Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
So, you’ve decided to try vaping marijuana. Smoking the herb is still a popular consumption method, but this newer method allows you to get those therapeutic cannabinoids without the potentially adverse respiratory effects smoke may cause. Vaping isn’t just a convenient way to obtain the benefits of cannabis without having to inhale smoke — it also offers several other benefits. To make sure you experience the benefits of medical marijuana, read on to learn all you can about vaping it.
Vaping is the same thing as vaporizing or vaporization and refers to the consumption method where you inhale weed vapor or aerosol. When you vape, you heat marijuana’s active compounds at low temperatures. There’s no burning or combustion at these low temperatures like there is with smoking. Therefore there’s no smoke. According to researchers, vaping seems to be an ideal and safe approach for using cannabis.
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is one of the most common products to vape medical marijuana, but you can also vape dried marijuana in its raw, bud form, or use other concentrates such as shatters, crumbles or waxes. Vaporizers, many experts believe, is healthier than smoking because it doesn’t release toxins into the respiratory system. There are three main methods of vaping, but all of them involve heating marijuana to the point of vaporization.
Here’s how each method works:
Healthy individuals can take advantage of vaping CBD oil’s benefits. Vaping CBD benefits your mind and body by reducing inflammation, which is how it produces its relaxing effect, helping you to unwind and alleviate stress. Vaping also allows you to use straight CBD oil, so you get the medical benefits of cannabis without the “high.”
Those who have respiratory problems or worry about getting them would also benefit from vaping cannabis. Combusting cannabis creates various carcinogens and tar that could lead to lung infections. However, vaping weed doesn’t involve combustion in the way a bong or pipe does. When you vape, much of the vapor you’re inhaling contains cannabinoids, meaning you’re practically getting a lung irritant-free inhale each time. When you smoke a blunt or joint, much of the inhaled smoke includes particles and lung irritants that aren’t cannabinoids. Vaping is much more comfortable on their lungs than smoking.
Individuals with cancer who use medical marijuana to treat nausea during their chemotherapy are also thankful for the benefit of a healthier drag. Many people use medical weed to treat their chronic pains and aches, including Crohn’s disease and menstrual cramps.
Unlike edibles, which can take hours to feel the full effects, when you vape the medicine, you’ll receive quick relief from your pain. Vaping provides individuals with the fastest way of experiencing relief from pain, which is especially good for individuals who are seeking immediate pain reduction.
There are numerous types of vaping methods with some being:
Pen vaporizers, also referred to as “vape pens,” are small vapes shaped like an electronic cigarette (e-cig) or pen. They’re usually easy to use, discrete and a lot cheaper than stationary or portable vaporizers. Vape pens typically use conduction heating, so it’s essential you understand how to use it properly to ensure you don’t burn or overheat your product.
Vape pens also make it easy to consume concentrates on-the-go. Some pens are better than others — the best vape pen will depend on your personal preference and needs.
Portable vapes are becoming quite popular as the vaping technology continues developing. If you travel frequently or prefer to vape in various locations, a portable vaporizer is what you need. It’s a little bigger than a vape pen, and you can take it on the go. These types of vapes offer you convenience since you can pack them up in studying and developing it as a drug and bring them with you no matter where you go. They’re typically rechargeable, but you can find flame and butane options.
The best portable vapes are made to make cannabis consumption stealthier and healthier. Vapor doesn’t harm your health, like the carcinogens and tars you get from marijuana smoke. Plus, the smell of vapes doesn’t spread as far or linger as long as smoke.
These are typically “stay at home” vapes you plug in. While they’re not portable, they generally provide you with a higher vapor quality through the convection heating source. They also provide many more features. For example, there are balloon attachments you can get for stationary vapes that reduce the amount of vapor that is lost. After you remove the bag containing the vapor from the main unit, you use a mouthpiece to inhale the vapor. They usually come with more robust heating systems and larger bowls, making vaping herbs a fulfilling and relaxing experience.
This type of vaporizer uses a bag that can be attached and removed from the main unit, and helps reduce the amount of vapor that is lost. When the bag containing the vapor is detached, the user inserts the mouthpiece to inhale the vapor. The bag can be passed among multiple users, much like a bong or a joint. Be careful when using this type, however, because sharing medical marijuana — and, in some instances, recreational cannabis — is against the law in many states.
