If you use a convection vaporizer, handheld or tabletop, you’re used to having precise control over the heat settings. The oven chamber of a vaporizer heats up the dry herbs creating an aromatic vapour that changes depending on the temperature inside the chamber. Since the medicinal compounds in marijuana such as cannabinoids and terpenes evaporate at different temperatures, the mix of compounds in the vapour will also be different from the time the session starts to the time it finishes. To uncomplicate the vaping experience, most units start at a low temperature and gradually increase their heat, either manually or automatically, to allow compounds to vaporize at their respective boiling points. This gives the consumer more control over their experience as well as the flavour they taste from the terpenes.
Here are the three levels of cannabis vaporization you can dial into
1. A tasty, mellow high (hold at 160˚C)
Terpenes (aromatic oils) have the lowest boiling point, starting below 100°C, so your earliest pulls should also be your tastiest.
Peppery β-caryophyllene (you can thank it for dry mouth and eyes) vaporizes at 119°C; sharp and clean pinene vaporizes at 156°C; hoppy, mango-scented myrcene evaporates at 166-168°C, and so on.
2. Productive, creative & pro-active (hold at 185˚C)
The primary active cannabinoids in cannabis, like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), start becoming a vapour at 157°C. In a joint or blunt, those cannabinoids are destroyed, burned off and released at a temperature of 1,000°C or higher.
3. Sleepy, hungry and buzzy all over (hold at 220˚C)
At about 210°C, even a strain labelled “sativa” can give one the munchies and send them to dreamland. And while it might be tempting to skip the earlier stages and head straight to this setting, cannabinoid researchers seem to prefer whole plant medicine—the sum of the cannabis plant’s parts also called the entourage effect—which this graduated vaporization methods helps unlock.
Some may find this temperature to be a little harsh in taste and feel and for them we recommend stopping short of this temperature. If you can push through to this bonus level, you’ll catch pain-relieving linalool at 220°C, as well as THC’s psychoactive brother, THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin).
Davie is a long time cannabis professional who has worked not only as a cultivator but in all aspects of retail cannabis. From budtender, to wholesale and retail management, and from harvester to advanced hydroponic specialist, Davie has been around the block more than once. Now residing in beautiful British Columbia, Davie now works with acres of greenhouses, producing some of the best buds in the country.