Cannabis Vaping 101: From Basics to Pro-level Techniques
Cannabis Vaping 101: From Basics to Pro-level Techniques
Since the legalization of cannabis in Canada in 2018, consumers have had a multitude of products to choose from. From traditional dried flower to edibles and oils, the market for cannabis products has grown exponentially. One method of consumption that has gained popularity in recent years is vaping.
Vaping involves heating a substance, such as cannabis flower, oil or concentrate, to a temperature where it produces vapour. This vapour is then inhaled through a mouthpiece to deliver the desired effects of cannabis. Often viewed as a healthier alternative to smoking, vaping has also become popular among those looking for discreet and convenient ways to consume cannabis.
In British Columbia, vaping has become an increasingly popular alternative to smoking cannabis. Sales of vaping products increased 57.8% to $46 million in Q2 2023 compared to the same quarter in 2022. These numbers indicate a clear shift in consumer preferences toward vaping.
But why are people turning to vaping? And what are the differences between vaping and smoking cannabis? To find out, let's take a closer look at what vaping is, how it works, and the different types of cannabis vaping products available.
Vaping essentials: A novice's primer
Before we get into the specifics of vaping cannabis, it's important to understand the basics. Vaping involves the use of a device, often called a vaporizer or vape pen, to heat the cannabis product to a temperature where it produces vapour. This vapour is then inhaled through a mouthpiece, which can be attached directly to the device or in the form of a separate mouthpiece.
Devices can vary in size, shape, and features, but they generally consist of a battery, heating element, and chamber for the cannabis product. They may also have adjustable temperature settings, LED screens, and other features for customization.
The main types of vaporizers are portable, desktop, and disposable. Portable vaporizers are small and compact, making them convenient for on-the-go use. Desktop vaporizers are larger and intended for stationary use at home. Disposable vaporizers come pre-filled with cannabis oil and are meant to be discarded after use.
Dry herb vaporizers are specifically designed for vaping dried flower, while oil vaporizers are designed for oils and concentrates. Some devices may be versatile and able to handle both types of cannabis products.
Vaporize, don't burn: The benefits of dried cannabis vaping
While smoking dried flower is still a popular method of consumption, vaping it offers several benefits that make it a worthy alternative. One of the main appeals of vaping dried flower, as opposed to smoking, is that it's a much cleaner and healthier method of consumption.
Vaping involves heating the cannabis flower at a lower temperature, which means that there is no combustion or burning involved. This results in significantly less tar and toxins being produced, compared to smoking.
In addition, vaping can provide a smoother and more flavourful experience. Set it at a low temperature, and you'll enjoy a more delicate taste, while higher temperatures will provide a more intense and robust flavour. This allows for a more customizable and enjoyable experience for cannabis consumers.
With traditional smoking, the effects of cannabis can be felt almost immediately due to the rapid absorption of THC into the bloodstream. With vaping, the effects may take a little longer to be felt, but they can last longer due to a slower release of THC. This can be beneficial for those seeking long-lasting relief from symptoms.
Lastly, vaping allows for more efficient use of cannabis. Because the flower is not being burned, more of the cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) are released compared to smoking. This means that you can use less cannabis and still achieve the desired effects.
Beyond flower: The benefits of vaping concentrates
With the growing popularity of vaping, there are now a variety of cannabis oils and concentrates available for consumption. These products offer a different experience than traditional dried flower, and come with their own set of benefits.
Primarily available in 510-threaded cartridges or disposable pens, vaping oils offer a convenient and discreet option for cannabis consumption. They are also highly potent, with some products containing up to 90% THC. This means that you can achieve a more intense high compared to traditional dried flower.
There are a multitude of options when it comes to what type of oil or concentrate you can vape. This can include THC or CBD oils, live rosin, distillate, shatter, and more. Some are flavoured with natural terpenes, providing a more enjoyable taste, while others are made with single-ingredient solventless extracts for a more well-rounded and balanced high.
