Newbie’s Guide to Vaping Cannabis
By Zelda Flowers
Vaping can have several advantages over the traditional method of burning cannabis flowers, i.e. smoking a joint or from a pipe.
What is Vaping?
Vaping is when a material (oil or flowers) is heated to a temperature that releases compounds in a vapor, but is below the temperature of incineration. When you smoke cannabis flowers, the heat incinerates the plant material releasing effective cannabinoids and creating a residue, some of which is inhaled and the rest resulting in the sticky, black resin you find inside your pipe bowl.
By eliminating incineration, you also eliminate the charred material you introduce into your airways through smoking. For medical cannabis users with major health vulnerabilities, vaping or oral administration are highly preferable. Regular smokers will notice a marked reduction in mouth/throat irritation within several days once switching to a vaporizer. In addition to feeling healthier, your house will smell better. You’ll also begin to truly experience and appreciate the diverse flavor profiles of different strains.
Types of Vaping
Pens: Vape pens are a popular way to consumer cannabis oils. Pre-filled cartridges are readily available at any location that sells cannabis or you can opt for a vaporizer or pen that you fill yourself. The most important consideration when it comes to vaping cannabis oils, especially if you have health concerns, is to ensure that the oil has been C02 extracted instead of using harmful solvents. Most vape pen cartridges last between 70-100 hits.
A note on purity: The concentration process of making cannabis extracts condenses any harmful chemicals contained on the flowers, including pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Additionally, not all extraction methods are equal. Some rely on poisonous solvents. Be sure to purchase reputable brands.
Dry Vaporizers: Dry vaporizers are made to heat ground cannabis flowers. These types of vaporizers are very common and come in a variety of styles of sizes, from tabletop units to elegant and small handhelds. Quality vaporizers aren’t cheap but they work exceptionally well and are long-lasting. One benefit of using a dry vaporizer is that you can use any cannabis flowers, homegrown or purchased.
Wet Vaporizers: This refers to any vaporizer made for oils or concentrates like waxes or shatter. Some dry vaporizers come with interchangeable chambers, one for flowers and one for extracts. There are also pens and handheld vaporizers that only use extracts.
The main benefit of a concentrate vaporizers that you can fill yourself is that you have access to a broader variety of strains than what might be available in pre-filled cartridges in your area.
To switch strains with a regular vape pen you simply unscrew the cartridge and replace it with a different one. With an extract vaporizer, you’ll need to clean the chamber frequently, especially when switching strains.
Vaping is only one technique to consider, however. In today’s market, there are many types of delivery methods to suit any kind of lifestyle or need.