With the recent increased global legalization of cannabis -both recreationally, and medically – there are new ways of cannabis delivery methods cropping up daily.
From edibles, sprays, patches, topicals, pens, pre-rolls, glassware and vaporizing devices of all kinds.
It’s fun but also complicated as new products and accessories develop and get introduced. Often driven by consumers demanding choices tied to preferred experiences and reliable outcomes.
Broken down into its simplest form however, there are really only three primary delivery methods for cannabis – inhalation, ingestion and topical.
Lets take a closer look at inhalation through vaporization.
The topic of smoking vs. vaporizing has been widely debated with many pioneers preferring a well rolled joint over any type of vape but for many others a joint is too messy, smelly or even too hard to roll!
Inhalation is currently the most well known and commonly used method, with many people still associating marijuana use with smoking joints, pipes or taking hits from a bong. While these methods are still alive and well, many health conscious cannabis consumers and newer consumers prefer to not smoke.
If you crave discretion, vaporizing is less odorous and more discreet not to mention that you can use every bit of your flower in a vape! Let’s talk style … you can showcase your personality with your vape. You can personalize your consumption style with the plethora of vaporizing choices. Chose something that fits your budget and matches your canna-style.
So what is vaporizing anyway?
Vaporizing, as it applies to cannabis consumption, is the process of heating dried cannabis or oil to a temperature just below its combustion point of 356- 374°F or 180-190°C. You can vape oils, flower and concentrates (wax, sap, shatter, ) but each would require the right equipment.
A bit more about temperature
At 356- 374°F or 180-190°C you experience the effects of THC but in a slightly subtle, light way with good flavour. As you increase temperature toward the mid range temps (up to 392 Fahrenheit/200 Celsius) you will experience stronger effects and for CBD higher strains you will see them become more effective in the mid range. As you reach higher temps (up to 446 Fahrenheit/230 Celsius) you will experience the most intense effects of your strain.
It is best to start low and work up to your best temperature based on the outcome you desire. We do recommend journaling to record your experience if you are new to medicating with cannabis. This will help you land on the right strain, temperature and dose and perfect your experience to reach your full spectrum cannabis wellness objectives.
All vaporizers have one thing in common, they consist of a heating source and a delivery system. There are three primary categories when it comes to vaporizers, pen vapes, portable vapes, and desktop vapes.
Pen vapes are small, portable and discreet, often resembling a pen! They are portable, dosed and convenient as hell. Yup, they slip into a purse or jacket and are always ready. They are mostly designed to vaporize cannabis oils (distillates). They consist of a battery and and a separate oil cartridge however some pens are sold all in one. If they are ‘all in one’ then they come pre-loaded with oil and pre-charged with an integrated battery like the Cani-Buzz pens. These pens are buttonless and all you have to do is draw on the pen to activate the pen. Cartridges with separate batteries sometimes have buttons to activate them but other cart pens like the Sonder pens turn on with a draw on the pen and they are rechargeable.
The most common battery is the 510 thread that can be used interchangeably on many cartridges. The term “510 thread” refers to the thread design found on the battery. These batteries are compatible with practically all vape cartridges in the legal markets.
Much like pen vapes, portable vaporizers are appealing due to their pack and go style. Portable vaporizers include a chamber to hold the cannabis flower or concentrate, a heating element and a battery. Portable vaporizers can be used to consume many forms including various concentrates and flower. The majority of portable vapes are rechargeable but there are also butane and flame options. Portable vaporizers generally fall short to fixed, or desktop models (requiring an outlet power source) in durability and effectiveness. Like vape pens, portable vaporizers tend to use conduction current as the heating method. Conduction heating works by utilizing direct contact of the herb with an electrically heated surface, often times solid metal or a screen. A common problem with vaporizers like this is burning of the herb due to poor heat distribution. It is very difficult to regulate the temperature with vaporizers that use conduction.
Loading the vape
Grind your bud fine and lightly pack. You want airflow and good combustion.
Drawing on a vape
This is not a joint so don’t pull a long, deep draw. Rather take short, even puffs. Hold it in your mouth and then inhale. Sip on it! It is a soft pull. Slow down and enjoy the flavours and experience.
Table or Desktop Vaporizers
Stationary vaporizers, commonly known as desktop or tabletop vaporizers, are without question the most effective vaporization delivery method. However, as the name suggests, the portability of a desktop vape is limited. Additionally, most desktop vapes require an electric power supply, and can be quite cost prohibitive. They range in size but would be similar to a small blender, or similar home appliance. All desktop vaporizers have four things in common.
- A temperature gauge to control the heat at which vaporization occurs
- A heating element
- A mouthpiece attachment
- A heating chamber
Unlike portable vaporizers and vape pens, tabletop vaporizers use the preferred convection current heating method. This works by passing heated air over the dried herb, vaporizing the material more evenly and efficiently. The herb never comes in contact with the heating element. Instead, air is either forced by a fan, or through inhalation, over the herbs and through the delivery system. Some tabletop vaporizers use a bag to collect the vapor, which is detached prior to inhalation, while others use a long tube that is attached to the heating chamber and allows the vapor to move directly from the heating chamber to the person using the vaporizer.
In summary, the buying decision comes down to a few things:
- Where will I be utilizing the vaporizer – in the home only, or at home and in other locations.
- What is my budget that I have to spend?
- Do you need different units for different use cases or products?
- What type of product will I be vaporizing?
There are a lot of vaporizer choices so please do your research before purchasing. They are often made with heavy metals and batteries. The disposable products are often not recycled.
You have consumer power – when you make your purchase you leave behind a message to the manufacturers that you wanted that product and they in turn, make more. So please choose wisely.