizers were high quality and readily available. Today, the technology has been perfected, making vaporization a viable option for anyone looking to utilize herbal remedies. Yet questions remain for many potential ‘vapers’, who simply need more information before taking the plunge.

 

If you fall into that category, today is your lucky day! Here at Herbalizer, we realize that knowledge is king, and an informed customer is a happy customer. That’s why we are happy to provide this ultimate list of the core vaporizer FAQs. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

 

Okay, so what is vaporization?

Simply put, vaporization is the process by which you extract the active ingredients in a plant material by using heat. Heat is applied to the liquid or the herb and gas is expelled, while the heat is controlled so combustion does not occur. That means no smoke, just the most complete and unchanged essence of the plant material, set free in vapor form.

 

Why is vapor better than smoke?

This is probably the most important question, because it’s the real reason vaporizers have gained so much popularity. First of all, there’s no denying smoke is damaging to your lungs. When you burn an herbal mixture or an oil, noxious gases, such as CO2 and CO are released. These slowly but surely burn your lungs and throat, stain your teeth, and create that terrible smell that cigarette smokers know all too well. With vaporization there is none of that damaging material created. Secondly, vaporizing herbs delivers a purer experience and more controllable affect. When you smoke an herbal remedy, you receive about 80% of the active materials. When you vaporize that same herb, you receive around 95% of the active materials. It’s the most pure delivery system currently in existence.

 

How does temperature affect the process?

When you vaporize, you always heat the material at a temperature lower than combustion, which occurs around 450 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is a bit more complex than just keeping it below that level. Vaporizing herbs at different temperatures directly affects the experience. At lower temperatures you’ll experience an uplifting but modest effect. You’ll also notice the vapor you exhale is almost clear. At a moderate temperature, you’ll find the effect to be a bit more balanced. Most people vape herbs in this mid-range. At the higher end of the spectrum you’ll have a more intense experience, which could be the best choice if your ailment is severe.

 

What should I expect the first time I vape?

People that are only used to smoking herbal remedies or utilizing essential oils through aromatherapy may be a little bit nervous the first time they use a vaporizer. That’s okay! But it really isn’t as complicated as you might fear. No matter the vaporizer you use, you shouldn’t hear any sound when it is active. Desktop vaporizers with a balloon attachment will make a slight noise as the fan fills the balloon with vapor, but that’s really all. As far as inhaling the vapor, it should be smooth and easy.

If the vapor feels harsh, or makes you cough, you’re probably vaporizing at too high a temperature. When you exhale you will smell a slight odor, but it won’t be anything like what you experience with smoking. It will be very light, and resemble something like popcorn that’s a little bit burnt.

 

What are the common parts of a desktop vaporizer?

Each vaporizer is different, but you will find some similarities. Most of them include a ‘whip’ attachment, which is made of a wand, tubing and a mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is used when you want to inhale the vapor without a balloon. The tubing delivers the vapor to the mouthpiece. The wand is the piece that holds your herbal blend, usually with a screen attached, and connects directly to the vaporizer’s heating element. If you want to use a balloon, it will attach directly to the mouthpiece. The balloon fills with vapor, and then you unscrew it from the mouthpiece and inhale from there. Many vaporizers also include attachments so you can use herbal concentrates, such as oils or waxes.

 

How do I prepare herbal blends for vaporization?

There are several approaches, so you should try them all to determine which experience you prefer. The simplest method is vaporizing the herb in its natural form. In this case, you’ll want to grind the blend down, which will insure efficient vaporization and the best use of the materials. You can also utilize an essential oil or a wax. It is possible to make these concoctions yourself, but the easiest method is to seek out a local herbalist who has quality oils and waxes already prepared for your use.

 

How will I know I’m doing it right?

The simplest answer is, you’ll know because you experience the desired effect! However, there is a process to follow. First of all, pack the vaporizer with your raw materials in a loose manner. You don’t want it compacted, because it will be inefficient. Then, take a slow and steady approach while inhaling the vapor. Since you aren’t burning the herbal materials there won’t be any ash, but you will notice a change of color. Depending on your preference you can switch out the herbs for new material when it turns slightly brown, or wait until it becomes very dark. It just comes down to the effect you experience.

 

Okay, so what about the Herbalizer?

Glad you asked! There are some questions specific to the Herbalizer that we receive all the time. First and foremost, yes, you do receive a warranty with your purchase. It’s a two year, Bumper-to-Bumper deal that will handle any issues that might arise, no matter how slight. As far as temperature goes, your Herbalizer will heat herbs and oils to within plus or minus five degrees Fahrenheit of your chosen temperature. That’s a super specific control. You won’t be able to heat higher than 445 degrees, as that is coming close to the level of combustion. You can set the temperature easily with a couple of buttons, and toggle from Fahrenheit to Celsius mode if that’s your preferred system of measurement. When filling a balloon with vapor, expect the process to take between 45 and 60 seconds. If it fills more slowly than that, chances are the top screen in the bowl needs to be replaced. You’ll receive a clean up brush with your purchase that will help you easily extract the old screen. To clean the rest of the Herbalizer, use either dish soap or isopropyl alcohol in small amounts, with a soft, dampened cloth.

 

Did we miss anything? Let us know! Click on the link below to ask us a question, and we’ll get right back to you with an answer just as soon as we can.

Tackling the Big Questions: Why Vaporize, and What Herbs Should I Vape?

By Staff / September 23, 2015

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What kind of experience did you have the last time you visited a pharmacy? Unless you were there just to pick up a new tube of toothpaste, chances are it was totally overwhelming. The modern pharmacy is packed with products that promise a wide range of health benefits, but trying to read the label leaves you searching for a medical textbook. There are very few pharmaceutical drugs that can claim no side effects, and in the end, do you really want to treat a malady by popping a pill you don’t fully understand? That’s where medicinal herbs come into play. Herbalism is the oldest medical art in human history, and has been practiced across the world for over a thousand years. If you stop to think about it, choosing an herbal remedy makes all sorts of intuitive sense. It’s a naturally existing material with an ingredient list that’s only a single item long. Because of that, you can carefully monitor the effect, and insure your body is only getting what it truly needs. But how to deliver that desired effect?

 

So it’s time to tackle the first big question on the minds of most patients: why vaporize? In the past, herbal medicines have been delivered as oils, creams and poultices, but the most common delivery method was smoking. If there’s one thing modern medicine is crystal clear about, it’s that smoking is bad for you. The negative effects on your lungs can often outweigh the positives gained from the herbs. That’s where vaporization comes in. When you burn a medicinal herb, harmful toxins are released. Depending on the herbal remedy you are utilizing, that can mean much more than carbon monoxide. This impacts your overall health, leaves you feeling run down, and can even cause additional maladies. When you use a vaporizer, the herb is heated only to the point where the active ingredients vaporize. What you are inhaling has no smoke whatsoever, and is also a much purer form of the herb.

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There’s more to vaporizing than saving your lungs. It can save you a great deal of money as well. Vaporization is a much more efficient delivery system than smoking. When you burn an herb, as much as 40% of the beneficial material disappears, without offering any additional positives. By vaporizing your medicinal herbs you are delivering a purer form of the herb, while using fewer raw materials. That means you can splurge on the highest quality herbal remedies, knowing that you will still be getting maximum value for your investment. You use less of the remedy, which means fewer trips to your herbalist.

 

One of the core concerns around using pharmaceutical drugs is the chance of an accidental overdose. It’s a huge problem in this country, and more education doesn’t seem to be making a difference. While herbal remedies don’t carry the same sort of fear, there is still the question of achieving proper dosage. When you smoke a medicinal herb, you can never be quite sure how much of the herb you are actually taking in. So much is lost to the smoke, you can accidentally use too much or too little without even knowing it. Vaporization allows you to precisely control your dosage. The Herbalizer takes this a step further by allowing you to specifically control the heat you are applying to the herbal remedy. The higher the heat level, the more intense the effect. This allows you to adjust based on your experience, and find the sweet spot for each herbal remedy you try.

 

Another reason you should choose vaporizing over smoking is the beneficial side effects to your lifestyle you will enjoy. When it comes to smoking, what else can you expect aside from aching lungs? To start with, burning creates ashes, and ashes find a way of getting where you don’t want them to be. Ash trays blow clear on a breezy day, creating a nasty mess. Ashes get on your clothes, in your hair, or stick in your eyes. Simply put, there’s nothing good to be said about ashes, and vaporizing removes them from your life. Additionally, you don’t have to be concerned with lingering smells. Many medicinal herbs smell quite nice when they are burned, but that still doesn’t mean you’d want your clothes to smell like them. Vapor does not linger like smoke does, so you won’t have to worry about your favorite wardrobe choice stinking up the room, or having to call the carpet cleaner.

 

At this point you’re probably pretty clear on question number one, and are ready to toss away your lighter and get a vaporizer instead. So that leads right into the other big question: now that you’re set on vaporizing, what herbs should you be buying? First off, this is a completely personal choice, so don’t try to take this short list as gospel. The herbs you choose will have everything to do with what your symptoms are, and what sort of relief you are craving. Definitely do not make your choice based on what’s considered trendy, or what’s on sale. That being said, there are some tried and true medicinal herbs that have been used for hundreds, and even thousands of years, which might give the novice herbal vapor somewhere to start. Keep in mind that not all of these herbs need to be intentionally inhaled to have their desired effect. Many of them work through aromatherapy, so you can simply let your Herbalizer fill the room with vapor and continue with what you are doing.

 

If relaxation is what you are after, there are several solid choices you can explore, and many of them will already be familiar to you. Basil is fantastic for calming down mild stomach ailments, while providing an overall feeling of calmness. If you are pregnant you should only use basil in moderation, and might consider trying eucalyptus instead. Eucalyptus has incredible antibacterial effects, and will treat colds and flus while offering up that desired relaxation. Chamomile is another common herb that provides quite effective stress release. You can vaporize chamomile to naturally treat headaches, relieve symptoms of stress and depression, or blend it with other calming herbs to increase the relaxing effect. Also, keep in mind that you can mix peppermint with any of the above to aid with taste. Peppermint can also alleviate allergic reactions or asthma problems.

 

If you are looking for some sort of mental or emotional enhancement, consider starting your journey with damiana. Originally discovered in Costa Rica, damiana is one of the most popular herbs for vaporization. It’s incredibly smooth, and has been used for an incredibly wide variety of maladies. You can use damiana to treat depression, as relief from menstrual symptoms, and even as an aphrodisiac. Several other herbal remedies blend quite nicely with damiana, including blue lotus (sourced from Egypt and known to stimulate feelings of euphoria), passionflower (a fantastic treatment for anxiety or insomnia) and pink lotus stamens (commonly provides a calming, peaceful effect).

 

So now that you have a place to start when shopping at the herbalist, how can you best utilize your Herbalizer for optimal effect? There are several quality vaporizers on the market, but one of the key things that sets the Herbalizer apart is the ability to carefully control temperature. With the Herbalizer, you’ll be able to adjust the temperature used to heat your herbs within a five degree spread. That makes a huge difference, not only on the physical affect you’ll experience, but the type of herb you can utilize. For example, you’ll always want to vaporize blue lotus at lower temperatures, no higher than 150 degrees celsius. Damiana is more effective at a medium temperature, approximately 175 degrees celsius. The higher temperatures will be preferable for stimulants, and herbs that address more significant, long term issues. Not all vaporizers will be able to adjust to such specific levels, so if you plan on making herbal remedies a regular part of your life, an Herbalizer is well worth the investment.

While medicinal herbs impact everyone differently, the two answers addressed here you’ll find to hold true across the board. Vaporization provides too many positive effects, and not a single negative one that’s associated with smoking. You can feel confident trying any of the herbal remedies mentioned above, but certainly discuss your options with your local herbal remedy provider. You may find that certain alternatives are better for your system, or that a blend of several may end up providing the desired impact. And keep in mind that Herbalizer.com is here for you as a resource.