An herbal vaporizer uses a process called sublimation to transform the active ingredients of herbal plant materials into a vapor. The process of sublimation is used in a number of disciplines and plays a vital role in the realm of scientific research. Using the process, scientists have the ability to study various elements and compounds and the effects that are created by such a transformation. By utilizing the process of sublimation in today’s electronic herbal vaporizers, the industry has developed the ability to transform solid herbal plant material into a stable vapor containing active herbal ingredients thus eliminating the combustion process and its byproducts.
The most efficient of herbal vaporizers use a heating process known as convection heating to sublimate the active ingredients in a plant material. Herbal vaporizers using convection heating as a catalyst for the sublimation process use a method of forced air to heat the herbs. As opposed to other types of heating, such as thermal conduction, the plant material is never in direct contact with the heating element of the vaporizer. Instead, the heating element is used to heat air which is passed over the herbs causing the temperature of the material to rise creating a change of state.
As the temperature rises within the herbal vaporizer, the plant material begins to undergo a change of state in which the particles within the plant become active. The sublimation process involves transforming a material from a solid state directly to a gaseous state with no intermediate liquid phase. By using forced air that is heated to the appropriate temperature for the herb as opposed to burning or boiling the plant material, a vaporizer completes the transformation using this process. The ingredients of the plant which have become active due to the heating process are released from the plant as a vapor which can then be captured.
Since a vaporizer uses sublimation to release active plant ingredients, they are widely used as tools for aromatherapy and smoking cessation. Sublimating an herbal material greatly differs from burning the same material in that unnecessary and even harmful byproducts of combustion are eliminated. Because the process of sublimation releases only the desired active ingredients and does not burn the plant, carcinogens particularly associated with tobacco usage are absent from the process. The sublimation process as used in an herbal vaporizer generates a clean vapor and has proven to be an efficient procedure for extracting useful herbal components.