What’s the Difference Between an E-Cigarette and a Dry Herb Vaporizer?

Reading time - 9 minutes - February 18, 2021

As smoking becomes less popular as time goes on – with more people realising the health repercussions – the smoking alternatives are increasing in popularity. Big smokers are turning to e-cigs and dry herb vaporizers for support in their quitting process. The one thing they all have in common is that they avoid combustion, which is what smoking entails and it is highly toxic. Instead they create vapour, which is much less damaging. However, sometimes it’s hard to know what the differences are between e-cigarettes and dry herb vaporizers. “If they both make vapour, then how are they different?”. This is the question we will be answering today. We will be delving into the mechanical differences of both types of vaporizer, as well as the reasons for using each one. We will also have a brief look into the history of both the e-cigarette and the dry herb vaporizer. Here at Nectar, we try and cover all the information you need to go into the world with knowledge about all things vaporizer. As always, strap yourself in. Let’s go!

Why Use An E-Cigarette Or A Dry Herb Vaporizer? 

First things first, what’s all the hype over vaporizers? Well, smoking is becoming less and less popular. The act of burning a cigarette at around 900 degrees and then inhaling it into your lungs produces highly damaging toxins and fills your lungs with tar. That isn’t to say that this is new information, people have been aware of the damages that smoking causes for decades. However, it’s only now that there are so many viable alternatives.

Furthermore, the laws in the UK have slowly been making it less convenient for people to smoke. For instance, In 2003, the Tobacco Advertising & Promotion Act banned all cigarette promotion, advertisement or sponsorship. Although this was a huge turning point for anti-smoking laws, it’s hard to say whether the ‘Smoking Kills’ sign on each cigarette packet has much effect anymore. Another law was In 2007, when smoking inside was also banned in the UK. More importantly, smoking in pubs was banned, which was a place where many enjoyed drinking a pint and filling the pub up with smoke. It seems crazy to imagine a pub like that now, especially for anyone born in the 2000s. Nonetheless, people now can just go outside and smoke there. Although obviously, the amount of second-hand damage from smoking has reduced because of this. Truthfully, It’s hard to know exactly how much difference these laws have made, but they were a push in the right direction. 

The real change may have come because of the viable alternatives. For so long people were told smoking was bad for them, and weren’t given anything else to fill the hole that a cigarette or a joint would leave. They may have been offered some horrible tasting gum and a little patch to stick on their arm, but not much else. Now, there are real alternatives. The E-cigarettes and dry herb vaporizers of the world have taken the world by storm. Now let’s take a look at how we can differentiate between them. 

The E-Cigarette 

What Is An E-Cigarette? 

The e-cigarette is a device – of varying shapes and sizes – which produces vapour from a cartridge which usually contains nicotine. It aims to replace the desire for a cigarette, with the desire for a less harmful device. Some look like electronic cigarettes (it’s in the name!), whilst others look quite a lot like dry herb vaporizers do. 

What Is The Origin Of The E-Cigarette? 

The closest thing to the e-cigarette was first devised in 1927 by the American Joseph Robinson who created the first mechanical butane ignition vaporizer. It worked much like a blow torch, but didn’t end up being very popular. However, it did begin a search for a healthier, more innovative type of inhaling nicotine. Then came, in 1965, an American called Herbert E. Gilbert. He created the first smokeless cigarette. It would produce flavoured steam without nicotine in, however again, this wasn’t popular enough to become mainstream. Smoking back then was just too cool and ingrained into society. It wasn’t until the 2000s that e-cigarettes began gaining real popularity. 

How Does An E-Cigarette Work? 

As previously stated, e-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes. Some look like cigarettes, some look like pipes, some are very thin, and others look a bit like Doctor Who’s screwdriver. Nonetheless, they all work essentially the same. Electric cigarettes are battery powered, and they work by heating a liquid into an aerosol, which the user then inhales. The little aerosol tubes are what make them different to a dry herb vaporizer. Dry herb vaporizers have a little oven (chamber) inside where you place the dry herb instead of an aerosol tube. In the e-cigarette, these tubes are either replaced when they’re finished or some can be refilled. The liquid inside usually contains nicotine, propylene, glycol, glycerin, flavorings and other stuff. Nicotine, as you probably know, is the addictive drug found in tobacco. 

What Are The Benefits Of An E-Cigarette? 

