There’s a lot more to vaporizers than you might think, and they can be a healthier alternative to smoking, depending on the type of vaporizer being used.
Vaporizers work by heating oils and herbs at a cooler temperature (around 284°F). The product is then converted into vapor - a healthier, toxin-free alternative to combustion (burning, which happens at around 446°F).
Instead of combustion, vaporizers work by conduction or convective heating. With conduction, dry herbs or oils are placed on a heated surface, such as a solid or mesh screen. That plate is then heated to the perfect vaporization temperature and vapor begins to form. With the convective approach - a more recent development - your herbs don’t need to come in contact with a screen or plate. Instead, the air is heated, and once the perfect temperature is reached, is moved by a fan or through inhalation to the area where your dry herb is located.
With the standard desktop vaporizer, there are two ways the vapor is delivered: whip-style and bag-style. “Whip” basically means there’s a tube attached to the main chamber and a mouthpiece for inhalation, while the bag style (like used on the Volcano) has a plastic bag attachment that gets filled with vapor, and then removed for inhalation.
However, portability is preferred, so many companies have made the switch to portable vaporizers. From the impressive Pax 3 to the more bulky, yet powerful Mighty, this category has been gaining popularity.