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A Beginner's Guide to Vaping Herb

by Angel Ferrer 9 min read


How to Vape Weed

From infused lollipops with the power to knock out a charging rhinoceros, to delectable pot brownies guaranteed to put you into a new world of consciousness, the world of weed is changing.

With legalization across many states and provinces, the marijuana industry is BOOMING. And with that boom has come a whole host of new options for consumers to enjoy that sticky icky, oh so good, greenery. 

One such method, also growing steadily in popularity, is vaping marijuana. And if you’ve hit this article, chances are you’re ready to go down this rabbit hole as well.

Whether you're looking to vape marijuana for medicinal purposes, or simply for recreation, this guide for you! Fact is, vaping is a discreet and potent way to enjoy your favorite strains of weed. 

Smoking anything “combustible” can lead to inflammation of your lungs, bronchitis, and even chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. And nobody wants those. But vaping is different. It offers a way for you to both taste and enjoy your marijuana in a safer healthier alternative way.

So why would you burn your weed like your some sort of cave man, when you're living in 2018 and can vape it? Chances are, you don’t want to, and that’s why you’re here. After all, all the “cool kids” are doing it and you wouldn’t want to miss out (no peer pressure though, we promise haha). 

Without further delay, toke up, smoke up, and let’s dig right in shall we?

How Vaping Works

Your vaporizer is what heats marijuana in any form into vapor that can be inhaled. While combustion and smoke generally occur at around 446 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, vaporizers operate at a much lower temperature, and the vapor produced consists mainly of THC and terpenes.

  • THC is the main active ingredient in marijuana and is what gives the “high” effect.
  • Terpenes are compounds in marijuana that give its particular flavor and scent.

See More: CBD vs THC

When you vape marijuana, these two compounds get mixed together and produce a flavorful and potent hit. However, you need to check it it's legal in your state. Not to worry, CBD flower is a great option to get all the effects of weed without the added on effect of THC.

t Hemper we carry a full line of legal forms of CBD Products that contain no more than 0.3% THC. Some forms include:

Types of Marijuana you can Vape

When it comes to vaping marijuana and vaping, you’ve got options. But that doesn’t mean you can go vape just any form of weed. Try that and you’ll mess up your device, or at the very least have a subpar experience.

Types of marijuana formulations designed for vaping:

  • Concentrates / Extracts
  • Oils

Both oils and concentrates are MUCH more potent than your traditional dry herb, with concentrates generally being the stronger of the two. How much stronger you ask? Well, concentrates can range from up to 60-85% in purity. Good things come in small doses. If you choose to partake, do so slowly and ease in. Being high is fun…being “too high” is no Bueno.

As it relates to oils, the options you have include:

  1. Butane hash oil (BHO):

BHO is a highly potent extract (up to 80% THC concentration). Due to this it is a popular remedy for chronic pain and other ailments.

  1. CO2 Oils: 

CO2 oil is a concentrate derived by using a botanical extractor under pressure. The process is expensive, but yields an amber oil that is largely comprised of all the essential compounds of marijuana (not just THC). 

As it relates to concentrates, the options you have include:

  1. Wax

Typically honey-like in consistency (and sometimes color) wax is a highly potent concentrate that can be used for vaping. 

  1. Budder

Budder is a potent wax-concentrate hybrid, extracted using CO2 or butane. Its name comes from the consistency of the substrate…like a butter spread, making it easy to work with.

  1. Shatter

Highly popular, shatter, given its name from its glass like appearance is a potent, hard and brittle concentrate. Due to its composition, resembling shattered glass, this concentrate if often used for dabbing.

  1. Crumble

Crumble, or crumble-wax, is similar to budder but less sticky and more, well prone to crumbling like a cookie. 

  1. Live Resin

This powerful concentrate is characterized by its powerful, complex aroma, utilizing an extraction and preservation technique that keeps the Terpenes and other cannabinoids intact. 

Different Types of Devices to Vape Marijuana

Did you know that there are a wide range of vaporizers all used for different types of cannabis?  Before we start overloading your noggin with information, let's talk about the three most popular types:

Desktop Vapes

This device is a behemoth, and most definitely not a portable by any definition of the term. This vaporizer needs to be plugged into an outlet in order to function, and is expectedly more expensive than most other options.

Dropping a couple hundred bucks on a vaporizer is quite the investment, but vaping with a desktop device does provide you with more control over temperature during your vaping session, and is a great option for social settings where you want to enjoy your herbs with friends.

Now there are essentially two types of desktop vapes, whip-style and forced air, also known as balloon or bag vapes. 

Shop Desktop Vaporizers

Let's talk about how these differ:

  • Whip-stylethis vape is similar in design to how you smoke a shisha or hookah. This style is simple and less technical than other desktop vape devices. Definitely a hassle-free way of vaping, there are two major components; a whip and a heating element. The whip has a mouthpiece for you to inhale the vapor, tubing to connect to the device, and a wand that is the chamber to store herbs.
  • Forced air A forced air device, also called a balloon vape, circulates hot air through the herbs and then a balloon-like bag collects the vapor. This desktop vape is significantly more expensive than a whip-style, however it is easy to use and will always provide a high quality vaping session.

Two of the most popular types of desktop vapes are the “Volcano” and the “Herbalizer”.

