For medical cannabis patients who are advised not to smoke the medicine—or for anyone who just doesn’t want to—there are a number of options. One of the most popular methods is to use a vaporizer. Like smoking, inhaling vaporized medical cannabis provides almost immediate relief, but because vaporized cannabinoids are released at a much lower temperature, you will not have to breathe in combusted smoke or non-cannabinoid material, making vaporizing an attractive, healthy alternative to patients who want the quick onset of cannabinoid potency, without the potential harshness of smoke.We've got some answers to common questions about vaporizing medical cannabis.
How does a vaporizer work?
Vaporizers heat medical cannabis—flower and/or concentrates, depending on the unit—to approximately 350-400 degrees, which is hot enough to evaporate the active cannabinoids and terpenes, but too cool to combust the plant material. As a result, patients who inhale vaporized medicine do not intake the toxins caused by combustion. Engadget reported, “Combusted smoke contains up to 88% non-cannabinoid material where cannabis vapor is made up of 95% cannabinoids.”
What does a vaporizer look like?
There are many vaporizers on the market, tabletop and pocket-sized varieties of all shapes and colors. Some vaporizers are battery-operated, others will need to be plugged in to use or recharge. While looks can differ, vaporizers all work the same way. Each device has a power source, heating component, and some kind of tube to transport the vaporized medicine to the patient.
Can you vaporize any type of cannabis?
Yes, although if you have a preference for flower, waxes or oil, make sure the unit you buy works with the type of cannabis you prefer. While some vaporizers are designed to work with both flower and concentrated extracts, most are designed for one or the other. Concentrates are extracted from cannabis flower using a variety of different methods, using combinations of heat, pressure, and/or various solvents to separate active cannabinoids from plant material.
How much does a vaporizer cost?
Vaporizers come in a range of prices, anywhere from $50 to $300 or more.
Which vaporizer is best for me?
It depends on whether or not you want your unit to be easily portable, powered by battery or electricity, and the kind of cannabis you will be vaporizing. Price is also a factor for most patients.
What kind of vaporizer gear does Harvest sell?
We carry Dream Steam, Goldsmith Extracts, KIND, and Item 9 Labs vaporizer cartridges, which are all laboratory-tested and clearly labeled with cannabinoid concentrations, allowing patients to treat their conditions with reliable and consistent dosing.
What else do I need to know about vaporizing?
We’ll leave you with two thoughts.
Number one: Since vaping doesn’t create smoke, there is much less of an odor associated with vaporizing medical cannabis, as compared to combustion. For many, this is a major benefit, as it is easier to stay discreet when you medicate!
Number two: This is especially important. Medical cannabis concentrates can be pretty strong. While cannabis flower ranges from about 15 to as high as 30% THC, some concentrates log in at 90% THC! If you are vaping a cannabis concentrate, know that the vapor can be potent. Take small inhalations, especially at first. As with all medical cannabis, especially if you are new to the medicine or vaporizing, start low, go slow, and find your minimum effective dose.
Please feel free to come visit any Harvest dispensary to talk with a Patient Advisor, if you're interested in vaping. We’re here to help!