Vaporizing has forever changed the way people enjoy cannabis. Offering a powerful and reliable way to use cannabis both recreationally and medicinally, without the health risks of smoking, vaporizers are slowly becoming a household item for most regular users. And, thanks to the advancement of vape technology, vaporizers are becoming more portable and affordable than ever before. Whether you’re an experienced “vaper” or new to the game, here we share 8 simple tips to vaping dry herb. Remember to follow these tips for the ultimate vaping experience and follow our blog for more articles like this.
Marijuana may provide calming effects that improve certain mental and physical conditions. For instance, a doctor might recommend medical marijuana to people with Crohn’s disease as an alternative way to ease inflammation, nausea, and vomiting.
Studies are currently underway to evaluate the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound found in marijuana. CBD shows promise as a treatment for a variety of medical conditions, including:
- mental illness
- chronic pain
- immune system diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Alzheimer’s disease
Two drugs that are a synthetic laboratory version with chemical structure of or similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another active ingredient in marijuana, are approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet) are approved to treat nausea due to chemotherapy and to assist in helping to achieve weight gain in people with AIDS.
The mouth spray nabiximols (Sativex) treats nerve pain and muscle control problems associated with MS. It contains both CBD and THC. It’s been approved for use in Canada and in countries throughout Europe. However, it’s yet to be approved by the FDA.
If you do choose to vape, Dr. Tishler advises using the safest method possible.
“Not all vaporizing is the same. I recommend vaporizing the whole cannabis flower. The little pen-shaped vaporizers that have become very fashionable and use cannabis oil should be avoided,” he says.
“The cannabis in those devices is most often thinned with propylene glycol or polyethylene glycol. Neither of these are safe to heat and inhale. There are alternatives for patients who find loading a conventional vaporizer with ground cannabis is too much for them. I’d recommend looking into a pod-based device.”
TIPS FOR VAPING WITH A DRY HERB VAPORIZER
1. USE FRESH HERB
Fresh is best. We don’t mean freshly harvested, but well cured, high quality bud – not bud that is old, stale and dried out.
Remember, your vaping experience is only going to be as good as the herb you’re vaping.
The process of vaporizing relies on moisture; it involves heating a substance to the point where the compounds within it reach their boiling point and form a vapor, which can be inhaled much like smoke.
Hence, it’s always best to use a fresh herb that is more likely to have higher moisture concentrations.
The herbs you load into your chamber shouldn’t be too wet nor too dry. A good way to test the moisture content of your bud is to touch it. Your weed shouldn’t be wet or moist to the touch, yet it shouldn’t be so dry that you’re able to crush it into a fine powder with your fingers.
2. GET THE GRIND RIGHT
Once you’ve inspected your weed and determined it’s fit for vaping, it’s time to get your grind on.
Grinding your herb helps increase its surface area. In turn, this allows the heat from the vaporizer to better penetrate the plant matter and produce a nice, thick, tasty vapor.
When vaping dry herbs, you’ll want to make sure you get a nice, even, medium grind. The best way to do this is to use a manual or electric herb grinder.
If you don’t have one of these tools, grind up your weed as you would do so usually. Just remember that you want an even grind, which might be harder to achieve without a proper weed grinder.
Pro tip: Never grind more weed than you need to fill a single chamber. Any leftover ground weed will dry out much faster.
3. CHECK YOUR TEMPERATURE
Temperature is the most important aspect of vaping. Hence, it’s vital you get your temperature setting right every session, regardless of whether you’re vaping dry herb or concentrates.
Unfortunately, working out the right temperature isn’t as simple as it seems. The general rule of thumb is that you should vape somewhere between 180-210°C (356-410°F). However, you’ll want to experiment to find your ideal setting.
Different cannabinoids vaporize at different temperatures, and slight variations in the moisture content of your bud or the texture of your grind can also affect how well your weed vaporizes.
Plus, many users find that vaping at different temperatures produces different effects; lower temperatures tend to leave users more clear-headed and functional, while higher temperatures tend to produce strong euphoria and relaxation.
Here are some of the different boiling points of the compounds of cannabis to help you figure out the best temperature for you:
4. PACK TIGHT, BUT NOT TOO TIGHT
Just like smoking from a bong or pipe, the way you pack your vape chamber has a huge effect on the overall experience.
Once again, you’ll want to find the sweet spot of packing your chamber with enough herb so as to generate a good amount of vapor, without going overboard.
At the same time, you’ll want to avoid over-packing the chamber, as this may affect the flow of vapor from the chamber to the mouthpiece. Sometimes, over-packing can also damage the inside of your vape.
5. PREHEAT YOUR VAPE
Vaporizers are like ovens; they need some time to get up to temperature.
Just like you wouldn’t stick a roast chicken in a cold oven, you shouldn’t be sticking your weed into a vape that hasn’t been given time to heat up.
Luckily, most modern, portable vaporizers are able to preheat in just a few seconds, meaning your vape is usually ready to use by the time you’ve ground up your weed.
However, some older models or desktop vaporizers may take a bit longer to get up to temperature.
Regardless of what kind of vape you use, make sure you read through the instructions and learn how to preheat it. This will ensure your weed vaporizes properly and consistently, making for an enjoyable vaping experience every time.
6. INHALE SLOWLY AND LIGHTLY
When vaporizing, remember to take gentle, short drags. When vapes first hit the market, there was this trend of taking big, long, and deep drags from the mouthpiece as if you were trying to suck a piece of fruit through a straw from the bottom of your smoothie. There are two main downsides to vaping like this:
Firstly, taking long, hard puffs from your vape can cause some of your weed to be sucked up from the chamber, through the mouthpiece, and into your mouth. Secondly, drawing hard and regularly from your vape introduces cold air into the chamber. This ultimately brings down the temperature inside your vape, making the machine work harder and thus, affecting the quality of your vapor.
7. AVOID COMBUSTION
Combustion is the number one thing you want to avoid when vaping. Combustion is what happens when you light the end of a joint, blunt, or bong. By combusting your weed, you essentially break down chemical bonds within it, creating what are called “free radicals.” These compounds can then combine together to create hundreds of new compounds, most of which are highly toxic and carcinogenic.
Remember, the most likely reason you’re vaping is to avoid the negative side effects of smoking. Hence, take the time to experiment with different temperatures to find the sweet spot that allows for the best vapor production, without actually burning your herb. Following the temperature guides we mentioned above are a good place to start, but remember to take the time to play around with these settings every session to account for the differences in moisture content and physical consistency of your weed.
8. MAINTAIN YOUR VAPE
Last but not least, the best way to ensure a great vape experience is to properly maintain your vaporizer. Vaporizers, like other pieces of machinery, need to be well kept in order to function at their best. When you get your vape, make sure you read over the care instructions outlined in the manufacturer’s user guide. Follow these instructions and make a habit of cleaning out your vape regularly, as well as replacing parts as necessary.
Vaporizers can be expensive. To make sure yours lasts as long as it should, remember to care for/maintain it like you would other pieces of expensive equipment.