Understandably, many medical cannabis patients choose not to smoke cannabis flower. As a result, vaporizers are quickly becoming one of the most popular delivery methods for ingesting medical cannabis, both for flower and oils. What you may not know is that the particular benefits of cannabinoid and terpenoid therapy are contingent on the temperature setting of your vaporizer.
There seem to be a lot of differing opinions on the ideal temperature for vaping cannabis which ranges from 143 – 230°C (290 – 446°F). However, a 2015 study conducted in Germany determined that the best temperature setting for vaporizers is 210°C (410°F). At this specific temperature, the medical cannabis user receives the most efficient evaporation of terpenes and cannabinoids while achieving optimum smoothness of the vapor. If users vape below 180°C (356°F), they will mostly be inhaling terpenes. That is because cannabinoids like THC won’t evaporate at that temperature which is ideal for those that don’t like the psychotropic effects of THC. They will feel a mild psychotropic effect which is relaxing and less sedating.
For Your Information: The Boiling Points of The Most Common Cannabis Compounds
- THC: 314.6°F (157°C)
- THC-A: 220°F (105°C)
- CBD: 320°F (160°C)
- CBD-A: 240°F (116°C)
- CBN: 365°F (185°C)
- CBC: 365°F
- THCV: 428°F (220°C)
- Limonene: 350.6°F (177°C)
- B-caryophyllene 246.2°F (119°C)
- Linalool: 388.4°F (198°C)
- Pinene: 312.8°F (156°C)
- Myrcene: 332.6°F (167°C)
Researchers in the Netherlands determined that the higher the temperature, the larger the yield of cannabinoids for users. The ALD Vaporizer only yielded 24% of cannabinoids when set at 170°C (338°F). At 230°C (446°F), the cannabinoids yield shot up to 77%. In fact, it is thought that the temperature that creates the highest yield of THC is 230°F (446°F). However, it is actually healthier for users to use lower temperature settings. Be sure not to exceed 235° (455°F) which is the point that the vapor will most likely start to burn. At that temperature, it will be as harsh and toxic as smoking. BTW, if you are already adjusting your vaporizer differently for THC or CBD, they boil at very similar temperatures, so you are wasting time and effort. Set your vaporizer at 210°C (410°F) in order to get the most benefit from both THC and CBD.
Another consideration is the moisture content of your medical cannabis. The first thing to boil off when vaporizing is the remaining water in the flower. If your cannabis is very moist, you will want to dry it out at a lower temperature of 138 – 148°C (280 – 298°F). Then, raise the temperature and vape it again to reap the benefits of the THC and CBD.
And the last but not least consideration is the type of vaporizer that you are using; Convection-style vs Conduction-style.
Convection-style vaporizers like the Volcano are typically more efficient since heat is transferred via air particles around the cannabis. They have better temperature controls, more even heating of the cannabis and a lower risk of combustion. They are usually more expensive and take longer to warm up. Another drawback is that the cannabis continues to evaporate even when the user is not inhaling.
Conduction-style vaporizers like the Magic-Flight Launch Box heat up the cannabis by direct contact with the heated surface. It is a simpler process and they are much less expensive. The warm up time is very fast. They have a higher risk of combustion, require stirring or shaking the cannabis between draws, and are more complicated for newbies. Due to hotspots, it is more difficult to maintain a constant temperature.
With every type of paraphernalia, trial and error are typically required in order to find the best vaporizer for your needs. Do your homework until you find the best vaporizer for you!
Source: Vaporizing 101: What Temperature is Best? LeafScience.com, May 18, 2016
How Changing Your Vaporizer Temperature Affects Your High, Herb.co.com, Delilah Butterfield, May 2, 2017