Vaporizer Convection vs Conduction - What's the Difference?

Convection vs Conduction - What Makes the Best Vaporizer?


Heat Matters: How Heating Cannabis Determines What You Get Out of It Reading Convection vs Conduction - What Makes the Best Vaporizer? 9 minutes Next Intro To Vaping

 Users often wonder what a convection vaporizer is, and how it is different from other types of vaporizers. A convection vaporizer is one that indirectly makes the material vaporize. It heats up the air, which then activates the dry herbs or concentrates at below burning temperatures, turning compounds in the material into the vapor that you inhale. The goal of vaporizing using a convection device is to avoid combustion, which burns the plant material, creating tar, ash, and other toxins that are then inhaled with the vapor. This is why convection vaporizing is preferred by many as a healthier alternative to smoking. 

Vaporizing can take place due to multiple heating methods. Do the differences really matter? Let’s find out.

In this article we discuss:

Does the Heating Method Matter in a Vaporizer?

Absolutely! The heating method determines how and how much of the compounds are transferred into the vapor. Since cannabinoids and terpenes are influenced by a vaporizer’s heating method, the choice affects both the therapeutic effects and overall enjoyment. 

There are three methods of heat: convection, conduction, and thermal radiation. Thermal radiation releases heat by emitting electromagnetic waves, which is the same method as a toaster. While it can be used in vaporizers, it’s not very common, so we’re focusing on differences between conduction and convection. 

What is Conduction Vaporizer?

Conduction is the transference of heat through physical contact between two surfaces. It requires a heating element to be touching the surface of the substance intended to be heated, just like a pan on an oven cooktop conducts energy from the cooktop to the pan, and then to the food within. 

When vaping, this method of heating is inefficient compared to convection. The herb has to have physical contact with a hot surface, using an electric element to heat up the hot surface that touches the herb or concentrate. 

In theory, conduction should heat the herb to just below the combustion point, but this isn’t always the case. Why? Because the conduction surface must continue getting hotter in order to heat the bulk of the herb, so much that it often exceeds the combustion point. This creates  inconsistent heat patterns and uneven vapor paths that negatively affect flavor, as well as impacting the amount of terpenes and cannabinoids vaporized. The burning of combustion can also add un-tasty (and unhealthy) smoke.  

While the best conduction vaporizers use a combination of convection and conduction, these are still less efficient and more prone to burning than convection alone. Combination vaporizers perform better than pure conduction vaporizers, yet they will not be able to extract the terpenes and cannabinoids at the same high-efficiency rate as a convection vaporizer.

On the other hand, conduction vaporizers are usually cheaper than convection. They have fewer parts and the parts themselves are less expensive. Combination vaporizers, however, are generally not cheaper than convection only, leading most shoppers to choose the benefits of convection only.  

How Convection Works Compared to Conduction

What is Convection Vaporizer?

What is convection? Consider a convection oven: Hot air fully surrounds the object being heated, cooking more evenly than frying or grilling. Convection vaporizers operate the same, just on a much smaller scale. 

Unlike conduction, convection does not make direct contact with the herb or concentrate. Instead, heating elements heat the air, which is then forced around and through the herb. Since the heating element is not directly in contact with the plant, the chances of burning virtually disappear. Instead, the plant heats efficiently and evenly, resulting in a smooth, clean vapor. 

The convection method, therefore, is significantly superior to conduction. Not only does conduction waste product, exposure to high, direct heat destroys terpenes. In contrast, convection allows one to efficiently access those all-important terpenes.  When hot air is passed through and around the herb, the terpenes and cannabinoids boil off at the correct temperature. This creates a potent vapor while leaving behind plant material that would form smoke. 

How Does a Convection Vaporizer Work?

It’s not surprising, then, that the highest-rated and top-quality vaporizers use convection. How exactly does convection work? Convection vaporizers draw air into intake vents, which is then heated and passed through the herb or concentrate in the device bowl. The hot air activates the material, pulling off desired compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes, which are then inhaled through the vapor. 

