Do Dry Herb Vaporizers Smell?

Dry Herb Vaporizers are the new, healthier option for smokers. Portable vapes are discreet by creating vapors versus smoke. However, vapors still have a scent. Read further to limit vapor smells plus learn other great tips.

by: Matthew S. | 01/08/18 2:30PM


With the massive upsurge in vaporizer usage across the nation, a common question arises, especially when it comes to new smokers looking to get into the industry. Do herbal vaporizers smell? Now, there is a simple answer to be given here: yes. The ugly truth of the matter is that as long as you are using plant matter, no matter what source of heat you are applying to it, then there will always be some sort of a scent that is released even if it is the tiniest bit, and even if it dissipates very quickly (vapor has a scent but it quickly evaporates into the air unlike smoke). You can try any number of "007" stealth tactics to mask malodorous smells, but they will prevail on some level.


Discreet but Still Existent

Herbal vaporizers are discreet, and especially so at low-light vapor temperatures. But they do not perform a perfect job of masking scents completely because they still heat herbs and break them down. That signature smell, slightly altered, will remain, even though there is no actual combustion of the herb going on. With your run of the mill glass pipe, the burning of flower releases a smell that can be picked up in a wide area, immediately. The use convection vaporizers that do not incinerate the herbs loaded in them is the most common step that new smokers take to mitigate smell and mask their toking sessions. Vapor can be just about odorless and disappear in seconds, but at higher levels you will get thicker vapors that have a bit more smell and stick around a bit longer.

Despite being able to slightly mitigate the scent released by straight flower, herbal vaporizers do not decrease it by 100%, so still be aware when vaping in the public domain. Even when using the discreet concentrate vaporizers, the newest developing trend sweeping the industry, there is a scent, even if it dissipates into the air very quickly.

New Technologies on the Come Up

Every day, new technologies are coming out to develop dry herb vaporizers to fit the needs of consumers. Bluetooth and other ridiculous features have been added to attract buyers. But still nothing remains that can eliminate the smell of vapor, it just has a smell. Now, if you are using an herb vape in an open field, technically there is a smell, but we’re being technical, and unless you’re on top of people, no one will smell or notice. Now compare that to smoke which can not only be seen for a distance, but also stinks and lingers around.


Vapor vs Smoke - What is the Difference

When you are considering the options for how to eliminate, or at least mitigate the smell of herb, there are numerous factors that you should ultimately take into consideration. One of the major bits of information that you should load into your arsenal is the distinct difference between vapor and smoke, and how much of a scent each will release. Dry herb vaporizers are responsible for vapor where a smoking pipe would produce smoke.

One of the most common misconceptions from most smokers out there is that vapor and smoke are essentially the same thing. To the naked eye, there may not be much of a distinction that can be made visually, especially with e liquid vaporizers. Outside of the visual similarities though, there is a world of difference between the two, the first of which being that they are entirely different methods of heating. Learn exactly what happens to the dry herbs during vaporization in this dry herb vape guide.

No Combustion with Vapor

Smoke, by definition, is created through the active combustion of any given material. When you are smoking herb, you are applying direct heat onto the plant matter in order to combust it, turning it to ash and producing – you guessed it – smoke. By contrast, there is no combustion when it comes to vaping. In the case of vapor, it is created through the application of indirect heat in order to raise the temperature of the plant matter past a certain point, a process known as convection heating.


Carcinogens from Smoke

Another way to look at the difference between vapor and smoke is through the analysis of the outcome of their creation. With smoke, there are multitudes of new chemicals being created that are vastly different from what is being actually burned – basically, as you heat the herb, you change its chemical composition releasing carcinogens. With vapor, it is almost like you get what you pay for. There are no new compounds being created with vapor; the original herb or concentrate remains the same throughout the process, making for one flavorful hit after another.

