Smoking was the preferred marijuana consumption method of choice in the halcyon days. Even today, there remains a strong association between weed and joints. However, the modern-day consumer is spoiled for choice compared to previous generations.
These days, if you dislike smoking, you can eat and drink your marijuana or even rub a THC-infused cream into your skin! Vaping is another popular, albeit controversial, method of consuming weed. It has several advantages over smoked marijuana but isn’t without health concerns.
Nonetheless, there is a legion of vapers who believe it is superior to smoking. Portable vaping devices enable users to take a hit on the move and are highly convenient. However, using marijuana in public remains illegal, even in states where recreational sales have begun. Therefore, you may need to invest in a desktop vaporizer to get the proper vaping experience at home.
This article investigates five of the best desktop vaporizers on the market and provides a concise overview of each. It also looks into why many people choose vaping over smoking as their marijuana consumption method.
What Is a Desktop Vaporizer?
As the name suggests, a desktop vaporizer is a large vaping device that isn’t designed for portability. They are fairly large and generally cost several hundred dollars. Furthermore, they generally take a couple of minutes to heat your weed.
On the plus side, they usually have features such as:
- Convection heating, the most efficient heating technology for vaporizers
- The ability to fill balloons, ensuring that the vapor cools down for a few seconds before you inhale it
- Lengthy warranties
- Detailed temperature settings
- Large bowl size
- Dry herb and concentrates compatibility
- Excellent durability
In essence, a desktop vaporizer is for someone planning to vape marijuana for the foreseeable future. It allows you to imbibe in the comfort of your home, and the best units last for several years at least.
Now, let’s check out the top 5 on the market, in our opinion.
The Top 5 Desktop Vaporizers
1 – Dr. Dabber Switch
Few desktop vaporizers can match what the Dr. Dabber Switch brings to the table. It enables you to use dry herb and concentrates and offers a remarkable 25 temperature settings. Moreover, its heat-up time of 10 seconds is extraordinarily quick by the standards of a desktop vaporizer.
Switching between dry herb and marijuana concentrates is as easy as swapping the ceramic cups. The self-cleaning mode removes a lot of hassle because it removes leftover material in the cups.
The Dr. Dabber Switch is also unlike most desktop vaporizers because it uses an internal battery. You get an impressive 100+ uses from a single charge, and you have the option to vape while the device is recharging. Here’s a quick look at some of the specifications:
- Heats your marijuana between 300 and 780 degrees Fahrenheit
- 2-year warranty on the battery, charger, and electrical components
- 3-10 second heat-up time depending on the ceramic cup used
- Fully charged in 60 minutes
- 33-gram bowl capacity
- Includes two ceramic cups, a battery pack, a filter for the dry herb, a dab tool, USB charging cable & adapter, glass percolator attachment, and other accessories
We feel it is the best desktop vaporizer around, albeit against stiff competition.
2 – Arizer Extreme Q Vaporizer
The Arizer Extreme Q has a sleek and hi-tech look with a midnight chrome finish and a clear LCD view. It comes with many accessories, including a remote control to easily set up your device. This is a quiet desktop vaporizer due to a new quieter fan function and cooling 3-speed fan.
The Extreme Q is compatible with a whip, bag, or bubbler and is designed for ease of use. Indeed, you’ll struggle to find another desktop vaporizer that makes it this easy to inhale the vapor!
The borosilicate glass parts make this device a joy to clean, and the custom session settings include an auto shut-off timer and temperature display in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. Here’s a quick overview of the Arizer Extreme Q:
- Heat-up time of 2 minutes
- Precise digital temperature control (122 – 500 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 5-gram bowl
- One of the lowest-priced elite desktop vaporizers on the market
- Limited 3-year warranty on electronics, lifetime warranty on the ceramic heating element
- Comes with remote control, power adaptor, two glass cyclone bowls, a glass stirring tool, and other accessories
3 – Volcano Hybrid
The Volcano Classic is a legendary piece of equipment, but Storz & Bickel improved upon it with the Hybrid. It brings better functionality and a faster heating process to the table and is described by the brand as “the reinvention of an icon.”
One of the downsides of the Volcano Classic was the lengthy heat-up time, and the Hybrid is a massive improvement on this score. It combines convection and conduction heating to ensure users benefit from smooth draws filled with flavor.
The Volcano Hybrid uses a herb chamber similar to the Classic, and it is extremely easy to clean. Soak it for a while, give it a quick scrub, and you’re good to go. If you have the S&B App for Android, you can download and use an app to control the vaporizer. With dozens of temperature-setting options and a large bowl, the Volcano Hybrid is ideal for group sessions with friends. Here’s a quick overview of its features:
- 2-year warranty and a 1-year warranty upon registration
- Heat-up time of 1-2 minutes
- Easy inhalation via the Valve Balloon or Tube Kit
- Temperature range of 104 to 446 degrees Fahrenheit; you can adjust it in 9-degree increments
- 75-gram bowl
- Accessories include balloons, a tube kit, an air filter set, and a filling chamber
4 – PLENTY Vaporizer
Storz & Bickel makes its second appearance on our list with the outstanding PLENTY Vaporizer. The device may sometimes be classified a “desktop” vaporizer, but you can use it with one hand. It looks a little like a hi-tech bong!
