AirVape X | Black - Whole-Plant Vaporizer
Mig Vapor - Khan Dry Herb Vaporizer
Storz & Bickel: Volcano Hybrid - Whole-Plant Vaporizer
Where there’s smoke there’s fire, but where there’s vapor there’s a sleek USB-charged device that slips into your pocket. Whole-plant (or “dry-herb”) vaporizers are the 21st century Proto Pipe: discrete, easy-to-clean, and practically odorless. They travel well and give users the vaunted, immediate effect of smoking with better dose control. They are, however, not to be confused with oil vapes.
To help make your search easier, we’ve scoured the web, spoke with experts, and read consumer reviews to pick these whole-plant vaporizers that are worth checking out.
The Best Whole-Plant Vaporizer
Backed by a lifetime warranty and micro-adjustable from 200–428F degrees (or from quite hot to just below ignition temperature), the pocket-portable AirVape is sleek, discrete, and easy to clean. It charges very fast with a USB cord and looks like a black-out Apple device.
Weighs Only 3.2 oz
Heat-up Time: 20 Seconds to Optimal Level
Easy-to-read 1.3” display screen
1,300mAh rechargeable battery
- Weight3.2 oz
This massive desktop unit is the one-ton truck of vaporizers. It hauls huge loads and is made for sharing. The heating is almost immediate yet cools efficiently, too. The extra-wide filling chamber allows for the plant matter roast evenly and creates lung-fulls of vapor. The inhalation tube can be replaced with a balloon for passing around.
App control via S&B App for Android and iOS (though currently not available)
Inhalation tube cools vapor
Full convection heating (100w heating element)
Precision temperature control (104–446F)
- BrandStorz & Bickel
- ModelVolcano Hybrid
- Weight1.6 kg
- Dimensions41.4 x 30.4 x 25.9 cm
Portable and discreet with a quick heating time, the Pax 3 unit has four pre-set heat temperatures. And to make things even easier, it vibrates when ready. This industry mainstay is also “dual-use”—compatible with flower and waxes. A single button controls all the features.
Dual-use vaporizer (vapes herbs and waxes)
Half-pack lid (conserves material for one-person sessions)
Limited 10-year warranty
- Size4”h X 1”w X 1”d
Using a hybrid heating style, the Mighty is known for producing great flavor. It’s larger size makes it more powerful and produces immense clouds of vapor. It can also be used while charging and heats up to 410F.
Dual lithium-ion battery
Haptic feedback (it vibrates)
Large LED for easy reading
Precise digital control
Ultra-low draw resistance
- BrandStorz & Bickel
- Dimensions3.2” x 5.5” x 1.2”
This device has adjustable heat settings and features a small LED readout and a single firing/adjustment button. Durable and lightweight, the Khan has a soothing Pyrex-glass mouthpiece. An LED ring flashes green, and the Khan vibrates and it’s ready to vape.
Internal, 2500mAh battery
Temperature range, 302–464F
0.5g-capacity, all-ceramic herb chamber
Aluminum outer casing
Pyrex glass vapor path
- BrandMig Vapor
- Battery Capacity2500 mAh
What is a Whole-Plant Vaporizers? How Does it Work?
Whole-plant vaporizers are nifty devices that only use hemp-flower. (They can, of course, be used for marijuana, too.) Without igniting it, they heat up and phase change the oils within the plant material, releasing the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes for medicinal effect. All this without the carbon monoxide and particulate matter of smoke. (You don’t have to cough to get off, as it turns out.) By avoiding ignition of the hemp, whole-plant vapes avoid most of the potentially damaging pyrolytic compounds.
Nor should the dangers of vaping oil cartridges be associated with whole-plant vaporizers. Oil cartridges often contain chemical thinning agents like polyethylene glycol to make the hemp oil less viscous or, in the case of e-cigarette makers like Juul, to suspend the nicotine. The habitual inhalation of these chemical thinning agents has been shown to cause lung damage. (Unfortunately, fears of vaping-related illnesses led Apple to remove all vape-related cell phone applications from the AppStore on November 12, 2019, thereby reducing the capabilities of some whole-plant vape units.) Extracted oils can also include concentrated residue of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, fungicides, heavy metals, and mold.
The vapor from whole-plant vaporizers does contain some residual compounds from the hemp plant itself. But the best (and more expensive) whole-plant devices have temperature control settings that allow users to experiment and dial in the release of cannabinoids and terpenes. Terpenes phase change at different temperatures and every user benefits from unique combinations of terpenes and cannabinoid ratios.
Conduction vs. Convection
Whole-plant vaporizers typically heat cannabis flower by one of two methods: conduction or convection. Conduction vaporizers heat the bowl that holds the plant material, whereas convection vaporizers pass hot air through the hemp. Both technologies are effective, but convection vapes have temperature controls for fine-tuning the effect.
To find the best effect for you, play with the different temperatures to maximize the compounds within your preferred hemp strain. Lighting up a pre-rolled hemp cone destroys many of these same terpenes. And even the best thinning-agent-free hemp-oils have a narrower terpene profile than the plants they’re extracted from. This limits the potential medicinal properties of that oil.
Make sure to grind your flower to achieve an “even roast”—finer grind for convection units in a loose-packed bowl (for airflow) and medium grind for conduction in a firm-packed bowl. Also, note that the best units have vape paths constructed from ceramic or glass—not plastic.
In our experience, whole-plant vaping is the best consumption method for experiencing the full flavor and immediate effect of hemp-flower. It’s comparable to aerating or decanting wine so it can “open up.” Consuming hemp in this way uncovers the nuances of flavor and unique effect of each individual strain.
Whole-plant vaping is also refreshingly low profile, i.e. good for public consumption. Cleaning these devices is super simple, too. They don’t reek of weed, and you won’t cough and hack like a newbie.