Portable Vaping Devices

Portable vaporizers are easily one of the most popular devices used amongst vapers. As the name suggests, these devices are portable, handheld, usually discreet, and easy to use. They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, capacity, and are capable of vaping different types of marijuana depending on the make and model.

Portable vaporizers used for dry herbs heat up the marijuana to a temperature at which it releases all its wonderful compounds (such as TCH, CBD, Terpenes and other cannabinoids) without the need for combustion (i.e. burning). Lower end models don’t offer much in the way of temperature control, but higher end models such as the Loto Lux from offer up a range of features to really enhance and customize your experience.

A typical vaporizer for dry herbs consists of a battery, an herb chamber, a heating element, a mouthpiece, and buttons for turning on/off and controlling temperature.

Shop All Vaporizers

Pens and Cigalikes

Also known as vape pens, these vaporizers are designed to be small, discreet, and great for on-the-go sessions. Perfect for entry level users, both pens and cigalikes are generally simple, devoid of advanced features, and easy to use. This is also why they tend to be one of the most common types of vape devices around, coming in both re-chargeable and disposable models.

Conduction vs. Convection vs. Induction 

Conduction, convection and induction are the three different methods by which vaping devices heat your marijuana to a temperature at which its compounds vaporize. 

  • Conduction –this method of heating relies on direct contact between the weed and heating element (usually a coil). The heating element gets power from the battery and vapor is produced from the rising heat. Devices that use conduction heating are typically less expensive and easy to use.
  • Convection –this method of heating involves hot air circulating the weed and collecting the compounds that off-gas as vapor as the air passes over your herbs. Convection heating is usually more efficient and tends to produce a stronger flavor profile.
  • Induction –the most advanced heating methodology available, spearheaded by Loto Labs, induction heating provides the user with the most potent, clean and flavorful experience. 
  • Combustion vs. Convection vs. Conduction –it's important to note that devices employing conduction as a method of heating often cause combustion (when ran too hot) which is what creates more smoke than vapor. Since your weed comes into direct contact with the heating element, the part that touches the surface gets much hotter than the rest of the material, sometimes causing the herb to ignite. By using a convection based device, you can avoid the risk of combustion altogether. 

Choose the Right Device for Your Needs

The vaporizer you choose will largely depend on the type of marijuana you’re going to be vaping (i.e. oils, concentrates, dry herbs, etc.), but there are a few other considerations you should weigh as well. The market is full of options, but before you get lost in the sea of possibilities on the store shelves, consider the following:

  • How important is discretion / secrecy
  • How important is portability to you
  • How long will your sessions be
  • How long does your vape need to last before re-charging 
  • Are you planning on using oils, dry herbs, concentrates 

Vaping Weed Can be Intense

We’ve mentioned this a few times in passing, but its worth noting one more time in its own section. Vaping weed, especially oils and concentrates such as budder, shatter and the like is a whole new ballgame. For those inexperienced with this type of weed, it is easy to overdo it. Every pull you take from your vaporizer, might pack the punch of up to 10 drags from a traditional joint or bubbler. Further, each strain and formulation is different. Our suggestion is to try them all, at your own pace, to find out what your body reacts best to and which one you enjoy the most. And remember, being high is fun, but being too high is just the opposite. 

Benefits of Vaping Marijuana

As a newbie to vaping marijuana, now is a good time to revisit the multitude of potential health benefits, many of which are increased by vaping vs traditional combustion methods. Multiple studies have shown significant benefits to vaping marijuana as opposed to smoking (such as fewer respiratory issues) below are some of the benefits of vaping marijuana:

  • Marijuana vapor contains less toxins –a study conducted in 2004 compared marijuana vapor to smoke and found that the smoke contained known toxins. The vapor produced was more pure and consisted primarily of cannabinoids and terpenes. In a 2007 study, blood samples were taken from people who smoked or vaporized marijuana, and they found that they all had similar levels of THC, but the vapers had significantly lower levels of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is by-product of combustion that is known to cause some serious poisoning and even death at high doses!
  • Vaporizing is an efficient means of delivery –vapers generally agree that vaping is more effective and requires less marijuana to get the same high compared to smoking. This is partially because less THC is lost when vaping because you inhale the vapor directly through the mouthpiece.
  • Vaping is stealthier and provides a cleaner taste –studies have shown that the stealthy aspects of vaping are a major benefit, due to the lack of odor and visible smoke. Vapers report that they enjoy the purer flavor and having more control over the dosing compared to smoking. Getting consistent doses can be difficult when smoking but vaping will give a similar (if not the same) experience every time, because vaping gives you more control over temperature settings. This also means less second hand exposure, which is an often cited public health concern.

Don’t Forget to Take Care of Your Device

Once you've decided on the right vaporizer, it's important to take proper care of your device. Many people fail to do this, and end up having a less than stellar experience, or needing to replace their device. Regular cleaning goes a long way and its simple to do. If you need more help with maintaining your device, check out some of our other handy guides and tutorials for assistance.

See More: Vape Pen Cleaning Tips

Closing Thoughts

There is a lot of information out there when it comes to vaping marijuana. For many newbies this can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Vaping marijuana can be fun, exciting and quite enjoyable when done responsibly. If you have any questions, or need some help choosing the right device for your needs, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to hear from you.

Looking for more info on weed vaporizers? Check out these related links: