Breathing Techniques

Many new vaporizer users are often frustrated and dissatisfied with their purchase, simply because they aren’t using it properly. There is definitely a learning curve with most of these cutting-edge medicating devices.

Pen Style

When using pen-style portable vaporizers, primarily dry herb pens, many new users are initially expecting it to perform like an E-Cig. This is an extremely common misconception. The technology in E-Cigs is much simpler and easier to design. Converting a liquid to vapor is far less complicated than creating vapor from a dry plant. Any liquid pen-style vaporizer should produce decent sized clouds of vapor. Any pen-style vaporizer for dry herb, such as the well-known AtmosRx, should produce smaller, thinner puffs. When starting off, make sure the chamber isn’t over-packed and the battery has a good charge. When drawing, take small and slow puffs, not fast, hard hits, as if it were a glass pipe. Many of these pen-style units use both conduction and convection heating methods. The dry herbs are directly in contact with the chamber, but the user also needs to allow flow of the hot air over the herb, to produce a decent amount of vapor. To increase this airflow, we recommend not placing your lips entirely on the mouthpiece, but rather gently rest your lips around the edges. This will allow for more airflow and in turn, better vapor production.


The traditional portable units are easier to use than the pen-style, but still require some learning. The bigger portable units, such as the Arizer Solo, Pinnacle and the Pax, allow more airflow, which results in more vapor production. We find that you can draw harder from these units, but not necessarily faster. A slow and steady airflow is recommended for the larger portable units. By slowly and steadily drawing for about 4-8 seconds, you’re maintaining a consistent flow of hot air over the herbs, which should produce a nice cloud of vapor. Depending on which portable unit being used, a good stir of the herbs might be recommended every few draws to keep the heat evenly distributed over the material.

Standard (Whip-Style)

The desktop, whip-style vaporizers require a very similar inhalation method to a lot of glass pipes. Once the herb is packed in the chamber or wand, drawing air will pass the heat over the herb and pull that vapor down through the tubing, into one’s mouth. Once more, a slower, steadier inhalation is recommended. Simply ripping air through the wand and tubing isn’t going to allow the air enough time to heat the herbs to optimal vaporization temperature. With a high-quality whip-style unit, like the Da Buddha or Silver Surfer Vaporizer, the user should easily be able to draw big clouds of vapor.

Forced Air

Forced air vaporizers are arguably the easiest to use (that’s “use”, not “assemble”, as some units may require a quick look-through of the instruction manual). Forced air vaporizers, such as the Vapir Rise or Arizer Extreme Q, have a built in fan, which usually acts as a delivery method and a cooling system to regulate the temperature of the heating element. Forced air units can utilizes both methods of delivery; balloon-bag and whip-style. The fan will fill up the balloon bag, which usually has a valve system to prevent vapor from leaking and can be drawn from at your convenience. The whip-style delivery method of a forced-air vaporizer is very similar to that of the non-forced-air desktop units, but requires even less effort. Whether you prefer the balloon or the whip, the fan essentially does the work for you. All you have to do is breathe.