Using a vaporizer for your herbs as opposed to smoking can greatly enhance the experience but only if done properly. Although it is not rocket science, there are some common mistakes people make when vaporizing herbs.
First of all, the plant material should be ground correctly. Placing a whole leaf into a vaporizer and expecting it to deliver a quality vapor results in a very disappointing experience. A non-ground material does not properly release the active ingredients of the plant and creates a vapor that is primarily air. On the other hand, the material should not be ground to a powdery pulp. Bits of the plant material dust in the vapor have an equally undesirable outcome.
Secondly, the process of vaporization is rather quick and the herb should not be left in the vaporizer for an extended period of time. Leaving the material in the vaporizer longer does not create a richer vapor and can result in exploding the capture device if it is a balloon or bag. The plant begins to vaporize when the proper temperature is reached and once the vapor is captured; the vaporizer should be shut off until the next round of vaporizing is desired.
Thirdly, the more herbs that are packed into the vaporizer do not create a higher density of vapor. In fact, it is just the opposite. A looser pack of the ground plant allows more air to pass over the substance and in turn releases more of the active ingredients. Cramming the vaporizer full of your herbs only inhibits the air flow and results in a less dense concentration of vapor.
Fourthly, a higher temperature setting on the vaporizer does not create vapor faster, nor does it result in a higher concentration of vapor. Vaporizing herbs at a temperature that is beyond the range of optimization only destroys the plant before the vaporizer has a chance to create a quality vapor. The herb is scorched and not only leaves a vapor that is lacking in content but can also create a bad taste.
Finally, vaporizers are designed to allow the multiple uses of the same plant material but the herb does eventually lose its potency. Once the point is reached that the vapor no longer provides the desired results, the vaporized herb should be tossed and replaced with new product. A vaporizer is efficient but a plant only goes so far even if it is fresh.