How To Vape Weed – Introduction
If you want to know how to vape weed, you’ve come to the right place. But before we get to the how, let’s talk quickly about the what it is and the why you’d want to vaporize instead of smoke your medicine. Vaping weed is quite simply the application of indirect heat to vaporize the cannabinoid resins in the medicine. This can be done through several methods and devices which we will cover in this article.
As mentioned previously, vaporizing marijuana requires indirect heat to bring the cannabinoid resin, contained in the trichomes, to it’s vaporization point. This vapor is then inhaled with the organic component of the medicine left behind in the device.
How To Vape Weed – Tools
There are several categories of vaporizer but all require a heat source. The source of that heat can come from an electric coil, a ceramic oven, or even a piece of lavarock heated by flame. Next let’s move on to describing several of tools.
On the top end of the price scale we have bag vaporizers like the Volcano, the Arizer Extreme Q, or the Zephyr Ion. These types of vaporizers are table top units with a fan in the base and a thermostat controlled heat source. The medicine is held in a bowl above the heat source and heated air is blown through the medicine and into a bag for consumption. Think back to when you used to inhale helium from a balloon and you get the basic idea.
Whip vaporizers are essentially the same as bag vaporizers without the fan and the bag. Instead, a tube (aka whip) is used to manually draw the hot air through the medicine, through the whip, and finally, directly into the lungs.
Hand Held Vaporizers
These vaporizers are all battery powered and use either a ceramic oven or a direct coil element. Heat settings are either non adjustable, manually adjustable to predetermined temps or by an adjustable thermostat. The medicine is kept in a chamber or oven and air is drawn by mouth/lung through a mouth piece.
Vapor pipes, while technically fall into the category of hand held, are one of the fewer known tools for vaporizing. The medicine is held in the far end of the pipe with a lava rock that is heated using a flame to generate the indirect heat and drawn into the lungs. The lava rock glows red hot when heated and the flame never touches the material providing true vapor and not smoke.
How To Vape Weed – Instructions
There are 5 basic steps for how to vape weed:
Step 1: Grind
Grind the medicine. Vaping works equally well with properly cured weed or over dried weed, but it is imperative that you grind the material to allow maximum airflow through the product. Stems can be left in since they have trace resin deposits on them. Theoretically, you could vape whole bud but you wouldn’t get much of the resin located near the center of the bud without toasting the outer material first.
Step 2: Fill
Fill the bowl but do not pack it. Regardless of the type of vaping tool you use, the ground weed will be put into a bowl, chamber, or oven. Since vaping requires air flow you do not want to pack the bowl after filling it. This will clog the device and block air from flowing.
Step 3: Heat
In the case of adjustable temperature settings or thermostats you must power up the device and set the desired temperature first. This step requires some experimentation but 375F is a good starting point. Lower heat settings will prevent toasting or burning of the medicine but may produce a diluted/less concentrated vapor and may require more pulls for proper dosing.
Higher heat settings will produce a more dense/concentrated vapor thus requiring less dosing but you risk toasting or burning the medicine which affects flavor and introduces smoke. Also, certain cannabinoids vaporize at higher or lower temperatures and alter the effect of medicine. Keep a log of temperatures and effects till you find the right balance. Certain vaporizers like the Magic Flight are simply on/off devices. The desired temperature is a function of how fast or slow you pull. The slower the draw the higher the heat and the more concentrated the vapor.
Step 4: Pull
In the case of bag vapes, after the device reaches the desired temperature, turn on the fan to fill the bag. Once the bag has enough vapor for your liking, remove the bag from the device and inhale straight into lung. Be careful how deep you inhale at first since vapor can be quite thick, depending on how resinous the material is.
For whip vapes, inhaling deep and strong will be necessary to overcome the air that is already in the whip as well as the air resistance from the smaller cross section of the whip itself. Think inhaling through a straw vs inhaling normally.
For hand held devices, vapor will enter your lungs much quicker than a whip and the speed of inhalation will determine how intense the draw will be.
For pipes, it will take more time for the flame to heat the lavarock during the pull so a long, slow, deep, draw into the lungs will work best.
Step 5: Stir
Stir the grinds. Since heat is passing from one side of the device to the other, the material immediately adjacent to the heat source will dry up and “toast” first. To get all the resin from your bowl, you’ll want to mix the contents with a glass or metal poker. This will get you more consistent bags/pull through the life of the bowl. After you have stirred repeat the steps until you have finished medicating or until no more effective vapor is being produced.
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