How Dynamic Convection Works

Not all convection vaporizers are created equal, though. Read on to learn important features to consider when shopping for a convection vaporizer. 

What are the Benefits of a Convection Vaporizer

If you're trying to decide if a convection vaporizer might be a good fit for you, then consider these benefits.  If the strengths of convection align with what you want out of a vaping device, then it will likely be a great choice for your vaping needs.

Efficient Use of Dry Herbs

Convection vaporizers do a great job of not wasting any of the vapor produced from dry herbs. The only time vapor is produced is when you fire the device, so you don't have any vapor escaping or being wasted. For example, the Firefly 2+ is catered to this action and will be ready to produce vapor in only a few seconds. 

Incredible Vapor Taste

Convection vaporizers are known for the incredible flavor they provide in vapor. The devices never get hot enough to produce smoke, which results in smoother, cool vapor that is packed full of nuanced flavor. Harsh, hot smoke often covers some of the more subtle tasting notes in weed, which is why vapers who value flavor tend to gravitate towards convection vaping. 

Even Vaporization 

Convection vaporizers have a heating chamber that heats on all sides to create vapor. This allows for even vaporization (all of your weed is used at the same time). Compare this to conduction vapes, which require the dry herbs to make contact with a heating plate, which can result in completely spent weed mixed in with weed that has barely produced any vapor. 

Target Cannabinoids and Terpenes

Even vaporization allows you to target certain cannabinoids and terpenes more effectively. Each different cannabinoid (like THC or CBD) and terpenes, turn to vapor at different temperatures. If you are trying to target compounds that vaporize at lower temperatures, the even heating of convection vaporizers can make that happen without the uneven heating of conduction vapes. 

How To Choose The Best Convection Vaporizer?

There are a lot of convection vaporizers on the market and trying to choose one can be overwhelming. If you consider the following points before jumping into a purchase, you're likely to end up with a device that's a perfect fit.

  • How much money do you want to spend?
  • Do you plan to travel with your vape? You may want a smaller, more discreet device. 
  • Are you going to mostly vape at home? You may want a larger, more powerful device that has more features, like precision heating. 
  • Do you value taste or vapor production? Usually, convection vaporizers do one of these things well. For example, the Firefly 2+ specializes in top-quality flavor with moderate vapor production. 
  • How much time do you want to spend cleaning your device? Some devices are straightforward and easy to clean, while others require more elbow grease to keep the device in working order. 
  • What kind of battery life do you want? Different devices have different lifespans between charges, and some devices have removable batteries, while others have a built-in battery. 

Take time to consider these questions, narrow down your choices, and find a device that fits your needs perfectly. 

Why Use Firefly 2+

Convenient. While a number of desktop convection vaporizers are on the market, very few pure, portable versions are available. The Firefly 2+’s sleek design is fully portable and easy to use. Potent yet odorless vapor allows for discreet consumption. It’s also fast with only a three second warm up time, whereas most other vaporizers take at least thirty seconds before ready to use. 

Technology. Firefly 2+ takes convection technology a step further by incorporating our unique Dynamic Convection. With a Firefly 2+, the air in each draw gradually and efficiently increases to achieve the desired temperature. Since the cannabinoids and terpenes of various strains have different boiling temperatures, Dynamic Convection allows one to take advantage of the entire spectrum of benefits (unlike traditional vaporizers that can only operate at one temperature at a time). 

Quality. The Firefly 2+ is crafted with the same high-grade alloys used on NASA spaceships. Attention to detail, quality craftsmanship, and premium materials ensure durability, so one can enjoy Firefly’s superb flavor and effects for years to come.


How Does the Firefly 2+ Compare to Other Popular Vaporizers?

Vaporizer Comparison Chart

Buy the Best Convection Vaporizer

Clearly, a vaporizer’s heating method most definitely matters! Convection is by far the purest and most efficient way to vaporize, and the Firefly 2+ unique features make it a standout even among premium convection vaporizers. Ready to buy? Simply click the link below to begin enjoying the best vaporizing experience available!


Firefly 2+ Dynamic Convection Vaporizer