There’s been a lot of vape talk lately as news of people falling sick and dying from a lung illness linked to vaping has spread. Despite the media frenzy this unleashed, it’s important to recognize that the safety of vaporizers comes down to the manufacturer, their ingredients (or lack of additional ingredients), and their proper use.

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If you're looking for a healthier way to vape, you might be asking yourself "Can you put weed in a vape?" The answer is a little bit more complicated than a yes or no. It's more like yes AND no.

You Cannot Put Weed in an Oil Vape Pen Unless it Has an Attachment for Dry Herbs

We’ve all considered grinding up some fresh flower and shoving it into an oil-based vape pen, right? Hopefully, the thought never became an action. If you already have a vape pen that takes oil, you’ll want to see if there is a dry herb atomizer attachment and if not, move on from the idea of adding dry herbs into your vape.

Vape pens designed specifically for oils and distillates come with cartridges packed full of the good stuff. When you run out, you either purchase a new one or refill it depending on the pen. Users cannot put dry herbs in cartridges made for vaping oils and can end up damaging their device or hurting themselves by doing so.

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There are plenty of options for those who want a vaporizer that can do more than one job, though. If you want to be able to switch between using concentrates and fresh flower, you just have to buy the right kind of vaporizer.

The AirVape X, for example, is a dry herb vaporizer that comes with concentrates pads. This allows users to switch between vaping flower or concentrates by swapping out the atomizer. It’s crucial to recognize that users have to switch out the units in order to switch between the two methods. Just because a vaporizer has the capability to vape both oils and dry herbs does not mean you can just switch between the two with no preparation.

Source: Christian Parroco, Wikileaf

You Should Only Put Weed in a Dry Herb Vaporizer

If you want to vape flower instead of oils, you are not out of luck. There are plenty of dry herb vaporizers on the market designed to be packed with flower. In fact, the early days of vaping were focused on vaporizing flower rather than concentrates.

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If you’re looking to get a vaporizer, there are a lot of considerations to make. Whether you want the ability to switch between dry herbs and concentrates or just one or the other will drive what sort of vape you end up with. The size and portability of the vaporizer are important to keep in mind, as well.

Portable Dry Herb Vaporizers

PAX vaporizers, for example, are portable and offer each option for vaping. You can get a vaporizer that works only with flower, a vaporizer that works only with extracts, or one that works with both because it comes with a concentrate canister meant for using extracts. You cannot put concentrates in the PAX meant for flower or put flower in the PAX meant for concentrates. If you want both, you’ll need to use the PAX 3 for its concentrate canister.

There are lots of other portable herb vaporizers on the market that offer various features. In general, they are compact, run on batteries, and have a chamber for packing your flower in.

Portable herb vaporizers are generally more difficult for manipulating temperature, which doesn’t always make them ideal for getting the best quality vapor preserving cannabinoids and terpenes.

While less discreet, there are portable dry herb vaporizers like The Mighty that allow for easy temperature control. Like several others, this vaporizer comes with concentrate pads which allow users to switch between dry herbs and extracts.

Tabletop Vaporizers

Storz & Bickel Volcano Source: Wikileaf
If you’re not looking for something portable and discreet, a tabletop vaporizer is a way to go. They need to be plugged into the wall and, as the name suggests, these vaporizers are usually the right size to prop up on a table.

Tabletop vaporizers typically come with a bag or a hose mouthpiece for inhaling the vapor. These vaporizers are powerful and great for sharing or for long solo sessions and usually allow for better temperature control than portable vaporizers.

The flavor profile of tabletop vaporizers tends to be more favorable than portable devices. If you’re planning most to consume primarily at home and want the best quality, tabletop vaporizers are a good way to vape dry herbs.

The Bottom Line: Oil Versus Dry Herb Vaporizers

While there are a few variations of each, oil-based vaporizers tend to be small, discreet, and portable. There are plenty of portable dry herb vaporizers that are discreet, though they tend to have less functionality, like less temperature control.

The two types of vaporizers were designed differently to cater to the product inside, whether it be concentrate or fresh flower. They are not designed to be used interchangeably with those contents, though there are products on the market with attachments that can make this possible.

Users should never pack their vaporizer against its intended use because this can lead to trouble, whether that means damaging the vaporizer or hurting themselves. To answer the question that plagues so many new vape users, no, you cannot put weed in a vape pen meant for concentrates.

If you see yourself wanting to switch between concentrates and flower, look for a vaporizer that does both.