Vaping Marijuana: What You Need to Know

[vc_column_text]Vaping is becoming more popular on an almost daily basis, and the evolution of vaping and vaping technology is moving at an incredible pace to keep up with new technology and market and consumer demands. Vaping is becoming the number 1 alternative for tobacco smokers and nicotine consumption. 

That said, the technology used is not as new as you might think. Vaporizers for consuming Nicotine have been around for a while. It is commonly agreed that the first modern e-cigarette was invented by the Chinese pharmacist, Hon Lik in 2003, but tobacco companies had been developing nicotine aerosol generation devices since as early as 1963. 

Marijuana / Cannabis vaporizers (also commonly known as “dry herb” vaporizers or dry herb vape) have also been around for some time (at least since the ’90s) and with the increased popularity of e-cigarettes and the popularity of cannabis consumption the market has been opened for consumers to safely and discreetly consume cannabis or cannabis-related products without having to roll a joint, stuffing a pipe or pulling out a bong.

Vaperite and Cannarite do not sell any form of cannabis/marijuana, THC concentrates, or products that contain these substances, but only offer products and paraphernalia used to consume these substances.[/vc_column_text]

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An introduction to Vaping Cannabis

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[vc_column_text]Vaping cannabis follows the same principles as vaping nicotine. It involves two basic elements: heat and material. So, instead of burning (heat) the material (cannabis), the vaporizer heats the cannabis to below the point of combustion and thereby releasing the same compounds (such as CBD and THC) without the need to combust the cannabis.

The main difference between Cannabis vaporizers and traditional e-cigarettes is that, instead of using a concentrate (e-liquid), cannabis vaporizers are used to consume the actual plant material. The plant material is put into the vaporizer, which then heats the material, to release the compounds. Almost all cannabis vaporizers allow the user to control the temperature of the device, giving you control over the compounds (and amount) that are released when you vape, and therefore control to some extent to which effects you may experience.[/vc_column_text]

[vc_column_text]Most modern devices have a predefined time period or “session” that you can use the device for, but if you want, you can start it up again and vape your cannabis even longer. Eventually, your cannabis will ‘burn out’ and become dry and flaky, so you cannot vape it anymore, but some of the compounds (THC) may remain, so do not throw it away just yet. This is referred to as  “ABV” or “AVB” (already been vaped or already vaped bud), you can use this in cooking or edibles believe it or not and there are communities (like r/abv on Reddit) that are dedicated to providing users with innovative ideas and recipes if you want to re-use your cannabis.

You also get devices that can be used to vape CBD/THC concentrates, like waxes or oils. These devices are more related to traditional e-cigarettes, with a coil that heats up the material when you press the fire button on the device.[/vc_column_text]

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Is Vaping Cannabis safe?

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[vc_column_text]Since vaping cannabis is designed to release the active compounds (like CBD/THC) by heating your material instead of using combustion and most harmful chemicals ultimately get released during the combustion process, vaping cannabis is naturally a safer option. Because you are not burning the cannabis, the vapour you inhale, in theory, contains fewer toxins than the smoke from a joint would.

That said, and as with nicotine vaping, there is not a lot of hard evidence out yet to back this assumption up. So, it’s important to remember the rationale behind vaping instead of smoking in general as a means to reduce health risks.[/vc_column_text]

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But, is Vaping Cannabis safer than Smoking it?

It’s not really about it being safer, it’s about the fact that you are not using combustion to release the chemicals. Just like with vaping nicotine, since you are not using combustion, the risk of releasing unwanted chemicals or by-products is significantly decreased. With that in mind, it is certainly safer to vape cannabis. 

A study done by Dr Dale H. Gieringer, PhD (Coordinator, California NORML – National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) showed a 79% reduction in tar, no detectable carbon monoxide, an 80% increase in THC and a 60% increase in CBD when vaping cannabis compared to using a clay pipe.

The Benefits of Vaping Cannabis

The number one benefit is that it’s safer to vape cannabis vs smoking it (based on the assumption I spoke about above). But, here are some other benefits to vaping cannabis vs smoking it:[/vc_column_text]

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  • Subtler smell and more discreet: You can still smell the cannabis when you vape it, but the smell is less extreme and doesn’t linger in the room as smoking would. A vaporizer is also way more discreet than a joint or a bong.
  • More enjoyable flavor: When smoking cannabis, all of the flavours and compounds are released, but so do the other potential toxins. When vaping your weed, the flavours that are released are not spoiled by the combustion process and are more enjoyable.

