Convection vs. Conduction - What Makes the Best Vaporizer?


In this article we discuss:

How Does a Vaporizer Work?

A vaporizer should activate herbs and concentrates below burning temperatures, transferring compounds from the material into vapor. The goal of vaporizing is to avoid combustion, which literally burns the plant material, creating tar, ash and other toxins which are then inhaled with the vapor. This is why vaporizing is preferred by many as a healthier alternative to smoking. 

Yet, not all vaporizers heat the same way…but if all are vaporizing, do these differences really matter?


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. 


Conduction Vaporizers

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

Convection Vaporizers

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. 


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