Vaping and Marijuana: What you need to know
02.02.22 - 4 min read
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In recent years, the popularity of vaping cannabis has continued to grow. Wondering if vaping is right for you? Take a deep dive with us! We’ll help you explore how to use a vape, how the devices actually work and some of the potential pros of vaping.
Simply put, a vaporizer is a technology-based device that heats marijuana (either a concentrate or dry herb) enough to turn the active cannabinoids and terpenes into vapor. Most vaporizers are designed to heat cannabis products just below the point of combustion, which ranges from 180 to 190 degrees Celsius. This vaporization method offers the benefits of inhaling marijuana while minimizing the presence of potentially harmful irritants that may be present in cannabis smoke.
Though vaporizers come in all shapes and sizes, the major types are portable vaporizers, tabletop vaporizers, and vape or “hash oil” pens. High-quality devices with precise temperature controls allow the user to choose a suited temperature to whatever terpene or cannabinoid they choose.
Find yourself wondering “how does a vaporizer work?” We’ve got you!
Marijuana vaporizers work by heating up either cannabinoids or terpene into vapor. The vapor then rises and is inhaled through the mouthpiece. Cannabinoids start to vaporize at around 284°F (or lower) with combustion beginning at around 446°F. The cool part is that some vaporizers allow you to control temperatures, so it’s easier to control the amount of cannabinoids and terpenes released in the process.
Various vaporizers work differently when it comes to turning your vaping flower into vapor for consumption.
Conduction method: Vaporizers that use this method heat cannabis more directly onto an electronically heated surface such as a solid metal plate or a screen to convert the cannabinoids and terpenes into vapor. Since they don’t involve a lot of fancy features, you should be able to hit these vapes pretty much straight out of the box.
Convention method: With convection heating, the cannabis product does not come into contact with the heating element. In this case, vape heats up the herb indirectly and the hot air moves around it, releasing THC and other cannabinoids into vapor without charring the substance. [Source]
After starting out shiny and new, a marijuana vaporizer will inevitably become clogged with the remnants of your past sessions. As with anything you use regularly, your vaporizer should be properly maintained and cleaned. Still water in a vaporizer that hasn’t been cleaned can become a breeding ground for bacteria, mildew and microorganisms. If not cleaned, the deposits may form on the head of the vaporizer, inhibiting vapor flow and possibly even causing respiratory problems.
So, how do you clean your vaporizer correctly?
Here are simple tips for quickly and effectively cleaning your vaporizer:
Most vaporizers come with a small cleaning brush. If the brush was not included in the package, you should look for something small enough to fit into the edges of your herb chamber.
As part of your daily routine, empty the vaporizer after every use then brush off the residue of your session. Make sure you remove any residue buildup that may affect the smooth passage of vapor. Lightly tap on the top of the table to remove any stubborn chunks that may not have been removed with the brush. Do the same for the mouthpiece. Avoid washing your vaporizer under the tap.
Probably the easiest and best way to clean your vaporizer is to soak each component in isopropyl alcohol. The general rule of the thumb: the longer the parts are soaked, the easier they’ll be to clean. You can soak all glass and steel elements including the rime of the herb chamber, mouthpiece and any screens overnight, then rinse them in the morning and let them dry properly.
Pay close attention to any plastic elements or wooden parts, such as the cooling chambers, however. Some of them may discolor or dissolve when soaked in alcohol. Instead of dipping these parts in alcohol, you can wipe them off with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol. This way, the alcohol cannot damage the plastic parts of the vaporizer.
Has the smoke quality changed on your vaporizer to the point where it’s no longer an enjoyable experience? Don’t worry! If your vaporizer is still in good condition overall, then chances are it may simply need a deep clean. If you’ve been using it daily for a month or two since the last clean, then we’d highly recommend performing a deep clean to remove any residue that may have built up in your vaporizer.
The steps to a deep clean:
The popularity of marijuana vaping continues to rise. That said, changes to marijuana laws are frequent and dependent on where you live in the United States. First, you’ll want to find out of cannabis use has been legalized in your state, and whether it is for medical use, recreational use or both.
Additionally, keep in mind that local laws may further restrict where you can legally vape cannabis.
Testing standards for cannabis also vary across the legalized market in the U.S. For instance, in Washington, vape products sold in stores should be checked for things such as toxins, potency, and residual solvents used in the extraction process. Other states such as California, go a step further to test for other substances like pesticides. [Source]
When it comes to vaping, you can either choose your cannabis first or the dosage first. It all depends on your priorities and the experience you want to get.
