Cannabis can be used in many forms and via many different routes. The inhalation routes is one the most often used since it gives patients a rapid onset and quick relief of their symptoms.
Options in the inhalation route include vaping or smoking the medicine. There are some risk associated with smoking it. The tar released from the combustion process has known carcinogenic and the smoke acts like an irritant to the airway leading the increase in secretions and eventually symptoms of bronchitis.
The other option is to vape the medicine. Patients are used to vaping cannabis oil that comes inside a cartridge or a pod. These oils are obviously man-made, extracted from the Cannabis plant and then some terpenes are added along with other cannabinoids, additives and cutting agents. Even though they might be safe, we have no idea what’s going to happen when someone vapes these oils for 20-30 years. Simply no one has done it for so long.
Vaping whole flower
There’s is another option that most patients don’t use and it’s vaping the whole flower. By using the whole flower and not a man-made oil, patients get the full entourage effect without extra additives. And, since patients are not burning it, there are no carcinogens released making it a safer and cleaner option. Another added benefit is that the vaping process only heats up the material to a specific degree, usually around 400 degrees. This leaves Cannabinoids present that can be later heated up pass that 400 degrees and made into Cannabis butter or Cannabis oil for making mild edibles. Most patients that are using this method say they save money because they get medicated twice, once from vaping it and them from cooking with it.
How To You Use A Dry Herb Vaporizer
You need to find a good dry herb vaporizer which might be different from your cannabis concentrate vaporizer. Make sure you do your homework since performance varies a lot between these.
Must units include these basic parts:
- Heating Chamber: This is where cannabis flowers is inserted and heated to produce vapor for inhalation. High-quality vaporizers use the “convection method” of heat which maximizes the heating process. Cheaper ones use “conduction” in which material is heated up from one side only so it’s less efficient.
- Power Supply: Some use a rechargeable battery supply and some are connected directly.
- Mouthpiece or Reservoir: This is the part of the device through which the cannabis vapor is inhaled. Patients can inhale directly from it or attached it to an inflatable bag for multiple inhalations.
- Temperature Control: Patients can adjust the temperature to their liking. Some even include a remote control.
- Cleaning Supplies: Vaporizers often come with small brushes and swabs to help you keep them clean.
Tips for using a vaporizer:
- Warming Up the Unit: Most require a minute of two to warm up. This process usually starts once the unit is turned on. Usually, an indicator light tells you when the desired temperature has been reached.
- Loading the Chamber: The most important step is to grind your material finely before loading it into the chamber. This allows the heat to penetrate the material and activate the cannabinoids efficiently. Most units can take between .25 and .5 grams of ground cannabis. Make sure to seal it properly after loading the chamber.
- Adjusting Temperature: A range of about 360-400° F is commonly used, but lower or higher temperature can be used depending on the patient’s preferences and depending if the devices allows you to change it.
- Inhalation: Once the device is warmed up, you are ready to begin taking inhalations. You should be able to see and taste the vapor if used properly. Remember to start low and go slow. Wait at least 5 minutes between inhalations to avoid overdoing it.
- Completion: This vaporization process turns the buds from green to brown during use but will not turn it into ash. If the vapor has less flavor or becomes too thin, means the cannabinoids have been used and new material need to be added to the chamber. Leftovers can be saved and used for making edibles.
Purchasing a Vaporizer for Flower
There’s a ton of different vaporizers in the market. From small, handheld devices ranging between $50-$200 to large and complex tabletop one ranging between $200 to even $800. Make sure to do your homework and find the one that fits your needs and your budget. This tips might help you when buying one:
Flowers vs. Concentrates: Some high-end products can work with both dry herb and concentrates but usually they are designed for one or the other. Before making a purchase, make sure the device is designed for the cannabis product you’re planning to use.
Hand help vs tabletop: Vaporizers vary in size from small hand-held units that fit in your pocket and use rechargeable batteries to larger units more suited to a table or desk. Pick between a portable unit with a rechargeable battery or a tabletop one that plugs into the wall.
Price & Features: Dry Herb Vaporizers usually range in price from around $80 to $500 or more. The lower-priced products have limited features and functionality, but provide the basic benefits of vaporized cannabis. Higher priced vaporizers frequently offer a better user experience. Most patients start with a lower-priced one and then upgrade to a better quality one. My suggestion is to avoid the cheap ones and go straight to a higher-end option, you will not regret it.
Authenticity: Like with any other electronic product, vaporizers are often counterfeited, so there are risks associated with ordering online. Buying it in a store or dispensaries gives you the opportunity to see in person and you might spot the fake ones but keep in mind that you will pay more there.
Vaporizing the whole flower is probably one of the best way of medicating. It gives the patient the opportunity of a getting a quick relief with all the plants Cannabinoids while avoiding the harmful effects of smoking it. Make sure you get one that fits your needs and your budget and always use the least amount possible needed to get the desired relief. Keep your leftovers and get medicated twice.