What Are The Best Temperatures For Vaporizing Cannabis?

Zamnesia
Zamnesia
Sep 3, 2018 · 6 min read

Supercharge your next vaping session by altering the temperature. Find out how temperature control can help you get the best out of your bud.

Vaping is a simple, discrete way of inhaling cannabis. Rather than applying a blanket temperature to everything you vape, small variances in temperature can make a substantial difference in the type of high you experience.


WHY IS TEMPERATURE IMPORTANT?

The temperature you choose to vape at has such an impact that the way you feel and the flavours can be altered regardless of whether you vaped the same strain every time. You may also be missing out on getting the most from your chosen strain if your vape temperature is too low or too high. Knowing which cannabinoids and terpenes activate at specific temperatures can turn a run of the mill vaping session on its head.

The lowest effective vape temperature is 93°C/ 200°F, although anecdotal accounts say that at this temperature the vapour is virtually non-existent. On the opposite end of the scale, almost any cannabinoid will become activated before you reach the combustion temperature of 227°C/ 440°F; reaching a temperature this high will burn your plant material and cause you to inhale harmful smoke.


THE SCIENCE BEHIND CANNABINOIDS

Cannabinoids are active chemical compounds contained within the cannabis plant. There are over a hundred cannabinoids in cannabis, although it is likely you will have only heard about a few critical ones like THC, CBD and CBN.

When we inhale or ingest cannabis, the cannabinoids bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid system. This regulatory system has receptors throughout our nervous system and vital organs. When a cannabinoid binds with a receptor, it can trigger biological responses like reducing anxiety or inducing psychoactive effects.

To get the full spectrum of benefit from cannabis we need to activate all of the cannabinoids present, however in much the same way that they affect us in different ways, they each have differing volatilisation temperatures.

CBC (Cannabichromene)
Vape Temp: 220°C/ 428°F

With striking similarities to CBD, the principle difference is it can be ten times stronger than its cannabinoid cousin. CBC boosts the body’s natural antiviral, antitumor and anti-inflammatory abilities.

CBD (Cannabidiol)
Vape Temp: 180°C/ 365°F

The second most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis. It is also incredibly popular for its health bolstering attributes; helping manage pain relief, stress, anxiety and digestive processes.

CBDa (Cannabidiolic Acid)
Vape Temp: 120°C/ 248°F

Similar to CBD, cannabidiolic acid offers some medicinal benefit in its anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour properties. Recent marijuana hybrids have been bred with a higher concentration of CBDa. It is a natural precursor to CBD.

CBG (Cannabigerol)
Vape Temp: 52°C/ 126°F

CBG is elusive because of its incredibly low vaporisation temperature. By setting your vaporiser to incorporate other cannabinoids, CBG will likely be destroyed. However, even at low temperatures CBG can stimulate bone and cell growth.

CBN (Cannabinol)
Vape Temp: 185°C/ 365°F

CBN is mostly responsible for the sedative effect users experience when vaping cannabis. Strains rich in this cannabinoid are used to aid restful sleep.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)
Vape Temp: 157°C/ 315°F

The most prevalent and well-known cannabinoid in cannabis. THC is responsible for getting users high and is the critical component for providing a psycoactive experience.

THCa
Vape Temp: 105°C/ 220°F

Despite the similarity in name, THCa is not psychoactive like THC. Instead, THCa can boost appetite, tackle insomnia and aid the relief of involuntary muscle spasms. Furthermore, THCa is abundant in all strains rich in THC. It is the natural precursor to THC.


WHAT ARE TERPENES?

Terpenes are the building block from which cannabis and many other plants get their distinct aromas. Through careful combinations of terpenes, different smells and flavours become more distinct. More than that though, research has found that terpenes also have many attributes designed to boost our bodies in different ways, in much the same way as cannabinoids.

The final feather in terpene’s cap is alongside cannabinoids they improve and strengthen the overall attributes of a strain. Strains rich in an abundance of both cannabinoids and terpenes induce stronger highs and greater medicinal benefit, a phenomenon commonly referred to as the “entourage effect”. It is worth noting this effect also happens between certain cannabinoids, such as CBD helping to regulate the effects of THC, but terpenes take things one step further.

α-PINENE
Vape Temp: 155°C/ 311°F

Instantly recognisable from its fresh pine aroma, α-Pinene is abundant in orange peel and conifer trees. Medicinally, it is used as a traditional remedy for treating asthma.

β-CARYOPHYLLENE
Vape Temp: 160°C/ 320°F

Binding to similar CB2 receptors as CBD, β-caryophyllene provides similar anti-inflammatory, antitumor and antiseptic properties. It is also responsible for a peppery/spicy aroma in marijuana.

β-MYRCENE
Vape Temp: 168°C/ 344°F

One of the most potent and influential terpenes. β-myrcene is present in mangos, bay leaves, lemon grass and a wide variety of other plants. A unique characteristic is the ability to bring about the effects of THC at a much faster rate.

CARYOPHYLLENE OXIDE
Vape Temp: 257°C/ 495°F

Initial studies show a potential link between this terpene and the increased uptake of cannabinoids that interact with CB2 receptors. A well-reported attribute is caryophyllene oxides antioxidant properties.

CITRONELLOL
Vape Temp: 225°C/ 437°F

It may come as a surprise to know that citronellol has been used for centuries as a natural repellent against mosquitoes. However, despite its use as an insect repellent, it has an incredibly low level of toxicity for humans when ingested, boasting strong anti-inflammatory abilities.

HUMULENE
Vape Temp: 198°C/ 388°F

Responsible for providing the hoppy aroma in cannabis sativa plants, humulene can be used to suppress appetite and keep those munchies at bay.

LIMONENE
Vape Temp: 176°C/ 349°F

The name should be enough to give away the aromas of this terpene. A strong citrus odour and bitter taste are sure signs of limonene. It also supports the absorption of other terpenes as well as tackling digestive disorders.

PHYTOL
Vape Temp: 204°C/ 399°F

Possessing antioxidant abilities, phytol is the byproduct of broken down chlorophyll molecules.

TERPINOLENE
Vape Temp: 185°C/ 365°F

Terpinolene has origins as a traditional remedy for insomnia as well as a powerful antioxidant and antibacterial compound. Terpinolene is prevalent in lilac, cumin and oregano.


TWEAKING TEMPERATURES IS KEY

Finding the right high to suit your needs is a natural process of trial and error. Sticking to a predetermined setting on your vaporiser will always yield some sort of result, however, by altering the temperature, you can further tailor the high to provide the attributes you desire. To save you time and complication, the following can act as a guide to the different temperatures we recommend (please bear in varying strain compositions will alter the effectiveness).

SLEEP INDUCING HIGH
Vape Temp: 220°C/ 428°F

Although a potential side effect could a severe case of munchies, vaping at this temperature will activate CBC and linalool to aid restful sleep.

A CHILLED OUT HIGH
Vape Temp: 160°C/ 320°F

The middle ground of being high, you realistically wouldn’t want to vape at a temperature any lower than this. Ideal for THC, pinene and β-caryophyllene.

ENERGETIC HIGH
Vape Temp: 185°C/ 365°F

If you need your next vaping session to give you some get up and go, picking this temperature is the right choice for you. Myrcene and limonene become activated which aids THC absorption. This temperature also provides a smoother experience when inhaling as the hot vapour is not too harsh.

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