Your Guide to Vaping Medical Cannabis

Your Guide to Vaping Medical Cannabis

Vaping Medical Cannabis

Vaping devices, such as portable vape pens and desktop units are simple to use and don’t produce much odour whether you use dry flower products or a concentrate or extract. Vaporizers heat the entire plant without burning it, releasing cannabinoids in a vapour that contains less of the byproducts of combustion/burning. Unlike smoking, vaporizing can be a discreet and convenient way to consume medical cannabis. In fact, vape pens are very compact and fit in your pocket.

There are three types of vaporizers to consider: vape pens (portable devices using pre-filled oil cartridges), portable vaporizers or desktop vaporizers. The cartridge or pen-style vapes work with specially fitted cartridges containing cannabis extracts. Similarly, disposable vape pens are also pre-filled with cannabis oil and don’t use a cartridge. Portable vaporizers are compact and discreet but have more of the functionality of a larger desktop device. Both portable and desktop vapourizers work with cannabis flower material, which needs to be ground up first. Many portable and desktop vaporizers can use concentrates as well as dried flower.

As with all cannabis, it’s important to go slow when you begin, and that’s easy with vaping.

Vape pens (510 and disposable)

A 510 vape pen consists of a cartridge containing cannabis extract, a mouthpiece through which you inhale and a battery, which is often rechargeable. The battery screws into the cartridge with a 510 thread—hence the name. When you activate a 510 vape pen, a ceramic coil inside the cartridge heats the cannabis extract, vaporizing the product.

There are two classes of 510 cartridges. Distillate cartridges contain specific, purified cannabinoids, with added botanical terpenes, usually derived from other plants.

Cartridges with full-spectrum extracts cost more, but offer the complete cannabinoid and terpene profile from one specific strain, including cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. A great example is Port North Full Spectrum Cherry Boat, a live rosin cartridge containing an extract made using a solvent-free process. Experienced users may prefer full-spectrum extracts, since these more closely replicate the profile and effects of specific cannabis strains.

510 cartridges typically contain 0.5–1 gram of cannabis extract. One of the best features of 510 vape pens is that you can take small “sips” when you want.

Dry herb vapes

Dry herb vaporizers allow you to consume the cannabis flower—rather than extracts—without having to smoke. Just like vape pens, you can sip from the pen rather than having to inhale, so it requires less effort.

Before using a dry herb vape, you need to grind the flower with a grinder like this one. Place the ground material into the chamber, or oven. Turn the vape on and set the desired temperature to between 290 and 450F. After a moment the flower begins to vaporize. Take sips, as desired, until the cycle is complete, which is typically between a minute and a minute-and-a-half.

Dry herb vaporizers come in two sizes, desktop and portable. Desktop vaporizers have larger heating elements and more precise temperature controls so they provide a more precise and consistent experience. They tend to be more durable. Because of their size and the fact that they usually require a power source, desktop vaporizers are best for users who consume cannabis at home. Many desktop vaporizers ship with grinders, like those in the Volcano Classic line.

Portable vaporizers are better suited for use outdoors or when you’re on the go. They are battery powered like 510 vapes. The full-featured Storz and Bickel VENTY heats up in a rapid 20 seconds and has amazing airflow, while the smaller Pax 2 is more discreet—just slip it in your pocket or purse and go!

Vaping makes it easy to regulate your intake and, with the range of choices available, from 510 cartridges to dry herb pens and desktop devices, there’s sure to be a good fit for you.