Big, dense clouds of steam might seem cool, but are they safe for people who use herbs? You’ve probably seen it online – vape artists making huge clouds that look like cool shapes. It looks neat, but it might make vape users a bit worried. Maybe you’ve even wondered how they can breathe in so much steam without coughing like crazy. And why can’t you do the same with your vaporizer? These are good questions! Don’t worry, though. Everything’s okay, and you don’t need to be scared that your vape is broken or that you’re doing something wrong.

Basically, there are two devices that might seem alike but actually work in different ways, making different kinds of steam. One type, like e-cigarettes or vape pens, doesn’t use herbs or resins. Instead, they vaporize different fluids with lots of flavors and effects. These fluids often have nicotine to help you quit smoking cigarettes, for instance. These devices have wicks soaked in fluid that get heated directly by a heating element, kind of like cooking on a stove.

In contrast, a herbal vaporizer works by directly heating the plant material inside a chamber. Now, those artists who love showing off their steam skills use e-cigarettes with powerful batteries. These batteries heat coils that can handle high temperatures. When combined with strong airflow, the liquid in the atomizer evaporates quickly and then cools down in the air. This cooling process is like how real clouds form in the sky, making those huge, fluffy clouds of steam. When the temperature is higher, more liquid evaporates, and more air is needed to cool it down, creating even bigger clouds. So, if you want those massive clouds, just take big inhales from the e-cigarette.

Exploring the Science Behind Vaporizers That Limit Cloud Size

Difference between smoke and steam   

Vaporization enthusiasts even tweak their e-cigarettes or vape pens to make as much steam as possible. The liquid they heat up can have nicotine along with other oils and flavors. Usually, it’s a mix of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. How much of each they use affects how much steam gets made. If there’s a lot of propylene glycol, it might make your throat feel scratchy, kind of like smoking cigarettes. But if there’s more vegetable glycerin, you get more steam. The best balance is usually 50/50 because too much vegetable glycerin can make the haze too thick and might cause issues.

Vaporizers and herbs   

Herbal vaporizers operate in a similar way, but they don’t use a soaked wick with liquid like e-cigarettes do. Instead, they have a convection coil that heats up a chamber filled with herbs. This process causes the active substances and terpenes in the herbs to evaporate. Essentially, convection heating involves heating the air around the herbs. However, high temperatures and lots of air can actually harm the active substances in herbs, making them less effective. That’s why herbs and herbal extracts need lower temperatures to work well.

Herbal vaporizers don’t produce a lot of visible steam for a good reason. Dry herbs don’t create much visible vapor, and even liquid extracts only produce a small amount. If your herbal vaporizer is making too much steam, it might not be working correctly, or the herb material might be burning instead of vaporizing properly.

Vaporization is similar to using an electronically heated, smoke-free bong. The temperatures are set just right to make sure the active substances and terpenes evaporate optimally. This way, these important compounds stay in the best condition for you to get the most out of them when you vape. 

The best temperatures for vaping herbs are much lower than the temperatures for burning them. At these lower temperatures, the active substances are released without making a lot of visible vapor. So, if you take a small inhale, hardly any vapor will come out when you exhale. And that’s okay! It means the plant material isn’t burning, the vaporizer is working well, and you’re getting the most out of your vape.

Smoking and using bongs   

When you smoke or use a bong, you see a lot of fluffy, white clouds because it’s real smoke. This smoke is created when the plant material burns. However, most of the benefits of the herb aren’t delivered through smoke. Instead, when you heat the herb material, it produces steam. This steam contains all the good stuff you want, which you then inhale, giving your mind, body, and soul what they need. 

If you’ve got strong lungs, you can take big inhales from a bong or even use a dabbing kit to take large doses (dabbing), and then exhale clouds that look like impressive clouds in the sky. But let us tell you, it’s not easy at all.

As time goes on, smoking can become unhealthy, which is why vaporizers have become popular. When you burn plant material at high temperatures, it creates many harmful and toxic compounds. This burning happens at around 600 to 700 degrees Celsius, making the material glow with hot, orange heat. Bongs filter the smoke through water, which helps cool it down. Some people even add ice to further cool the smoke. This process helps remove solid particles like ash and tar, making the smoke a bit less harmful.

No clouds are good clouds

If your vaporizer doesn’t produce huge clouds of steam, don’t stress about it. You’re doing everything right for using herbs properly. However, if you’re itching to create impressive swirls of smoke like an artist, you might want to consider getting an e-cigarette or vape pen with the right liquid for the job. But until then, rest assured that you’re doing just fine with your vaporizer.