Direct draw models have a mouthpiece attached to the heating unit that allows vapor to flow directly to users. Some have a permanently attached mouthpiece while others have a glass stem that can be removed.
Also known as “whip” vaporizers, these use a range of delivery systems that involve pumps or fans. They’re usually about three feet long and made of silicone. There’s a mouthpiece on one end connected to a glass tube that holds the marijuana.
The best stationary vapes allow you to use marijuana efficiently. You’ll likely find you’re using less cannabis to experience the effects. Desktop vaporizers can eventually pay for themselves.
Vaping might look easy, but it requires some research and practice. Before you start vaping, there are some things you should know.
When you use a vapor, you should slow down and sip. You have three options:
It’s probably best if you start with the third option and then move on to the other two once you’re comfortable using your vape.
You might feel an itchy or pinchy sensation after you take a slow and smooth drag. This is normal and should go away.
Exhaling will feel different than smoking. You don’t get as harsh of a burn sensation, but you might still cough and feel the constricted, pinching feeling in your throat. Just take it easy and slow down.
An enjoyable aspect of vaporizing is you can exhale through your nose, allowing you to pick up the cannabis flavors.
How you use your vape will depend on what material you’re vaping. For instance, if you’re vaping dried herb, you’ll need to break down the cannabis with an herb grinder so that it fills the convective heating compartment or covers the heating surface. This will make it so you receive the most benefit from the herb you’re vaping. When using wax, CBD oil or another concentrate, you’ll only need a tiny amount to experience the effect you desire.
The optimal temperature for vaporizing marijuana is said to be 338 Fahrenheit, though concentrates will typically vaporize at about 285 Fahrenheit. When you smoke a joint, it burns at temperatures as high as 2,000 Fahrenheit or sometimes higher. There will usually be a digital temperature control feature on vaporizers that allow you to set your temperature.
The potential medical marijuana vaping uses include:
For most people, weed’s therapeutic qualities are worth it, while some don’t react well to cannabis. So, you’ll want to be sure you work closely with a qualified cannabis doctor and dispensary if you’re just getting started. Trying different marijuana medicines under a doctor’s supervision will help you find the right ingestion method and strain for your lifestyle.
Users who are vaping medical marijuana can realize the following benefits:
Vaporizers are becoming popular rapidly in the medical cannabis community, mostly because they offer people a safer way of ingesting marijuana than by smoking it. More studies may conclude how marijuana smoke can affect the respiratory system. But, because vaping devices take this concern away, it’s a big advantage in the medical weed market.
Using cannabis correctly has many health advantages. You can avoid some of the health effects of smoking and inhaling tar and carcinogens if cannabis is heated to where the cannabinoids release without destroying/igniting the material. And, this is what vaping does.
University of Albany researchers conducted a study that found vaporizers are looking promising as a “harm reduction technique.” What this means is a vaporizer may reduce respiratory system damage that smoking marijuana causes. GW Pharmaceuticals conducted another study that found vaporizers could help protect lungs from irritants.
When you burn any organic material, it creates a mix of different chemicals in the smoke. Free radicals can come from burning. These produce Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH). PAH can cause cancer and are toxic. Vaporizers help reduce PAH dramatically.
CBD has therapeutic and medical promise, and companies are investing in studying and developing it as a drug. But, vaping CBD’s health benefits are really due to it being a non-addictive, safe alternative medicine.
CBD is a cannabinoid produced by hemp and cannabis plants. For medicinal and therapeutic users, it very well may be the most important cannabis compound. Both anecdotal evidence and studies show CBD is effective for treating various conditions and their symptoms. It doesn’t have any psychoactive effects like THC. Instead, CBD oil provides strong medicinal effects and can be beneficial to your health in a variety of ways.
The healing powers of CBD ultimately stem from its well-supported anti-inflammatory properties. By reducing muscle and nerve inflammation, CBD helps treat many symptoms and diseases caused or worsened by inflammation.
There are also studies showing CBD can shrink tumors and kill cancer cells.
Here are some tips you can follow when just learning how to vape medical marijuana.
If you’re interested in vaping cannabis but aren’t sure which vaporizer is right for you, a dispensary staff member can help with this. But first, you’ll want to book an appointment with one of our certified marijuana doctors here at MarijuanaDoctors.com to get your recommendation and set up your treatment plan.
If you’re interested in vaping but you’re not sure which type of device is right for you, someone at your local dispensary should be able to help.