You'll enjoy a quicker onset of effects with vape oils compared to dried flower, making it perfect for those looking for more immediate relief from pain or anxiety. There is also less smell produced when using oils and concentrates, making it a more discreet option for consumption.
Finally, vape oils and concentrates allow for more efficient use of cannabis, as they are highly concentrated and require less product to achieve the desired effects. This can save money in the long run for cannabis consumers. If you're looking for a strong and fast-acting method of cannabis consumption, then vape oils may be the perfect choice for you.
Do's and don'ts of dry herb vaporization
For those new to vaping dried flower, the process may seem daunting at first. But don't worry, with a little practice and some helpful tips, you'll be vaping like a pro in no time. Here are some Do's and Don'ts for proper dry herb vaping:
• Grind your cannabis flower to a fine consistency for optimal vaporization.
• Adjust your temperature according to your desired experience. Lower temperatures, around 315°F to 325°F, are ideal for a more flavourful and gentle experience. Higher temperatures, between 350°F and 400°F, will provide a stronger and more intense high.
• Inhale deeply and steadily for 5-10 seconds, then exhale slowly.
• Take breaks in between draws to avoid overheating the device.
• Clean your device regularly for optimal performance and taste.
• Overpack your chamber, as this can prevent proper airflow and decrease vapour production.
• Inhale too quickly or harshly, as this can also affect the quality of the vapour.
• Ignore the temperature settings. Finding the right temperature for your desired experience is key to a successful and enjoyable vaping session.
Do's and don'ts of vaping oils
If you're new to vaping oils and concentrates, you'll want to keep these Dos and Don'ts in mind for a smooth and satisfying experience:
• Check compatibility between devices and vape cartridges before use
• Prime the coil of your device by taking a few short puffs before taking a full inhale
• Start with small puffs, gradually increasing the length and intensity as needed
• Store your vape cartridge upright to avoid leakage
• Overheat your device, as this can burn the oil and affect the taste
• Inhale too quickly as this can jam the airflow and result in a stuck cartridge
• Leave your cartridge in a hot or sunny environment, as this can also affect the oil and cause leakage
Vaping terms 101: A quick reference guide
Unless you're well-versed in the world of vaping, some terms may be unfamiliar and downright confusing. Here's a short glossary of some commonly used terms in the vaping community:
Atomizer: The component in a vaping device that heats the e-liquid to create vapor.
Box Mod: A type of vaporizer with a larger battery for extended life and increased vapor production.
Cartridge or Cart: A small, disposable tank that holds the e-liquid or vape oil.
Coil: The wire that is heated up within the atomizer.
Dry Hit: A puff taken when there's little or no e-liquid left, often resulting in a burnt taste.
E-Liquid or E-Juice: The solution that is heated to create vapor. It typically contains nicotine and flavorings.
Ohm: The measurement of electrical resistance. A lower ohm reading for coils means hotter and thicker vapor, while a higher ohm reading means cooler vapes.
Propylene Glycol (PG): One of the two main ingredients in e-liquid, known for providing a 'throat hit', similar to tobacco cigarettes.
Sub-Ohm Vaping: Vaping with a coil that has a resistance of less than one ohm. This results in larger, denser vapor clouds.
Vape Pen: A type of e-cigarette that is long and thin, similar in appearance to a traditional pen or cigarette.
Vegetable Glycerin (VG): The other main ingredient in e-liquid, known for creating visible vapor.
Wattage (W): The amount of raw power that an electronic cigarette or box mod produces.
Now that you're equipped with some basic knowledge of vaping, you should be able to navigate the world of vaporizers with ease. In no time, you'll be able to find the perfect device and technique for your desired cannabis experience.
The future of cannabis consumption
Over the past few years, the popularity of vaporizers and cannabis vaping has skyrocketed, and for good reason. Whether you prefer traditional dried flower or oils and concentrates, vaporizing allows for a more efficient and convenient method of consumption. There are endless options to choose from, each with its own unique benefits and effects. The world of vaping can seem overwhelming, but with a little knowledge and experimentation, you'll surely find the perfect fit for your cannabis journey. Happy vaping!
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