(MARCH 17, 2020)

On-demand VS Session Dry Herb Vaporizers

With so many different types of dry herb vaporizers on the market it’s becoming more and more difficult to for buyers to find their way through all the different types, and decide which one is best suited to their purposes.

One major area of distinction between different types of dry herb vapes is if they are considered to be either an ‘on demand’ or a ‘session’ vaporizer. 

How you intend to use your dry herb vape will determine which style is best for you when it comes to choosing either an on demand or a session type. 

On demand and session vapes have different styles of use, and use different heating methods. Session vaporizers will usually use conduction heating where on demand vaporizers use convection heating technology, but not all convection vapes are considered to be ‘on-demand’.

Let’s take a look at what is meant by ‘on-demand’ and ‘session’ vapes, the different techniques involved with using both types, and the heating technologies used.

Session Dry Herb Vaporizers

Dry herb vaporizers that fit into the category of being a session vape are by far the most common. These will generally use the conduction method of heating the herbs and producing vapour. 

They are referred to as session vapes because all of the herbs packed in the chamber oven need to be consumed in one continuous session.

With the conduction method of vaporization the herbs will continue to ‘bake’ in between draws, so you really need to keep going until the herbs are completely spent in one session.

Session / conduction vaporizers can take a while to heat up to operating temperature (30-60 seconds) and also take some time to cool down. If you turn off a conduction vape half way through a session it will continue to vaporize, and waste the remaining herbs in the chamber.

Conduction dry herb vapes are usually more budget friendly and can cost considerably less than convection ones, but not always. For example, the DaVinci IQ2 vaporizer is a premium conduction model that costs around $399 (AUD), however you can get a conduction device for under $100.

Some dry herb vaporizers use a hybrid of both convection and conduction heating. These are also considered session vaporizers and many believe this is the best option for vaporizing dry herbs.

On-Demand Dry Herb Vaporizers

With an on-demand, convection dry herb vaporizer you don’t need to vape all the weed in the chamber in one session, and you can take a break in between hits without wasting the contents of the chamber.

The most defining feature of on-demand devices is that the herbs in the chamber don’t continue to heat up in between taking hits. A chamber packed once can be used over an extended period without wasting any herbs.

Users have the ability to choose to consume as much or as little amount of herb as they want, turn the vaporizer off and come back to it later on. This makes on-demand vaporizers perfect for micro-dosing. 

If you like to take your time in between taking draws, an on-demand convection vaporizer is the best option for you. 

On-demand dry herb vaporizers use convection heating technology, however not all convection vaporizers are considered to be ‘on demand’. 

Some convection vaporizers can take up to 20 seconds to heat up, where a truly on demand convection vaporizer is ready to use within a couple of seconds of turning it on.

There aren’t many dry herb vaporizers that can truly be classified as being ‘on demand’, although all convection vapes do have more on-demand like features than conduction vaporizers.

Truly on-demand dry herb vaporizers are designed with technology which allows the vaporizer to heat up and cool down very quickly.

The Ghost MV1 and the Firefly 2+ are currently the most popular dry herb vaporizers that use 100% on demand, full convection technology.

On Demand / Convection Dry Herb Vaporizers are more efficient

On-demand, convection dry herb vapes generally cost more than their conduction counterparts due to the advanced technology and materials used, however they are much more efficient and economical. 

The herbs in the chamber of a convection vaporizer are not being heated all the time (unlike in conduction vapes). This means that the properties of the herbs aren’t being wasted in between taking hits, resulting in a much more efficient use of your herbs.

The savings made by the more efficient use of herb will more than offset the higher initial purchase cost of a convection vaporizer over a period time.

Convection vs Conduction heating

Conduction heating used in dry herb vaporizers works by heating the chamber (or oven) than the herbs are in. The herbs are in contact with the chamber walls which heats the herbs to a temperature that is just below the point of combustion. 

Air is then pulled into the vaporizer when you inhale, which passes through the heated herbs producing vapour containing the cannabinoids and terpenes in the herb, which is then inhaled.

Convection heating used in dry herb vaporizers works by heating the air prior to it passing through the un-heated herbs.  The hot air instantly vaporizes the terpenes and cannabinoids which are then inhaled.

Hybrid - Convection / Conduction Dry Herb Vaporizers

Some dry herb vaporizers use a combination of both convection and conduction heating and are classified as using ‘hybrid’ heating technology.

These types of dry herb vapes operate by using mostly convection heating to produce the vapour, with the conduction heating element keeping the herbs mildly heated in between hits.

‘Session’ or ‘On demand’ - Which type of dry herb vape is the best ?

Many will contest that when it comes to dry herb vapes, convection vaporizers are ‘better’ or more advanced than conduction, and on-demand vapes are the future of vaping dry herbs. 

Although a good case could be made for this, it is of course a subjective matter and there are many beneficial aspects of conduction session vapes that should also be considered.

Dry herb vaporizers that use a hybrid convection / conduction heating method are considered by some to be the pinnacle of dry herb vape technology and the best there is, but opinions vary and no one type of heating method can be definitively considered to be the “best”.

It really does depend on how you intend to use your dry herb vape when deciding which type is the best for you.

Whether you opt for a session or on-demand vaporizer will come down to your individual personal preferences about how you plan on using it.


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