The PLENTY is lightweight, weighing only 1.5 pounds. The relatively large bowl means it is ideal for regular marijuana users. It also has an extremely efficient steel cooling coil that guarantees an aromatic and pleasant vaping experience.
While the temperature range is narrower than many top-rated desktop vaporizers, the PLENTY offers consistently excellent performance. It is also a few hundred dollars cheaper than devices like the Volcano Hybrid. Let’s check out some of its features:
- 2-year warranty and a 1-year warranty upon registration
- 3-minute heat-up time
- Temperature range of 266 to 395 degrees Fahrenheit
- 5-gram bowl size
- Accessories include a cleaning brush, herb mill, and long & short tubing sections
5 – Da Buddha Vaporizer
The Da Buddha Vaporizer by 7th Floor Vapes has an earthy yet simple design for a sleek vaping experience. Despite its classic status, it utilizes convection heating and is highly cost-efficient. While this device lacks the bells and whistles of newer desktop vaporizers, it does its job effectively.
The hands-free design makes the Da Buddha easy to use, and it is arguably the best whip vaporizer around. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give you the option to use balloons. There are certainly downsides, primarily the lack of clear-cut temperature settings; however, you can adjust the heat by twisting the dial.
The vaporizer’s convection heating means your buds won’t get damaged. As an aside, users suggest that the Da Buddha is one of the hardest-hitting whip vaporizers, so approach with caution! Here’s a fast look at some of its features:
- Maximum temperature of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Heat-up time of 2-3 minutes
- Aircraft-grade aluminum housing
- Limited 3-year warranty
- 3-gram bowl size
- Accessories include ten replacement screens for your whip wand, a stainless-steel marble pick, and a full ground glass whip kit
Why Swap Your Joint for a Vaporizer?
The American Lung Association clearly states that chronic marijuana smoking leads to adverse effects, including:
- Chronic bronchitis
- Excessive mucus production
- Weakened immune system
- Increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections
The vaping industry has grown on the back of the harms associated with cigarette smoking. According to the Royal College of Physicians in London, the health hazards associated with e-cigarettes are unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm caused by smoking tobacco cigarettes.
While this doesn’t necessarily correlate to the difference between smoking and vaping marijuana, it is an eye-opening statement from a respected group of medical professionals.
However, it isn’t all good news. The CDC reported dozens of deaths from a “vaping epidemic” in 2019 and 2020. Admittedly, many of these cases involved black market products, with a chemical called vitamin E acetate strongly linked to the outbreak of lung injuries.
Also, a study by Johns Hopkins Medicine published in 2018 found that vaping cannabis could increase the rate of short-term paranoia, memory loss, and anxiety amongst users.
Ultimately, vaping marijuana is probably less harmful than smoking, but there are still plenty of concerns.
Other Reasons Why People Vape Marijuana
Apart from possible health concerns over smoking weed, vaping has a few other potential benefits:
- Better Flavor: Regardless of the marijuana strain, you’ll get the best flavor by vaping it. When you smoke weed, you combust the substance, destroying the terpenes responsible for the great taste and smell. Vaporizers expose the weed to lower temperatures, preserving its compounds.
- Temperature Control: Vaporizers offer several temperature settings. The most sophisticated devices allow you to change the temperature by a single degree! Therefore, you can alter the temperature depending on whether you want better flavor (lower temperatures) or bigger vape clouds (higher temperatures).
- No External Heat Source Needed: The vaporizer does the heating for you, so you don’t need a lighter or matches to get started.
- Discretion: The scent of vaped marijuana dissipates relatively quickly compared to smoked weed, which lingers. Then there is the awful smell of smoke sticking to clothes which isn’t an issue when you vape! You also don’t have to worry about your habit being exposed due to the presence of large, pungent smoke clouds in your vicinity.
- Efficiency: The bioavailability of vaped marijuana is superior to its smoked equivalent. Therefore, 10mg of THC goes further when you vape it than when you smoke it. Also, you can use already vaped bud (AVB) to make edibles. When you smoke marijuana, it turns to ash and must be disposed of.
Final Thoughts on the Best Desktop Vaporizers
Many of the entries on our list are desktop vaporizers that have been on sale for several years. Although new devices are being released annually, few can match the above for functionality, features, and performance. If you’re serious about vaporizing marijuana at home, consider investing in one of the above units.
However, you might decide that portability is a crucial part of your purchasing decision. In that case, you should check out our guide to the best portable marijuana vaporizers on the market.
Overall, there’s a suggestion that vaping marijuana is less harmful than smoking it. Even if this is true, it doesn’t mean that this consumption method is “safe.” No matter what, only buy THC or CBD vaping oils from a reputable source that can prove the quality of its products via independent third-party lab reports.