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  • Cost-effective: Even after factoring in the hardware cost. the efficiency of using a vaporizer will make up for the cost of buying it as you also use less cannabis in your vaporizer compared to more traditional methods of consuming it.
  • You have control: When you burn cannabis, the compounds are released at combustion temperatures and the same mix of chemicals are released every time. With vaping, you can control the experience and the sort of high you get by adjusting the temperature of the vaporizer.

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  • A “cleaner” high: Vaping cannabis will still get you high, but the high is clearly different from when you smoke it. While it isn’t less intense, you’ll feel more clear-headed.

Types of Cannabis vaporizers

There are essentially 3 major types of Cannabis vaporizers:[/vc_column_text]

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Portable Dry Herb Vaporizers

These devices are used for consuming dry herb and are generally the same size as a vape mod. The device is used by activating it to heat to the temperature you selected and stays at that temperature while you vape for a “session”, usually about five minutes.[/vc_column_text]

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Oil and Wax Pen Vapes & E-Rigs

These are the same size as a normal vape pen, and are designed to handle oils and waxes only. They work by heating the oil or wax with a small coil, similar to an e-cigarette.[/vc_column_text]

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Desktop/tabletop Dry Herb Vaporizers

The original weed vaporizer! They function in the same way by heating the cannabis as a portable vaporizer would, except they’re bigger and less portable. They tend to work very effectively and often run on electricity rather than battery power.[/vc_column_text]

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Convection and Conduction Heating Explained on Dry Herb Vaporizers

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[vc_column_text]There are two main heating methods used by modern vaporizers today. One, Conduction heating and Two, Convection heating.

Conduction heating is used in the majority of vaporizers out there. This method works by heating your cannabis to the specified temperature, and your material is in direct contact with the heat source, separated by a conductive piece of metal. Think about it like cooking your food on the stove. Your food is in direct contact with the heat source (the stove), but not directly as the heat is conducted by your pan. 

Convection heating works differently due to the fact that your material is activated by heated air that is passed over it. In other words, your cannabis is not in direct contact with the heating element. It works like a convection oven basically (if I stick with the cooking analogy used earlier). Convection heating is generally more difficult to achieve and generally more expensive. However, your material heats evenly and the overall flavour tends to be better as well.[/vc_column_text]

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Is Smoking or Vaping Cannabis stronger?

The study done by Dr Dale H. Gieringer, PhD (mentioned earlier) already suggests that vaping cannabis is more effective, there are further user studies found consistent reports of more effects from users that used the same amount of cannabis in a vaporizer (compared to smoking) and other studies and research shows that vaping is a more effective way of releasing THC into the user’s bloodstream.

Another study done in 2018, showed that 17 participants (that did not consume cannabis in the previous month) showed that the effect of vaping is more prominent and that vaping cannabis is more efficient than smoking it. 

Some Tips for getting the most out of Vaping Cannabis

Like I’ve already stated, vaping cannabis is more efficient than smoking it, but here are a few tips when it comes to vaping cannabis for you to keep in mind:[/vc_column_text]

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  • Grind it finely: If you grind your material finer, you increase the surface area of the material and this ensures an even vape. 
  • Pack the chamber tightly: You’ll get better performance if you pack your chamber tightly, but do not overfill it. This will improve the quality of your draws and the amount of vapour you get.

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  • Use dry material: For the best results, dryer weed is much better to use in a vaporizer. 
  • Take shallow, gentle breaths: The best vaping method to use for using a vaporizer is the mouth-to-lung method. Take it slowly and steadily and inhale the vapour into your lungs gradually.

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In Summary

Vaping (like vaping nicotine) offer an efficient, safe and enjoyable option for consuming cannabis and Vaperite and Cannarite offers a wide variety of products and accessories for vaping cannabis, from:

Come and join us at your nearest Vaperite store or buy everything you need from the comfort of your home using our online shop. If you are a new Vaperite Online customer, you get 10% off your first order! (A minimum spend of R500 is required (excluding items on sale), apply the coupon code: ” WELCOME10 ” on checkout. Guest checkout does not qualify)[/vc_column_text]

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