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Pure convection - To grind or not to grind ?

Discussion in 'Vaporization Discussion' started by Roger D, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. Roger D

    Roger D Vapor Wizard

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    Recently I have been experimenting putting whole bud directly inside the bowl without any form of grinding. Just a light pack to allow heat to penetrate evenly.

    I got that idea seeing extractions techniques for BHO. Grinding ruins the taste with more plant matter exposed, more chlorophyll and other stuff you don't want leak in the product. Whole bud is better.

    When we vape we change the carrier for heat to extract actives and aromas, why not apply the same principles ?

    The bud I currently use is not the most dense of all and is very dry so that's a good fit. That's specific conditions. With a conduction vape or rock dense nugs I don't think you can have a good experience that way.

    First report : much better taste than the previous ground bowls, big clouds, no popcorn at all.
  2. lwien

    lwien Well-Known Member

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    The HA is the best vape for vaping unground bud. As a matter of fact, they recommend it.
    MG23, francis, ShipDit and 2 others like this.
  3. Roger D

    Roger D Vapor Wizard

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    I guess the MV does have that same capability, so does other convection vapes, in theory, they may be very fit. Grinding is an old, hard dying habit. I have always been grinding everything without thinking twice. Was that a waste of time ? Experiments will tell.

    Its all about how the heat is transferred to the material
    ShipDit likes this.
  4. Tweek

    Tweek Well-Known Member

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    I don't think grinding is necessarily a waste of time...grinding helps break up those really dense nugs, where the crystals are hidden deep. Of course some vapes like the HA are strong enough to get deep down...but not all vapes are setup that way.
    darkrom, deadheadbill, ou812? and 2 others like this.
  5. VapeHead.com

    VapeHead.com Well-Known Member Retailer

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    What's your goal here - do you want all of the vapor, or only vapor from the surface trichomes?

    For uniform extraction by convection you want a uniform grind, and the air to pass through all of it evenly (no gaps around whole buds so the heated air can bypass the load entirely). That gives you an accurate vapor from that particular sample - the full spectrum of volatile oils will be present, as they decarboxylate, in the actual ratios found in that sample.

    However if you're trying to only get the surface trichomes, the ones that have been exposed to more direct light and UV damage and oxidation and degradation... sure use whole buds. That will not give you accurate vapor from what that sample contains, you'll be preferentially selecting some of the trichomes, and imho those surface trichomes will be the least indicative and least potent/flavourful/etc. from that sample, but sure if that's your goal go for it.
  6. Roger D

    Roger D Vapor Wizard

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    I have been able to fully finish a non ground load, but in comparison to a ground load, I need to pull twice more, that's a huge con. And I'm using strains low in indica, no way that would work with dense nugs.
    natural farmer and Quetzalcoatl like this.
  7. Seek

    Seek Apprentice Daydreamer

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    From my experience (Iolite, MFLB - cond.; EQ, VXC - conv.):
    Conduction loves fine grind and lots of mixing (stirring, shaking etc) to get decent results.
    Convection also like fines grinds, but doesn't like it too fine (powder-like) - it impairs airflow ease and consistency.

    The bowl shape means a lot here too. Wide and shallow bowl like cano will vape completely with slow airflow but are unable to do espresso mode.
    With deep bowl like VXC you need to hit it hard if it's not ground much and get the espresso mode working.

    To get espresso mode working one needs a vape with good heat retention, good heat distribution and thin bowl. And then pack it - more is better - and hit it hard.
    The herbalAire came with this ability and VXC can do it too i think.

    Without espresso vaping one need at least moderate grind with convection too.
  8. Quetzalcoatl

    Quetzalcoatl i i i

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    I think putting a nug in the grinder and going a quarter turn would benefit?
    DDave, ShipDit and Roger D like this.
  9. Seek

    Seek Apprentice Daydreamer

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    When its wet I like to hit it first whole before grinding. Wet and sticky are losses in the grinder. Also I vape most trichomes first when they're still attached. Hitting a whole nug is less messy, and mess is loss, unless you reclaim.
    ShipDit and Roger D like this.
  10. chimpybits

    chimpybits Well-Known Member

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    Lately I've been not grinding and instead just breaking up the nug by hand prior. I've been thinking that grinding is more effort (once you factor in brushing out the grinder afterward not to mention the grinder reclaim process down the road).

