The difference between smoking herbs and vaporizing herbs is the temperature at which the herbs are heated. Vapor is created at much lower temperatures, which allows you to avoid the combustion that produces smoke. When herbs are smoked, toxic tar and carcinogenic chemicals are inhaled, and much of the herb's essential oils are destroyed by combustion. Vaporizing heats the herb only to the point that the volatile essential oils are turned into vapor. A vaporizer's temperature control depends on the type of vaporizer it is. Convection vaporizers are more efficient than conduction vaporizers because they heat the herb's surface more evenly. Many convection vaporizers are also equipped with digital thermostats that allow for precise temperature settings.
Herbs that require temperatures of 302 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to vaporize are low-temperature herbs. Herbs that vaporize between 212 and 257 degrees include lavender, corn silk, and black horehound. Thyme, St. John's wort, peppermint, gotu kola, meadowsweet, mother wort and passionflower vaporize between 212 and 302 degrees. Heat tobacco, sage, dandelion and clove vaporize between 257 and 302 degrees.
Medium-temperature herbs vaporize at temperatures up to 347 degrees Fahrenheit. Red poppy, saw palmetto, hawthorn, ginkgo biloba, feverfew, guarana and milk thistle vaporize at temperatures between 257 and 347 degrees. Cat's claw, damiana, coffee, anise, comfrey and fennel need more heat, with vaporizing temperatures between 302 and 347 degrees.
High-temperature herbs vaporize at temperatures below 392 degrees Fahrenheit. From 302 to 392 degrees, evening primrose, marshmallow, and burdock root vaporize. Heat garlic, ginseng, ginger root, aloe vera, hops, kava kava and licorice at temperatures between 347 and 392 degrees. Temperatures between 365 and 392 degrees vaporize yohimbe, kola nut and valerian root.
Combine herbs with similar vapor temperatures to make a variety of blends with different tastes and effects. Tobacco, clove, and peppermint makes a tasty alternative to herbal smoke. Lavender, St. John's wort and passionflower all have relaxing effects that ease stress and induce calm. An energizing morning blend and memory boost contains guarana, coffee, ginseng and gingko biloba. To ease a headache, vaporize meadowsweet and feverfew, but keep the temperature below 302 degrees to avoid overheating meadowsweet. Use the properties contained in ginger root, burdock root and milk thistle for a detoxifying vapor. Medicinal vapors are made with licorice, ginger, garlic and comfrey (be careful to not go over 347 degrees) for colds and flu, and marshmallow and licorice for sore throat. Ease headaches with meadowsweet, peppermint and feverfew vapor heated to 302 degrees.
- "Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family"; Rosemary Gladstar; 2008
- Vaporizer Info: Vaporizing temperatures
- VaporizerKits.com: Convection and Conduction Vaporizers
- 77Vaporizers.com: Common Vaporization Temperatures - What Is the Vaporization Temp of My Favourite Herb?