I confess that I was a smoker for many years. Several years ago I decided to quit. With the help of e-cigarettes, I was able to do so. I haven’t had a cigarette since.
In the past I have tried all the different methods of quitting: cold turkey, nicotine gum, nicotine patches, herbal cigarettes, and you name it, I tried it — but with no success. After using e-cigarettes for only a few days, I was able to completely quit. It tasted and smelled so much better to vape blueberry, peppermint or banana flavors and after a few days, cigarettes tasted awful. I put them away and never looked back (well, I never WENT back. But I did miss the act of smoking, which I found very relaxing).
Lately I noticed a video on Youtube where people were vaping herbs in a dry herb vaporizer. WHA?? Ok, I have to try this.
So I bought an inexpensive dry herb vaporizer and have been experimenting with different herbal blends.
A dry herb vaporizer does not combust the herbs. It simply heats them in a little ceramic chamber which then extracts the herbal components and you inhale the herb vapor. There is no smoke, no smell, no tar, no carcinogens, and no nicotine – but you can taste the herbs and you can feel the effects, although subtly.
This past week I have been vaping the following blend and it has been helping me relax before bed.
You just take a pinch of each herb and put it into a little metal herb grinder and grind it until it is ground up. It doesn’t have to be fine like powder, but just uniformly sized like the below picture. I got these cute little 2.5 oz tins from specialtybottle.com.
Then you put it into the ceramic chamber, fire up the vaporizer, set the temperature (I like it to be about 310 degrees Fahrenheit) and wait about 15 seconds for it to heat. Finally you just inhale the vapor. After a few draws, turn it off. That is all there is to it.
Due to the technology of the dry herb vaporizer, you only get a few “hits” in a session, but that is all it takes.
Some herbal combinations have a good flavor (like peppermint and spearmint) and others taste very herbal. This combination is more on the herbal side, but if you add a pinch of damiana herb, it spices it up a little bit. I tried it with a little bit of lavender but I don’t like the flavor of it.
There is no visible vapor produced as the herbs are very dry. The do not catch on fire or burn at all. When you dump out the herbs from the chamber after your session, they turn a light golden color, like they are lightly toasted, but not burned.
I find that this combination of herbs has been very calming and sedating. I don’t feel drugged like with sleeping pills, but I do feel relaxation wash over me. I feel it much more profoundly than I do with my night time herbal tisane (but I use both because I am cursed when it comes to sleep).
Herbal smoking blends that you smoke in a pipe or like a cigarette often include mullein or blackberry or raspberry leaf. They are very fluffy and burn well. Since you are not burning the herbs with the vaporizer, you don’t need them. You could add them if you like the flavor or the effects of them.
I have been researching and there are many herbs you can vape. I have some new herbs coming to experiment with that are also relaxing, so I foresee more herbal vape blends in the future.
As for the vaporizer I bought, I got it from puffitup.com. It was only $99. It is not a bad little vaporizer for that price. It has a very small chamber though, so I am currently researching bigger models that hold more herbs.
It is important with herbs that you pick the kind that allows you to set the temperature because the herbs have their own optimal heating temperatures. Some herbal vaporizers only have ‘ranges” vs letting you set the exact temperature you want. This model lets you set the temperature anywhere from 176F-465F.
It also has a removable battery (3200 MAH). It has an adjustable air flow selector. It is really not bad for the money, but I want a larger chamber.
This unit uses conduction, meaning that the chamber heats up and the herbs inside it heat up. There are other models which use convection, which works differently by blowing heated air through the herbs versus heating them up. These are the kind that I think would work better. I will post an update when I select my new vaporizer.