That said, choosing the type of cannabis you intend to use will help you narrow down your choices to avoid getting overwhelmed by the wide variety of vaporizers for marijuana on the market.
Whether you’re using a portable or desktop vaporizer, here is how to vape your cannabis:
Smoking marijuana usually refers to inhaling the smoke from dried plant parts or concentrates.
Vaping marijuana, on the other hand, refers to heating and inhaling concentrated extracts or heated ground dry herbs. It involves inhaling concentrated cannabis through a THC vaporizer or other device. Vaping is generally considered a much more potent method of administration than smoking.
Research seems to indicate that vaping can often create a more intense euphoric or stronger medicinal effect than smoking.
A recent JAMA report from John Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit examined marijuana consumption in occasional users. The study showed that participants who vaped marijuana experienced a faster onset of effects than individuals who smoked the same amount of cannabis. The same study showed that the effects were amplified when a higher dose was used, showing that vaping should be done in a more precise dosing strategy than smoking marijuana. This is especially true for infrequent users. [Source]
According to recent studies, people who vape marijuana perceive it to have health benefits and often find it to be safer and less harmful than smoking.
However, researchers also indicate that neither vaping nor smoking is beneficial to human health. Vaping might seem like a less harmful alternative to smoking, but it’s not completely harmless, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
The American Heart Association (AHA) notes that vaping marijuana in liquid form contains fewer contaminants than smoking marijuana since it’s heated and not combusted. Although cannabis smoke may be less toxic than cigarette smoke, inhalation of any combusted product still contains gases and contaminants that can cause respiratory or other problems. [Source]
Vaporizers are a more recent innovation, but they’ve captured the attention of the cannabis world. Many people find that vaporizers offer numerous benefits over smoking. Here are some of the common pros associated with vaping cannabis.
Because vape pens don’t require combustion, you won’t encounter that familiar smell associated with cannabis. This is because there is no tar or other chemicals in it that may produce that strong odor. The vapor and odor are minimal and will disperse in minutes.
Most vaporizers are fairly simple to use. Some even come with USB charging cables, and you simply need to ensure they’re charged and filled.
Using vaporizers requires less marijuana to attain the desired effect compared to pre-rolls and pipes. It’s also much easier to administer precise doses at a go.
Since there is less cannabis needed when using a vaporizer for marijuana, it’s easy to save money over time, especially if your level of cannabis consumption is high.
It can be hard to measure how big of an inhale you should take from a bong, pre-rolls or bowl, especially for new users. Many vaporizers feature different settings so that you can control the amount of cannabis vape you want to consume. This way, it’s easy to reach the desired high without using too much of it.
Unlike combusted marijuana, vaporizers can offer a cleaner and more effective experience because THC and other cannabinoids make up a large portion of the vapor.
Vaping with a vaporizer is a lot more convenient since you don’t have to carry anything other than the vape pen itself. The best part is that they come in different sizes and some are as small as a cigarette, which makes them highly portable. On top of that, vaporizers with battery chambers can be used on the go and may last for hours before they need a recharge. [Source]
They’re both compact and portable. They resemble each other. They are both pen-shaped. They contain coils that heat the plant material. So, what is the actual difference between a vape pen and a dab pen? Also what is a dab pen?
Basically, a dab pen or wax pen uses “dabs” or waxier concentrates. Dabs are commonly used to produce more potent marijuana effects. They’re created specifically for dabbing and to handle the thick viscosity of wax. These can include:
A vape pen, on the other hand, is a portable battery-powered device designed to take oils and distillates and often cartridges. The liquids are loaded into refillable and disposable chambers, then heated from below with a coil. Cartridges can be discarded after they’re empty.
While a vape pen and dab vape pen share a lot of similarities, they also have some key differences.
The biggest one: the types of cannabis products they’re designed to be used with. Dab or wax pens utilize dab, while vape pens utilize oils.
Plus, the design of the two pens is quite different. While vape pens usually feature a slimmer shape and use an atomizer, wax pens or dab pens feature a heavier build with a heated coil.
Also, wax pens are filled with a user-measured amount of wax or concentrate. These materials may build up and need to be cleaned regularly. Vape pens don’t require much upkeep.
There’s no doubt vaping has changed the way people experience cannabis. It’s becoming increasingly popular as many consumers see vaporizers as a convenient and more economical way to consume cannabis.
Want to learn more about vaping cannabis? A patient care specialist at your local RISE Dispensary will be happy to answer any of your questions.
Select your state and preferred dispensary to shop .