Although e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, which can harm brain development, the amount is definitely reduced. Furthermore, a large part of the risk of smoking is the fact that the cigarette is lit at 900 degrees. This level of heat releases dangerous toxins into your body. Instead, e-cigarettes create vapour, which only heats at about 200 degrees. This reduction in heat makes e-cigarettes a lot less harmful. In addition, the road to quitting smoking is a long and sometimes painful one, but using an e-cigarette highlights an intent to begin that journey.

Who Uses An E-Cigarette?

E-cigarettes and dry herb vaporizers may be used by the same people. They are both vaporizers after all. However, e-cigarettes are more commonly used by those who wish to still taste nicotine in their vapour. Therefore, e-cigarettes are going to be used by those who wish to quit or reduce their smoking, and want something not too different from their usual cigarette. 

The Dry Herb Vaporizer

What Is A Dry Herb Vaporizer? 

A dry herb vaporizer is a device that heats up dry herb or concentrates, creating vapour, which is then inhaled by the user through a mouthpiece. Similarly to the e-cigarette, dry herb vaporizers come in many different models. However, they all work mostly the same. 

What Is The Origin Of The Dry Herb Vaporizer?

The origin of the dry herb vaporizer is more extensive than you may think. Some link it back to the Ancient Egyptians. If you want to know the full origin of the dry herb vaporizer why not check out our previous article: ‘a brief history of the vaporizer‘. The act of heating up dry herbs or marijuana for inhalation was supposedly performed by Ancient Egyptians. They would place hemp seeds on top of red-hot rocks and inhale the vapour. Then came the hookah water pipe, or the shisha pipe, which similarly heated up dry herbs for inhalation. The shake & vape was then created in 1993, which was the first small, mobile version of this process. This then led to the dry herb vaporizers that we know today. 

How Does A Dry Herb Vaporizer work?

The dry herb vaporizer works slightly differently to the e-cigarette, despite them both producing vapour. The dry herb vaporizer is also battery charged, but instead of a cartridge tube, it has an oven chamber. This oven chamber heats up the dry herb or concentrates that are placed inside. The heat around the dry herb increases in temperature, much like an oven, and vapour is thus created. The vapour is then inhaled through a mouthpiece. It’s important to clean out the dry herb vaporizer after using it to enhance the flavour of each session. Our vaporizers come with cleaning kits. 

What Are The Benefits Of A Dry Herb Vaporizer?

The benefits of the dry herb vaporizer are similar to that of the e-cigarette. The dry herb vaporizer isn’t involved in the process of combustion like smoking is, and therefore doesn’t produce any of the carcinogens or toxic chemicals. Dry herb vaporizers will also save you money. You won’t need any of the usual smoking accessories, such as rizlas or tobacco, you can enjoy your dry herb on its own. The dry herb vaporizer also doesn’t release the same smell as a cigarette or a joint does. This means you won’t have the scent of smoking stuck to your clothes. The taste of your dry herb vaporizer is also increased as usually the act of combustion at 900 degrees loses a lot of the flavour. You can also be very particular about how much dry herb you are putting in your vaporizer, which means you can have more self-control. All great things!

Who Uses A Dry Herb Vaporizer?

The dry herb vaporizer and the e-cigarette may be used by the same sorts of people. Both help people avoid the process of smoking and its damaging effects. However, the dry herb vaporizer is more likely to be utilised by those who enjoy the effects and tastes of dry herb. The dry herb vaporizer creates a very easy way for those who like marijuana to easily inhale it in a safe and healthier way. If you want to find out even more about dry herb vaporizers, make sure to check out our other article: a beginners guide to dry herb vaporizers

What’s The Difference Between An E-Cigarette And A Dry Herb Vaporizer?

So, there we have it; the mechanics and history of the e-cigarette and the dry herb vaporizer. After all of that, let’s summarise the difference between the two. Both the e-cigarette and the dry herb vaporizer create vapour rather than smoke, and avoid the process of combustion. This makes them both a much healthier way of inhaling nicotine or dry herb than smoking is. However, the differences come in the mechanics and the reasons for use. The e-cigarette uses cartridges with liquid inside, whereas the dry herb vaporizer allows for the herb to be placed directly into the device before it’s heated. Another main difference is that the e-cigarette is primarily used by those who want an alternative to smoking nicotine, whereas the dry herb vaporizer is used by those who wish to try an alternative way of inhaling marijuana. I suppose in a way, the difference between the dry herb  vaporizer and the e-cigarette is much the same as the difference between a joint and a cigarette. However, both the vaporizers have the benefit of being a lot less damaging for you. 

We hope you found this article enjoyable, and most importantly, educational. Don’t forget to check out our dry herb vaporizer shop for more products and articles like this one. Until next time.

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