If you are reading this is probably because you are researching the benefits of cannabis' vaporisation and possibly trying to find out if buying a vaporiser is worth the effort or if you should rather carry on hitting your bong like you've done until now.
For many, smoking a good old joint or using their favourite piece of glass is considered a timeless ritual, but vaporising the herb offers a revolutionary level of control over the psychoactive result associated with this practice, which is something that it cannot be achieved when burning the herb. But most importantly there are many medical benefits associated with vaporising cannabis and you should read on because it's all very fascinating.
So simply put, being able to master the art of vaporizing allows for a pure and pleasurable experience and most importantly, in the healthiest possible way.
Essentially what a vaporiser does is heating up the dry cannabis material to the point were cannabinoids are released in the form of vapour, leaving behind just fibrous plant matter. When you are using a good quality vaporiser like the Mighty or the Pax to mention a couple, there is no combustion of plant material, therefore no smoke, no smell, no carbon dioxide and no other harmful bio-products released through combustion.
When you roll, you hit a bong or a chillum, the smoke that you inhale often makes you cough and then you wake up in the morning with a heavy chest and if by any chance you have to chase your runaway dog, you realise how quickly you run out of steam.
Analysis have also shown that the smoke of a spliff contains just over 30% of cannabinoids. When using a good vaporiser though, the vapour can contain up to 80% cannabinoids. Being the vaporiser a more efficient (and effective) way of consuming the plant, you will soon realise that the mileage you get out of your favourite bud is much higher when using a vaporizer.
So...should you invest in a vaporiser? Yes you should because it's a more civilised way of consuming the herb, because it's healthier and you will feel better only after a couple of weeks using one, because after the initial investment it saves you money, because there will be no smell and finally because if you dig deep you will see how many applications and benefits can be delivered by the plant.
And for those of us who are impressed by temperature numbers (that should be all true vaporiser connoisseurs), a somewhat more scientific approach is to get to know the boiling points of the different cannabinoids and their properties.
Now that’s what we call fun applied science!
If you do not own a vaporiser yet you can check out the models available here or www.vapestore.co.za or give us a call and we'll recommend the best vape for your habits.
What is the perfect temperature?
There exists a temperature range in which different compounds of cannabis are released, each showing unique qualities in effect. The ideal temperature to extract a wide range of psychoactive compounds is 185 °C. The optimal temperature range for cannabis is between 180 - 210 °C. Temperatures below 190 °C tend to produce a more cerebral high while temperatures above that tend to induce a body stone effect. But if the truth be known only experimentation will show you the high that works best for you.
The Cannabinoid Temperature Guide
Cannabinoids evaporate in a temperature range which lies between 157 and 220 degrees Celsius. However, all cannabinoids have different boiling points so vaporizing the same bowl of herb at different temperatures will generate different results. Generally there are two main effects which we will call the “buzz high” and the “body high”. As mentioned earlier, lower temperatures will have more of a heady effect, whilst higher temperatures will have a more body load effect.
Important note: Although some of the following cannabinoids require temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius to evaporate, setting a vaporizer to that temperature runs the risk of causing combustion* which should definitely be avoided.
THC- 157 °C
The most famous cannabinoid, it has both euphoric and analgesic effects which induce a great sense of relaxation.
CBD- 160 - 180 °C
Cannabinoids most sought after by medical users for its vast array of medicinal applications. It partly counters the effects of THC, effectively countering feelings of anxiety and paranoia.
Delta-8-THC - 175 – 178 °C
This cannabinoid is very similar to THC, but it is more stable and less psychoactive. It has great anti-vomiting properties
CBN- 185 °C
CBN is often found in quite small amounts; however, its effects can still be felt. It breaks down THC and is highly associated with a sedative effect.
CBC - 220 °C
This cannabinoid has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.
THCV - 220 °C.
THCV has been shown to moderate the psychoactive effects of THC, but more research is required.
*Combustion: Dry weed can begin to combust at around 200 °C. The maximum heat weed can absorb before starting to burn is around 230 degrees C, depending on how humid it is.
Flavonoids are also relatively unknown when compared to the famed cannabinoids. Flavonoids are a large class of plant pigments that are sometimes referred to as Vitamin P. Terpenoids and Flavonoids are partly responsible for the looks, taste and smell of a particular strain. They are the reason we open the zip lock before we buy, because their smell reveals a lot about the character of the plant.
