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The 15 Best Weed Vapes for Dry Herb and Concentrates

Getting smoked out doesn’t mean you have to spark up.

best weed vaporizers
Henry Phillips

Looking for more vetted cannabis recommendations? Check out our guides to weed strains, rolling papers, bongs, storage containers, grinders, electric weed grinders, pipes and cannabis apps.

With the number of states legalizing cannabis increasing — and the number of medical marijuana patients going up — it’s never been easier to access the healing properties of cannabis. However, ripping a bong or hitting from a pipe can draw unsavory reactions, whether from pesky landlords who would catch a whiff from an open window or roommates who can't take the lingering smell (no matter how much air freshener you use). Vaporizers offer a level of discreteness. Even better, vaporizing weed can get you higher while using less product. We tested an assortment of weed vaporizers — some are compatible with flower, some are compatible with concentrates, some are compatible with both — to identify the ones that are worth your green and the ones that will wreck your green. So whether you're looking for a dry herb vaporizer, a vape for concentrates or a vape that works with both, these are the 12 best weed vaporizers on the market.

      Weed Vapes 101

      Is vaporizing weed healthier than smoking it?

      Probably. According to Mitch Earleywine, professor of psychology at the University at Albany, SUNY, and author of Understanding Marijuana, data from his lab shows that switching to vaporizing decreases respiratory irritation and increases lung volume in heavy users. And, compared to using oil vape pens that work with a 510 thread battery and a cartridge, there are proven health benefits to ingesting cannabis via herbal and concentrate vaporizers. However, Earleywine says to keep the temperature low to prevent lung irritation.“Those who are careful not to overheat the plant are bound to see respiratory irritation improve in as little as a month,” he says. “Those who crank up the temp likely do not benefit."

      Is vaping safe?

      Besides purchasing from reputable brands, Earleywine says to “start low and go slow” to prevent getting so high that you start thinking too much about climate change.

      “Users suggest that they are accustomed to smoking and knowing the magnitude of the effects fairly quickly, often within a minute,” he says. “In contrast, they describe vaporized cannabis as ‘a creeper,’ in the sense that the subjective effects get larger over the first 15 minutes or so. Many claim their first use of the vaporizer led them to ‘over-medicate,’ so to speak.”

      There are also significant ethical considerations to ingesting cannabis. BIPOC are still disproportionately affected by petty drug crimes while states legalize marijuana. Work toward restorative justice by making regular donations to mutual aid groups that help incarcerated people or organizations like the Last Prisoner Project, which works to permanently reverse the injustice toward those who have suffered criminal convictions due to the War on Drugs. Additionally, you should support companies that donate to or have cannabis criminal justice reform initiatives in place.

      How does vaporizing weed work?

      Unlike bongs, pipes and joints, which use a direct flame as the means of releasing the cannabinoids in marijuana, convection and conduction vaporizers use heat — more like an electric oven than, say, a campfire.

      Conduction vaporizers use direct heat contact to release the cannabinoids in marijuana. However, the direct heat means that there’s a possibility you could burn your weed. These devices tend to be cheaper, portable, heat up faster and tend to be easier to use.

      Convection vaporizers, on the other hand, use the transfer of heat — think of it like cooking something in an air fryer — to heat up the cannabis. Instead of directly heating the weed, heating elements in convection vaporizers heat the air, which is forced around and through the herb. Convection vaporizers tend to be more expensive and less portable than their conduction counterparts but provide better vapor quality and flavor along with even heating.

      Hybrid vaporizers use both convection and conduction, sometimes swappable, sometimes in tandem.

      What’s the difference between dry herb vapes and vape pens?

      Dry herb refers to pulverized or ground weed, which is placed into a weed vape, then cooked at a certain temperature until vapors are released. When people talk about "flower," this is usually what they are referencing.

      Concentrates, which are typically used in vape pens (usually cartridges) but can be used in other vapes, as well, are exactly what they sound like: concentrated weed that usually comes in a kind of gel or sometimes crystallized format. The plant is treated so that only the desired compounds from the weed are extracted, hence its condensed form. Dabs, for instance, are a type of concentrate, as is hash oil.

      Hybrids are somewhat uncommon, but they do exist. Essentially, these combine both dry herb and concentrates so that you get the best of both worlds. Pax's new Inflused Flower Pucks are a good example of this type. Usually, this type is used in dry herb or hybrid vaporizers, and not in vape pens.

      It’s difficult to say any is better than the others. With dry herb, you have to deal with carrying around all that herb, but it’s also mellower than concentrates. Concentrates are more discreet, but because of the way they’re treated, it’s possible that they can become exposed to heavy metals, toxins or carcinogens. Concentrates also provide a much more potent effect on the user. And hybrids, while having the upsides of both, also come with their own downsides, including their rarity.

      How We Tested

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      Gear Patrol Staff

      After scouring the internet for weed vape enthusiast websites and the general weed vape community, we found a handful of vapes we wanted to get in hand and test. Of those we got in hand, we paid close attention to the build, ease of use, design and quality of vapor. A few factors we had to look out for was whether it took dry herbs, concentrate or both, as well as whether it used convection, conduction or hybrid heating. Battery life is important to the overall rating of a weed vape, but we found that despite all of these vapes' overall excellence, the battery was always a pain point whether it didn't last very long or it took a while to charge. This list will continue to change and be updated as new weed vape models hit the market.

      Best Overall Weed Vape
      Pax Plus
      Now 26% off
      a pax plus showing a purple light sitting next to a purple grinder with green weed in it
      Sean Tirman
      Best Budget Weed Vape
      G Pen Dash
      Best Upgrade Weed Vape
      Storz and Bickel Mighty
      Best Vape for Sharing
      Davinci IQC Vaporizer
      a green davinci iqc place on a table with smoke leaving it's mouthpiece
      Mitch K
      Best Luxury Vape
      AirVape Legacy Pro
      collage of an airvape pro 2 being used
      Sean Tirman
      Best Affordable Portable Weed Vape
      XVape Starry
      Best Last-Gen Weed Vape
      Pax 3
      pax 3 vape cartridge with loose leaf flower inside
      Ryan Brower
      Best-Looking Weed Vape
      Magic Flight Launch Box
      Magic Flight
      Best Smart Weed Vape
      Puffco Peak Pro
      puffco peak pro review
      Amanda Reed
      Easiest-to-Use Weed Vape
      Arizer Solo II Vaporizer
      Best Compact Weed Vape
      Zeus Arc GT
      Vaporizer Chief
      Best Tabletop Weed Vape
      Storz & Bickel Volcano Hybrid
      Storz and Bickel
      Best Portable Weed Vape
      G Pen Roam
      G Pen
      Best Hybrid Weed Vape
      G Pen Elite II Vaporizer
      G Pen
      Best Weed Vape for Lightweights
      Davinci Miqro
      davinci micro vape
      Mitch K
      Amanda Reed is Gear Patrol’s cannabis lifestyle writer.
      Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.
      Sean Tirman is Gear Patrol’s Commerce Writer.
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