We’ll be the first to admit it: vaping can be confusing. There are so many options out there that simply trying to figure out how to vape THC and CBD can be damn near impossible — especially for a beginner.
But don’t fret. We’re here to help. The all-things-cannabis experts at Honest Marijuana have created this ultimate beginner’s guide to get you started on your path to vaping bliss.
What Is A Vaporizer?
The technical definition of a vaporizer is:
A device that generates a particular substance in the form of a vapor, especially for medicinal inhalation.
That’s a pretty broad explanation, but it suits our purposes because vaporizers come in all shapes and sizes — from large tabletop units to small hand-held units that are no bigger than a cigar.
It’s this latter form — the hand-held variety (a.k.a. vape pen) — that you probably have in mind when you ask about how to vape THC and CBD. But as we investigate the expanding world of vaping, you’ll see that a tabletop unit can be beneficial as well.
An Extremely Brief History Of Vaping
Vaporizers, as a whole, have been around for a long time. During that time, people have been using them to vaporize everything from essential oils for their homes to mentholated topical ointment (e.g., Vaporub) to treat all kinds of ills.
Unfortunately, those units were often bulky and required a power outlet to function. Then came the vape pen and the world would never be the same again.
Vape pens were originally produced as an electronic cigarette to reduce the negative effects of tobacco smoke and help cigarette and pipe smokers quit.
It wasn’t long before the cannabis community recognized that these little devices were ideal for marijuana as well.
That brings us to the science inside the vaporizer.
How Does A Vaporizer Work?
Some vaporizers (like those for essential oils or Vaporub) work by heating water to just below the boiling point. Others work by heating the air or a metal element inside the unit. Still others work by heating the entire chamber itself.
Regardless of what part of the vaporizer heats up, it all comes back to temperature.
Vaporizers convert material (e.g., tobacco, cannabis, essential oils, etc.) into vapor at much lower temperatures than lighting that same material on fire and burning (as you would a regular cigarette or joint).
And when we say lower, we mean much lower — almost half, in fact.
That flame in your Bic hovers around 450℉. But chemical compounds, like cannabinoids, vaporize at around 284℉ (or lower).
All that extra heat from the open flame simply destroys the good stuff you’re trying to get into your body. So, theoretically (and if you do it right), you can get more bang for your buck when you use a vaporizer instead of the more traditional methods that require an open flame.
Now that you know the what and the why of it all, let’s get on to the main event: how to vape THC and CBD.
How To Vape THC And CBD
Before we jump in, it’s essential to mention that the three steps below are pretty much interchangeable.
You can choose your cannabis first or you can choose your dosage first. Or you can just start by choosing your vape device. It all depends on your priorities and what you hope to get from the experience.
That said, we suggest getting the ball rolling by choosing the form of cannabis you want to use. Doing so will help you narrow your choices so you don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer variety of vaporizers on the market.
1) Choose Your Cannabis
If you want to stick with the tried-and-true dried and cured bud that has been getting people high and giving them medicinal relief for hundreds of years, rest assured that there are vape options available.
You’ll need a special vape device that can handle dry herb. And it’s vital to understand that many of these pens, cartridges, or add-ons still combust (i.e., burn the bud at high temperatures) the weed like you would if you were smoking a joint.
No amount of advanced tech can vaporize plant matter because the “burning” point is too high. That’s why the next two forms of cannabis are so popular in the vape community.
Concentrates are a broad category of cannabis that includes:
As the name suggests, concentrates are stronger than the dry bud from which they came because, during the extraction process, you remove the cannabinoid THC and/or CBD from the plant matter.
Concentrates are very potent, so a little goes a long way.
We like tinctures in general because they are super easy to take (just place a few drops under your tongue and let them dissolve into your bloodstream). But they’re also a very effective choice if you’re still struggling with the question of how to vape THC and CBD.
Because of the way you make them, tinctures (sometimes called e-liquids or vape juice) are often more of a liquid than an oil. As a result, you can often refill a vape device that handles tincture without buying expensive cartridges.
Once you’ve settled on the type of cannabis you want to vape, it’s time to turn your attention to the device itself.