They are also thought to have secondary health benefits. The following outlines both the effects and the temperatures at which the flavonoids vaporize at.
Beta-sitosterol - 134 °C
This flavonoid is thought to have anti-inflammatory qualities.
Apigenin - 178 °C
Apigenin is thought to be estrogenic, anxiolytic and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Cannflavin A - 182 °C
This flavonoid is a COX inhibitor.
Quercetin - 250 °C
Quercetin is an antioxidant and anti-viral flavonoid. It boils at temperatures well out of the cannabis vaporization temperatures.
Terpenoids are structurally related to terpenes and are naturally occurring in a wide range of plants. In part, they contribute to what what gives plants their unique aromatic quality. The scent of cinnamon, cloves and menthol are examples of well-known terpenoids. In fact, the strongest known naturally occurring psychedelic compound – Salvinorin A - is a terpenoid.
The following descriptions outline both the effects and boiling points of terpenoids.
Beta-caryophyllene - 199 °C
Thought to be anti-inflammatory and anti-malarial.
Alpha-terpinol - 156 °C
This terpenoid is an antioxidant, sedative, antibiotic and anti-malarial.
Beta-myrcene - 166- 168 °C
This is analgesic, an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory.
Delta-3-carene - 168 °C
This terpenoid has anti-inflammatory properties.
1,8-cineole - 176 °C
1,8-cineole increase cerebral blood flow, acts as a stimulant, and is anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and an antibiotic.
D-limonene - 177 °C
Perhaps surprisingly, D-limonene appears naturally in cannabis. It has anti-mutagenic, antidepressant and immune system potentiating properties.
P-cymene - 177 °C
P-cymene is an antibiotic and an anticandidal agent.
Linalool - 198 °C
This is an antidepressant, sedative and improves the immune system.
Terpinol-4-ol - 209 °C
This is an antibiotic and an AChE inhibitor.
Borneol - 210 °C
Borneol is an antibiotic.
Alpha-terpineol - 217 °C
This terpenoid is a sedative, antibiotic, antioxidant and AChE inhibitor.
Pulegone - 224 °C
Pulegone is a sedative and potentially has memory boosting properties.
What are toxins?
Toxins are a complex discussion in themselves – but to simplify matters, toxins are chemicals that can be harmful to our body. The main advantage of vaporizers lies in their rather unique ability to extract the active ingredients of cannabis, but without the toxins of combustions such as tar and carbon monoxide.
The following is a small selection of some of the toxins that are released through combustion and why it is important to avoid combustion.
Carbon monoxide and tar
Released by combustion in the form of smoke. They are carcinogenic and can cause lung related problems.
This is not thought to be a very serious toxin, and only appears in small amounts. It can cause light-headedness, nausea, sleepiness and a loss of appetite. Its boiling point is 110 °C., so there is no avoiding it.
Benzene is a carcinogen and has a boiling point of 80.1 °C.
This toxin is possibly a carcinogen and causes light-headedness, nausea, loss of appetite and pale skin. Its boiling point is 218 °C.
Cannabis moisture and vaporizer temperature
Ideally your herb should at 62% humidity. Extremely dry herb will vaporize much faster – if it is too hot you run the risk of flash boiling the active ingredients, eliminating taste and flavour. As it is largely going to depend on the situation and strain you are using, there is no definitive guide to how to properly vaporize particularly dry weed; but as a rule of thumb you will want to reduce the temperature from your norm, going lower the drier it is.
Conversely, if your bud is fresh, then it may be very high in moisture. As a result, it can sometimes be hard to get cannabinoids out. To deal with this, it is recommended to do what‘s called a flavonoid run. By setting the vaporizer at a lower temperature (around 138 – 148 °C.), it is possible to gain a bag of flavonoid vapour whilst slowly drying out your cannabis a bit. After this run, your cannabis should be dry enough to vaporize efficiently at THC and other cannabinoid temperatures.
Regardless of whether you are using a portable or table top vaporiser your best vaping experiences will be achieved using herb at the correct humidity. In order to achieve this we recommend the CVault container. This unique and yet simple innovation offers the ultimate curing and storage container and thanks to its 62% 2-Way Humidity Control system will preserve all oils, character and flavour of your stored material. And best of all it uses all natural elements and no chemicals!
Be wise, Vaporise!