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If you’re new to medical marijuana, chances are you’re new to vaping, too. And as a newbie to MMJ, it’s crucial to know how to vape weed safely.

 

First off, let it be known that vaping is a comfortable, flavorful, and pleasurable way for patients to inhale cannabis. With a little research about strains, or recommendations from a cannabis doctor, you could be vaping the most beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes for your condition in no time — fresh herb, but with far less odor and no bad aftertaste.

 

Even if you are considering vaping medical weed, you may have a lot of questions before you take the plunge. What exactly is vaping? What are the advantages of vaping? What are vaporizers, how do they work, and are there different kinds of vaporizers? If so, which would be best for me?

 

In this article, we’re going to answer all those questions and get you acquainted with the world of vaping cannabis.

 

Watch our short video to learn about the differences between smoking and vaping

 

 

What Is Vaping?

 

Vaping is an alternative to smoking. When smoking, you burn (combust) your cannabis herb until it is ash. But with a vaporizer, your weed is heated until the active ingredients (cannabinoids, terpenes, etc.) reach their boiling point and produce vapor — steam instead of smoke.

 

You inhale the vapor like you would if you were smoking a joint, but when you’re finished, you won’t have a pile of ash. Instead, you’ll be left with the same material as you started with, just with the active ingredients extracted out.

Advantages of Vaping Cannabis

 

Marijuana effects from vaping come on immediately. The vapor is inhaled and absorbed into your bloodstream through your lungs, which is much quicker than ingesting cannabis.

 

Vaping has a bioavailability of 30-50% — that’s the amount you absorb — and that’s even slightly better than smoking. The effects of vaping weed last around 45 minutes to an hour.

 

There are actually several advantages to vaping cannabis.

Vaping Dry Herb is Better for Your Lungs

 

Many people who have smoked cannabis for years say that they notice the difference in their breathing and lungs right away.

 

With vaping, you’re not burning your cannabis herb. And if you’re not burning the herb, you’re also not breathing the extra tar and carcinogens that accompany smoke. You won’t get all the coughing that normally comes from smoking marijuana.

Vaping Enhances the Flavor of Marijuana

 

Vaping is a very clean way to inhale cannabis flower. Many people who switch from smoking weed say that it’s the biggest perk, as it enhances the flavor profile of the cannabis overall.

 

When vaping, your cannabis will actually taste more as it smells. Vaping leaves a cleaner aftertaste as well.

Vaping Conserves Your Dry Herb

 

Using the raw cannabis flower itself is a fairly economical way to get your MMJ benefits. Many folks say they consume far less fresh weed vaping than when they smoked. For MMJ patients who are likely paying out of pocket, this seems like it would be a motivating factor.

 

Also, vaping is an economical way to try different strains, to see if anyone has better effects or is more enjoyable over others.

What You Need for Vaping?

 

For a complete and enjoyable vaping experience, certain essentials are needed. Each component plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality and efficiency of your vaping session.

Dry Herb

 

The quality of the dry herb is important. Look for freshness, aroma, and the type of strain that best suits your needs and preferences. The herb’s moisture content is also crucial; overly dry or moist herbs can affect the vaping experience. Selecting the right herb involves understanding its potency, flavor profile, and intended effects.

Vaporizer

 

When choosing a vaporizer, consider factors like heating method (conduction vs. convection), portability, battery life, and temperature control. Different vaporizers cater to various preferences, whether you prioritize discretion, flavor, or the amount of vapor produced. It’s also important to consider the compatibility of your vaporizer with the type of dry herb or concentrates you plan to use.

Grinder

 

A grinder is essential for breaking down dry herbs to a consistent size, promoting even heating and efficient extraction of flavors and active compounds. Choose a grinder based on its material (metal, wood, plastic), the quality of its blades or teeth, and its size. Some grinders also come with additional features like a kief catcher, which can be a bonus.

 

Here’s a simple comparison between using a grinder vs using your hands:

 

Using grinder

Using your hands

Consistent ground herb

Inconsistent pieces

Even heating

Uneven heating

Fast and clean

Messy

Retains more kief

Kief sticks to fingers

Cleaning Kit

 

Regular cleaning of your vaporizer is essential to maintain its performance and longevity. Look for a cleaning kit that includes brushes, swabs, and cleaning solutions that are compatible with your device. Consider ease of use and the ability to reach all parts of the vaporizer. Some kits are designed specifically for certain types of vaporizers, so ensure compatibility for the most effective cleaning.

How Do Vaporizers Work?

 

If you’re curious about how to vape weed, you’re also probably wondering how the whole process works. When vaping, you’re heating your material instead of burning it, right? This requires a heat source, and vaporizers use a few different kinds of heaters, which are also called “ovens.”

 

Conduction, convection, and hybrid are the three main heater types found in vaporizers. A hybrid, of course, combines the conduction and convection types of heaters in one vape.

Conduction Heating

 

A conduction heater heats up the walls of your chamber. This is also known as the bowl or where you put your cannabis herb. The heat transfers to the material inside of the chamber.