    If it's sticky and doesn't break up enough, then after a full pulls on my SSV, I can easily break it up. Or even crush the bigger pieces between thumb and finger if a finer grind is desired. (Not sure if there is any benefit to this finer grind though).

    (Quote from an earlier iteration of Seek's post). This makes me re-think breaking up the nug prior. I certainly get particles in my bub water that I toss. Next time I'll try to drop the nug in whole (or as minimal breaking up as required for my SSV). Then breaking it up after a pulls either with a pokey stick or by hand.
    flotntoke, ScientifiK and Roger D like this.
  11. Enchantre

    Enchantre A short, pithy statement

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    I shred mine. Toss loosely into the Gong, tap the bottom once to settle it. Vape using E-Nano.

    Works great for me. I tried a whole nug (pretty small one)... not so much.
    biohacker and ShipDit like this.
  12. Vaponly

    Vaponly Vapor Breathing Nerf Herder of Dagobah

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    While using chunks does work, it seems to make the session last a little too long for my liking.

    I find that getting more at once gets me more medicated while using less material.

    So I tend to grind it fine, in order to get larger and imo far more satisfying hits.
    biohacker, ShipDit and Roger D like this.
  13. TheCrusher

    TheCrusher Analog Man / Digital World

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    It's all about having balance in life. I lose some trichomes by grinding but then I vape the trichomes when they add up. Winner/winner
    Reveen and Vaponly like this.
  14. SD_haze

    SD_haze MMJ Vaporist

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    Location:
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    I've always liked the option that is kind of in between not-grinding & grinding

    1. Place whole teeny nug in vaporizer bowl
    2. Vape it 1-3 times to make it brittle (produces very light vapor but full flavor)
    3. Use a poker to crush it up within the bowl
    4. Rip the bowl with all that inner surface area exposed (giant amount of vapor)
    lazylathe, vorrange, treeman and 5 others like this.
  15. nigel

    nigel And shepherds we shall be,for Accuracy & Discovery

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    Great! I've kinda been thinking of asking about this, and now I find a thread.

    I do not currently grind, and my oooooold vape doesn't lend itself to ground material too well. I do tear by hand a bit (guess prolly better to get surgical scissors, but I wasn't born with those at then end of my hand... do note that chimpybits tears) to break up density. But I'm getting a new vape, hence the interest.

    It seems to me that, for convection, too fine and you impede airflow, which is exactly what you DON"T want. But that's theory only, and not based on empirical data. (I note Seek echos this)

    I see Seek, Chimpybits, and SD_haze all might start with nug, especially if wet. THEN break it up more.

    So, I don't have an position to interject here, but I am listening to what all of you have to say...
    SD_haze likes this.
  16. SD_haze

    SD_haze MMJ Vaporist

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    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I like to start with a whole nug piece when I have real fresh, smelly, high quality stuff.

    However, the herb I usually end up with is what I affectionally call "bargain dank" and I'll almost always just grind that stuff up like 0.3-1g at a time.
    Quetzalcoatl and Roger D like this.
  17. VaporEyes

    VaporEyes Vaporization Aficionado Accessory Maker

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    Location:
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    I almost always pre-grind my bud then store for easy dispensing. Occasionally I'll grind before loading. If it's too moist, I'll let it sit out in the "open" for a few hours. Having it ground before needed cuts down on vaping prep time. :) Heat up, load, and vape!

    Edit: I don't find there to be any quality loss after grinding either. Although what I'm using isn't "quality"... so there's that.
  18. socialengineer

    socialengineer Member

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    13
    this is one of the reasons i went for the herbalaire, i like it

    @people saying to break it up after a few hits... what is the advantage? sounds useless to me
    MG23 likes this.
  19. Hippie Dickie

    Hippie Dickie The Herbal Cube Manufacturer

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    i don't grind either and after 8 to 10 hits i stir, which breaks it up ... i can hear the herb crunching, and the next several hits are much thicker. my theory: the trichomes melt and lock up the unvaped trichomes and the stir exposes them to the hot air flow.
    xRUFUSx, lazylathe and nigel like this.
  20. socialengineer

    socialengineer Member

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    hmm, i am going to look at some vaped weed under a microscope and see if thats the case..
    i did see some trichomes that looked untouched, but the vast majority looked like the circular top part was ripped off. not sure what to make of that, maybe they are melted, but really very few trichomes are there untouched
  21. CentiZen

    CentiZen Evil Genius in Training Accessory Maker

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    I've been experimenting with various heating methods and grind finenesses in my attempts to self-design my own vaporizer, and I think I have started to understand the effects that need to be in play to allow someone to fully vaporize large buds without needing to grind.

    From what I have read in terms of the way THC, CBD and all the other good stuff is stored within the herb, it seems that there are many actives on or near the surface area of the bud itself in trichromes and glands. However, there is also a significant amount of actives which are stored within the biomass of the bud itself in plant oils and other mediums. These oils are missed in a fully convection design as the air takes the path of least resistance and goes around the surface of the buds, collecting only the surface actives.

    I think that to acceptably be able to vaporize whole nuggets, there needs to be a conduction element that complements the convection heating. This penetrates the herb in a way that convection heating cannot, which seems to provide a wicking effect to the rest of the bud, pulling the vaporizable oils out to the surface where it can be collected by the convection effect. This wicking effect will no doubt occur in a fully convection design as well, but to a far lesser extent as the convection heat is unable to penetrate the surface unless it is pulled right through the bud itself, which is something that is difficult to do since you need to have a uniform seal around the buds to do such a thing.

    I think this is why the herbalaire can do this so well, it is nearly a 50/50 split of convection/conduction heating which would be the ideal ratio to leverage this effect.
    vorrange and Quetzalcoatl like this.
  22. vorrange

    vorrange Well-Known Member

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    2,234
    I think all was said already, but i also experience what others mention in terms of better flavour in an ungrinded nug. Plus, you don't loose trichomes in the grinder teeth which is another plus.

    I believe grinding was essential when combusting, especially in a joint. With vaporizing, if you can, don't grind and just crush it after the first tasty hits.

    Unless you want maximum extraction in 1-2 hits, which i don't... i like to extend my sessions, no grind is my prefered method. Plus, that is one less thing to carry around when out of the house.
    Roger D likes this.
  23. Hippie Dickie

    Hippie Dickie The Herbal Cube Manufacturer

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    where the Cube rules!
    i break up dense herb -- my standard kit has tweezers to pick apart the herb and drop it loosely into the vial. instead of conduction for interior heating, i think i'm using infrared radiation emitted by the coil. there is a shiny heat shield that reflects outgoing IR back into the vial/herb. so a loose pack works best. then again, my herb is pretty mediocre.

    at least i have an accurate readout of the vape temp -- that eliminates a lot of questions about performance.
  24. nicelytoasted

    nicelytoasted Vaked Chemist

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    The herbalaire also uses a turbulent air flow which diffuses the air intake, just upstream of the crucible. That, and a pulsating air pump, (and its heat retention, with conduction and convection) gives it excellent penetration and extraction of the herb, even with compressed, whole nugs. Ironically, the more dense and tightly packed, the herb, the more resistance offered, and the better the HA works, just about the opposite of any other vape.

    The air flow design can be just as important as the heating method for the thermal desorption, and is often overlooked, imo.
    MG23, ou812?, francis and 2 others like this.
  25. lazylathe

    lazylathe On the verge of...

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    Lately i have been using whole nugs in my vape.
    Vape a few hits and then stir to break up the nug.
    Beautiful dense hits after the stir as well.

    Exactly as S-D Haze does it and it works a treat for me!
    I do this in my E-Nano.
    The Vapolution 2.0 just gets a loosely rolled pellet that works extremely well!
    The Inhalater gets a loos grind just because of the design.

    Come to think of it, i have been smoking for 20 years and received my first grinder when i bought my first vape about 6 months ago. Up until then it was hand shredded...
    Enchantre likes this.

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