Welcome to the world of marijuana vaporizers! Whether you’re a total noob or looking to bone up on your knowledge of this increasingly popular form of partaking, you’re in the right place.
Vaporization (or vaping) is often hailed for its ease of use, unique effects and smooth experiences. Buckle up as we dive deep into all things vaporizers, from picking up your first pen to mastering the art of using, cleaning and storing it.
The Straight Juice on Vaporizers
Vaporizers (also known as vapes) have carved out a significant place in the marijuana landscape. They offer a modern, streamlined way to enjoy cannabis and have gained massive popularity over the past few years. But what are they, and why are they such a hit?
What Are Vaporizers? Simply put, vaporizers are devices designed to heat marijuana to a temperature that releases its active compounds (like THC and CBD) in vapor form without combusting the plant material. This process transforms flower or concentrates into a vapor that you inhale, providing a smoother experience than traditional smoking.
It’s a bit like turning water into steam. Not only does this process eliminate the toxins and carcinogens associated with traditional smoke, but it offers a cleaner and more discreet inhalation experience.
How Vaporizers Work. The energy source of a vaporizer, either a battery or a power cord, supplies the heat for the element responsible for warming your chosen substance. The temp will typically land between 315 and 428 degrees Fahrenheit but can vary depending on the type of vape you use.
The heat source will happen via conduction (heating your vape material directly, similar to a frying pan) or by convection (where hot air circulates around the vape material, like an oven).
What to Put in Your Vaporizer
When it comes to filling your vaporizer, you’ve got options. Let’s break it down:
- Dry flower. The tried-and-true classic, this is just your favorite strain of marijuana, finely ground. It’s a great choice for those who appreciate the natural flavors and aromas of the plant.
- Concentrates. These are potent distillations of cannabis, often appearing as wax, oil or shatter. They’re perfect for those seeking a stronger effect — but remember, not all vaporizers are equipped to handle concentrates.
If you’ve done any vape shopping at a dispensary, you’ve probably spotted cartridges for sale. These are pre-filled containers that usually attach to a compatible vaping device or pen. The cartridges contain a form of cannabis concentrate, like oil.
Your First Vape: What to Look For
Ready to shop for your first vaporizer? The choice often boils down to your personal preference and how and where you plan to partake. Let’s explore some common types of vaporizers to help you make an informed decision:
- Desktop vaporizers. These powerhouses are perfect for home use. They provide superior performance and precision temperature control and can usually handle all types of materials — from dry flower to carts. The downside? They lack portability.
- Portable vaporizers. If you’re looking for a balance between performance and mobility, this is your go-to. They’re smaller than desktop models but still deliver a quality vaping experience.
- Vape pens. Slim and — well — pen-like, these devices are preferred for vaping on the go. Discreet and compact, they’re typically designed for concentrates.
- All-in-ones. Disposable vape cartridges are a great entry point for new vapers. These all-in-one devices come ready to enjoy with oil inside. They are rechargeable via a micro USB port built-in at the base.
Weed vapes can range anywhere from $50 all the way up to several hundred. If your search for the perfect vape ends in more questions than answers, consult with a knowledgeable budtender who can steer you in the right direction.
How to Vape: A Step-by-Step Guide
Now that you know how a vape works, you may be wondering how it can work for you. Great question! Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to using your vaporizer.
- Charge it. Either plug in or fully charge your vaporizer.
- Fill it. Fill your vape chamber with your preferred material. Make sure your material (flower or concentrate) is a match for the type of vape you have.
- Turn it on. Desktop and portable varieties may have an on/off button you press to activate the machine. Your pen likely has a single button that you hold to activate and release to turn off.
- Take a hit. With the vaporizer heated and ready, gently draw the vapor through the mouthpiece and inhale it deep into your lungs.
- Check your high. After your initial draw, pause for a moment or two to assess how you feel before going in for another hit.
Cleaning and Storing Your Vape
A clean vape is a happy vape. Before using your vaporizer for the first time, clean it thoroughly, then plan to give it a good clean every few uses.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific device, but in general, most vaporizers will benefit from a gentle wipe-down with a cleaning solution suitable for electronics. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to clean the exterior and a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol for the chamber and mouthpieces. Make sure your vape is turned off and cool before you do any cleaning and that all parts are dry before reassembling and using it again.
For a deeper clean, particularly for devices used with sticky concentrates, you might need to disassemble the vaporizer fully and soak non-electronic parts in a cleaning solution. After cleaning, rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly.
When you’re not actively vaping, keep your vaporizer in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Remember to empty the chamber after each use to avoid any build-up.
Ready to Vape?
There you have it, a beginner’s guide to marijuana vaporization. Remember, vaping — like most anything to do with weed — isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It’s all about discovering what works best for you and how you enjoy reaping the benefits of the mighty ganja.
Remember, you’ve got a friendly guide in our budtenders. We’re here with you every puff of the way.