It depends as much on how deeply you inhale as it does on how long you hold it in. Filling ones lungs fully, drawing deeply all of the way in so as to get the vapor all of the way into the lower lungs is far more practical than holding a smaller volume of vapor only in the upper lungs and throat for any amount of time. The throat and the larger upper channels of the lungs are very poor absorbers -- the real work is done in the deeper passages of the lungs. To truly take a draw, you must fully receive it into yourself.
With our breath there are three factors we can control:
- 1. How fast.
- 2. How deep.
- 3. How long.
For example, to get more oxygen, the body has a natural response -- the yawn -- which specifically is a deeper breath, not a faster one or one "held in" longer. To adsorb even more oxygen (hyperventilate), the key is to breathe both more quickly and more deeply, with the deep depth being the more important factor (note: you can breathe fast and shallow without any effect). The factors that increase the ability of the lungs to adsorb vapors are exactly the same as those needed to improve oxygen adsorption. Molecule size, kind, mass, etc, makes absolutely no difference to this proportionality.
There are certain psycho-physiological effects also. With a water pipe, the wide shape of the mouthpiece naturally encourages the user to take deeper draws farther into the lungs (the mouth is open in the same manner as with a yawn). Drawing on a narrow tube, the user has to specifically and mentally overcome the bodies natural tendency to take only a short breath (as in "sipping") -- one that fills only the throat, and hence will be very poorly adsorbed. To get the same effect out of the Box as with a water pipe, users should take long slow deeply drawn draws. The slowness is for the Box heating characteristics -- the longness is so that the user takes a deep draw, fully into the deep passages of the lungs, so as to get full value for their effort.
Magic-Flight recommends that Box users first learn how to control the temp in the Box by controlling their draw rate, and then work to take fewer, much longer and deeper draws. With practice, you will find that filling the lungs thoroughly and completely in one draw is far more powerful and effective than taking the same exact volume of vapor in multiple smaller draws. Depending on your lung capacity, with most Boxes a good draw will last 15 to 25 seconds. However, be sure to have completely mastered temp control before attempting to increase your draw time -- otherwise you will find yourself coughing.
The reports reviewed by Magic-Flight indicate that 95% of whatever is going to be adsorbed will have done so within the first 2 seconds of actual vapor contact with the bronchial passages. This means that the clock starts only at the moment one has completely filled their lungs, and not before. It is also important to recognize that this does not mean that everything that is in a single breath is going to be adsorbed, no matter how long you hold it -- it only states that most of whatever is going to happen will do so in the first 2 seconds. Vapor that is held in the throat and in the larger lung passages will not really be adsorbed into the body no matter how long you wait (wrong kind of tissue) -- and exhaling these into a bag for someone else to use will allow them to get some also.
As such, really sophisticated drawing technique (optimal adsorption efficiency) with the Box involves several stages:
- 1. You take a few full extra deep breaths at a normal rate to pre-charge your body with extra oxygen and to get a good sense of your available lung capacity.
- 2. The battery is put fully in and heating starts. The temperature begins climbing quickly in the Box. You watch for vapor by looking strait down the Box vapor channel (down the draw hole -- NOTE: Be sure to hold the Box horizontally throughout this process so that the material in the tray does not all fall down to one end of the screen -- this leads to uneven heating and poor taste).
- 3. Two or three seconds later, the temperature in the Box is about right and the you begin drawing at first slowly, and then only a little faster, adjusting your draw rate depending on the sensed temperature and taste. For maximum sensitivity, using the Box in its native configuration is ideal.
- 4. The long slow draw continues until you begin to sense that you have reached about 80% or so of your lung capacity (perhaps 15 seconds later), at which point you pull the battery back slightly to stop the heating. You continue your draw at a somewhat faster rate so as to capture all of the remaining vapor still being formed in the Box and to assist it in cooling off.
- 5. Four or five seconds later, the Box is cool and no longer producing vapor. At this point you continue to breathe the rest of the way in, filling your lungs completely and ensuring that all of the remaining vapor (the "vapor tail") is moved from your throat into your deep lungs where it will do some good.
- 6. You hold your breath, lungs completely full, for about two seconds and then you breathe out naturally through your nose. This allows you to savor any remaining flavor and to know exactly how much of a draw you have just taken. You can breathe normally again.
- 7. You shake the Box, noticing and ensuring an even mixing. Turning the Box upside down, tapping sharply, and shaking side to side (with the Box still upside down) is usually sufficient to ensure that all material is released from the screen and that larger chunks are broken up. Righting the Box again, you shake side to side again to settle the material in the tray.
- 8. Take note of the color of the material in the Box. If it is green, go back to step 1 and take a few more deep breaths.
A lot of attention is paid to the inherent efficiency of the vaporizers used. For optimal results, however, equal attention needs to be paid to the inherent efficiency of the user technique. Good user technique can sometimes make even a poorly designed vaporizer work well, and with a moderately good vaporizer, can really make it zing!
The technique outlined above specifically for the Box has a number of advantages. For one thing, because no vapor is ever emitted directly from the Box to the air, the level of smell associated with the device remains at a true minimum. Also, because nearly all of the vapor is deeply adsorbed into the body, the user does not emit much smell either. Because the battery is only being used whole producing vapor, the effective usefulness of a battery charge is significantly extended also (energy efficiency). Also, the deep breath in the beginning (step 1) ensures that you have enough oxygen in your body so that the whole process feels more natural.
Finally, in regards to visibility, if you see anything on the exhale associated with step 6 above, it is very likely that you are running the Box too hot and that you need to be drawing slightly faster during steps 3 and 4. Whatever you see is going to be either 1) condensing vapor (very light and milky) which is now no longer accessible (wasted medicine) or 2) particulate matter (smoke) which is unnecessary and bad for your health. If it is only vapor that you see on exhale, you need to judge your lung capacity lower in step 4 and ensure that you leave enough time for the Box to cool and enough remaining breath for you to fully capture the vapor tail in your deep lungs. If it is smoke that you see, you need to be drawing faster or sooner -- don't wait as long to start drawing in step 3 and practice your breath and rate control until you can ensure that you can maintain an even taste.
Also, under no circumstances should the battery ever be in the Box when no one is drawing on it for more than about 3 seconds -- something to be aware of if you are ever in a group and passing the Box. A lot of people pass a Box when it is "on" to a new user and then explain how to use it -- all the while the Box is overheating the herb and when the new user does finally take a taste, it is way too hot and harsh. A much better approach is to show how to put the battery in, hand the Box over without the battery completely in and explain that a long slow draw is required. Let the new user push the battery in and take their draw -- as soon as its done, take the Box back from them and withdraw the battery, showing them that it is necessary to do so. Ensure that each person in a group applies and withdraws the battery individually BEFORE letting them pass the Box around hot.