I bought my first vaporizer (a vaporgenie) in the winter of 2009. Since then vaporization has become my preferred way to consume cannabis (along with the occasional bong rip from time to time). Not only do most vaporizers give you precise temperature control (different temperatures produce different effects), vaporizers are also highly efficient (sometimes portable as well!) and emit no tar, ash, or smoke. With years of experience spanning a large number of vaporizer models, I’ve been able to learn the ins and outs of the process, and this post contains what I feel to be some of my handiest tips for those using a vaporizer. I’ve also included links to several of my more in-depth guides in case one of these tips interests you.
Make Your Vapor Smoother
Although vaporization is much less harsh in comparison to smoking cannabis, the hot air produced in the process can oftentimes be irritating on your throat (especially for those with disorders such as asthma). Fortunately, there are a few quick and easy ways to help significantly reduce the harshness of your vapor.
- Use a bag attachment.
- If your vaporizer supports it, using a bag attachment is one of the best ways to cool down your vapor. After you fill up a bag with vapor, seal it and let it sit for a few minutes (5-10) before inhaling the vapors, and your experience should be noticeable smooth in comparison to using a whip vape. There’s no need to worry about a decrease in potency waiting this amount of time, as the vapor can remain in the bag for a few hours before it begins to dissipate.
- Many people (myself included) prefer the experience of using a whip to that of a bag even though whips tend to be much harsher. However, these two tips allowed me to significantly cool down my whip experience.
- Get a bong and relatively inexpensive vaporizer attachment as I outlined in this earlier post. Not only will the water in the bong work to cool the vapor, you can also use slightly steamy water (my favorite) in order to produce a soothing effect on your throat that counteracts the dryness of vapor. You also have the added benefit of being able to enjoy the sensation of using a bong while at the same time avoiding tar, ash, and smell!
- Purchase a longer whip. Using a longer whip will increase the time it takes for your vapor to reach your mouth after passing over the heating element, resulting in a cooler vapor. In my experience, standard whips of about 2 – 2 1/2 feet produce the harshest vapor, while 3 1/2 – 5ft is the ideal amount of smoothness without longer lengths making it harder to inhale your vapor. I suggest ordering more whip than you need and then gradually cutting it down in size to determine your preferred length.
- While you vaporize, use menthol cough drops such as Halls. Since dry vapor can be irritating to your throat, the menthol in Halls will produce a cooling sensation allowing you to take bigger hits without experiencing any coughing. This method works especially well when you are vaporizing very dry bud.
Maximize The Efficiency Of Your Vaporizer
One of my favorite things about herbal vaporizers is how efficient they are. The majority of vaporizers can stretch out a little bit of cannabis and make it last a long time. If you’d like to maximize your vaporizer’s efficiency then these tips should be of some use:
- Experiment with your vaporizer’s “sweet spot”
- Since every vaporizer has a different style of heating element (and herbs often come dry, fresh, etc), it is best that you experiment with temperature to get a feel for what temperatures you should be using with your cannabis. For example, my Extreme Q works best in the range of 180-230C, whereas my Aromed 4.0 gets better results from 210-225C for most cannabis. I recommend starting out low and then working your way up in 10C increments to find out which temperatures produces the best vapor for your needs.
- Save your AVB (already vaped bud)!
- Keeping a jar handy to dump your AVB into can be a great way to save material to make a wide range of potent cannabis products (especially if you’re someone who doesn’t vape your material to very dark brown). I’ve written guides on how to make cannaoil as well as AVB capsules, and both methods are an easy way to increase the longevity of your bud. In addition, you can also re-vape AVB (with diminishing effects) by increasing the temperature of your vape slowly into the higher temperature ranges (225-245C on an Extreme Q). Since the higher temperatures encourage more CBD release, the effect is less of a cerebral one and instead is more couch lock and stony.
- Don’t forget you can vaporize herbs besides cannabis, each of which produces different effects and aromas.
- Finally, make sure to clean your vaporizer every so often and collect the resin stuck to the pieces. This resin is very potent, and a little bit of it can go a long way. One of the best things to do is soak all the glass pieces in high proof alcohol, let the alcohol dissolve completely and put some of the remaining oil on top of a fresh bowl of bud for best results.
Since vaporizers tend to emit dry, hot air, and cannabis naturally causes your mouth to dry out, cottonmouth can be an annoying problem to have to deal with. In my experience, the best way to kill cottonmouth in its tracks is to chew fruit flavored gum (especially while you’re vaporizing). Gum stimulates the production of salvia, and thus eliminates many of the unpleasant feelings of cottonmouth. Chewing gum also has the added benefit of staving off the munchies, which can be an added benefit if you’re watching your weight. My favorite types of gum for this purpose include the Trident Layers line which has very fruity flavors flavors including Wild Strawberry & Tangy Citrus as well as Green Apple & Golden Pineapple. Even the names of these gums alone make me salivate!
If you have any other useful tips, feel free to share them in the comments section! Also don’t forget to take a look at the guides section of the blog as it contains many other helpful tidbits, and there’s a great guide to cheap dry herb vaporizers UK here.