The Vaporizing Experience With Heat Not Burn Technology

The Vaporizing Experience With Heat Not Burn Technology

Written by Harriet Clark

"Let us be lovers, we'll marry our fortunes together...So we bought a pack of cigarettes and Mrs. Wagner pies / And we walked off to look for America."

Paul Simon’s lyrics are a nod to a bygone era when cigarettes were seen as a celebration of life. Attitudes change and lung health is now in. Big tobacco has harnessed technology and craftsmanship to pioneer ‘smoke-free’ devices to offer up a healthier way to consume dry tobacco leaf.

More recently the cannabis industry has recognized the opportunity of HnB to deliver the medicinal aspects of cannabis in an efficient, discreet way.

Heat not burn as harm-reduction

In 2020 the FDA granted Philip Morris the right to claim that their heat-not-burn product, Marlboro Heatsticks “reduced exposure” to harmful chemicals.

Heat-not-burn devices are different to e-cigarettes. They involve heating actual tobacco, or cannabis flower, to a temperature blow combustion so that the active ingredients such as the nicotine or the cannabinoids vaporize and are inhaled as a vapor. E-cigarettes use an e-liquid that contains many different chemicals to try and achieve a similar effect. Heat-not-Burn technology looks to preserve and enhance the smoking experience by creating a healthier delivery of terpenes and cannabinoids and at the same time respecting the social ritual of smoking.

Heat-not-Burn technology - Enhancing the user experience

The technology behind Heat-not-Burn involves heating tobacco in an oven to a lower temperature than a traditional cigarette, i.e. below where it is on fire. Heating cannabis up to between 300-430˚F allows for high levels of cannabinoids and terpenes to be released in the form of an aerosol (or vapor), without burning the flower. At these lower temperatures you can absorb twice as many cannabinoids so it’s a far healthier, more effective delivery method. They also deliver the full entourage of terpene flavors.

Storz & Bickel - the dawn of a cleaner way to deliver nicotine or cannabis

In 1996 the graphic designer Marcus Storz first developed a herbal vaporizer.
Storz’s motivation to come up with a vaporizer was for medical purposes. The story goes that Marcus found an article suggesting that herbs do not need to be burned, and they can be heated instead. This led to his creation of the Volcano Classic.

The original Volcano classic had a glass pipe and a hot air gun. The heat gun was
then simplified for ease of use. Storz came up with an upside-down funnel which
functioned like a house around the heat gun, but he went on to create an even
cleaner model. The second version of the Volcano Classic had a heating element,
an air pump and a bimetallic Regulator.

4 years later, boom! The new Millenium welcomed the birth of the iconic Volcano by Storz & Bickel. This vaporizer was one of the very first vaporizers of its kind on the market. 20 years later the vaporizer has been redesigned and it continues to have cult status despite its large size.Volcano Classic Vaporizer

Volcano Classic Vaporizer

PMI develops the IQOS

In 2008 PMI started to look at developing a portfolio of smoke free products. And in 2014, the IQOS was launched in Italy and Japan. It is now available in 51
countries. IQOS stands for “I Quit Ordinary Smoking”. And while IQOS or any other smoke free product is not free from risk, PMI reports that the IQOS has 95% fewer chemicals than traditional cigarettes. The IQOS uses sticks filled with treated tobacco or HEETS which are put into an IQOS device and heated to 350 ̊F. Unlike e-cigarettes that contain a nicotine solution, the IQOS delivers a satisfying hit of nicotine more akin to the act of traditional smoking but with fewer byproducts. In 2017 PMI put together their vision of a “smoke free” future. Since the IQOS launch PMI says over 10 million smokers have switched to IQOS. IQOS has been the largest development to date in the heat-not-burn industry.


The Pax has been around for 10 years. It is a loose leaf and extract vaporizer.
PLOOM was founded by James Monsees and Adam Bowen. Together they created The PAX, which has become synonymous with sleek technology and discreet design.

The first PAX by PLOOM was launched in 2012. It was created as a new way to
consume cannabis. In 2015 PAX labs was developed along with PAX 2 and PAX
labs also created Juul, an e-cigarette. PAX 3 came on the market in 2016 and The
Era and PAX Era Pro arrived in 2019. There are 4 temperature settings on The Era
and PAX Era Pro and all the PAX devices come with an app where you can select
your heat settings and increase the heat as you choose. There is also a PAXfinder
on the APP. Definitely further development in the vaporization industry.


In 2019, the Omura Series 1 was launched. Omura stands for Precision and Purity and was developed as a true heat-not-burn device more in line with PMI’s IQOS. Precision is for the precise amount of cannabis consumed with each Flowerstick and Purity refers to the chemical free experience of only dry herb with each Flowerstick.

In 2021, Omura launched its award-winning Series X, which combines its
convection oven with a pre-programmed heat curve and dual heat settings to achieve up to 99% cannabinoid extraction. Omura had the benefit of creating a
vaporizer that solved all the issues that were present in the existing devices. Most
importantly, Omura vaporizers never need cleaning, are the only truly hygienic
devices on the market, and are environmentally sustainable.

An expanding industry

The cannabis industry often mirrors Big tobacco for the latest technology
developments and trends, and Heat-not-Burn is predicted to continue to grow
exponentially in this space. Interested in trying Heat-not-Burn cannabis?
Try Omura’s Series X vaporizer, which comes with 4 free Flowerstick packs and a
Home Fill System included.