Vaping cannabis has been gaining traction for quite a while now, and it’s definitely here to stay. The main reason why it has become a very popular way of consuming cannabis is because it’s considered a much safer alternative to smoking. Vaping doesn’t combust the dry herbs, resulting in less throat and lung irritation as well as a more aromatic and flavorful smoke.
Modern vaporizers are elegantly designed and made to offer the best user experience while their technology allows us to control the vaping temperature to our liking. This is a very innovative way of consuming cannabis as it gives you the option to customize your vaping experience and target specific effects.
In this article, we’ll talk about vaping temperatures and why they’re important when you vape, as well as what temperature ranges are best for THC and the other cannabinoids.
How Do Vape Temperatures Affect Cannabis?
The cannabis plant has a complex chemical profile and it’s loaded with different compounds, namely, over 100 cannabinoids, over 100 terpenes or terpenoids, and 70 flavonoids, as the most notable ones.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the cannabinoid that causes the psychoactive effects or the high, and CBD (cannabidiol), the non-intoxicating, therapeutic cannabinoid are the major ones that have been extensively studied.
Except for these two, there are other cannabinoids that have been identified in weed, but need to be studied more thoroughly, some of which include:
- CBG (cannabigerol), which has anti-inflammatory effects and can offer pain relief;
- THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin), which can help mitigate the intensity of THC;
- CBC (cannabichromene), which is believed to reduce swelling and may preserve brain cells;
- CBN (cannabinol), which is produced when THC oxidizes and acquires sedative and anti-inflammatory effects.
Each cannabis strain is unique in that it has a varying concentration of these compounds enabling them to produce unique effects. Hence, vaping at different temperatures extracts these compounds from the plant material as each of them has a boiling point at which it starts to transform into vapor, similar to how boiling water transforms into steam.
Typically, vaping at higher temperatures will produce a more potent high – think when you have a few hours to spare for relaxation. Lower temperatures, on the other hand, will still get you high, but the weed’s effects will be more gentle – think when you have things to do and need to remain functional throughout the day.
Don’t Forget the Terpenes
The terpenes are naturally occurring compounds in cannabis that provide the taste and aroma. There are numerous terpenes in the cannabis plant whose different combinations lend unique flavors to the weed strains. But their function isn’t limited just to providing the sensory experience.
Terpenes also produce different therapeutic effects that can enhance or balance the effects of cannabinoids. This phenomenon is also known as “the entourage effect” wherein cannabis and terpenes work in unison to create the best experience.
Just like cannabinoids, terpenes have their own boiling points that allow you to gradually feel the strain’s unique flavor profile as you vape at different temperatures.
The most abundant terpenes found in cannabis are:
- Myrcene, one of the most commonly found terpenes across cannabis strains. It has relaxing and sedative properties, and it lends a warm, earthy smell;
- Limonene imparts a citrusy aroma and it has calming, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety effects. It also makes THC’s effects more euphoric;
- Linalool is a very calming terpene, also found in lavender. It produces a floral aroma with citrusy notes. It has antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects, and can be beneficial for immune functions;
- Caryophyllene is another dominant terpene in cannabis. It has anti-inflammatory effects and it lends a spicy flavor to the strains.
At What Temperature Does THC Vaporize?
THC has the lowest boiling point among the cannabinoids. It begins to vaporize at 315 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that if you want to feel any notable psychoactive effects, this is the lowest temperature to start with. If you vape close to this temperature, you’ll get a mild high. This temperature also releases some flavors and aromas that make the vapor more pleasant.
On the other end of the spectrum, THC starts to combust at around 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Vaping at a high temperature is not recommended as it’s redundant since it starts destroying a portion of the THC content, just like smoking does.
What About the Other Cannabinoids?
Other cannabinoids have varying boiling points. CBD starts to vaporize between 320 and 355 degrees Fahrenheit, while CBN is released at 365 degrees and above. CBG can take higher temperatures and starts vaporizing at 390 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas THCV and CBC have the highest boiling point of 425 degrees and above.
The Ultimate Vaping Temperature Ranges for THC
The effects of THC can be felt throughout different temperatures, but certain ranges can produce some very specific effects as well as very specific flavors. Let’s take a look at the different temperature ranges and how you can adjust your vaporizer to customize your vaping experience to your needs.
Lower Temps (320-345°F)
Lower temperatures are great for users who put flavor above all else, as well as for beginners who don’t have a high THC tolerance. This temperature range is the best choice for when you want to be mildly medicated and relaxed, but still functional and alert. It even offers an energetic buzz, depending on which strain you’re vaping. Lower temperatures release a ton of piney and citrusy flavor and the vapor is fresh, cool, and easy on the throat.
The chances of experiencing any side effects like cottonmouth or red eyes are also slim with this temperature range. It’s also perfect for wake-and-bake as it can give you the perfect boost for the day without making you feel sluggish.
Medium Temps (345-390°F)
The medium temperature range is the most universal one. It’s perfect for both experienced users and users who have been experimenting with weed for a while. It offers the perfect blend of flavor and effects, but again, without being too intense. The vapor is also warmer, thicker, and richer. There are still many flavors, but there are a lot more cannabinoids too, hence the more pronounced effects.
With this temperature range, you get an enhanced sensory awareness and notable relaxation, as well as some euphoria, while still being clear-headed and able to focus on tasks. While some side effects may occur if you’re sensitive to THC, whether you’re reading, exercising, relaxing, or socializing, the effects you get at medium temperatures will keep you comfortable.
High Temps (390-465°F)
High temperatures offer the ultimate THC experience and maximum cannabinoid extraction. At high temps, you get a little less flavor (though still more than smoking!), and the vapor will be a little hotter and harsher on the throat and lungs. This range is suitable for those who like exploring the higher end of the spectrum and who are seeking the psychoactive effects of THC.
You will feel the high in its full glory – the famous “couch-lock” effect goes hand in hand with high vaping temperatures, especially if you’re smoking a high-THC strain. It may not be as prominent with a high-CBD strain, but you’ll still feel it. The euphoria will be strongly pronounced and you’ll feel sedated, lethargic, and blissful. Due to these effects, this range is best suited for nighttime when you don’t have any tasks and can freely lay down and relax.
Many users in the weed community have started vaping dry herbs as it’s considered a healthier option because the vapor doesn’t release as many toxins as smoking and it’s not as harsh. Modern vapes are created so that you can control the vaporization temperature, allowing you to experience different effects at different temperature ranges.
Whichever Indica or Sativa you prefer, vaping it at lower temperatures will give you a milder high and very flavorful smoke, and the higher up you go, the higher you become. However, it’s best not to get past the combustion point as you will be burning a large part of the precious cannabinoids and terpenes, just like smoking.