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.
The lower temperatures inside a vaporizer also mean that the “stuff” you inhale won’t be as hot or as harsh as the “stuff” you inhale through a joint, bong, or dab rig.
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.
2) Choose Your Vape Device
If portability isn’t on your list of must-haves, you might be happy with a tabletop vaporizer like those used with essential oils or medicated rubs.
The major drawback of a tabletop unit is that it:
- Isn’t portable (requires a power outlet)
- Will get everyone else in the area high or medicated (depending on whether you use THC or CBD tincture)
If you’re all by yourself, aren’t going anywhere any time soon, or want to share your experience with friends, a tabletop unit is the perfect way to start.
Disposable Vape Pens
These are the easiest way to start vaping THC and CBD. As the name suggests, disposable vape pens are one-time vaporizers pre-filled with your choice of e-liquid.
You can’t reuse a disposable vape pen, and after a few hundred puffs (or when the liquid runs out), you’ll have to toss it in the trash and buy a new one.
Some vape pens or portable vaporizers use pre-filled cartridges to simplify the vaping process.
You can buy 0.5 mL or 1 mL cartridges that contain THC, cartridges that contain CBD, or cartridges that contain a combination of both.
Refillable vaporizers consist of a battery attached to a tank with an internal coil. You remove the tank from the battery, open it up, and fill the chamber with your choice of concentrate or e-liquid.
These vaporizers are often more complex than the disposable and pre-filled-cartridge variety, but they give you more flexibility over what goes into your body.
The more complicated vaporizers allow you to use the pre-filled cartridges as well as your own oil or tincture. Some even let you regulate the heat within the vape chamber for a more customized experience.
3) Choose Your Dosage
Dosage is vital for both THC and CBD. Too much THC and you can easily get too high. Not enough CBD and you won’t get the benefits you’re looking for.
For an in-depth guide to THC and CBD dosing, check out these helpful articles:
Once you’ve satisfied all the variables above, start vaping!
Then, with a little experience under your belt, you can go back and revisit these three choices — maybe changing one or two in the process — in order to tweak the way you vape for the better.
Keep It Simple
Our advice for beginners is to keep it simple at first. You’ll discover as you investigate the world of vaping that there are a lot of options.
Start out by trying a few disposable vape pens to see if you even like it. Then graduate to a vape pen that handles pre-filled THC or CBD cartridges.
Stay away from vaporizers that give you too many variables to control. That’s just a recipe for confusion and frustration.
Once you’re familiar with what you like and what you want from your vaporizer, by all means, try those more complicated devices. But until you have some experience under your belt, keep things as simple as possible so you don’t get lost in all the choices.
Vaping is a great alternative to the more traditional methods of cannabis consumption, but it does take a bit of research and practice to find what works for you.mTalk to the budtenders at your local dispensary. They can provide excellent advice to get you started on your vaping journey.
For more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100-percent all-natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.