Using Glass Screen Filters to Vaporize Dry Herbs with Your Vape Pen
There are many brands of portable vaporizer pens out there (we sell a few ourselves). However, despite the popularity of vape pens, there is a confusion surrounding them: do they actually vape?
The answer: yes, but you need to use glass screen filters.
Here is our tutorial for using glass screen filters to produce vapor from your vape pen instead of combusted smoke.
The Basic Set-up
- Place 1 glass screen inside the heating chamber of your device, directly onto the heating coil.
- Now, place your herbs into the chamber. The glass screen should block any contact between your herbs and the heating coil.
- You also want to make sure not to pack too much. Unlike true vaporizers, vape pens work better with less herbs (the less herbs, the better the heat transfer and vapor)
- Power your vape pen for about 3-5 seconds. After 3-5 seconds, slowly inhale.
Modifying Your Technique
Now, this technique depends on a few things. How fast do you count? How quickly are you slowly inhaling (hopefully, your answer is not quickly). How hot does your device's chamber get? All of these things will determine if you get vapor, combustion, or nothing at all and need to modify your technique. Here's what to do for each scenario.
Scenario 1: I got vapor!
Congratulations! You've mastered the technique. Good job and happy vaping!
Scenario 2: I got a thick cloud of smoke, is that vapor?
No, this is not vapor. Vapor is not a thick cloud. It does not taste like smoke, and it should not linger and smell as strong. If this happened to you, your herbs were heated up too much. There are two ways to solve this problem.
1. Try powering the device for less time before inhaling.
Instead of 3-5 seconds, try 1-3 seconds, then inhale slowly. Giving the device less time to heat up will prevent the herbs from getting too hot and combusting.
2. Add more screens.
If your herbs seem to combust immediately no matter how quickly you begin inhaling, you need to create even more separation between the herbs and the coils. Add another glass screen and go back to the original technique of powering for 3-5 seconds. And if it combusts, try 1-3 seconds. If it still combusts, add another glass screen and repeat the steps again until you find the right amount of glass screens and appropriate timing.
Scenario 3: I didn't get any vapor, what should I do?
If you do not get vapor, this means the herbs aren't getting hot enough. There are 3 things you can do to fix this.
1. Try packing less herbs in the chamber at once.
Vape pens are working with a limited amount of heating surface area (mostly just the glass screen surface). They will vape more effectively if the heat is distributed only among the herbs doing the surface of the glass screen. Therefore, the less herbs you pack, the better the heat transfer and the easier it is to produce vapor.
2. Heat the chamber for a longer period of time before inhaling.
Your herbs aren't getting hot enough to produce vapor, so instead of powering your device for 3-5 seconds, try 5-10 seconds. If you still don't get vapor, try 15-20 seconds.
Important note #1: some vape batteries have an automatic shut off feature and will stop powering for about 3 seconds if you hold the power button down too long (usually over 7 seconds). So, if you need to power your chamber for longer than this timeframe, try to memorize how long it takes for the automatic shut off to occur. Then, right before it happens, let go of the power button and *immediately* press and hold it down again. This will trick the battery into providing a consistent supply of power without shutting off.
Important note #2: some vape pen heating coils will not get as hot if the battery is reaching the end of its charge. If your coils are looking dim, try giving the battery a full charge
3. Try fewer glass screens.
If you are using more than 1 glass screen, try using less. Having less separation between your herbs and the heating coils will help ensure they get hot enough to produce vapor.
And that's how you get real, actual vapor from your vape pen!
Vapor vs Smoke
If you're having trouble figuring out what's vapor and what's smoke, here are a few key differences:
- Smoke is thicker, and more solid white in its appearance than vapor. Vapor is more transparent.
- Smoke lingers in the air much longer than vapor. Vapor should disappear after only a few seconds.
- Smoke tastes.. well, like smoke. It's hotter and a bit harder on the lungs. Vapor will taste more like the actual plant. Once you get used to this difference, you can actually tell when you're inhaling vapor (and if you've accidentally gone from producing vapor to combusting your herb).
- Smoke has a much stronger smell than vapor. Vapor also has a slightly different smell and will fade away much quicker.
Notice the bright color of fresh tobacco vs the darkened color of vaped tobacco. Combusted tobacco is black with white ashes.
For first-time vape users, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
Any vape pen that has an exposed heating coil where you place your herbs onto directly is going to combust your herbs.
I've seen a lot of people who think that combusted smoke is vapor, and get disappointed when they use a real vaporizer. Using vape pens to smoke is actually still really fun. It's more convenient, portable, and stealthy than other options. But just be sure not to confuse the thick, foggy, combusted clouds of smoke with the vapor produced from a real vaporizer or vape pen using glass screens to produce real vapor.
Thanks for reading, and hope this helps!