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Dry Herb vs. Wax Vaporizers

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Dry Herb vs. Wax Vaporizers

If you’re in the market for a new herbal vaporizer – and you’ve done your research – you know that you have a major decision to make before you can even start to think about what brand or model of vaporizer you want to buy. You’ve got to decide between dry herb vs. wax vaporizers. Although there are several vaporizers that can handle both dry herbs and wax concentrates, the fact is that the best vaporizers typically focus on one or the other. So, how do dry herb and wax vaping compare? In this article, we’ll provide some information that will make your buying decision easier.

How Dry Herb and Wax Vaping Work

If you currently smoke your herb of choice, you’ll find that dry herb vaping isn’t that dissimilar to smoking. Right now, you take your whole herbs, grind them down and either place them in a pipe or wrap them in paper for smoking. When you use a dry herb vaporizer, it’s much the same; you grind the herbs and load them into your vaporizer’s chamber. You then turn the vaporizer on and inhale as you normally would. The vaporizer gets hot enough to release the active compounds in the herbs, but it doesn’t get hot enough to burn the herbs.

When you use a wax vaporizer, on the other hand, you’ll load the chamber with a concentrate extracted from your herb of choice. In most cases, the wax will be soft, pliable and sticky. You’ll need to load the wax into your vaporizer’s chamber carefully with your fingers or a small pick. Before you can do that, though, you’ll have to make or obtain the concentrate. Some herbal wax concentrates are illegal to buy in Canada even though the herbs themselves are legal – and that means you’ll most likely need to buy the herbs and make the concentrates yourself. That adds an extra step – and a significant amount of labor – to the vaping process. Why would you bother? That’s what we’ll discuss next.

Vaping Dry Herbs vs. Smoking

If you currently smoke, you’re going to find that the experience of using a dry herb vaporizer is similar in terms of how long it takes to feel the effects of your herbs, what the effects feel like and how long they last. The only difference is that you won’t feel the effects that smoke causes since your vaporizer won’t burn your herbs. Because of that difference, many people find that dry herb vaporizers leave them feeling more energized and clear-headed than smoking.

Another key difference between vaping dry herbs vs. smoking is that some herbs contain many compounds with different vaporization temperatures. That allows you to customize the effects that you feel when vaping to a certain extent simply by changing your vaporizer’s temperature.

Vaping Wax Concentrates vs. Smoking

When you vape a wax concentrate, you’re vaping a full-spectrum extract of your chosen herb. It contains all of the herb’s active compounds, so you’ll get all of those compounds every time you vape. That means you can’t change your vaping experience by changing your vaporizer’s temperature.

The more important difference between vaping dry herbs vs. wax concentrates is that concentrates are far more potent. It takes a large supply of dry herbs to make a small amount of wax, and herbal wax concentrates are often over 90 percent pure. Vaping a tiny quantity of wax is the same as vaping several ovens full of dried herbs. The difference, though, is that wax vaping gives you the effect of several oven loads of dried herbs all at once. Occasionally, people find the effects powerful enough to be unpleasant. If dry herb vaping isn’t doing enough for you, though, a wax vaporizer may be the perfect choice.

Session Vaping vs. Medicinal Vaping

When you use a dry herb vaporizer, it takes some time for the oven to get hot enough to fully release the active compounds from your herbs. You may find yourself vaping for more than 10 minutes at a time, and that’s exactly what many people want: a lengthy, relaxing experience without the combustion of smoking.

On the other hand, let’s suppose that you use your herb for its medicinal properties. If you use your herb to ward off chronic pain, for example, you may just want relief as quickly as you can get it – without a lengthy vaping session. If that’s the case, you might prefer a wax vaporizer. A wax vaporizer heats up almost instantly, and a wax concentrate is strong enough to provide extremely quick relief with just one or two puffs.

Vaping on the Go

If you use your herb to fight a chronic condition, you may not want to keep your vaporizer at home. You might want to carry it in your pocket to ensure that it’s always ready to go when you need it. If that’s the case, a wax vaporizer is hard to beat. Since the tanks required to store wax concentrates are very small, the vaporizers themselves are small as well. You can carry one discreetly in your pocket and take a puff whenever you need quick relief. That’s not possible with a dry herb vaporizer. Even if you only want to take a single puff from a dry herb vaporizer, it won’t be ready to use instantly; the oven requires several seconds to heat up.


One of the best features of wax vaporizers is that they’re easy to clean. When you vape a wax concentrate, the substance that you inhale is the wax itself, heated to the point of vaporization. Although vaping wax can leave a bit of residue behind, that residue still has active compounds in it. You can often use a pick to move the residue closer to your vaporizer’s heating coil. Then, you can simply vaporize the residue.

With a dry herb vaporizer, cleaning isn’t that simple. You can vaporize the compounds in your dry herbs, but the herbs themselves remain in the oven when you’re done vaping. You’ll need to clean the herbs out of the oven after each session. You’ll also need to clean the oven with alcohol periodically to remove the dark, sticky resins.

Final Thoughts

So, what type of vaporizer wins the battle between dry herb vs. wax vaporizers? It turns out that there is no single answer to that question; there is only what’s right for you. We can, however, provide a few guidelines.

You should consider buying a dry herb vaporizer if you:

  • Are a smoker and want to use a vaporizer that’s familiar and easy to pick up
  • Want an experience that’s like smoking without the combustion
  • Want to customize your experience by vaping at different temperatures
  • Want a vaporizer that can give you long, leisurely vaping sessions

You should consider buying a wax vaporizer if you:

  • Want to feel the effects of your herbs as powerfully as you can
  • Want a vaporizer that provides instant relief for a chronic condition
  • Want a vaporizer that you can carry in your pocket and use on demand


~Jason Artman



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