Not only does smoke just create new chemicals, but these chemicals are generally seen as being harmful to the body. A lot of new and old smokers alike are switching over to vaping due to these health concerns. The tobacco industry has made everyone well aware of tar, and cigarettes aren’t the only things putting that gunk in your system. If you are burning your herb, you'll get a similar amount. The only way to escape the tar pit is through switching up your method of inhalation. Vaping is the name of the game with the current health craze; embrace the new technology to save your lungs.


Advantages of Vapor over Smoke


Due to the lack of harmful carcinogens, vapor is the far healthier alternative in the long run. Everyone knows at this point, thanks to cigarettes, that combustion causes the release of chemicals that have been proven to be the cause of disorders like chronic bronchitis. Just because herb can't give you cancer, combustion of plant material can cause long-term damage to your lungs' ability to work properly. Read for yourself in the National Institutes of Health research paper that studied the relationship between smoking, bronchitis, heart disease and death.

Mitigates Discomforts of Smoke

On the flip side of the coin, smoke also negatively affects the body in a more immediate fashion. As the many smokers know, the act comes with some uneasiness, namely shortness of breath. Newsflash, holding smoke in your lungs comes with restricted airways. Luckily, vapor does a great job of mitigating that shortness of breath. Just switching over to vaporizing your favorite herb gets rid of many of the immediate discomforts from combustion.


Discretion is the name of the game when it comes to herb, and vaporizers allow you the level of stealth you are seeking. Sure, the signature smell of herb will still prevail, but vapes do a good job of reducing the potency of the scent.



Flavor from an herbal or concentrate vaporizer is far superior to the flavor from smoking. When using lower temperatures to create vapor, a lot of the flavorful terpenes are saved. Use our vape temperature guide to find the best temperature for your vape!

How to Eliminate Herb Vapor Smell

If you are dead set on trying to use herb in public, then you should make sure to keep a few things in mind in order to minimize the risk bothering those around you. No matter how you go about it, there is no technology out there right now that can completely eliminate the smell of herb or wax (even when you are using a vaporizer). So here are a few easy tricks for eliminating or reducing malodorous scents.

Take Indoor Puffs

Every smoker out there loves getting those full hits that you taste immediately and use to prove that you have the biggest lung capacity out of all your friends. When you are out and about, though, keep that tomfoolery put away. One of the easiest ways to bother those out in public is by taking large rips and pumping out a lot of smoke (or vapor). Keep your puffs at an "indoor" (small) level in order to help reduce that signature skunk-like smell.

Ghosting and Low Temp

On the same note as above, when you are out and about with your handy dandy dry herb vaporizer, make sure to use lower temperatures and ghost each hit. At lower temps, that signature smell that all herb vapers know and love is far less intense.

Keep Up Regular Maintenance

Outside of taking smaller hits and keeping your device set to a lower temperature, one surefire way to minimize smell is by keeping your devices clean. Making sure that none of the old, used up herb is out of your vape will keep the smell down more than you might think.

Vaping Alternatives

In addition to dry herb vaporizers, there are a plethora of other vaping alternatives that you might find handy. As previously mentioned, there are numerous devices on the market that accept oils, wax, and even tinctures much like those used in nicotine delivery systems. These are similar to their flower vaporizing counterparts, especially when it comes to the smell factor. Because they are not using actual herb, the potent skunk smell that comes along with it is just different. You should keep in mind, though, that there will still be a slight smell that lingers in the air. If you use tinctures, this smell is usually masked with the other flavorings used for the e juice mixture.

Overall, vaporizers are a lifesaver for many smokers out there. Whether you are looking for something to help keep that smelly smell at bay, or you are just looking for a new way to enjoy the herb you love, then vaporizers will be right up your alley. They might not be perfect in terms of reducing odor completely, but nothing will be – at least, not yet. Perhaps soon the industry will be graced with a completely odorless option. For those that choose to smoke out in public, that option could really shift the tide. Until then, stay smart and vape smart.

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