In the state of Ohio, somewhere within the almost 90-page text document of the Ohio Medical Marijuana bill is a rule that strictly prohibits smoking (the combustion) of medical cannabis. Some may question, then why do Ohio dispensaries bother to sell cannabis flowers? Well, it’s because patients are meant to purchase a device called a dry-herb vaporizer to consume their flower products with.
Vaporizing cannabis is a much healthier alternative to smoking cannabis as it is cleaner and much easier on your lungs. In this article I want to give you a few tips to help you get started on a high note when vaping your medical cannabis.
Use fresh cannabis flower.
Vaporizers work by heating the cannabis to the point where the compounds (cannabinoids and terpenes) reach their boiling or activation temperature and form a vapor which is then inhaled by the consumer/patient. So you can see why it would be important to use flowers that are fresh and have a higher moisture content – obviously your bud shouldn’t be wet to the touch, but it shouldn’t be so dry that you can easily crush it into dust.
Grind and Pack your device properly.
Before you even start packing your vape device with your flower, you’ll want to prep it by using a grinder to finely grind the bud. By loosely packing your finely ground material into the proper chamber of your device, you’ll allow the heat to better penetrate the cannabis to activate all of the compounds present – giving you a nice, clean vapor filled with your medicine.
Preheat & Check the temperature.
You wouldn’t stick your frozen pizza in the oven before it preheats would you? Same thing here, you’ll want to preheat your device before putting the chamber in. Most vapes heat pretty quickly so you won’t have to wait too long to start medicating. You may be asking yourself, how do I know what temperature to set my device to for the flower I have? That is a great question and one I hope to shed some light on here.
Each compound found in the cannabis plant has its own boiling/activation temperature. There are hundreds of known compounds in this plant, so I won’t go through them all. Below you will find a breakdown of the most common cannabinoids and terpenes found on the market today.
Most cultivators include a QR code on their product packaging that will take you directly to the product’s testing profile.
- THC: 157℃ / 315℉
- CBD: 180℃ / 356℉
- CBN: 185℃ / 365℉
- CBC: 220℃ / 428℉
- CBG: 52℃ / 126℉
- Pinene: 155℃/ 311℉
- Limonene: 176℃/ 349℉
- Myrcene: 168℃/ 334℉
- Caryophyllene: 160℃/320℉
- Linalool: 198℃/ 388℉
This is where you will find out exactly what the primary terpenes and cannabinoids are in your flower – once you have this information, you can reference this chart to dial in to the optimal temperature to best capture each of the cannabinoids and terpenes present.
As always, when starting any new cannabis practice: start low, go slow. Inhale slowly from the mouthpiece for a few seconds until you feel your mouth feels just about filled with vapor, I like to also take a short half breath of fresh air after each of my hits – and then exhale. There is no need to hold it in or swallow it.
Pro-tip: if you don’t use a screen or filter in your device and take long hard hits, you will likely cause your cannabis to be sucked up from the chamber through the mouthpiece and into your mouth. This can also cause cold air to get into the chamber of your device which will reduce the temperature of the heating chamber, weakening its effectiveness and causing your device to have to work twice as hard to heat back up (unnecessary strain on the device that will wear it down faster).
Clean & Maintain your vaporizer regularly.
Again, back to the ovan reference – just like most appliances, your vaporizer needs to be cleaned and serviced regularly. Now, I am not saying you have to do a full regime after every use, but I would definitely get in a habit from the very beginning to clean your device after every few uses or at least once a week to keep it in optimal working condition. Be sure to reference the instruction manual for cleaning instructions specific to your device.
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