 

Because the oven is constantly delivering heat, your herbs will vaporize even if you are taking a draw (inhaling) from the vape.

Convection Heating

 

This form of heating makes vaping not quite as simplistic as conduction, but it has its advantages. The convection oven is generally below the chamber where you put your flower. When you draw on the vape, fresh air is pulled into the vape and over the heater.

 

This heats the air as it goes. As you continue drawing breath, the hot air is pulled over your herbs, and it’s this heat that creates the vapor.

 

Because the act of pulling your breath through the vape creates the vapor, there’s some technique involved. But the advantage of convection heating is that your cannabis herb is only being heated when you draw — no wasting your bud while you wait to take your next hit. It might be worth a little learning curve on how to pull your breath efficiently through the vape.

Hybrid Heating

 

Hybrid heating in vaporizers represents a fusion of the best features from both conduction and convection heating methods, offering a superior vaping experience. 

 

This innovative approach ensures efficient and even heating of the material, leading to better flavor and vapor production compared to using either method alone. 

 

Enthusiasts who seek a balance between quick heat-up times (typical of conduction) and the flavor-enhancing, efficient extraction (characteristic of convection) often prefer hybrid heating. Its versatility appeals to both seasoned vapers and newcomers, providing a comprehensive experience that maximizes the quality of the vapor and the efficiency of herb usage.

Types of Vaporizers

Desktop Vapes

 

Desktop or stationary vaporizers are less common but have their advantages.

 

These are sometimes big, require a power outlet, and you may just want to set yourself up in a designated area and leave it there. Any table or flat surface will do.

 

Depending on the model, they may have a small hose or a plastic balloon. With the hose, you can inhale the vapor directly from the vaporizer. The balloon, however, gets inflated first, and then you inhale from it.

 

To vape weed, put your bud into the chamber or wherever the heated surface is. Connect the plastic bag or hose, plug in the vaporizer and turn it on. Select the desired temperature and give it time (a minute or two) before drawing the vapor in.

 

The big benefit of using a desktop vape is the constant power from the outlet — more power, more efficiency, more satisfaction.

Portable Vapes

 

Because they are smaller than most desktop units, and you won’t have a cord, portable vaporizers have their own conveniences. Portable vaporizers are usually powered by either an internal battery or a battery replaceable by the user.

 

Either option is rechargeable, but the user-replaceable batteries give you the option to have extra charged batteries ready to go, so you will never have to wait for your vape to charge before using it again.

 

Additionally, portable vapes that use a small butane torch lighter as the heat source in place of a mechanical heater are available. 

 

Here’s a list of portable vapes:

 

  • Vape Pens: Slim and simple, vape pens are portable devices perfect for discreet vaping, offering a balance of ease and efficiency for both e-liquids and oils.
  • Pod Vapes: Compact and user-friendly, pod vapes use replaceable or refillable pods, ideal for beginners and those preferring convenience and portability.
  • Oil Vapes: Specifically designed for cannabis or CBD oils, oil vapes are discreet, pen-like devices that provide controlled and efficient oil consumption.
  • Mods: Mods are advanced, customizable vaping devices offering features like variable wattage and temperature control, preferred by experienced vapers for a more intense experience.
  • Cigalike: Mimicking traditional cigarettes, cigalikes are small, lightweight, and simple to use, making them a popular choice for those transitioning from smoking to vaping.

How to Vape Weed Safely

 

Vaping cannabis can be an effective and efficient way to consume marijuana, however, it is important to practice caution when vaping cannabis as it can have potential health risks.

 

Here are some tips on how to vape weed safely:

 

  • Get the Right Device: Make sure you have a quality device that is designed for use with cannabis. Check the coil and chamber to ensure they heat evenly and avoid burning the plant material.
  • Monitor Temperature Settings: Keep an eye on your temperature settings and pay attention to the type of coil being used—ceramic coils tend to heat more slowly than other types of coils. Also, consider using a low-temperature setting on your device in order to prevent combustion.
  • Use Quality Cannabis: Always use high-quality cannabis with your vaporizer in order to get the most out of your experience. Avoid using any tobacco or other additives with your device as they can cause irritation or respiratory issues if inhaled directly.
  • Clean Your Device Regularly: Keeping your device clean is essential in order to maintain good vapor production and flavor when vaping cannabis. Make sure you regularly clean the chamber and replace any damaged parts over time, such as coils or mouthpieces in order to ensure optimal performance.
  • Start Low and Slow: When first starting out, begin with a low-temperature setting on your device in order to get familiar with its features before turning up the wattage or voltage range, which can increase the risk of overheating or burning plant material too quickly. Take slow, long draws from your vaporizer so that the cannabinoids have time to be fully released into the vapor before being inhaled into your body for maximum effectiveness

Steps to Vaping Weed Safely

 

Vaping weed safely requires following a series of steps to ensure both the quality of your experience and your safety. Here are the essential steps to keep in mind:

