People have smoked cannabis for centuries to enjoy its health benefits like reducing stress and stimulating appetite. But smoking releases harsh toxins that damage your lungs and can cause cancer. Plus it’s messy. And stinky.
Vaporizers heat cannabis to temperatures below burning point (451°F) which releases potent vapor with the same physical and mental benefits as smoking marijuana, but without the harsh smoke toxins1. And the herb odor is much less.
Four Key Benefits of Vaporizing
It’s healthier than smoking — vapor contains virtually none of the harsh toxins found in smoke
Works fast and is easy to control dose, unlike edible pot brownies or bread
Efficient; generally you use 10–30% less herb than smoking pipes, joints or bongs
Hardly any smell, only a faint herb odor that allows you to be more discreet
What is Vaporizing?
Heating cannabis without burning it — that’s vaporizing. This heat releases THC vapor and other active ingredients into the air. This vapor gets you just as medicated as smoking a joint, but instead it virtually eliminates all the harmful smoke toxins found using joints, pipes or bongs. Warming marijuana just before it burns turns out to be a great way to enjoy this wonderful plant.
This one is for the connoisseurs. If the experience of smoking is a great joy for you, it’s likely you have a large interest in the taste and smell of the plant. Each vaporizer on the market today comes with an added unavoidable taste and smell that will factor into your experience. As with smoking methods, trial and error is the best method for finding the vape that fits your palate, but in general, loose leaf vapes provide a stronger taste than concentrates.
Further, the smell of flower that has already been vaped is potent and often objectionable, meaning you’ll want to empty your loose leaf chamber shortly after each use, which is not a concern for concentrates. Lastly, many people covet the headiness that comes with smoking. Vaping, aligning with the cleaner method it is, produces lighter effects. This can be good or bad depending on what you’re looking for — for some this means clearer effects; for others it means weaker effects.
Are there any vaporizers you’ve grown to love and would like to recommend? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Didn’t think you’d ever need to recall the difference between conduction and convection, did you? Turns out Chem 101 was useful for, if nothing else, making an informed loose leaf vaporizer purchase. Conduction and convection describe heat transfer: conduction is motionless (think metal against metal), whereas convection requires liquid or gas to move the energy (think steam).
A good example of a conduction vaporizer is the Magic Flight Launch Box, which uses a metal chamber to heat ground flower. Alternatively, the Firefly is a convection vaporizer that heats the flower with hot air. Convective vaporizers are — in theory — more efficient; conductive heating (using a metal chamber) is often uneven (flower touching the chamber walls will receive more heat than flower in the center of the chamber) and inefficient (they heat continuously, even when you aren’t inhaling, which can waste flower).
Depending on how tightly you pack the conduction vape chamber, you may have to stir the flower after a couple pulls to achieve even heating. However, this point is moot if you’re going with concentrates, which have already eliminated the need to decarboxylate (or “activate”) the cannabinoids. If environmental stewardship is of importance, loose leaf vapes are clearly superior with less plastic waste and without the chemical extraction process.
How is a Vaporizer Healthier than Smoking?
Vaporizers heat cannabis to temperatures below the point of burning. Instead of releasing toxic smoke, vaporizers deliver pure, clean THC vapor that’s just as potent.
Is Weed Bad for You?
Cannabis itself isn’t harmful; it’s the smoke that gets you. Burning marijuana releases over 111known air-born toxins and compounds. Studies have found that pot smokers face higher risk of bronchitis and respiratory infections, but this risk comes from smoke byproducts and not cannabinoids themselves.
Why Else Should You Vaporize?
Vaporizing can help you relax and focus on the medication and effects of the cannabis. When smoking, it’s easy to be more focused on the harshness of the smoke, getting a drink of water or fresh air to combat the effects of the smoke and heat. It’s a little distracting, messy and a lot more smelly. But vaping can be a more mellow experience overall, mostly it just feels like you’re breathing in air.
There are a myriad of ways to get high – but one of the most clean and fun ways is to vaporize cannabis. While smoking a good old joint is a timeless ritual, vaporising herb offers an unprecedented level control over the high. Once the art of vaporizing is mastered, it allows for a pure and pleasurable experience.
Vaporizers work by heating up marijuana to the point were certain cannabinoids “boil” and literally evaporate, leaving behind just fibrous plant matter. When you light a joint, the smoke is a mix of cannabinoids and a number of somewhat toxic combustion by-products, such as PAHs. In fact, analysis has shown that joint smoke only contains just over 10% cannabinoids, the rest consists of combustion products. In contrast, the clouds that come out of a vaporizer contain up to 95% cannabinoids, with only small traces of PAHs. In addition, because low temperatures don‘t destroy any cannabinoids through heat, the mileage you get out of your buds is much higher with a vaporizer.
One way to get to know your vaporizer well, is to just play around with the temperature settings – after all, it‘s pleasant research. But a slightly more scientific approach is to get to know the boiling points of the different cannabinoids and their properties. Now that‘s fun applied science!
WHAT‘S THE PERFECT TEMPERATURE?
Before exploring the depths of cannabinoid boiling temperatures, here‘s the key findings:
There‘s a temperature range in which different compounds of cannabis are released, each showing unique qualities in effect. While only experimentation will show you the high that suits you best, an ideal temperature to extract a wide range of psychoactive compounds is 185 °C. The optimal temperature range for cannabis is between 180 – 210 °C. Temperatures below 190 °C. tend to produce a more cerebral high, temperature above that tend to induce a body high.
WHAT ARE TOXINS?
Very simply put, toxins are chemicals that can be harmful to our body. The advantage of vaporizers lies in their unique ability to extract the active ingredients of cannabis, but without the toxins of combustions, such as tar and carbon monoxide.
Vapor can still contain trace amounts of toxins. But compared to the over 100 different PAHs found in smoke, the one single PAH discovered in vapour is obviously a massive reduction. On the other hand, toxins that come from pesticides, herbicides and other chemical agents will also concentrate in vapour – that‘s why choosing organic cannabis is always smart.
The following is small selection of some of the toxins that are released through combustion.
Carbon monoxide and tar
Released by combustion in the form of smoke. They are carcinogenic and can cause lung related problems.
This is not thought to be a very serious toxin, and only appears in small amounts. It can cause light-headedness, nausea, sleepiness and a loss of appetite. Its boiling point is 110 °C., so there is no avoiding it.
Benzene is a carcinogen and has a boiling point of 80.1 °C.
This toxin is possibly a carcinogen and causes light-headedness, nausea, loss of appetite and pale skin. Its boiling point is 218 °C.