Gone are the days of smoking herb in a pipe with a match. There are so many methods of consumption these days that it can be hard to decide which is the best for you. Some people swear rolling joints is the best way to go while others prefer vape pens with oil cartridges. Others, still, will say that Thermal Extraction Devices (also known as dry herb vaporizers) are their preferred tool. How can you possibly decide when you’re getting so much information from multiple sources?
To help you decide the best tool for you, we’ve compared two of the most popular consumption methods (combustion and oil vape pens) against Thermal Extraction Devices (TEDs). By the end of this blog, you will know the differences between thermal extraction, smoking herb (combustion), and vaporizing concentrated oil.
What Are Herbal Vaping Products?
Before we get into the details of a couple different smoking alternatives, let’s clarify what herbal vaping products are, and what they are not.
When many people hear the word “vape” they might think of those large handheld cartridges that are filled with nicotine-laced “juice,” Juuls, or Puff Bars. In other words, e-cigarettes. These smoking alternatives are similar to other vaping tools in that they turn a liquid substance into an aerosol, but that is where their similarities end.
Dry herb vaping products are meant to be used with either flower; or concentrate that has been extracted from a plant. In the case of thermal extractors, the device is heated with a torch – not a battery-powered coil.
The term “Thermal Extraction Device” is often preferred over “dry herb vaporizers” or “vaping products” because it provides a distinction from e-cigarettes and the method of vaporization.
Okay! Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about thermal extraction (similar to vaping) vs. other smoking methods.
Thermal Extraction vs. Combustion
Combustion is just a fancy term for old-school smoking. You might think that smoking and vaping are the same, because you’re inhaling something into your lungs in both cases, but they are really very different – especially when it comes to your health.
The biggest difference between thermally extracting and combustion is the amount of heat used. Combustion can only occur at a very high temperature, while thermal extraction needs a much lower temperature to work. In general, your material needs to be heated to a temperature of 445 degrees Fahrenheit (or higher) in order to combust and burn the material. Thermal Extraction Devices only need to be heated to a temperature between 330 and 337 degrees F. This lower temperature can protect your lungs and throat from burns and give you a more pleasant extraction experience.
When plant materials are combusted, and you inhale using your tool of choice (bong, pipe, or joint), you are also pulling tiny pieces of the herb into your lungs. If you have ever used a glass piece to smoke herb for a long period of time, you can often see these tiny pieces accumulate into a residue. That same residue accumulates in your lungs and throat when you use combustion methods to smoke herbs.
Another downside to smoking with the combustion method is the fact that you can destroy active compounds in the herbs when you burn them (the same compounds that you are trying to extract). For example, over half of the cannabinoids in marijuana are burnt up as soon as the herb is lit.
Thermal Extraction Devices, on the other hand, don’t destroy any cannabinoids! Therefore, they are the better option for those who are looking to take full advantage of their material. The best part is that because of this, you can use less material in your device to achieve the same desired effects and save yourself money over time.
Thermal Extraction vs. Vaping
Thermal Extraction Devices and oil/liquid vape pens have similar qualities, but they are actually quite different. The biggest difference between the two is that when a fluid is atomized in an oil/liquid vape, all of the fluid is consumed. For Thermal Extraction, the process begins with plant biomass. A percentage of the compounds in that biomass are extracted. After extraction, the majority of biomass remains in recognizable form and can be reused in cooking and tinctures.
In order for vaporization to occur, oil has to be heated to a higher temperature than plant material does. This fact might mean that a user has to wait for their device to heat the oil up, delaying their experience. On the other hand, thermal extraction devices heat up very quickly so your perfect draw will be ready in seconds.
In addition, Thermal Extraction Devices don’t require as much maintenance as oil vape pens that use sticky oils. Thermal Extraction Devices can be emptied, cleaned, and reused very quickly, while oil vape pens might take a little bit of extra elbow grease due to the oil residue. You can clean Thermal Extraction Devices with just tap water and dish soap, whereas you will need something a bit stronger to clean an oil vape pen thoroughly.
Finally, Thermal Extraction Devices give you much more flexibility than oil vape pens do! You can use any kind of dry herb in a Thermal Extraction Device, so you can switch between cannabis, CBD flower, tobacco, and aromatherapy herbs, if you so choose. Oil vape pens typically can only be used with a single type of cartridge, which provides little to no variety in your vaping experience. This is great for people who like to stick to what they know they like, but others may prefer an “all-in-one” device.
Don’t confuse Thermal Extraction Devices and oil vape pens as the same cigarette smoking alternatives. Thermal Extraction Devices are heated without electricity, unlike oil vape pens and e-cigarettes. Because Thermal Extraction Devices are heated with a torch, the amount of heat applied to the device can be controlled. DynaVap's Thermal Extraction Devices alert the user when they have been heated to the proper temperature, so you never have to worry about underheating or burning your material.
Thermal Extraction Devices do not burn material via combustion and therefore a user does not ingest the harmful chemicals caused by combustion. Try a DynaVap Thermal Extraction Device for yourself today!