Vaping your favourite herb has a lot of significant benefits compared to smoking it. Without the harsh smoke getting in the way, the flavour quality is much better. Vaping is also easier on the throat and lungs, so it’s less likely to make you cough. Some people even find that the effects of vaping seem to be more potent than smoking.

Using a dry herb vaporizer, though, does have a bit of a learning curve compared to smoking – and one of the biggest things that you need to learn is how to tell when the herbs are done. When you smoke your herbs, it’s obvious because they burn away during the session. With vaping, on the other hand, it isn’t so easy to tell because nothing burns away, and no ashes are produced.

So, how can you tell when a dry herb vaping session is over? It all comes down to four things: flavour, colour, vapour and how you feel. By paying attention to those four things, you can tell exactly what’s going on in your device.

The Flavour Changes when the Herbs Are Done

When the herbs in your vaporizer are done, the first thing you’ll notice is a significant change in flavour. This happens in stages. The terpenes that provide most of the herb’s flavour vaporize first because they’re volatile and evaporate at lower temperatures in many cases. Once the terpenes are gone, you’ll still taste grassy and herbal notes. When the herbs are completely done, you’ll no longer experience a pleasant flavour at all – the herbs will simply taste burnt. Some people say that spent herbs taste a bit like burnt popcorn. So, that’s a fairly simple way to tell when your herbs are done; if you’re no longer getting a pleasurable flavour from your vaporizer, the session is over.

Dry Herbs Stop Producing Vapour when They’re Done

As you get used to your dry herb vaporizer, you’ll also learn to pay attention to the volume of vapour your device produces. Dry herb vaping never produces the same enormous clouds that you can get from smoking, but you can definitely get some impressive clouds with fresh herbs and an efficient vaporizer. When the herbs are completely spent, the vapour production will drop drastically. Eventually, you’ll reach a point where your vaporizer produces almost no vapour at all. At that point, the herbs are definitely finished.

Dry Herbs Look Dark Brown when They’re Done

You’ll also notice a colour change as the herbs in your dry herb vaporizer are used up. Although the herbs in a vaporizer should never combust, pyrolysis does take place. Pyrolysis describes the permanent chemical changes that take place within a material at high heat levels. This process causes the herbs to change colour. The herbs in your vaporizer’s oven will start to turn brown almost immediately when heat is applied, but that doesn’t mean they’re done. When the herbs are completely finished, the colour will be extremely dark brown and nearly black.

Some people prefer to end their vaping sessions before the herbs are fully browned – even though the herbs still contain some active compounds – because the flavour will be fairly unpleasant at that point. You should let your personal preferences guide you here.

The Effects Peak when Dry Herbs Are Done

Another way to tell when the herbs in your vaporizer are done is by simply paying attention to the way you feel. Do you feel like the effects of your herbs have peaked, and you’re not getting anything more out of the vaping session? In this case, it’s likely that all of the useful compounds in your herbs have been vaporized, and the herbs are most likely spent.

What Does It Mean if Some of the Herbs in Your Dry Herb Vape Are Still Green?

Now, it’s time to troubleshoot some of the issues that you might encounter as you learn how to tell when the herbs in your vaporizer are done. Let’s suppose, for instance, that you open your vaporizer to eject the herbs and find that the material in the middle of the oven is still green. The green herbs are still usable, so you wouldn’t want to throw them away. In this case, there are two possible things that could be happening.

  • You’re packing the herbs too tightly in your vaporizer’s chamber, so the oven’s heat is unable to reach the centre. Restricted airflow is another sign that you might be packing the chamber too tightly. A dry herb vaporizer does require you to pack the oven fairly tightly, but it’s possible to go too far if you’re overzealous.
  • Some vaporizers require periodic stirring of the material in the oven in order to achieve complete vaporization. If this is the case with your device, you should stir the herbs with a toothpick or dab tool about halfway through your vaping session.

What Does it Mean if Your Dry Herb Vaporizer Tastes Burnt Right Away?

Here’s another scenario. We’ve just told you that your herbs are spent if they taste like burnt popcorn. What if your herbs taste like that as soon as the session begins? Here are the two most likely reasons why this is happening.

  • Your vaporizer is dirty. Herbal residue is extremely sticky, and it’ll collect and form a dark film in your vaporizer’s chamber and in the vapour path. For maximum flavour quality, you should clean the vaporizer as directed by the manufacturer after every several vaping sessions.
  • You’re using an inexpensive vaporizer that doesn’t have reliable temperature control, and the herbs on the outside of the oven are either undergoing almost immediate pyrolysis or are actually combusting. If you see ash in the oven after using your dry herb vaporizer, you should consider lowering the device’s temperature.

How Can You Make Herbs Last Longer in a Dry Herb Vaporizer?

If you enjoy the complex flavours and aromas of high-end herbs, you might want to vape in a way that prolongs your ability to taste those flavours and doesn’t torch the herbs right away. To do this, you’ll need to control your vaporizer’s temperature a little more carefully. Instead of starting with your device set to the maximum possible temperature, try beginning the session at a low temperature and increasing the heat slowly.

For maximum flavour quality, it’s also important to store your herbs correctly. If the herbs are already dried out when you use them, your vaping session won’t last long, and the effects won’t be as pleasurable as they could be. Store your herbs in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and put the jar in a place that will reduce its exposure to sunlight. If you have a large quantity of herbs that you’re planning to store for a while, put a humidity regulator in the jar to prevent the herbs from drying out. You can also stave off oxidation by not grinding the herbs until right before you’re ready to use them.

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