What is vaping?
Vaping is the process of heating cannabis concentrate or dry flower into a smokeless vapor that activates the compounds of the Cannabis Sativa plant, and its subsequent health benefits.
The growing popularity of vaping comes from its consistent doses, easy to use functionality and portability. Research also indicates that vaping may be healthier than traditional smoking methods.
According to this study, UCSF researchers found: “A smokeless cannabis-vaporizing device delivers the same level of active therapeutic chemical and produces the same biological effect as smoking cannabis, but without the harmful toxins.”
Vaping is another way for you to personalize and customize your cannabis experience, but before you try it, here are five vaping facts you should know:
1. There are different types of vaping devices
When it comes to how you want to vape, your options are not limited. Vaporizers come in tabletop, portable and pen form.
If you want to be as discreet and you are interested in consuming cannabis distillates and oils, then the premium vape pen is perfect for you. As the vaping industry continues to grow, so do vape pens and your options to customize. No matter your preference for buttons or shape, all vape pens will include a battery and cartridge.
Tabletop vaporizers are great for any home setup because they’re stationary and require a solid surface. While styles vary, every tabletop vaporizer will feature a dial to regulate the burning temperature, a chamber for the cannabis, a heating element and a mouthpiece attachment. Some tabletop vaporizers include a detachable bag to collect the vapor, while others will include a long tube that stays connected to the vaporizer.
Portable vaporizers operate similarly to tabletop vaporizers, but these devices are better for vaping on the go and the consumer who wants a hybrid experience where they can vape both dry herb and different concentrates. Portable vaporizers are discreet devices that include a chamber, heating element and a battery.
2. You can vape oil and dry herb
Yes, you can vape both oil and dry herb. Although understanding the differences between the two is not only important for your cannabis experience, but also for what vaping device you decide to purchase.
Most often, vape pens accommodate oil, tabletop vaporizers utilize dry herb and portable vaporizers are equipped for hybrid experiences.
Dry herb is just the cured and dried plant matter that you would use for a joint, while vape oil is extracted and processed from the plant into a liquid oil substance for consumption.
Vape oil is usually cut with other substances to enhance the vape experience and to create smoother draws, while dry herb is a pure representation of the Cannabis Sativa plant.
Here are a few ways the two different types will impact your vaping experience:
Battery life - Dry herb vapes have a shorter battery life because it takes more power to heat the chamber and herb than it does to heat an oil cartridge. For instance, an 1100 mAh battery would be enough to power a vape pen, but it would not be enough to power a dry herb vaporizer.
Loading process - Dry herb vapes require you to load and clean the chamber each vaping session, while vape pens come with cartridges that can be prefilled for several consecutive uses. Although vape pen cartridges don’t last as long and burn out.
Versatility - Dry herb vaporizers are only meant to vape flower, while vape pens can sometimes allow different attachments for several types of concentrates because of their universal 510 battery.
3. Not all vape pens are created equal
In the unregulated cannabis industry not all vape pens are created equal. When you’re purchasing a vape pen, there are several things to be mindful of to ensure a high-quality product.
Air Intake - Low-quality vape pens situate the air intake at the bottom of the device, which means the air must pass through the entire electronic makeup before even reaching the cannabis oil. This puts the consumer at risk for heavy metal exposure. Instead, high-quality vape pen manufacturers, like Vessel, created a design that positions the air intake at the top of the device so, it only interacts with the vapor from the cartridge when the oil is heated.
Air flow - A high-functioning and modern vape will allow the consumer to customize their experience through adjustable airflow and temperature functions.
Smart Technology - Modern brands are utilizing smart technology to improve battery power and life. This means the pen automatically turns off and integrates overuse protection. Brands like Vessel even incorporate a charging cutoff switch once the battery is at charge capacity for “more performance and greater efficiency.”
4. Vaping at different temperatures changes your high
The Cannabis Sativa plant contains at least 400 different chemical compounds, and each of these compounds has varying properties and boiling points. So when you heat cannabis to a certain temperature, the trichomes begin to melt, which then activates different psychoactive and medicinal compounds, like THC, CBD and terpenes. The activated chemicals and subsequent effects all depend on the heat applied.
Low-temperature vaporization (290-330°F) will mildly induce THC and CBD to the point where you feel relaxed. This range is recommended for relieving stress and anxiety, improving mood and maintaining focus.
Moderate-temperature vaporization (330-370°F) expresses most terpenes and cannabinoids, and induces the psychoactive experience associated with THC-potent products. This range is recommended for social gatherings.
High-temperature vaporization (370-445°F) will not only induce the intense effects of the strain’s THC and CBD content, but also strains high in THCV. This temperature is recommended for help with sleep, pain relief and an intense high.
Here are the boiling points of some of the most common cannabinoids:
- THC: 314.6°F (THC-A 220°F)
- CBD: 320°F (CBD-A 240°F)
- CBN: 365°F
- CBC: 365°F
- THCV: 428°F
5. Vaping at different temperatures activates different terpenes
Secreted from the same resin glands as cannabinoids, terpenes are another element of the Cannabis Sativa plant that activates when introduced to heat. Terpenes produce aromas that give cannabis strains their distinctive flavors.
Terpenes can also be found in other odorous plants since they originated as an adaptation to protect against predators and to attract pollinators.
Beyond adaptive purposes, terpenes also contribute to the positive effects of cannabis. Similarly to aromatherapy, terpenes can help boost your physical and mental health when vaped to a certain temperature.
Here are the boiling points of some of the most common terpenes:
- Limonene: 350.6°F
- Linalool: 388.4°F
- Pinene: 312.8°F
- Myrcene: 332.6°F
Limonene is found in citrus products, and strains like Lemon Skunk that boost your mood, while linalool is associated with lavender and strains that help you relax.
Terpenes also play an important role in the entourage effect, and enhancing the effects of THC and CBD. For instance, myrcene is a popular earthy terpene that helps increase the effects of THC.
As vaping’s popularity continues to skyrocket in the market, it's important to understand vaping and its effects and support brands dedicated to transparency and you, the consumer.