 

  1. Ensure Your Device is Fully Charged/Plugged In
    Start by making sure your vaporizer is fully charged or plugged in. This ensures consistent performance throughout your session and prevents the device from shutting down mid-use, which can be frustrating and interrupt the experience.
  2. Grind Your Weed from Fine to Medium Grind
    Properly grinding your weed is crucial for an even and efficient vaporization. Aim for a fine to medium grind, as this increases the surface area that heats up, leading to better extraction of THC and other cannabinoids.
  3. Place the Dry Herb into the Vaporizer’s Oven or Herb Chamber
    Carefully load the ground weed into your vaporizer’s oven or herb chamber. Be sure not to overpack it, as this can restrict airflow and result in uneven heating.
  4. Ensure You’ve Packed in the Dry Herb Properly
    The way you pack your herb can significantly impact the quality of your vaping session. It should be packed firmly but not too tightly, allowing for optimal airflow. This ensures that the heat is distributed evenly throughout the herb.
  5. Turn on the Device
    Power up your vaporizer. Most devices have a simple button-press mechanism to turn them on, but always refer to your specific model’s instructions as this can vary.
  6. Choose Your Preferred Temperature
    Selecting the right temperature is key to a satisfying vaping experience. Lower temperatures typically produce smoother and more flavorful vapor, while higher temperatures result in denser vapor with more intense effects. Experiment to find the temperature that suits your preference.

How to Clean Your Vaporizer

 

Maintaining the cleanliness of your vaporizer is essential for ensuring its longevity and the quality of your vaping experience. Cleaning your vaporizer right after your session is highly recommended, as it helps to keep it in optimal condition and ready for its next use. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your vaporizer effectively:

 

  1. Make Sure the Vaporizer is Off and Cooled Down
    Safety first – ensure that your vaporizer is switched off and has had time to cool down. Cleaning a hot device can be dangerous and could damage both the vaporizer and cause injury.
  2. Remove the Mouthpiece
    Gently detach the mouthpiece from the rest of the vaporizer. This is often where residue accumulates, so it’s important to clean it separately.
  3. Use a Brush to Remove Excess Debris
    Take a small brush (many vaporizers come with one) and gently brush out any remaining debris from the herb chamber. This step helps in removing dry herb particles and prevents clogging.
  4. Dampen a Cotton Q-tip with Alcohol for Chamber Cleaning
    Use a cotton Q-tip dampened with isopropyl alcohol to clean the inside of the chamber. Gently scrub the inside walls of the chamber until it appears clean. Alcohol effectively breaks down residue without damaging the components.
  5. Clean the Vapor Path with an Alcohol-Dampened Pipe Cleaner
    Take a pipe cleaner, dampen it with isopropyl alcohol, and snake it through the vapor path of your device. This step is crucial for removing any build-up within the airway, ensuring smooth airflow in future sessions.

Remember, regular cleaning not only extends the life of your vaporizer but also ensures that each vaping session is as enjoyable and efficient as the first.

Use Caution When Vaping Oils

 

In this article, we have concentrated on vaping raw cannabis flower. You can also vape cannabis oil, extracts, and concentrates.

If you’ve heard or read about vaping cannabis or THC being unsafe recently, it is almost always with regard to cannabis oils. That’s because these oils are manufactured and often contain additives that can be toxic.

Some vape products that come with vape pens and e-cigarettes can contain:

 

  • Heavy metals from the coils of some vape pens can get into your vapor. This usually happens over time once the coils start to break down.
  • Carcinogenic compounds can be released by the heating of chemicals used to suspend THC or help make the vapor out of these oils.
  • Some chemical flavorants have been linked to serious lung issues when inhaled, as was seen in late 2019.

If you want to use a pre-manufactured cannabis vape product, we encourage you to thoroughly research it and know the ingredients it contains and the effects it could have on your health.

Get an MMJ Card and Experience How to Vape Weed Safely and  Legally!

 

Elevate Holistics can help you get your medical marijuana card 100% online, 100% hassle-free — even if you’re in some of the most rural parts of the country. 

 

These appointments are affordable, quick, and done right over the phone or computer. Truly, getting your MMJ card has never been easier.

 

Even if you live in a state where weed is legal, having your medical marijuana card brings tons of benefits that recreational cannabis can’t. 

 

Medical cardholders pay little to no taxes on cannabis, get daily discounts just for having a medical card, and experience priority service like faster lines or cannabis delivery.

Who wouldn’t want all of that and more just by getting a medical card?

Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

About the author

Michael Lawal is a seasoned content writer with specialized expertise in the medical cannabis industry. With a background that blends journalism and health sciences, Michael has a knack for translating complex medical cannabis research into accessible and engaging content. His writing portfolio showcases a range of work from informative articles and research summaries to patient education materials. Committed to raising awareness about the benefits and responsible use of medical cannabis, Michael's work is a valuable resource for both consumers and professionals in the field.
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