The question of whether a dry herb vaporizer will emit any smell is a very common one.
Let’s face it, we all know for a fact that smoking herb gives off a distinctive and lingering smell, if you’re anything like me you’ll be able to pick up the scent of someone smoking a joint from a mile off. Whilst some are happy to openly smoke like this in public places, others are looking for something far more discreet and anonymous.
When deciding to purchase a weed vaporizer, a big consideration for many people, is the discretion factor. Not only with regards to the appearance of the vaporizer, also the occurrence of any other telltale signs, such as the smell. Most of us do not want the world and its wife knowing our business and, as such, would rather be able to vape in peace without any questions asked.
With this in mind, let’s take an honest look at whether dry herb vaporizers are odor free or will have your nosey neighbours gossiping.
Does Dry Herb Vapor Smell?
The honest answer is yes. Vaping weed, or any herb for that matter, will emit an odor and you cannot avoid it. The concentration of the odor will certainly vary depending on certain external factors, which we will go on to discuss.
Consider the dank scent given off by your weed in its raw state, before it has even been heated. Realistically, this bud is never going to miraculously turn into an odorless vapor once cooked, right?
If that is not what you wanted to hear do not be disheartened, there is good news.
Firstly, the smell from a dry herb vaporizer is only a fraction of the odor given out from smoking. Burning your herb causes the matter to smoke and the smoke, in contrast to vapor, is in fact millions of particles of the herb which settle in clothes, hair, curtains and carpets. This dank scent will linger for far longer as the cannabis residue sticks around.
Secondly, you can customize and control your vaping experience to ensure the smell is as subtle and discreet as possible. To find out how, keep reading …
Why Dry Herb Vaporizers Smell
To understand why dry herb vaporizers are not odorless we have to understand the process of what happens when we vaporize our herb.
When vaporizing cannabis we are putting the herb through a heating process known as decarboxylation. The countless cannabinoids present in the cannabis flower do not become intoxicating until decarboxylation occurs.
For example, THCA. THCA is not intoxicating, and must be converted into THC through decarboxylation before any of the effects that we love can be felt.
Terpenes are essential oils that provide the fragrance in foods and herbs. Even before these active ingredients are heated up, the herb can be smelt and this is caused by the terpenes.
Think of the thyme you add to your roast chicken on a Sunday. When I’m cooking with any fresh herb I take a big sniff of it; a) because it’s such a delicious smell and b) to clarify it is thyme. What I am smelling here are the terpenes. Once my chicken begins cooking the scent of thyme fills the room, becoming increasingly intense as the rise in temperature releases more terpenes.
Interestingly, terpenes not only provide the smell, they have essential therapeutic benefits in their own right as well. This is where aromatherapy comes from. A desktop dry herb vaporizer, such as the Volcano, doubles up as an aromatherapy device and allows the user to emit terpenes into the room as you would with essential oils.
Cannabis works in exactly the same way. Different strains of cannabis also have unique terpenes that provide specific aromas. Some strains smell lemony (limonene) or spicy (caryophyllene) or floral (linalool) or piney (alpha-pinene). True cannabis connoisseurs will be able to identify individual strains of the flower by its scent alone.
Once the herb is heated up in the weed vaporizer, just as with the chicken and thyme, the intensity of the terpenes dramatically increases. As I mentioned, the terpenes provide multiple therapeutic benefits and should perhaps be seen as an essential part of the process rather than a hindrance.
How Can I Reduce the Smell from my Dry Herb Vaporizer?
Although it is impossible to achieve odorless vapor from your dry herb vaporizer, there are a few ways you can minimise the whiff. Here are some helpful tips:-
Choose a Convection Vaporizer
When using a conduction vaporizer, like the Black Mamba your herb will come into direct contact with the heat source. As a result the herb, particularly around the outside edges, is reaching very high temperatures and, in part at least, is likely to combust.
The vapor derived from a conduction vaporizer will certainly give off a stronger odor for this very reason. If the herb combusts, there will be some smoke and as mentioned earlier the smoke is small particles of the burnt matter which will attach itself to clothing, skin and hair. Hence why the odor lingers.
If you are intent on minimising odor, one good option is to use a true convection dry herb vaporizer such as the Flowermate Uno.
Convection eliminates combustion entirely. Hot air circulating the chamber vaporizes the herb, still emitting all the lovely properties and terpenes you desire, but subtly.
Due to the fact this is true vapor gas, the odor does not hang around for long and does not remain in hair or fabrics.
Keep the Temperature Setting Low
The lower the temperature you set your dry herb vaporizer at, the less obvious the odor is. If you are someone that enjoys a lighter, smoother hit from your herb then this will suit you perfectly.
Even if you are not, starting your weed vaporizer at the lower end of the scale and boosting toward the end of your session will result in less of a danky whiff.
Empty Out Your Vaporizer Bowl
Emptying your vaporizer bowl immediately will get rid of any of the residue left behind. The leftover herb, particularly if combustion has occurred will certainly pong more than unvaped bud, so getting rid and giving your bowl a quick clean will help eliminate the odor.
Vaporize in a Cool Environment
Vapor will dissipate far quicker in cool, airy environment. The smell will certainly be more noticable and linger longer in a warm, stuffy room. Open windows if indoors – for added assurance, whack on the nearest extractor fan!
Make yourself a tonne of popcorn
Weird but effective, the smell of popcorn tends to mask the smell of your green (far more successfully than air fresheners or deodorants). Far kinder to the environment too!
The terpenes released from popcorn is not dissimilar to the smell released from a weed vaporizer; particularly at the beginning of the session. However, the popcorn odor is far more dominant and simply cancels out the weedy whiff.
The added bonus here is once the munchies kick in you have ready made snacks beside you!
A dry herb vaporizer will never be truly odorless and we shouldn’t want it to be.
The terpenes are, after all, an integral part of the herbal experience. Exposing ourselves to vaporized terpenes is beneficial to our wellbeing and is a fantastic aid to relaxation.
There are simple steps to minimising the odor. Just remember, the smell that your dry herb vaporizer leaves will not be around for long. Most importantly, it is actually doing some good.