More and more people have begun to experiment with cannabis, both THC-rich varieties and high-CBD strains. The widely documented health benefits of CBD & THC, alongside a newfound mainstream acceptance of cannabis in general, are no doubt responsible for this surge in popularity.
In fact, many people are now ditching tobacco and prescription drugs in favour of cannabis.
Vaping over smoking
However, whilst it is true that smoking cannabis is a far healthier alternative to tobacco, it is also important to note that smoking any substance can be harmful to your lungs. For this reason, many cannabis smokers have made the switch to vaping.
While vaping is often seen as a safer alternative to smoking, although it is important to consider the vaporisation temperature. Setting your vape temperature too high can release harmful toxic chemicals and carcinogens.
Therefore, use the following guide to decide the perfect temperature you should use to get the most out of your herb.
Ideal Vaping temperatures
- THC & CBD content – 200-210 °C
- Microdosing or a less intense high – 180°C
- High terpene content – 180°C
The ideal vaporisation temperature depends on the type of plant being used. Herbs with lower moisture levels typically require lower temperatures, whereas plant with higher moisture levels require higher temperatures.
Temperature when vaping also plays a big role in effects due to differing cannabinoid and terpene boiling points. You see, cannabis contains hundreds of different chemical compounds, all of which have different effects on the body.
The cannabinoid THC is best known for its psychotropic and pain-relieving effects, whereas CBD and terpenes are more known for their relaxing effects and therapeutic uses.
All of these compounds have different boiling temperatures, however, which is why temperature is such an important factor to consider when vaping cannabis. The table below, constructed by Steephill Research, reveals the various boiling points of different terpenes and cannabinoids.
1. Vaping for THC & CBD (190-210°C)
As a general rule, anything above 230°C will result in combustion, thus increasing the presence of harmful carcinogens.
Consumers looking to get high from THC-rich cannabis will want to set their devices between 190-210°C. The same can be said for those vaping hemp or high CBD strains.
190-210°C is the temperature range at which the cannabinoid acids such as THCA and CBDA are decarboxylated, converting them into active THC and CBD. You can read our guide to decarboxylation here.
This optimum temperature range is supported by well-known cannabis researcher, Dr Hazekamp, who suggests that 190-210°C provides the best balance between cannabinoids and terpenes, is not hot enough to release carcinogens, and also results in a smooth hit.
Although 190-210°C is the suggested decarboxylation threshold temperature, it has been noted that higher temperatures produce more cannabinoid content. Research has demonstrated that vaping at 230°C produces a 77% cannabinoid content in contrast to only the 24% content produced at 170°C.
However, as mentioned above, we don’t recommend anything above 230°C as this temperature may start to burn your plant matter resulting in harsher hits and the production of harmful of carcinogens. Furthermore, vaping at higher temperatures also destroys more terpenes.
2. Vaping at lower temperatures for a less intense high (180-190°C)
Setting your vape to 180°C will produce a less intense high. This will result in vapour that is dense in terpenes but lower in cannabinoids.
Lower temperatures are ideal for those not looking to get too high and for those who want to microdose cannabis throughout the day to boost focus, enhance creativity or treat persistent pain. It’s also beneficial for those wanting to gain the full benefits of terpenes as described below.
3. Vaping for terpenes (170-190°C)
Another added advantage of vaping at a low heat is that you’ll receive a higher terpene content. Terpenes can be used to treat a myriad of conditions. Studies have shown myrcene and limonene to be beneficial in reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
An ideal heat setting to produce a terpene rich vape is between 170-190°C.
4. Isolating THC & CBD
THC and CBD evaporate at temperatures roughly 10°C apart. It is therefore difficult to tell whether current vapes can accurately isolate THC or CBD. If you are looking for higher CBD levels, it’s best to select CBD rich strains or oils.
To summarise, making the switch from smoking to vaping is well worth it. Thanks to modern dry herb vape devices, you can now personalise your cannabis consumption to best suit your needs.
By applying different heats, you can get the most out of your cannabis, whether that’s wanting to get high off THC or treat anxiety using a high CBD and terpene content, all you need to do is follow the above guide and apply the appropriate heat setting.